Friday, May 30, 2014

Getting Behind

    Well, this week has been quite unproductive and it is mostly my own fault. I was gone for the weekend to see a concert for a band that my cousin was in, so I didn't do anything towards my learning. Which isn't a terrible thing since we all need to take breaks and relax every now and then. Then I got back Monday and most of the day and all of the night I spent celebrating my best friends going away party, because he was leaving for the Marines and on Tuesday I headed to Tampa with him and a few other good friends to see him off, but he ended up not leaving that day. On Wednesday I was quite tired, but I did work some on a math course I have started taking from Udacity, which I will get into later, but I didn't do anything else productive towards my learning. Then on Thursday I started getting back into things, I did my regular two classes for Thursdays and then I looked into the CCNA from Cisco, and I will get more into that as well. Now it is Friday and I feel like I have accomplished almost nothing this week. Not to mention I have been feeling down about my life long friend leaving, even though he ended up not leaving on Wednesday, he will be leaving officially on June 9th. But, that is life and I know I need to keep pushing forward, so I am going to be working myself a lot harder this coming week to get myself back on track.

Now about the math class and CCNA. The math class from Udacity is an introductory Algebra review class, and the reason I am doing it is because I am very far behind in math and I really need to brush up on even the basics before I can do anything else. The last actual math class I took was almost 2 years ago now, and I ended up failing partly due to my lack of effort at the time and partly because the professor was very hard to learn from, but I don't want to blame him for my failing. So now I am playing catch up with my math knowledge and since there is a lot of math involved in Computer Science I am really hoping that this doesn't hurt me. The CCNA certification from Cisco is something I decided to look into and even though most of what it has to do with isn't directly involved with the area of Comp. Sci. I intend to go into, I am still interested in all of that information, such as Networking, TCP\IP, etc.. So I found a course from a man named Andrew Crouthamel just recently and I am getting into that now as well. I am not prioritizing that class though, since I want to make sure I stay on track with my other courses, it is basically something I am doing on the side like the Ethical Hacking class. I currently don't intend on taking the actual test to get CCNA certified mostly for the reason that it is too expensive for me, but I may do it in the future. I only intend to have the knowledge I would need to pass that exam.

Welp, I suppose that is it for this week.
    - Shane

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Busy. Busy. Busy.

I am posting this Thursday night instead of the usual Friday morning. I am going to be out of town Friday through the weekend going to see a concert. Anyways, the courses I am taking are going great. I decided not to start on MIT 6.00CS because it was from 2007 I believe, and I found that a brand new updated version would be starting on June 11th on edX. I replaced that course with an introductory Algebra class on Udacity, and I am glad I did. The class is a very nice refresher since it has been a few years since I have taken any math and I really need good math skills for Computer Science. The other classes I am taking are going well, and I am hoping to finish them up within the next 3 weeks so I can start more advanced classes. I do plan on doing as much of the homework that go along with the classes since they are very good for reinforcing what I learn in the classes.

Welp, that is all for now. A quick one.
- Shane =]

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Schedule

    This past week I have been going all out to finish the CS50x course, and I finished it. Now, when I say I finished it I mean that I have gone through all of the lessons and watched all the videos, and I have read any course material that I needed to read. There are problem sets that go with each week that I decided not to do, but I may go back later and attempt to do. Just for now I don't intend to do them mostly because I am not quite confident in myself yet, and I want to be confident before I go into them.

So now that I am done with CS50x I have started taking a few other courses, and by a few I mean four. Three out of the four are from very nice sources, but the fourth I decided should be a class that I wouldn't mind stopping or missing if time does not allow for it, so it is a course that I found from a reputable source on YouTube. My classes are MIT 6.00SC, Stanford CS106A, Udacity CS101, and Ethical Hacking from Eli the Computer Guy. If you took a look at the links then you will realize that the classes from Udacity, MIT, and Stanford are all introductory Computer Science courses and CS50x was also an introductory course. But why? Well, the simple answer is because that is the way I learn. For me the best way to learn is to hear the same things over and over, but maybe said differently. So far I am loving all of the courses and the professors most certainly have their strong points in different areas, it is amazing to see the professors different approaches to the topic. The approaches are similar, but at the same time they are completely different. Now why 'Ethical Hacking', to put it simply, it is a filler class. The only reason I am taking it is for days that I don't feel like I have the focus to take the other courses, but I still want to learn something.

Scheduling classes is unbelievably difficult, and was probably my biggest challenge this past week. I am using Google calender as my way of setting up my schedule, and it does a great job so far. The problem I had was setting up a set plan of what times and what days I would be taking my different courses, because I know that if I don't set up a schedule that I will inevitably fall off track. There was also the problem of knowing what days are good and what days are bad and also taking into account the extra time I will need for studying, reviewing, and doing the 'homework' for each course. So right now I have it set up for doing two classes, including the reviewing and doing homework, for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Then I have the other two classes set up for Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The reasoning behind this was a direct result from the way my college sets up their classes, all of their classes happen on either Monday, Wednesday, Friday or on Tuesday-Thursday. The reason my other two classes extend to Saturday as well was just so I could make sure that I set an even amount of time aside for them all. Hopefully this way of setting up my schedule works out, we will see.

As for how I intend to go through these four courses. If anything, I hope to finish them before my summer ends which is officially in August. That is a long ways away, but I don't want to cram these courses. They are a crucial part of empowering me to advance my education and I want to make sure I fully understand anything they cover before I move on. I also do not want to stretch them out to take a very long time though. I am hoping to be able to take another set of courses as well this summer, before it ends.

Welp, thank you for reading.
Bye. =]
        - Shane

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Start of the Blog

Where should I begin? Well as the name of the website may suggest, my name is Shane. The reason I decided to start a blog is pretty simple, but I will tell it anyways. I was listening to the .NET Rocks! podcast as I lay in bed last night (May 8th, 2014) and the special guest John Sonmez was talking about expanding your future as a developer and since that is seemingly my goal in life, I listened pretty closely. The main thing that got through to me that I knew I could apply to my life right now, was blogging. How does this help? Well, to put it in a lot fewer words than were used, it gets your name 'out there' and also develops essential skills, such as writing and communicating your thoughts.
Now, more about me. As was hinted at in the previous paragraph, I intend to go down the career path of a software developer. Currently I am 20 years of age and in college. My college, sad to say, is very poor in teaching the area of Computer Science, but because of me having no income and coming from a poor family, I have to go where I can afford with financial aid. So the main way I am currently getting my 'education' is online. I am currently taking the approach of focusing on 1 course at a time, but after the current course I am taking I plan on taking on 2 or maybe even 3 at a time, especially since it is summer time now and more free time is inevitable. The current course I am taking is a course on edX offered by Harvard called cs50x and I am greatly enjoying it so far.

What are my plans for this blog?
Well, I intend to update this blog once a week. And the subjects will vary, but I mostly plan to focus on my journey of learning Computer Science through the internet and the joys and woes that come along with it.

Welp, I am not sure how I will end these, but for now I will just simple say.