Coding

First and foremost coding and computer programming is hard.  Coding is, relative to human cultures is a language, the language of computers. Personally, I dropped out of Spanish after one week because learning a new language is a hard challenge that I was not motivated to complete. Coding is a language and skill set i have had a desire to learn ever since i saw the movie the social network, perhaps thinking that making the worlds greatest social media site could not be that hard to construct, and nothing is further from that truth. The fact that I struggled to do basic coding skills makes me appreciate the complexity of the skill as well as the patience and intellect of those who can do it successfully. I would like to think that i am relatively good at everything I try and that if i put my mind to it I can achieve anything. Clearly my mother, when reiterating this to me, did not understand how hard coding is. The first couple days were relatively easy to comprehend and exercise and like with most languages, repetition is the key to success. Id say that that achievement is roughly equivalent to learning the alphabet, maybe less.

The early stages of learning coding and programing through python was relatively straight forward, but that should go without saying when you are simply copying someone who knows what they are doing. Even then, precision is a fundamental aspect of coding because the simplest mistakes can cause huge problems. This tediousness of coding is why Python is a great program to use, due to its color coated rating system, indicated by green for good and red for bad. In addition, error messages which happen frequently prompt immediate error messages that give instant straight forward feedback, allowing the user to alleviate mistakes. The other upside is that Python gives these error messages after every line of code, preventing the user from having to painstakingly search through hundreds, maybe thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands lines of code. I managed to have success and find the application and effectiveness of strings, lists and loops as a way of fast tracking repetitive and/or basic coding skills that when applied to writing a complex computer program can save hours of time in the long run.

Where I started to struggled was when we got to the reading and writing to files and the downloading sources aspect of coding, which unfortunately for me was the most historically relevant aspect of what we were learning. While I may not have been able to exercise the skills needed, I have a general idea of what the goals of these skills were. I believe the essence of coding is to save time and make complicated processes simpler. The process of downloading sources into a program makes it so that rummaging and siphoning through pages and pages of documents looking for relevant materials from said documents, takes fractions of the time it would take a person to read through the same amount of material. This is fundamental to historians who can exercise these skills to save themselves hours if not hundreds of hours when conducting research; research that is the foundation of all history. Coding allows you to work smarter, not harder.

Without being hypercritical of myself, it is important to preserve my self-esteem  by reiterating that coding is hard. So hard that only a select group of individuals have the patience and the intelligence can do it; i am not one of those lucky few.

https://uwaterloo.syzygy.ca/jupyter

https://www.oldbaileyonline.org

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