Makers Precourse: Week 3

Originally published in April 2017.

The view from St John’s College, Cambridge — taking a tea break from a rehearsal

This week 3 blog is coming out in week 4 because I turned a corner in coding this week: it was the week I started preferring to write code over blogging.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is — I LOVE writing and for the first two weeks, I would have much preferred to write about my coding than to actually code. Now it’s reversed, and although I still love writing, I’m actually kind of irritated that I’m writing now instead of coding.

But I think it’s also really great to document what’s going on, so here goes.

My week 3 experiences:
1. It was much easier than week 2 — I was able to put into practice a lot of what I’d learned in week 2 and it all made sense.

2. Each day is so full of new coding knowledge — I was looking back at week 2 programs and they seemed laughably simple. This is encouraging, because at the time, they felt hard.

3. I was pretty disciplined about not working too hard! I know the course is about to get intense, so I made sure to get all the work done that I needed to do, but I also made sure to enjoy walking around, getting time in the sun, and chatting with friends. All of this is really important to give my brain time to rest from all of the intense learning I’ve been doing.

4. My FitBit is still great — it’s making me walk more, and walk the long way round to things, just to get in all those steps.

5. My violin recital went really well! It was super fun to play my own piece (Yankee Doodle Variations for Solo Violin, which I wrote last summer after an ice cream truck drove by my house every day for two months playing Yankee Doodle) and, despite not having played a solo recital in a few years, I wasn’t nervous at all. My pianist Tim was great to play with and we’ll definitely play some more recitals. So it’s wonderful that I will still be playing violin for fun as I become a programmer.

6. Also in violin/book news, I did 8 hours of recording sessions on Saturday in London. My train was quite delayed so my planned 20-minute excursion to Daunt Books en route to Air Studios at Belsize Park had to happen in three minutes. In a beautiful meta-comment, I bought a book on split-second decision-making (“Blink”, incidentally the title of one of the scariest Dr Who episodes). The only problem is that I am now reading eight books simultaneously, all of which are fascinating. Need to focus!

Ok, now I think I have earned some coding 🙂


The lush grounds of Madingley Hall, where I played my recital and also had an excellent roast lunch.

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