Being stuck in quarantine has been quite frustrating however, it enabled a lot of free time that I thought I would never have. I used that free time for things like academic work, exercising, and baking. On top of those things, I have dedicated my time towards coding. If I compared myself now to me a year ago, based on coding experience, let’s just say I came a long way. A year ago, I only invested time into practicing one programming language, Swift. Now however, I’m practicing Java, Python, (and very soon) C + + all in addition to Swift. I can’t thank danceLogic enough for exposing me to the art of computer science and opening a door to a new skill set of mine. A skillset that I will constantly practice, even after my high school years.
Right now, I’m still finishing up on assignments that require me to write in Swift, assigned by Mr. Franklyn. As much as I hate to admit, I’ve been quite behind on assignments, especially before quarantine. I wasn’t completing as quickly as I wanted to. Sometimes life got in the way. Other times I was just downright lazy. Not anymore. As I mentioned before, I have more free time now, so I’m using this time as an opportunity to complete them. That way, I can start writing practice programs in C + +.
Before quarantine began, I was at school. In school, I was a part of robotics. There, I was one of the three programs who wrote code for our robot. It was nice seeing a physical embodiment of code that I helped write. Whenever the robot moves, I just can’t help but be amazed and think “Wow.” I definitely had my rough days in robotics, mainly when I first started. I was so used to writing code using Swift but the code used to operate the robot was written in Java, a language that I have never used before. It took a great amount of time to adjust to the syntax, on top of facing regular code errors. Plus, I have never written code for a robot, so figuring out how to program motors, controllers, and servos took a lot of time and effort. In a sense, robotics was one huge learning experience, and I really appreciate the challenges that I faced because it only made me a stronger, and more adaptable coder. Even in quarantine, I still practice Java, and other programming exercises, for robotics. It’s true that my team’s robot and programming laptop are at school; however, I’ve been reading articles on how to better program robots, in preparation for my next year in robotics.
In addition to danceLogic coding assignments and robotics research, I also have been granted the opportunity to partake in two free online computer science courses. One is an introductory course to computer science, in general. The other course is about video game development. I recently enrolled and will start classes in a few days. So far, I know that the curriculum is broken down into three parts: video lectures, articles, and practice projects. The main languages being used in the course are Python and C + + (after you finish the introductory units). I expect to face challenges, but that’s the purpose of learning, to face and solve problems in order to expand knowledge.
One other thing I’ve been doing, listening to podcasts about software developers. One podcast I came across was an interview featuring Iddris Sandu, an architectural technologist/software developer. He talked about his journey to success as a young software developer and how he managed to collaborate with multiple businesses, such as Google. I found his story very interesting and inspirational and I highly recommend it. Overall, I managed to grow my skills in coding significantly over the course of this year. Even in quarantine, I found ways to continue growing my knowledge in programming so that when our current crisis is over, I’d go back to my regular schedule, feeling more prepared than ever before.
Note: Nailah has been in danceLogic since it was launched in 2018 by West Park Cultural Center.