I am Now Officially a Coder!

by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA
Founder & Executive Director, Break Diving, Inc.

Well, I am officially a coder now!  I can actually officially say it without any crack in my voice!

I graduated from the Firehose program in June of 2017 and since then, have already launched my first app, and am hard at work at my second!

The first is called www.mymusic.bio and is a fun way for you to share the story of your life through the music that helped shape it.  If you check it out, you can read all about me from my childhood to today by visiting the site, and then clicking on my name!

To build this app, I used ruby on rails, html, css, javascript, jquery, and bootstrap.  I also enlisted some assistance from some of the folks at codementors (because I’m no expert yet!).

My next app is a to-do list app that I have been developing for the last ten years in my head, based on my my philosophy of time management outlined in my book, “Time Zen”.  I remember about ten years ago, about the time I got back from Iraq and about the time I started writing Time Zen, I found a website called rentacoder.  This site is long gone, but through it, I was able to hire a coder overseas (mine ended up being from Pakistan).  I would share the design features with him, and then he would code the feature, and then bill me.  The problem?  I ran out of money quickly.  It got really expensive.  And it never got done.  Worse: I had no idea how the code worked, and that frustrated me.  I wanted to understand what was happening behind the scenes!  (If you recall from a previous post, this is about the time when I first started to investigate learning how to code with ruby on rails).

In any case, after that fell apart, for about ten years, the idea festered in my head, because I knew that if I could just create this to-do list app with the features I had in mind, people would find it helpful.

And guess what?  I am finally doing it.  I am coding it.  Not someone else.  Me!  Again using ruby on rails, javascript, html, css, and bootstrap.  And some jquery too.  Sure, I’m getting help along the way from my old teachers, and through the services of codementors, but the big awesome difference between rentacoder and codementors?  With the latter, I am doing all the coding myself–the mentors are just there to answer questions and help me implement code that I don’t understand.  But I am still the one doing the coding, and learning more and more how to do it more easily myself the next time.

In any case, here are my next steps:
1. Finish this to-do list app and launch it by the end of September/beginning of October
2. Continue to promote mymusic.bio and try to get more people to write their bios there
3. Eventually enroll in the Firehose advanced program (to learn React, SQL, Node.js, and other languages)
4. Start up my lessons again at freecodecamp.  I’m actually curious to see if now, the lessons I stopped at might be much easier because of what I learned at Firehose.  We shall see.
5. Save up money to buy an iMac so I can begin learning how to code in Swift, to create iPhone apps.  I have heard about something recently called React Native, which allows you to code iphone apps using that javascript framework, though I haven’t yet looked into it.
6. And finally, I want to consider learning how to code in Java, for android apps.

And you?  What are you up to lately with coding?  Got something cool you’d like to share with us? Join our free community at www.breakdiving.io 

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