2015-2016 Term 1 Learning Journal UoPeople – Week 1

I’m really excited to be in my third term at UoPeople. Time just doesn’t seem to slow down; it feels like if I blink too fast, a degree will magically appear in my hands! It’s been crazy hectic at home, trying to keep up with school, job hunting, and preparing to move. Here’s my learning journal entry for week 1.


 

In unit one, I completed the programming assignment, and the discussion assignment on the first day. Neither was particularly challenging for me, but the programming assignment did make me find a gravity calculator to check the accuracy of my code. Other than doing that, it wasn’t a very difficult assignment.

As a way of making it a little bit more challenging, I added a distance variable to my program rather than just the position. So, my program will output the position of an object after fallingĀ x seconds, and then the total distance traveled as well.

My real challenge has been balancing home life with school. I’m currently not working so that part has been easy, but our babysitter had surgery a couple weeks ago and she has been off longer than originally expected. My son has been home through the day, which means my only opportunity to really work on school is before or after he’s awake.

This has made it very difficult to get work done, so much so, that this assignment is being completed on the last day it is due, which is a first for me since starting here at UoPeople.

What I’m learning about myself, is that I perform very poorly when I’m surrounded by distractions. It takes a lot of effort for me to stay focused when there is anything else other than silence going on around me. I also have a very hard time concentrating when I’m tired, which has made my opportune moments feel unproductive this past week, as by the time my son is in bed, I just want to go to bed myself!

It’s difficult to say that I’m gaining skills and knowledge this week, as I’ve been so tired and unfocused that it’s hard to do my usual exercises to ensure that I’m able to apply what I learn. Normally I would have gone through the exercises in the book to make sure I’m getting the practice I need, however this week I just skipped over them.

Luckily however, I already know the basics of Java, as I’ve played with it before. I’ve done all of the assignments from the CS106a Stanford course on YouTube, and have periodically visited Java while completing coding challenges on sites such as CodeInGame.

As for how I’ll apply the ideas and concepts to my own experience, I’d say most of what I apply will come from the general concepts discussed, not the specifics of the Java language. A short while ago, I’ve started creating a guide for beginner programmers. I hope to take what I learn from this course and improve the way I explain general concepts about programming.

The important thing I’ll be thinking about – not just this unit but throughout this course – is how I can apply what I learn here to my projects outside of class.


 

For those interested in my posts related to programming, there is a lot of content in the works. I’ll be posting some shorter articles to try and keep my blog alive while I work on my beginner’s programming guide.

Thanks for all the support,

Cheers,

Dan

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