I said I was going to write a blog post today as a way to get myself back into the groove of coding regularly again. After the #100DaysOfCode, I took a GitHub hiatus. I still worked on exercises here and there, but nothing to really contribute to the projects that I had worked so hard on, nor the new ones that I wanted to learn how to create.

Last week, however, I figured out that my issue was that I was entirely focused on the end product. I wasn’t giving myself a chance to create crap and fail at the crap. I was trying to create too much beyond my skill, and getting upset that I didn’t have the skill to create the masterpieces that I envisioned.

After a lesson from Dr. Oakley, I decided to break my learning up. MWF I give myself a few hours to work on Android and Python. TTh I head over to the Cybrary. Android takes up the bulk of the time since the advanced concepts need more time to sink in. Python gives my brain somewhat of a break, but still gives me the practice of learning how to problem solve in a new language. And, the lessons from the Cybrary help me with work. There’s actually a class I should be taking in the next couple of weeks (if I plan it out correctly) that involves Python and networks, so I’ll be double dipping.

So, I’m back at it. I probably won’t do a #100Days for a while, but I will be building on much needed habits of learning how to practice.

I’m not sure where the rest of this post is supposed to go, so here’s a tweet for my future self to look back on.





I think when I can’t think of a catchy title I’ll leave it as the date.

I woke up today, much like any other day, in a drowsy daze. The Lady and I have been binge watching Mary Jane well into the wee hours of morning, leaving us to get up only a few hours later (I’m totally not a morning person). So, after I get the kid ready, we walk to the school bus and everyone is off on their separate path.

I come home, I look at my latest coding project. I create a new project shell as I like to call it, push it to GitHub, and I start planning things out with a pad and pencil. Today, however, was a bit different. After I did enough to say I coded for the day, I took a walk.

I haven’t listened to music in a while. My iPod is busted. My iPhone(s) barely have enough space to take a picture, and I canceled all of my music subscriptions. CodeNewbie just came out with #124, and I’ve been looking at ways to weave in podcasts to my daily habits. My walk wasn’t too long. Maybe 15-20 minutes. It was to get my car that had been towed the previous morning. The morning before, I hit the snooze on my alarm, and instead of making it in time for the school bus, had to drive to school, only to return to no parking on the street.

It sucked. But, I wasn’t upset. Well, I was a bit upset that I had to cough up $137, but that’s because – who really wants to pay a fine?

I got my car back, drove the mile home (found a legitimate spot), and had just enough time to turn on the news before starting work.

After work, I dropped Marissa off to the school for a meeting, played half a game of 2K with Young Cameron, and then we all went to basketball practice. During practice, I had my pad and pencil, looked at the specs for the News App and starting drawing out what needed to be present to get things right the first time.

I say all of this to say, fit it in where you can. Some days you’ll have hours to yourself to work on projects. Some days you’ll have small chunks of unevenly spaced time. But whatever you do, keep moving forward. Millimeters count.


I thought I knew how to parse JSON, but I’m beginning to think I know nothing. It was only a few days ago before I found a tutorial on how to put JSON in my app. I figured it would be semi-easy street from there. The hard part was getting information from the internet, right? Wrrrrroooonnngggg!! Lol. I think I’ve spent more time trying to display a title of a book on my app than anything else. It sucks, but it’s also kind of funny. I assume after this learning lesson, I’ll never forget how to parse JSON.

I’m going to take a long nap (more like sleep).

Keep moving forward. It’s just code.

10 Days

I finally got through the last bit of of the Udacity section dealing with JSON parsing, HTTP Networking, and Threads & Parallelism, and it is kicking my butt. I mean, they preface it with saying that they’re difficult concepts, but dayuuum.

Actually, it’s not that bad, but it is really important to have a firm understanding of Java to feel comfortable making everything happen. I got lost somewhere between the threads, so I started scoping out all of the different resources I could find to dumb it down for me. I’m all about brute forcing my brain, because otherwise I know I’ll give up on it.

Generally, and I have no clue why this is, if I don’t understand a concept, if I try to learn something more difficult where the first concept is somewhat of a foundation of the second – I’ll start seeing why the first was important. And, if the second concept is too difficult, long naps will work just as well.

