I’m not very kind to my future self. Sure, I may set out to make his life much easier so that when present me becomes future him I can just knock down the pins, but usually my inner guide just says ‘Man, don’t worry about eating poorly! That’s a problem for future Edwin to deal with. F*** that guy. You want to spend money on electronics or games or various detritus that you don’t need instead of getting ahead on your bills? Awesome, future Edwin’s got you covered. As for doing something new with your life, remember that you wanted to learn how to play the banjo, to travel the world, to read a lot more? You’re way too busy to do any of that right now, but I promise that future Edwin will be all about that when he gets here.’

This concept is not a new one, and I know I’m not alone in perpetuating the “I’ll do it tomorrow” mindset that leads to the “Why didn’t I do it yesterday?” mindset, but I do feel that each of us goes through an individual hell that no one else sees while we wrestle with our “coulda woulda shoulda” failures.

This thing, though? This reading and blogging and learning and relearning and rerelearning thing that I’m doing in preparation of DBC? It’s my attempt to make amends with future me. That guy’s had it rough, and he deserves a leg up. He may still have to deal with a lot over the next few months (and god knows I’ll go back to mistreating him in later years), but for now, we need to be friends.

I’ve been silent for the past few weeks for a few reasons, namely holiday traveling, holiday flu, holiday ear infections, and holiday work hours, but mainly, it’s because I didn’t have much to write about. I’ve been humming along at a steady, albeit slower pace than I’d like, trying to get as much studying/preparation in as time allowed.

Here’s where I’m at:

  • I've finished some basic JavaScript tutorials. By basic, I mean I understand functions with methods, classes, inheritance with prototype, and object oriented programming in JavaScript. I can't say I learned OOP from JS, though, since Ruby is really where I cut my teeth on that. I haven't written any Ruby code in over a month...yeesh. Need to get on that.

  • Speaking of JavaScript, I've discovered that I don't really like it. Yet. That could be an issue considering it's a huge part of my future life (sorry again, future Edwin). I think the reason I'm having trouble with it is because it's so much more complicated and less forgiving than Ruby. This may sound incredibly basic, but my JS syntax is pretty bad. Countless times, I kept getting error after error only to find that a single ';' was out of place. It was enough to make me want to tear out my hair.

  • I started becoming (marginally) more active on Facebook and Twitter in the programming community. This one's been really difficult for me considering my antisocial nature (remember in my last post when I said I used to be an actor? Yeah, most of us don't really like to be around people, which is why we like the separation of performer/audience). Anyway, I started talking to former DBC 'Boots' about their experiences and got some insight on what to expect. I'd already done this previously, but the people I've talked with in the past few weeks have really given me a lot to think about. Namely, that I better start liking JavaScript a whole lot more, since DBC is bringing more and more of it to the program. While one cohort a few months ago learned Angular.js, the cohort right after them learned both Angular.js and Backbone.js. These frameworks are similar in that they are both written in JavaScript, are used mainly to build one page web apps, and are light and highly adaptable. The fact that they are so similar but are both being taught at DBC tells you the shift in importance that is being placed on JavaScript. DBC is proving right here that they too are adaptable to industry changes.

  • What does this mean for Ruby? I don't know, but I'm still very interested in it. I'm planning to spend the next few weeks really digging in to a few Rails APIs to get an idea of how sites like GitHub and Twitter work. I'm also looking forward to seeing what Sinatra can do. We'll see.

  • Let's jump back to JavaScript. Again. I recently started doing some tutorials for JQuery, which has been interesting so far. This is the stuff I've been waiting for, learning how to make pretty animations on a webpage. Practical use for JS. I've only just started, so I look forward to appreciating it more than basic JS.

  • SF housing is going to be expensive. That is all.

  • I'm getting a new computer! This will be my world builder throughout DBC and hopefully for several years after. I haven't had a new computer in over 5 years, so it's a big deal to me. I also got a new phone, but that's a little less exciting because computer!

Throughout the last few weeks, I’ve written down a few notes to myself on potential blog topics. In no particular order, here are they are. Some I touched on today, others might make it into another post down the road.

Tutorial for making a Factorial in Ruby using 12 Days of Christmas. This idea came to me after reading several DBC Boot blogs that involved creatively teaching a technical skill to the reader. Being Christmas, I wanted to teach someone how to add each item from the 12 Days of Christmas through a factorial. Even though it’ll be mid-spring when I start writing tutorials for DBC, I’m still planning to stick to it. Look for it down the road.

Don’t want to hack. Want to build. This is just semantics, but to me, hacking has a negative connotation of breaking something, or of making it a Frankenstein’s monster of what it was before. I like the idea of building something. I intend to call myself a builder, or a developer.

DBC is always changing, so it’s impossible to fully prepare. I wrote about this above, but one of the greatest aspects of DBC and programs like it is that it’s highly adaptable. They don’t have to wait for a new curriculum to be created and accredited, like some slow moving university program. If they see that a new language is taking hold, they adjust, add, and trim to make sure their students are better prepared. The negative side effect of this is that as much as I’m trying to stay ahead of the curve, there’s no way to know exactly what direction that curve will take. I can only do so much, but I intend to do as much as I can before I get there.

Changing up language tutorials. Gotta keep it fresh. Only trouble is, I’ve got to go in a logical order. No sense jumping into JS frameworks until I’m comfortable with vanilla JavaScript. Gotta learn to walk before I can fly.

I don’t like JavaScript. Yet. Speaks for itself. Read my rant above. It’ll get better, though. It just has to.

Tinder app for apartments/roommates. Not my idea, but a great idea nonetheless. Someone posted this on Twitter last week and suggested someone in DBC create it as part of their final project. I fully agree, except that it apparently already exists in several forms. Skylight and Doorsteps have the apartments covered while Roommates bills itself as ‘Tinder for Roommates.’ I’m keeping a running list of ideas for my final project, but I’m afraid this one’s out.

That brings us to tonight’s topic that I’ve already covered, Not being kind to my future self. I can’t really say I mistreat my future self (except in the ways already mentioned), it’s just that I don’t really think about him very often. I’m usually focused more on working in the present. I’ve always been the kind of person that needs to keep moving forward, always be doing something new. In theatre, if I wasn’t working with progressively larger companies with each new role, I felt like I was stagnating. In my current job, I don’t feel fulfilled because my career has plateaued while there. I’m not learning anything new and I’m not being promoted. I simply do the same job every day. Over and over. It’s high time I start thinking about the future and what I can do to change it. Present me and Future me have to start working together.

First things first. DBC begins in 3 weeks and there’s a lot to do before then. I’m not a developer, but I’m going to be.