Debugging is fun


So a very cool feature of MS Visual Studio is the Debugger… being able to step through code and watch it in action is very helpful to a visual learner such as myself.

debugger view
Disclaimer: This is not my actual code – random image off the internet.

Right now I’m working on loops… yes basic loops again in my life. I am trying to be patient as I am sure I have learning gaps that I need to fill but at this point it is review. I have officially written loops as part of learning to code since I was in college in 2009 and the logic is always the same. However, visually stepping through my loops and the watching the variables change value is pretty cool.

Tip: Step through your code using the F10 button while debugging and add a ‘Watch’ to specific variables to watch them change as the code is executed. 😉

I am humble enough to realize that there are loops that get really complicated that would take quite a while to understand but these really are basic… believe it or not I am STILL on Chapter 2… there are a lot of activities and I have been quite distracted with other pursuits like some freelance work but this is soooooo slow!!!


Chapter 1 of Every Tech Book


head first c sharpA few weeks ago I started Head First C#, 2E: A Learner’s Guide to Real-World Programming with Visual C# and .NET (Head First Guides) (bought right off Amazon used for under $10). Please remember I am a mom and we always boast about deals and steals! I being an urban geek mom am always on the on look out for all things tech at great deals….ALWAYS!!

I digress, so as I begin this book it starts with creating forms using Visual Studio and I have a huge flashback to a college course. I already know how to do this! So as with all tech books you absolutely breeze through the first chapter with confidence. However, at this point in my what is becoming a career of learning but not doing…. I am well aware that the first chapter of every tech book is super duper easy and makes soooo much sense. They set you up every time!

I have now had thdeclineProgressis book for 23 days… not sure what the typical learner’s progress looks like but I am only on Chapter 2 (the end of the chapter but nonetheless… chapter 2). The material is still pretty light and easy but real coding hasn’t even begun. It’s all graphical at this point which I did not expect. Ready to get into some code already!! It gets frustrating always starting over but that seems to be the pattern. Anytime I start making any real progress I either finish knowing just enough to get excited with no opportunities to learn more or I move on to something else due to a need.

My schedule is pretty full but really one chapter?!?! I don’t celebrate Xmas so I can’t even use that as an excuse… though there has been a lot of free food and extra time constraints this month directly related to the world’s observance of the winter solstice that I can blame for my lack of focus.  So blame it on that I shall.

Regardless of the struggles, the distractions, the lack of progress and opportunity… I press on. As if I have a choice… I don’t I really don’t.



Caught in a Bad Romance


After over 20 years of trying to prove myself in the tech industry it is proof positive I am caught in a ‘bad romance’ with this industry. My first encounter with coding was at a very influential age (I think it was third grade) and began my infatuation with programming.

  • Creepy boyfriend similarity – molding ’em young.

I was so enamored by the ideal of using an ordinary desktop computer to build software, programs and games. Unfortunately, there were no opportunities for me to learn anything more (that I or my family were aware of) in this field…. but we always had a computer and the latest technological gadgets in our house. This was a priority.

  • Another characteristics of a bad romance – leave her wanting more but stay in her viewpoint, impress her from a distance so you stay on her mind ALWAYS.

Tech further crept it’s way into my life by tempting my mother to open a small business focused on desktop publishing (it was the early 90’s) for small businesses in the area. I was her dedicated assistant of course; it gave me even more time to spend with the love of my life… technology.

  • Just like a sneaky boyfriend manipulating the mother to get closer to the daughter.

Determined to forge a relationship with technology I went to college in the pursuit of being a tech savant. However, the real serious programmers majored in Computer Science but I didn’t feel I was quite good enough for that track so I went for the safer route… Information Systems. Thinking this would be enough to get my foot into the door and become a valuable technical resource to anyone. Slowly developing my “relationship” with tech in a meaningful but safe environment. Career advisors, counselors, etc. never for one second stated that by earning this degree would not make me the technical savant I thought I could be…. a very expensive lesson.

  • I believe this is the scrub TLC alluded to in their song ‘No Scrubs’. He allows you to do all the investing in him, misleading you to think the relationship is going somewhere but all the time just milking you dry with no intention of yielding any real results.

Finally after all this time learning/mastering business systems, information technology, coding on my own, going to places where tech is talked about, taught, sold, securing multiple entry level (non-coding) tech positions and finally investing ten of thousands of dollars post grad in an instructor led coding boot camp…. I am still not a software developer, programmer, engineer in any capacity. Despite my best efforts I fail constantly to make any real progress and get rejected due to not being….what? Good enough? Smart enough? Free enough? Who knows? It all sounds like the excuses of a bad boyfriend….

  • This is the equivalent to being stood up at the altar…. BAD ROMANCE INDEED!

Through all of this I am supposed to stay positive, focused and keep working on this relationship….

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh! Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh! Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance