Infinite cosmic power!

Oh. My. Gosh.

A week and a couple of days ago, we were finally introduced to the wonder that is List Comprehensions.  I think I’m in love.

I promise I won’t forgo for-loops entirely from here on out, but the world just got a whole light brighter for me! INFINITE COSMIC POWER…  Itty bitty coding space!

Other than my new-found affair with list comprehensions, a lot has gone on in the last 2 weeks.  I’ve entertained and discarded a half dozen final project ideas, and arrived at an ultimate project plan.  I’ve had days where I was convinced my project was going to be a total failure, and days where I felt entirely awesome and talented, and a few points in between the two extremes.  I’ve started a list of future projects I want to accomplish, bounced ideas off at least 10 people, and gotten really excited about the post-Hackbright possibilities.  It feels like a whole lot to have going on in a week and change.

I ultimately decided to re-create swype, in-browser.  I’m using flask for my web framework, python for the back-end algorithms, and javascript/jquery for the touch events.  It’s been frustrating dealing with the intersections of these technologies, and I’m arriving at a place where I almost feel like I’d be better off doing the whole project in javascript (my comparative inexperience notwithstanding), but at this point I’ve written a couple of hundred lines of python code, and I don’t want to back-track and try to re-do all of that in javascript now, if I can help it. A lesson learned for the future.

I also struggled with my learning curve on this stuff, last week; it was the first time I was really using javascript for anything substantial, my first time using jquery and ajax, and I was entirely stumped by how they work, and baffled by the documentation I found on them.  Christian was incredibly helpful during this time, explaining things that completely stumped me, or telling me where to look for more information. I was left feeling, though, like I couldn’t have accomplished any of it on my own.

Christian, and one of the students from the previous graduating class, assured me that no one programs in a vaccuum, and that using resources like stack overflow and mentors/colleagues.  I still am not entirely comfortable with it; I feel like it’s kin to plagiarizing, but I guess as long as I know exactly how everything works, and I adapt it to suit my needs,  it’s all open source and I’ll give credit where credit is due.  I’m still not entirely comfortable with it, though.

This python-html-javascript back and forth has given me a much more concrete idea of python can be integrated with the web, and why javascript is a valuable (if frustrating) language. Front-end is where I’m weaker, so being forced to deal with this can only make me a better programmer in the end.  I have to admit, though, that I can’t wait to be done with that part, so I can get to the fun stuff; the word prediction algorithms!  I love that I get to do something exciting during my days.  I can only hope any job I find after this is a fraction as fun as learning has been.

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