I’m not much of a coder. In fact, I would go so far as to say I am simply not a coder at all. During my school years I dabbled in HTML, Visual Basic, and some minor Flash Script, but largely my interest with computers has been using programs that others have made rather than making my own. During my undergraduate study in Hong Kong, I took a class in C programming (the exam for which was a handwritten programming session. Oh yeah), but I found the whole thing pretty confounding and difficult. Today, though, I have decided that the only way I’m ever going to learn this sort of thing is by forcing myself to do it.

A Fun Experiment

I mostly seem to hang out with coders. It seems that the people with whom I most frequently interact are computer scientists or software developers. I don’t really know why, other than they are the only people crazy enough to use Riot for their day-to-day communications and chatroom facility. For this reason, I’m surrounded by programming with little to no comprehension of what is going on the majority of the time. Attempts to explain even the most basic things to me usually end up with me staring blankly and nodding my head hoping that nobody realises I’m the idiot in the room.

Oh, I’ve done the usual stuff. Taken some online classes at codecademy, pluralsight and udemy, but while I can complete these exercises with relative ease (the principles do actually make sense after a while), I find myself forgetting everything I just learned almost instantly. For me, learning is a process of necessity. Quite simply there is no need for me to learn programming, so I simply haven’t ever sat down to tackle the task as I have with BASH, PowerShell, and the like. But I get the feeling that if I never learn at least one language to some level of proficiency, I will regret it.

For this reason, I’ve spent today setting up my IDE with an eye to learning Perl 6. I thought about returning to C, but since most of my friends seem incredibly enthusiastic about Perl I saw no harm in starting fresh with it. My first project will be porting over an old, short program I wrote in C earlier this year and then seeing if I can’t expand on it a little. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even give it a GUI.

I think I need a break, though. Just wrestling Windows and Atom into a usable shape for this has been an ordeal unto itself…