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Appreciation 2020-12-19 15:46:17

When I went off to college in the fall of 1999, I had already decided on a major. Math was my favorite and most challenging subject in high school. For some reason, I wanted to be a college professor even though I had minimal interaction with them. I was also interested in computer programming. I liked the logic of a computer language. Very black and white. My plan was to major in mathematics and somehow add computer programming to the mix.

My first programming class freshman year was Fortran. I don't recall creating anything worth mentioning, but this was a great primer to learn how a programming language works with commands and syntax and the like.

My second programming class was C++, and unfortunately, this is where my plans to learn computer programming were permanently derailed.

Courtesy of my father, I have been an Apple user since I was a child playing games on the Apple II. Freshman year I bought a PowerMac 7200/75 to replace the MacPlus (40 MB external hard drive, yes that's MB, not GB) on which I wrote my Valedictory address, delivered with gusto at my high school graduation ceremony.

On Day 1 of the C++ class, I realized I was the only student in the class with a Mac. Talk about the odd man out. I refused to use the PC's in the computer lab and insisted on using my PowerMac for all assignments. I had to use emulation software called Code Warrior, and it was an uphill battle every step of the way. The professor was none too pleased that he had to do "something special" for my projects. He could help me with C++, but he was no help when I had issues with the Code Warrior software. The other classmates were also no help, and there was a general disdain for me because I was one of those "Mac people." This was still the time of baby internet. Google had just launched in 1998. No YouTube. No Github. No Reddit. No Code Academy. Think about where you go when you have coding questions today. None of that existed when I was trying to learn the craft.

So, it didn't go well to put it lightly. The anti-Mac bias only further entrenched me to resist "the dark side." Unfortunately, the university didn't offer any Mac-specific programming classes. The C++ class was the last programming course I took. I had made the decision that programming wasn't for me. I don't regret the decision. It was the right one for the time. Those were dark days for Apple, and the turnaround didn't start until Steve Jobs returned to the company and released the first iMac in 1998.

If the iPhone had existed when I was in college, I'm sure I would have tried learning how to program for iOS. I bet it would have gone much better than the C++ fiasco. I suppose you can teach an old dog new tricks, and maybe I will play around in the no-code arena one day. For now, I'm content to let my old ambitions of coding lie dormant.

All this to say that I am grateful for
who has the skills, willingness, and courage to pick up where others have left off to create a home where I can show up every day and keep the writing dream alive.

More from Brandon Wilson

Wow I wanted to be a college professor too! My reason was because I had wanted to be a high school teacher but my parents told me that being a high school teacher didn't pay well enough and you didn't even really get to design your courses.

I definitely agree that there's some truth to the axiom you can't teach a old dog new tricks but I like how you say that maybe you can. And I'm in agreement that you can especially when the old dog is in a new environment.

When you took your C++ class, the entire environment for learning programming was hostile to Mac users and now most of programming is actually favorable for mac users and hostile to windows lmao. 

Anyways, if you really like the black and white logic of computer programming, I really can't recommend that you give code -- not no code -- a try. Just for fun. It doesn't even have to be for career switching or building a startup. It's just a fun thing to do like learning to write or playin the piano or rock climbing. 

2020-12-19 16:08:59
I really can't recommend enough* whoops
2020-12-19 16:12:58
 I think I was also drawn to teaching and though a professor was just a more high-powered version of a high school teacher. Little did I know that professors do a lot more than just teach, and I was only in it for the teaching aspect. Switch to Mac--just my luck! I haven't given up on the idea of coding. I enjoy working with SQL for the main job, so I can see expanding into something that looks like SQL. 
2020-12-19 17:16:50
I remember you writing that you ran SQL training workshops. Interestingly SQL is one of my weak points. Reason is because modern programming frameworks abstract away SQL statements like 'SELECT * FROM USERS WHERE USERNAME="THEFAKEBRANDONWILSON";' so that you can just go like 

User::where('username', 'THEFAKEBRANDONWILSON')->get();

In the future if you do tinker around with code let me know cause I can give you sneak peek into the Adagia code lol. 
already has access to it because I didn't want what happened at 200WAD to happen here.
2020-12-20 22:14:05
Yes, I was surprised when somehow my SQL knowledge was useful in helping Jason with a problem he was having. I just may take you up on a look under the hood at some point.
2020-12-21 02:50:44