History, syntax and related disciplines for HTML - History and related disciplines

The First Interpreted Code?
Related Disciplines: Interpreted code

Advantages of interpreting a language:
Features often easier to implement in interpreters than in compilers include
Disadvantages of interpreted languages
  • programs can be less reliable
  • Interpreters can be susceptible to Code injection attacks.
  • Slower execution 
  • Source code can be read and copied
Precursors to modern HTML 
  • HyperCard
  • Data Connectivity
  • IP/DNS
  • SGML

Work habits cirriculum

As I learn more about improving my coder work habits, one thing becomes painfully clear. From the perspective of a coder with good work habits, I suck.  I double super suck.  If I were a vacuum, I'd really clean the house.
     So that's what I need to do - clean house.  It's time to start a new approach to work and step one is to toss out the old dive in mentality.
     In my research, I learned quite quickly that I am not the only aspiring coder who feels this way.  As another intrepid souls has said:
     I'm beginning to feel that my working/coding habits are more haphazard and cumbersome than they should be -- sometimes I find myself tripping over my own shoelaces. "Where did I make that change? Where did I see that function? Oh, should I just scroll until I find it?"  I've realized that if I'm going to continue in this line of work, I need to develop some better habits and strategies.
     So to that end, here are my favorite 8 readings on the 2, 4, 5, 5,7,10,10 and 10 work habits for good coders:

My code curriculum

As I lurch haltingly forward on my journey to code, I have been seriously pondering how to structure my learning.
     My background in education, and piles of parents' money spent getting bachelors and masters degrees, helped me understand that this was a real question. Two questions, actually.
  1. Would an intentional approach help me be more successful? 
  2. What model might I use? 
     Answer to question 1 - Yes.
     For the answer to question 2, I looked back to the science courses I took in undergraduate school.
     After surviving a dozen or so science course syllabi, a pattern clearly emerged.  The knowledge was usually passed along using the following structure
  • History, nomenclature and related disciplines
  • Lab procedures
  • Theory and application
Modifying this structure for code, a framework for learning codes would look like
  • History, Syntax and related disciplines 
  • Work habits
  • Theory and tutorials 
Except, I feel that work habits are my biggest challenge so I'm putting those first - because I can! So...
  • Work habits
  • History, Syntax and related disciplines 
  • Theory and tutorials
    Going forward, I'll be pulling together some useful links using this framework, first stop - Work Habits. 

Knowing your why

One of the reasons I hadn't pursued a coding career before was that I flunked all (and I mean every single one) of the well-worn 'aptitude' tests.
  • I don't like story problems
  • I'm not a good speller
  • I don't exhibit ice-cold logic
  • I have no idea how many times a day a clock’s hands overlap
  • I didn't know the significance of 'dead beef'
  • I would probably take me too long to noodle 2 to the power of 64
     I did, however, like to do research, I like to tinker and know why manhole covers (sexist!) are round - and thus began my quest.
     And, because "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!" At least, they like me when I fix their screwed up website, reorganize their messy server or help them change the blog template that had been driving them crazy for a month. 

For the definitive answer, I turned to Google and found

» Vivek Haldar offers this Q&A
Why you would want to program at fifty (or any other age)
"This is ultimately a question which can only be answered by looking inwards."

» The New York Times weighs in with the typically weighty
Leaving the Comfort Zone to Learn Computer Code
"...there is a cadre of people in their 40s and 50s who... see coding as the way to job security."

» We can look at the question as an ancient meme
Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: Does Age Matter in Learning Web Design?
"Every great web designer in the world started from what you are now – newbies. If they can do it, why can’t you."

» We could also consult the classic click-bait headline authority
5 Reasons You Are NOT Too Old To Learn To Code
"You should learn to code because you think it’s fun and you want a bigger challenge in your life (see 'you’re not dead yet')."

» And my favorite, the definitive
Am I Too Old to Learn Programming?
"No, you are not too old to learn programming."
So there's that!

     Oh, and because I always switch to 'edit in HTML' to get these posts to look just the way I want.

Working on work habits

One of my mentors (and thank you so much, all of you!) recommended the Developers Best Practices Tutorial to help me develop better coding work habits.  
     While obvious to the well trained, we encore coders (at least, me, anyway) very much need this kind of guidance!
     For example, I recently took on a project to rehabilitate the many broken links on an older blog and at first, I dug in with my old ad hoc approach of finding and fixing.
    After I had updated three or four of those non-performing pieces of html, I suddenly realized I was using none of the best practices outlined in the tutorial above.  It was time to stop and re-evaluate - did I just want to finish the project, or did I want to improve my coding work habits?
     Fortunately for my career arc, I decided to choose the latter.  I stepped away from the immediate work and focused on the best practice of documentation,
     I built an equivalency table, populated it with all of the broken links from the link checker report and then found updated destinations for each broken link, listing the new destination in the appropriate place on my table.
     With a robust tool in hand, I then went back to the project work and voila! A documented, repeatable and audit-able approach to link rehab.

Got Git

Set up my Github account and took my first tutorial.  Remember when we called it the "C" prompt?
     We didn't say 'command line' yet because there was yet to be a GUI to be distinguished from.
     Just like riding a bicycle, once you become accustomed to the command line, going back feels as comfortable putting on as a favorite pair of jeans.
     The commands start to stick, the mouse gets pushed out of the way and it's  "Colossal Cave Adventure" all over again!

Little projects online

A random sampling of simple things I have built on the internet for various folks. Who you gonna call?  Sometimes, it's me! Welcome

Skeletons in the closet - found and posted!

The joy of backups!

Found some of my earlier code projects to share with the world.

Projects found here
  • Beta ver of a self-grading javascript quiz: Beta Orientation Quiz
  • Lessons learned - using javascript snippets to create an autonomous one page application 
  • Deployed ver of a self-grading javascript quiz: Deployed Orientation Quiz
  • Lessons learned - using javascript snippets to create an autonomous one page application, released for user access  
  • Home page for a streaming radio project: Club Utopia streaming radio
  • Lessons learned - creating and using animated GIFs to enhance user experience
  •  A little hand coded HTML and some javascript snippets to create: a home page for a small retailer
  • Lessons learned - managing an HTML page with javascript snippets to enhance content, embedding remote content (Google Maps)

The user abides

IN the early days of desktop information technology, we needed to learn how to write interpreted code to survive.

  • If we used an early PC, we needed to learn to DOS commands and write batch files and maybe edit some lines of Basic
  • If we wanted to share files on Bulletin Board Systems we needed to learn to write modem configuration files and master applications like Yenc and Zmodem
  • If we wanted to upgrade to a GUI we needed to learn to write more configuration files and manage our directory structures and drivers
  • If we wanted to be active on the world wide web, we needed learn how to code HTML and how to work on servers via FTP
  • If we were interested in streaming media, we needed to learn how to manipulate script snippets, learn to edit still more configuration files and manage plugins, firewalls and server architecture
  • If we wanted to... well, you get the idea

Now I learn that this makes me a coder and that this coding is a skill that is very much in demand.

Who knew?

Ode to the Encore Coder

Once I built a supply chains, made them run, inventory just in time
Once I built a supply chains, now I'm done, maybe now it's coding time
Once I did consulting, helped my clients' business run, built up their bottom line
Once I did consulting, now I'm done, maybe now it's coding time

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