In Depth Post 1: Coding

Hello! This is MJ, and as In depth starts up again, I have chosen to learn another skill this year. You may or may not remember that last year, I had decided to learn how to play the trumpet. So for this year, I decided to try learning a new skill that has nothing to do with music. So, for In depth, I will be learning coding.

What

To go into more detail, I’ll be learning how to code in the language of C. This will include learning the different functions and code in this specific language, as well as how to apply them in certain situations. I will also learn how to spot errors in my code and to efficiently fix them. Then after I have learned all of the basics, I will be taught how to put together all these different aspects and create simple programs.

Why

So, why did I choose to learn coding? Well, for a few years now, coding has been a skill that I have been wanting to learn, but have never successfully been able to. Coding has so many different applications today whether it’s robotics, communications, or basic entertainment like games. I have seen what code is able to do through videos on Youtube, and just by simply playing a few games. Through these different mediums, I started to become super interested in robotics and game design, and since learning code is the first basic step towards these goals, I soon developed a want to learn coding. In order to reach my goal, I had tried to teach myself coding on three separate occasions, but during all three occasions, I ended up overwhelming myself with too much, then giving up. Soon after, I had tried asking my friends to teach me, but due to the fact that they were not exactly experts in the field, I was unable to learn much from them. I had soon come to realize that in order to learn coding, I needed to have a proper mentor to teach me. Then, In depth rolled along this year, and I had realized how perfect this opportunity was, so I decided to grab hold of it, and here we are now.

Who

My mentor this year is someone who I had just recently met online through a friend of mine over the summer. Her name is Khrystianne (KC for short) and she’s currently an engineer student in university. As a part of her course, she learns coding and has lots of experience with it. So, this year, she has been kind enough to agree to mentor me for my In depth project.

How

Although I have yet to formally meet with my mentor due to the fact that she is currently quarantined, we have discussed a little bit about how this year will look. My mentor has so far mentioned that she has many small projects that she can teach me like for example, a tic tac toe game. The plan is to learn the functions involved in each project before attempting them, and using the projects as a sort of “test” or an evaluation to see what I do or don’t understand. So, my year will look hopefully look like this:

January – February: I will be using the first few meetings to get familiar with the programming platform and language that we will be using. Soon, I will be learning the most basic functions and their applications. This will lead into developing my first simple preplanned program.

March: This time will be used for learning more advanced code, then soon developing a second basic preplanned program.

April – May: The first few weeks will be used to review while expanding on even more applications of the basic code I had learned previously. Soon after, more complicated functions and code will be introduced and I will be beginning to prepare my final project which will hopefully be made from scratch.

What can we do to help?

Since we have not been able to meet just yet, I have yet to face any obstacles. So, I don’t exactly know what kind of help I will be needing. However, I have talked to Mike and we have agreed to help each other out at times when our mentors are unable to because we are experts in each other’s In depth projects. Mike’s In depth this year is piano, and my In depth is coding, and it just so happens that I’m skilled in piano, and Mike’s an expert when it comes to coding. Although I believe that our own mentors should be able to help us out instead, when it comes down to it, I will have someone else to consult if I’m having difficulty.

Progress

Again, I have yet to have been able to meet with my mentor due to her being quarantined, so we have not been able to have a formal mentorship meeting. However, over a few texts, she has recommended that I begin doing some research while she is being quarantined so that I can start getting comfortable with the programming platform and the language. So far, I have researched a bit about the the coding language, C, and am beginning to have a general idea of what to expect from it.

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