Inspired and Rededicated.

As of late, I am feeling particularly inspired to continuing my web programming journey. To continue, I am setting a daily goal list. Truth is, some days will yield greater progress than others. All days must yield some progress and move the proverbial “needle.”

My goals are:

  1. Spend some time daily working on web programming/career transition.
  2. Begin to build a portfolio – even it has simple code in the beginning.
  3. Continue completing coding modules in Free Code Camp and Treehouse
  4. Align social media and web presence with this goal.
  5. Review job postings to gain an idea of what skills and knowledge need to be learned.
  6. Become part of the web developer online communities.
  7. Continue to pursue a programming education in real life through further schooling.

Inspired and rededicated.


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League of Legends – A Few Thoughts

Recently, I have gotten into League of Legends. Okay I have been playing since February of this year. The basic premise of the Summoner’s Rift arena match is to destroy your opponents Nexus. Doing so, you win! For those interested, you caleague_of_legends_logon check out a this new player guide. It offers League of Legends basics.

Playing the game over the last few months, a few things have become apparent:

  • Having a good team and supportive team (even playing with random people) can make the game all that much fun and fulfilling.  Most players have been supportive or at least quiet.
  • Toxic players make me want to unplug my internet connection and “feed the bots.”
  • Definitely some skill to the game and playing well. Kudos to the pros.
  • Researching the game and strategies can make all the difference. Knowledge is power.
  • Best not to run into battle without some sort of a plan.
  • Sometimes after a bad game or three, it is just better to logout and go do something else.
  • It is a game have fun.

To this point, I have only been playing against robots with other humans on my team (mostly). I admit, because of the sometimes toxic community, I have been nervous about venturing into the Person vs. Person (PvP) arena. That being said, soon, I am heading to PvP where the real competition begins.

Many lessons in League of Legends can be applied in the real world.

Transition Manifesto

Sometimes when I want to find clarification of my clear clarity, I find it easiest to write. I think this is the case with many people. Currently, I am looking to transition away from my current position as an Assistant Property Manager. There are a variety of reasons I am pursuing this transition such as it feels like the right time in my life (other changes are occurring too),  challenging residents and property site, and the occasional internal frustration. I have come to grips with residents yelling at me and killing roaches in my office for the last few years, no doubt it has gotten very tiring. Regardless there are multitude of other things going on and it feels like the right time. Excited and embracing change.

My plan is to land a position that will allow me to eventually switch into more  of a technology role. To facilitate this transition, I am looking at a variety of position inside and outside of my industry. I am less concerned about the position or industry as long as it meets my qualifications, which are:

  • Reduced commute time
  • Equal or greater compensation
  • Opportunity to grow/transition into IT/Technology role

I am flexible with the above. Of course the ideal would be to make a $100,000 year watching NETFLIX at home.  All three qualifications met.

To get from “here” to “there,” I am currently:

  • Working through tutorials at Treehouse, Code Academy, Cybrary, and other sites.
  • Checking out local resources meet-ups, lectures, events, books at the library
  • Looking into taking courses at local community college or even a second MS degree
  • Continued positive web and social media presence in general and areas of interest

In general to put as many lines in the water as I can.


Candy Crush = Done!

…..At least for now. Realizing there are more important things in my life and in the world to focus on. Level #467,  you broke me. You win. Check mate. Game over.

I won’t say you are impossible to win. You are not. However you are very difficult and not worth the effort. Sorry. You can find out more about this evil level here.

candy crush level 467

I will still take your free spin of the day. I always will. For now it is time to get on to more important things in my life. Man, I’ve moved on. Have you?

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Free Cyber Security Short Course

Lately, I have found myself very interested in cyber security. Looking for resources, I discovered Heimdal Security’s Cyber Security Course for Beginners.

Every couple of days they send a new lesson (more like a highly informative email) on a cyber security topic. The topics range from basic vocabulary to selecting a AV software.

