In-Depth Blog Post #3

Progress Update

After my second In-Depth blog post, I completed the FizzBuzz challenge my mentor gave me, and have shown it to my mentor in our recent meeting.

Here’s a screenshot of my code for the FizzBuzz challenge. If you have a C# interpreter, you can type in the code in the screenshot and see it in action for yourself!

In our most recent meeting, besides showing to my mentor my completed FizzBuzz code, we also talked about what my following move would be. He explained that since I can now produce code such as that, I could start learning Unity very soon, in accordance with my planned timeline that I would take during In-Depth (see my first In-Depth blog post for the timeline). Though, he did suggest I go through one last C# course on pluralsight before moving on to Unity, just to get a bit more repetition in before I started on a different piece of software. I plan to have finished this last C# course by next week and start learning Unity in the same week as well.

On another note, my mentor suggested I make a “choose your own adventure game” as a little side project while learning Unity so I can still keep my C# skills sharp. I’ve always loved story telling and RPG’s, so I think I’ll really enjoying making this!

How did I be interesting when communicating with my mentor?

In the book, “How To Have A Beautiful Mind” by Edward de Bono, de Bono discusses how to have a beautiful mind. In a section of the book, de Bono discusses how to be interesting. De Bono states that there are different types of interests, including sharing information, asking “what if” types of questions, offering possibilities, alternatives and speculations and making connections between them and practicing creativity and new ideas.  

In my recent conversations with my mentor, I made sure to use “what if” style questions at least a few times to create new conversational possibilities and alternatives, helping me make connections. A notable instance when I used a “what if” style question was when I was discussing my FizzBuzz code with my mentor. We had a conversation about why the 1-100 numbers will still go onto the next number instead of starting all over again from 1 if it meets a number that applies to “fizz” or “buzz.” My mentor explained to me that the program just went onto the next number because we did not assign or return any value to the “i” variable, which was the variable used in the loop that created the 1-100 sequence. Following the suggestions from de Bono, I decided to ask: “what if “i” had an assigned or returned variable? What would happen to the output then?” This, as de Bono predicted, allowed the conversation to create new topics of discussion my mentor and I could have. From that question, we ended up then experimenting with my idea, assigning values to “i” and seeing what happened to the program output. At one point, I ended up creating an infinite loop that just kept spitting out “1, 2 FizzBuzz” over and over again. My mentor and I had a good laugh about that and I found it very interesting.

How did I respond when communicating with my mentor?

In another section of “How To Have A Beautiful Mind” by Edward de Bono, de Bono also discusses “how to respond.” In this section, de Bono states that there are three objectives to a conversation: to reach an agreement, to agree on the points of difference and to have an interesting time together. He also suggests the idea that depending on how we reply or respond to parts of the conversation is how we will further direct the conversation. De Bono explains that there are a number of reasons to respond to a conversation, including asking for clarification, offering support, and carrying the discussion forward into practice or modifying the proposition being stated.

In my recent meetings with my mentor, I made sure to ask for clarification whenever I was unclear about something my mentor had just said and to try and share a personal story that illustrates the conversation topic. 

An instance of when I was asking for clarification about something I was unclear about was when I questioned my mentor about what he does as a professional programmer. He explained to me that “in my current job for my client, I don’t actually code too much, instead, I’m the one designing the program and having others write out the program for me instead.” I was confused by this because I thought someone in his position would be the one writing the code, so I asked him for clarification. He said that in this situation, he doesn’t need to be the one to code the program because designing the code takes a fair bit of time, because of that, he just gets others to write the program for him once he finishes designing it to quicken the process because there would be multiple people on the job. Though, he still sometimes needs to go in and code some bits of the program himself. I found that by me just asking for clarification, I found myself furthering the conversation and learning more about my mentor.

A notable instance of when I shared a personal story to help further the conversation was when my mentor suggested the idea of me creating a “choose-your-own-adventure” game. When he suggested the idea to me, I became very interested and excited, because I’ve played a similar genre of games before, and I’ve always found it to be quite enjoyable. I shared this with my mentor, and my mentor seemed interested in what I had to share. I believe that this action furthered our conversation as well.

I’ll be posting my next blog post in the following 2 weeks, and I’m looking forward to share with you all my progress on programming and Unity then!

Thanks for reading!