Back to Swift

swift apprenticeTwo months ago I began learning the Swift programming language. I read the book “Coding iPhone Apps for Kids” by Gloria Winquist, then wrote a blog piece about it. The book was a good introduction to the language. I began slowly learning how to code my own iOS apps.

Last week I started to read “Swift Apprentice” by the Raywenderlich.com Team. This book is the text for my class on Swift in September. It’s a little bit more complicated than the first book, but it explains the concepts better and goes more in-depth with them. It’s also helping to slowly get me into the game that I want to design for the second part of this course.

Speaking of my final project, I began to draw some preliminary sketches. These show how I want the app to look. I also know that there is a lot to learn before I can create the app. I want to design an app I can put onto the Apple store. “Coding iPhone Apps for Kids” taught me a little bit about game design, especially around setting up a game space, and characters. However, I need to focus on physics as well.

I already feel a bit overwhelmed by all of this. Hopefully, that feeling will pass.

School and Final Projects

Woot another blog post. Two days late but that’s because of work. I’ve been thinking a lot about the classes that I’m taking. Especially the final projects that I’m interested in doing. I wanted to share those classes with everyone.

I’m taking four courses in September:

IMG – 210: Content Management Systems.

The goal of this course is to integrate student web development skills into a large dynamic CMS. Students will learn to set up CMS user access levels, sections, categories, plug-ins, and components. Students will acquire knowledge to activate existing CMS templates as well as to develop their own CMS templates. CMS installation, deployment, backup, and security will be covered. Search engine optimization will be practiced in the context of a course long project.

I really am excited about taking this class. It will help develop my WordPress skills, especially when designing my own sites for the media company that I’m building. The final project in this course is a semester-long blog. I have a few ideas for what I want to do. Some are video games, paranormal, even transferring this blog over. I haven’t picked a final project for this course. I know that throughout the weeks I’ll be updating how I’m creating one.

IMG – 204: Introduction to Programming in Swift

This course provides an introduction to essential skills for development of iPhone, iPad, and iPod applications using the Swift programming language. Principles of a correct object-oriented design and implementation will be emphasized to develop tested and reusable high quality code. The course will also cover elements of the Cocoa and Foundation Framework.

I’ve been in love with Apple products ever since Windows Vista’s blue screen of death came out. Ever since I’ve bought iPhones, iPods, and Ipads for myself and my family. Learning the Swift programming language will help me create iOS Apps. I’ve spoken a bit about the game I want to make, and I can’t wait to start this class to start learning how to make it.

IMG – 100: Introduction to PHP

This practical course introduces students to the development of database-driven web-server applications. PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) scripting is used to define the logic and behaviour of student-developed web applications while SQL (Structured Query Language) is used to communicate with the underlying relational database engine. Students will install a development environment to learn and practice essential programming skills and elements of database design and usage.

I’m worried about this class. We have a sessional instructor teaching this course. A lot of students who have taken this course say how hard PHP is to learn. I’ve been studying PHP for the past four months. I haven’t heard of a final project in this course yet, but I really want to help create that choose your own adventure with it.

CPS – 100: Computer Programming I

This course is an introduction to computer programming. Students will be introduced to problem solving methods and algorithm development using the object-oriented programming paradigm. The students will learn how to apply problem analysis, program design, and program implementation while using the top-down and stepwise refinement design methods. The course also provides an introduction to the object-oriented programming paradigm and recursive functions. This course will provide a sound basis for later courses in computer science. Note: Basic computing skills are assumed.

I’m excited about taking this courses as it delves into the Java programming language. In January, I’ll be taking Android App design. I want to create a random insult app that contains funny insults you can send to friends and family. This is course will help me learn to code and start building the app.

 

Random Musings

This week I bought a new drawing tablet. I’m really excited about creating digital art. I think it’ll help me generate some cool images and logos for graphic design that I couldn’t have done with a mouse. I really don’t like using a mouse with Photoshop or Illustrator. I find it’s way too bulky and clunky and you lose a lot of control especially for line work. It’ll take some getting used to but this drawing tablet I think will be perfect for doing designs.

In other news, I signed up for another class in September, Content Management Systems. That means that I get most of my coding and web design work out of the way this year. Which is great for the business I want to create. I have so many ideas floating around in my head about what I can do with a new media business that I need to start working on it and stop talking about it. I think college will really help with that.

