Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step

So a couple years ago I used to do Amazon Mechanical Turk to pass the time. I didn't really need the money, but it was fun (for some value of 'fun') and earned me a few spare dollars on the side. I never got super into it, but would just randomly do tasks that piqued my interest, and as such wasn't exactly efficient. At the same time, I wasn't really doing it for the money, so it didn't really matter.

Mechanical Turk is how I got interested in coding, though. One day I saw a long term job for like $10 or something (this was in 2016, so I am not totally sure) to test a Python teaching site. Aside from typing in lines of BASIC from the back of old computer magazines and doing some very, very basic coding in the same, I had no real experience with that side of things. At the same time, it was something I had been curious about and this spurred me to check it out. Plus, they would pay me to do it (sure, it was only like ten bucks, but why not?).*

After spending a few days going through the Python course I started thinking about how I could apply this to my own life, and decided that I wanted to try my hand at making Android apps. Knowing nothing about Android, I did a quick Googling and saw that most Android apps were created using Java. I then Googled how to learn Java and found the Oracle site, which had plenty of tutorials and documentation.

What I didn't realize at the time was that regular Java and Android Java were not exactly the same thing. I think doing those tutorials helped me grasp some basic concepts about object oriented programming and how everything fit together, so it was probably worthwhile, but had I known that they weren't directly related I might have skipped the Oracle stuff. Of course it is hard to tell how much it actually helped me, and I only spent a short time there, so it doesn't really matter much.

Next, I wanted to learn about how to put Android apps together. After a couple false starts, I ended up downloading Android Studio and from there began my incredibly successful and lucrative** app career.

Ok, the past two posts have briefly explained where I am coming from, and now the following posts will be a bit more pragmatic in nature so that they can hopefully help people like me who are just getting started. Until then, be cool and try to do something nice for a neighbor.

*I went back through my old emails and found the site but it is no longer active, which is unfortunate because I kind of want to reach out to the creator know that they at least helped me out. But I digress.

**this part is not true. 

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