This is a slightly edited response I recently wrote to someone who asked how to learn skills that would be useful at a hackathon. It's my usual response when someone asks how to get started programming.
You should start by approaching the problem from a different perspective. You should be thinking "I want to build X. Now what do I need to learn to build that?" not "I want to learn to build stuff. What can I learn?"
Tim from Crowdcademy recently wrote about the ugly side of programming:
I've also discovered that learning to code can have a big impact on your personality. Coding uses a lot of thinking patterns that I hadn't really used since my math and statistics classes in college, and even back then not in this intensity. As a result I've become more focused, more logical and smarter. But I've also become more detached from everyday life and less fun to hang out with.
The other day I read an article about global warming, and something about it keeps bugging me.1 My initial reaction was that someone would figure it all out; someone always does. But "someone" doesn't seem to be getting very far this time, and this is a big, important, world-changing problem. So, I thought, why is that "someone" not me?
Like most things in this world, the question of whether cloud hosting is for you is not black and white. Since you're reading this it's pretty likely that you've already read The Cloud Is Not for You and the counterpoint at Heroku Isn't for Idiots. Though both pieces are well-written and offer useful (if pointed) insight, what everyone actually wants to know is when to use each kind of hosting.
Isaac is a product manager, programmer, author, founder, investor, and game developer. Cookies are his kryptonite.
- Arguments against the threat of artificial superintelligence
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- Reverse data in a Google Spreadsheet array