Practicing with Perl

Another night of INFM 743 and more programming. Last week I was able to spend more time practicing Perl and I think I made strides with understanding the language. I am beginning to draw stronger correlations between Perl and other foreign languages I have studied. I think making flashcards of some of the basics of Perl might be helpful, especially in terms of preparing for the midterm.

I was just about to start making flashcards when the first homework assignment arrived. (I wasn't ready yet!) Luckily it didn't look impossible. I was able to get the first problem done before class except for one little bug. It took me a while (and some help from friends) to figure out that my 'less than' and 'greater than' signs were backwards (Am I too old to get an IEP for dyscalculia?). Anyways, I really enjoyed working on the homework. Unlike most of my other classes where the homework is pretty much just read (and occasionally write papers) writing a script/program makes me feel like I really accomplished something. I can see what I've done to prepare for class.

In class we set up groups and started brainstorming for the project. I think I will need a lot of time to brainstorm, but I'm looking forward to seeing what my group mates and I come up with. We went over hashes briefly (I'm going to need to spend some more time playing around with them but it seemed pretty straight forward - of course it will until it isn't working right). Mostly we went through working in the Unix/Linux environment. I was grateful for this, especially after seeing that we would have to use it for some of the homework / projects. (Yikes! I was a little scared when I read that.) But, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...".

Over the weekend I came across this blog post on Learning to Program. I found it encouraging because it compared learning to program with learning to play a musical instrument or speak/read a foreign language. I've done those things! But then it started going on about how people who read instruction manuals and have too much education have a hard time learning to program and I found myself getting a little discouraged. Surely a propensity to read instructions can't be a bad thing? I'll just have to focus on the correlations that I see between programming and previous (successful) learning experiences.

Have a great day and keep smiling! :)