So, my next project is going to figuring out how to search through JSON. I’ve got the skeleton of the Earthquake app to work from, I’ve got some examples of searching apps. I’m ready to go. In 10 days my project is due, and I’m going to see if I can get it in 7.

[Also, this is Day 4 of #100DaysOfCode. I spent most of the day researching resources, juggling code in my head.]

Day 1

I decided to join in on the  challenge. This community coding thing is growing on me. I highly recommend it to anyone out there in the coding world. Actually, it doesn’t matter what kind of projects/hobbies you’re into – a group will make it exponentially better. As I work on this, I’ve been trying to work on becoming busier in other areas of my life, so I decided to apply as a Crisis Counselor. I actually found it randomly searching through coding blogs. You really never know what’s out there, and I think it’s all because I decided to go through with my plan to build a game.

Back to #100DaysOfCode – for those that aren’t familiar, instead of going through a bootcamp, I decided to put myself through Udacity’s Android programs. I’m more than halfway through the Android Basics Nanodegree, and I’m learning about threading, networking and JSON. I need to finish and understand the Quake Report App so that I can hurry up and finish the Book Listing App before I leave for my birthday trip.

I don’t quite get how JSON weaves itself into my app, but I’m slowly coming around. It shouldn’t be too long before I figure it out and create the next one. I believe I’ll have a breakthrough tomorrow, and I can solely focus on the search function that I need to implement in the real test.


It’s broken…

~Happy Coding~

Skeleton 2


It took me a while to figure out how to move from the list of locations to the new activity, but then I remembered from the Miwok app, that we were able to create an individual sound from each list item. That got me thinking that if I could use a clickListener for sound, all I needed to do was throw an Intent in there, and possibly a Toast to be sure I knew what data was supposed to appear. I think the next task would be find other businesses/locations and turning them into Strings inside the app. From there, I want to clean up the look of everything. I might make it black and white like the Smash Brother’s app, but hopefully I get some nice vibrant photos of the locations to make it pop.

I also decided to take a minute and figure out the right way to upload projects from Android Studio to GitHub. I want that to develop into a habit that I don’t have to think about. I think I’ve gotten into the habit of committing significant changes. I only hope that my commit messages make sense (I guess I’ll find out if I ever need to use them).

If I stay focused, I can complete this guy this week. One final thing that I want to add is a map fragment of each location. I think it would be a cool new trick to learn, and it will help stretch my brain.


I’ve got the majority of the skeleton that I was looking for. After you click the CardView and it moves into the ListView, I want each individual list item to go fullscreen and give more information about the location it represents. The cheese app that I spoke about before has exactly that, so I just need to read it to understand how it implement it. From there, I just need to figure out how to add a map of the location at the bottom, and then I’ll decide if I want to take my own photos or steal some from the web.


It’ll probably make me feel better if they’re my own photos.

The next steps in all of this is to write every page of code down first. Since I have my main page layout in the way that I wanted, all I need to do is tie everything together based on what I learned from the Miwok app.

Once I can afford to take a UX class, I’ll be in business.

Tour Guide

I’ve been slacking on my posting, but I have kept up with my Nanodegree program. The next project is due on Jan 1st, so I’ve got a nice chunk of time to pickup some new skills and figure things out.

I can’t remember exactly where I got it from (it could be from Udacity), but I found a great example of how I wanted to create this Tour Guide app, so I spent the afternoon trying to figure out how to create cards, and how to make them scroll horizontally.

Ideally, I want this to be the main page, then you can click one of the cards and that will take you into a list, and when you click the list, it brings a half screen image of the location you clicked on, plus a description at the bottom.


Early Stages of New York

I also figured out how to make a gif of my app running. I don’t know why I thought it would be so difficult. Good thing I know how to Google.

Music App

Even though this is a concept app, I feel like I dropped the ball on this one. The app is called Stream, and when you first open it, you’re greeted by a random photo of an artist.

The listen button has (don’t quote me on this) soothing gifs to match the music to help you zone out. I wanted the app to be really chill and promote the craft of the local musicians in the city/town.

I think the part that I don’t like is that I have no UI/UX skills (I guess this means I need to take a class). It’s just a concept, but still… I want it to be/look dope.

I’m going to submit it so I can see if I can stay ahead of the suggested graduation time.