Ways to Learn Code with Erin Orstrom

This week the guys invited their friend Erin Orstrom to join them in a round table discussion on their different experiences in learning to code and the concepts of computer science. Will has a degree in Computer Information Systems whereas Erin and BJ have degrees in other fields but ultimately came to programming as a career.

Will came to programming through wanting to combine biology and computer science but came to the realization in college that his path was in computer science. Erin has a degree in socialology but after graduating decided not to pursue graduate school. While working at a school for people learning English she was asked to redesign their website which sparked a love for programming. Like Will, BJ first learned about programming in high school but chose a different path in college which ultimately lead to medical school. When that did not work out for him BJ’s friends including Will reminded him of his love for coding.

Episode Breakdown

21:12 An Overview Of Each Learning System

Will and Erin talk about and compare their experiences in different types of school learning programming. BJ reviews his time learning on his own and his apprenticeship with Will.

28:30 Structure of Learning

Will had a typical classroom setting whereas BJ and Erin learned through project based learning. Erin describes what classroom learning was like at a coding bootcamp with the instructor leading the class in group coding sessions.

33:58 Learning the Practical vs Learning the Theory

All three learned the practical aspects of coding through trial and error of coding and reviewing. Will explains that most of the practical coding he learned was outside of the classroom.

Will and Erin both had classes on concepts and theory though Erin states that her education was focused on the more practical aspects of coding. BJ learned theory and concepts through reading on his own and researching for podcast episodes.

45:58 Finding the First Job

Will’s first job out of school was working with a friend and fellow kung fu student. BJ and Erin discuss the difficulties of interviewing and breaking into the industry as junior developers.

IoTease: Platform Project

Virtual Trip Runner and Real Trip Recorder

This project started back in 2014 and is an attempt to develop an open source vehicle simulator for use by anyone needing realistic vehicle data delivered as it would be in a real vehicle. You can follow along with their progress in developing the platform via the blog in the link.

Vehicles are very complex machines incorporating multiple microcontrollers communicating via on-board busses. The level of electronic technology in vehicles has exploded and there is a large amount of vehicle data readily available on the diagnostic bus which is used locally, but not yet used for the vast number of potential external applications.

Tricks of the Trade

Erin talks about OneTab a chrome plugin that saves your tabs for you when you shut down your computer and will reopen them when chrome is started back up.

Editor’s Notes:

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