Learning Javascript I

This is the first of a series of posts on my goal to learn Javascript this year. I think it’ll be a good experience because it accommodates Object Orientated and Functional programming in a single language.

It’s ubiquitous at the minute and can be used for development across the entire stack.

Functional programming is a relatively new concept to me and it’s not going to go away anytime soon. It’s bleeding into every major active OO language.

First up were the free browser based tutorials on CodeAcademy. These are good for anyone looking to have the basics of the language spelt out.

Second was understanding Closures – this is a great article on that from the excellently titled JavascriptIsSexy.com. Closures are a new concept to me and one that’s got it’s foundations in FP.

Third is reading Expert Javascipt – the opening paragraph sums it up perfectly.

My assertion is this: just as a person can speak a language without the ability to read or write it, so too can developers use the fundamental features of JavaScript and yet be blissfully unaware of their complexities.

Learning Javascript I

In Rainbows

Pride was last weekend and social media was full of rainbow coloured profile pics. It really caught the imagination. I saw posts from right across the political spectrum. Some full of love, some deeply frustrating. 

I feel the difference. To be honest I find it hard to deal with.

I find it hard that Christians and the church are so closed off to the gay community. I find it hard that same-sex marriage isn’t allowed in a widely secular society.

I find it hard that the church is being leveraged to redefine Christian marriage against its will.

Each strand of that rainbow shows the uniqueness of people, the whole spectrum showing the contrast between us all. I’m not sure that I have the answers to how we can make things better, but the rainbow sounds like a pretty good place to start.

In Rainbows

Careful What You Wish For

This weekend Jurassic World made about a gazillion dollars at the box office. I haven’t seen it yet but people are saying it’s the great sequel Jurassic Park never had.

I totally can’t wait to see it.

jurassicworld

Along with the Terminator movies, it was my favourite movie growing up.

Later in summer there’s another Terminator film. Having only seen the trailers for it, inside I’m screaming

“Stop making Terminator movies! Stop ruining ALL THE THINGS.”.

The sequence of films after Terminator 2 were the playbook of how to mess up a movie franchise. (Spoiler alert – the latest trailer shows John Connor as the bad guy.)

Just stop. Like right now. STOP.

But maybe you don’t get a Jurassic World without a couple like Terminator:Genisys.

But stop. Please.

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How I Learned To Git (And You Can Too)

I’m a Software Engineer. About a year ago I moved job and the new role required me to learn to use Git for source control.

It was a bit of a culture shock moving from projects based mostly on Visual Source Safe to Git. I thought it’d be cool to list some of the resources I used to get up to speed.

Git is a distributed VCS (Version Control System) created by Linux founder Linus Torvalds. It’s free and becoming commonplace in industry. It’s also the tool of choice for Open Source developers. It might be quite hard to avoid in the next few years if you haven’t already been exposed to it.

I’d definitely recommend using the command line (Git Bash where Windows is concerned) as the best way to learn Git. That might be a bit of a culture shock for less technical users, but I found it was the best way to visualise what’s happening in the background.

The first tutorial below can be completed online, so you don’t have to install if that’s intimidating. You can also use a GUI client to carry out changes – Atlassian SourceTree is what I currently use.

How I Learned To Git (And You Can Too)

My Favourite Albums #1: Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour Of Bewilderbeast

hourofbewilderbeast

The Hour Of Bewilderbeast‘ was released in 2000 and went on to win the Mercury Music Prize that year. It still holds up now as one of my favourite albums. It changed how I think about music.

I discovered the album when I saw the video to Disillusion on MTV2 late at night (when MTV still played music).

Music was mostly guitar centred at that point, but Damon Gough had instrumentation and arrangements that were totally beyond that. As a sixteen year old school boy my main love at that time was Britpop.  I just hadn’t heard songs quite like that.

The opening track ‘The Shining’ is as good a track-one-side-one I can think of. Elegant and sad. Each track is unique, but it flows together so well. Even the songs I felt were skip tracks are now engrained in me.

My Favourite Albums #1: Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour Of Bewilderbeast