Monday, January 03, 2011

Leddy By Design

If you are in libraryland and you have a hand in web design, then you might be interested in my workplace blog dedicated to MPOW's new library migration and re-design. We are moving from a Lotus Notes environment to Drupal.

I've been collecting similar work-in-progress blogs in this post and if you know of any that I've missed, please let me know via a comment.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

OnFocus! OnBlur! OnChange! How I am going to learn how to code

I've been meaning to learn how to code beyond HTML for years now, but never have managed to do much more than borrow other people's cryptic code and, by trial and error, swap out variables until things worked for the situation at hand. But this year, I have a DEADLINE and this deadline is as fierce and as frightening as a tiger.

I'm not going to dwell on the fact that I should have started my learning earlier. There's no time for that. Instead, I'm going to roll out my plan on learning how to code.

I've already completed the essential first step: I've found my learning community.

I've also got the second step under control: I've collected a selection of books that fit my style of learning. I'm a huge fan of O'Reilly's Head First series as it recognizes that most folks find it difficult to learn from technical manuals and so they structure their books on these learning principles:

And now all I have to do is the business of *doing* what I need to do.

A couple years ago, I was so inspired by this talk by Matt Webb that I resolved to find and dedicate 100 hours to learning Ancient Greek history. I did and the 100 hours passed faster than I had imagined and I found my life so much richer. Now while I do dishes, I listen to the most excellent History of Rome podcast. I'll be listening to episode 92 tonight.

And doing the dishes is the key to how I am going to learn how to code.

I am going to build a new habit into my existing daily routine. After my kids are put to bed and the rest of the dishes are put away (I have a difficult time resisting my kids persistent request to play with them after supper), I am going to sit down and spend at least 15 minutes learning to code. I'm actually hoping to put in 40 minutes a day, but right now the most important thing is get the "Kids. Dishes. Code" routine in place.

At 40 minutes a day, it will take me 150 days to reach the 100 hour mark which should bring me to June 1st. And that's a date that's much more inspiring than a deadline.