Although not the most technical or advanced introduction to the topic, seems to provide a nice introduction for non-techs interested in the topic. It would be just about perfect for your grandma.

Normally when I agree (reluctantly) to have things sent to my email, I am disappointed. Usually it is “spammy crapola” of little value. The experience ends with me unsubscribing. This has been different, I have enjoyed getting the email lessons every two days.

Disclosures: Heimdal Security does sell products. The email lessons have not pitched their products, but have offered a variety of security solutions and tools — many of them free and available online. In 7 lessons there has been only 1 or 2 links to their products. So, nothing to spammy and sleazy! Just good information.


At the Crossroads

Personally, I feel as if I am  at the crossroads, both personally and professionally. Having undergone some very intense personal life changes — Divorce. It feels good to say the “D word,” I have been avoiding saying it and now it is on the internet (even if tucked away on a blog no one reads). This is a big change in life and also a great opportunity on a few different levels.

Professionally, my current position is becoming out-of-sync with my values and ideas. Even though the check clears, it makes it a little tougher each day. Over time, it has become less rewarding and more of a struggle. I don’t want to exactly jump out of bed and run their in the morning excited to get started.

Both personally and professionally, it is time to start “value-syncing.” If you “value-syncing” becomes a thing, you heard it here first, unless of course you heard it elsewhere first!

At the crossroads, choice made.

For your listening enjoy Robert Johnson, “Crossroads.”

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Learning Journal Entry – Fundamentals of Programming

February 13, 2016 Leave a comment

I have decide to use one of my learning journal entries as a blog post. For My course Fundamentals of Programming at University of the People, I am required to do a learning journal. Even though it is required, I think it is a good idea regardless. The learning journal provides an opportunity to write about a variety of related topics to the course content and learning process.  I have tried to keep the tone a little informal and reflective on the process and topic.

My week three learning journal entry will touch on a few different topics. The first is the graded quiz. It was definitely a little tougher than I would have expected. I did okay, scoring a 92% not my best work, but a reminder to study and keep up with everything. I found it particularly challenging given the time constraints. I expect to be more prepared for the next quiz. To accomplish this, I intend to spend a little more time reviewing the non-graded quizzes.

Second, I am currently working (procrastinating) on the second programming assignment. I downloaded and installed it with the intention of using it for the assignment. Opening the program and playing around with it, I found myself becoming obsessed with lining up shapes, boxes, and more concerned with formatting and appearance. While having the flowchart looking visual appealing or at least professional, it should not take away from the ideas. I would prefer to spend time thinking about the code, how it might work, and not whether my boxes are perfectly lined-up. I still have not decided if I am going to use pseudo code or the flow chart. I think it is just easier to user pen and paper or a white board. I am leaning towards using the flow chart.

I think spending some time thinking about the code and the steps that need to be done is very a good idea. Obviously, it can be helpful for even the longer exercises. I am slowly coming to the realization that coding/programming is not just something that happens at a keyboard, but also on paper, using DIA, or a whiteboard. Preparing to code is equally as important as what happens at the keyboard. Again, I think there is a very strong parallel to writing. One simply does not sit down and compose a course paper or a Master’s thesis. It takes some forethought and planning. It may not always be apparent, but even with my learning journal entries, I brainstorm a few ideas and notes about things.

Thus far, I have enjoying the class and find the topic interesting. Concurrently, I am also taking Programming for Everyone at Coursera. I believe (especially for beginners) having as much exposure to the language and programming is a necessity for becoming proficient. I call it the “ABC Method,” “Always Be Coding.” While it is important to understand the logic and concepts, it is also important to be able to understand the syntax and be able to write simple “if/elif/else” statements without looking it up. I think for beginners (this holds true different areas) it is imperative learn and over-learn the fundamentals. Fundamentals provide a foundation for advanced concepts and ideas. One has to know how to compose a sentence before they can write a novel.