The End of Week Two

So, it’s the end of week two.

I’ve given up my job at the University of Edinburgh and started a 16-week programming course at Codeclan in Edinburgh.

It’s been a bit of a leap in the dark for me. I worked at the University for 18 years so any change is bound to be personally daunting. But the opportunity presented itself to take voluntary severance, and with part of the settlement package I’ve invested in my future, so to speak.

I started the course on the 26th of September 2016, and as I write these words it is the 7th of October. End of the week two.

And it’s been hard. I knew it was going to be hard, but “knowing” what something will be like ahead of time is not the same as knowing it when you are in the middle of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good kind of hard. The kind of hard when you use the parts of your brain that have lain dormant for a long time. Thinking critically. Analysing. Spotting patterns and recalling patterns. Working back from end product to process. The end back to the means.

I started training on a bicycle late last year in order to go on a 100 mile charity ride this summer past. It’s been sort of like that. You start small on rides of a few miles, and when you go ten miles you feel chuffed. Exhausted but chuffed. And the hills, sweet Jesus the hills. At first you think you’ll never make the top. You arrive there sweating, exhausted and questioning your own sanity. Why did I leave the comfort of my bed to put myself through this?

But then, something strange happens. After a month, the hill you thought would kill you becomes a doddle. You get to the top almost without thinking about it. Not without effort, but without the agony.

And something even stranger happens. You start looking out for tougher hills to challenge. Because that first hill did you a favour. It gave you confidence and self-belief. And you want more because you know now it won’t kill you, and you know the reward of going up a hill is going down the other side.

The first week of the Codeclan course eased us into the world of Ruby progamming. Like going on a mildly challenging ride of 20 miles or so. Little hills to challenge and let you get a feel for what lies ahead. By the end of the week my head was full of code : functions, methods, variable, for and while loops.

We were given pre-course work to do so some of this was not entirely unfamiliar.

Anyway, I was going to go into more detail about what exactly we got up to, but it’s late Friday night, and that’s enough for one week. Besides, I’ve got homework to think about, can’t spend any more time on non-coding activities! We’re building a karaoke bar, if you must know…

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