Speaking of college, I have some cool ideas for final projects that I want to work on in class. I want to make a game for my Swift/iOS app course. Something like the brick games that I played when I was a kid. Where you moved a paddle around to bounce a ball and hit bricks. The second is a choose your own adventure that I want to build for my PHP and JavaScript classes. I’ll have to wait and see if these both happen.

Changes

It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote a piece for the blog. Injuries at work led to my hours going up. That left few hours to read coding books and get ready for the new academic year. I’m back now though and I have been reading over some of the past pieces that I have written.

I really want to change this blog into something that I can use to share my experiences while going back to school, something that I can create a portfolio around as well. That said I really feel that there are too many pieces on programming, and not enough design talk (even though the majority of my classes this academic year are deal with Java, JavaScript, PHP, and Swift).

I feel like there’s so much more than this blog can showcase, especially around my ideas and design, what I think of major designs (like getting mad at the current gen iPhones and they’re thunderbird cable). I also decided to change the posting schedule on the blog as well, with Thursday and Saturday throughout the summer till September, it’ll help with work and keeping my mind sane.

Here’s some good news though, people always talk about that “Eureka!” moment when a topic becomes clear. It’s taken me three months of reading on coding and programming and I can finally say I understand it and it’s becoming clearer. I think practice and pushing myself has finally paid off (especially on JavaScript).

Meet My Nemesis: JavaScript

The single biggest reason why I’m studying before going back to school is JavaScript. In my last semester before I took a break I was in a class on it for 3 weeks. An assignment that I had to finish caused me to drop the class. It was the most frustrating project where I thought I knew what I was doing. After 6 hours of attempting to implement an HTML table through writing JavaScript code, caused me to pull my hair out.

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I’m Starting small with JavaScript and becoming comfortable.

Okay, so maybe JavaScript isn’t that bad. Maybe I just haven’t given myself a chance to learn the language. I was frustrated that in class we dove into the deep end first. I’m now reading about the JavaScript coding language. I’m determined to conquer the language and not let it beat me. Having spent the last two months learning other coding languages, I can say that JavaScript is incredibly similar in syntax, style, and writing.

This fact is very cool, it makes learning easier. Still, I’m lining up books to read about JavaScript before my class in January. These books include JavaScript for Kids, which is an intro to JavaScript aimed at kids. I’m reading it as an opener before I move onto to books that are in depth. Three other books I’m using this summer are, JavaScript & JQuery The Missing Manual, JavaScript: Visual QuickStart Guide, and JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Development (which will be the class’ textbook).

 

Reviewing HTML and CSS

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 10.47.43 PMI first learned web design in my last year at Vancouver Island University. I had taken most of my classes in my Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree and had a few electives left. I decided to take a few courses in Interactive Media program learning about audio, video, and web design. I knew that the publishing industry had been going through changes and I wanted to be learning about them through understanding the role digital media played.

I loved learning about web design especially HTML5 and CSS. The only problem, we were learning half of what was needed to code web pages. Through my Interactive Media program at North Island College, I learned that there was so much more. Web designers used programs like JavaScript, PHP, Ruby to create full websites (many of which are included in classes that I need to take).
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This month I started reviewing HTML5 and CSS through the textbook we used in the first web design course, Basics of Web Design. Found that I knew some things (the basics) since my year-long break, but I needed refreshers on a lot of other coding techniques and elements (forms, CSS rules). It was good to review it before moving onto other web design languages.

There’s a lot of work to be done before I head back to school in September. While reviewing more of HTML5 and CSS properties, but also moving onto JavaScript and PHP.

 

Word Press Headers Incoming

It’s been a heavy week of reading, especially website design and revisiting HTML and CSS. Have to say that Humble Bundle has a great bundle of web design books on sale right now. I did start making WordPress Headers for the site and wanted to share a couple with you today.

They are still a work in progress but they’re a good start to showcase the topics I cover, and I now have something that will show up in links 🙂

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One of the My Favourite Class Projects

Before I took a year off from school I remember doing one of my favourite class projects in school. It was to design a self-portrait through learning aspects of Adobe Photoshop. I think I spent about 20 hours on this piece, learning curves, image masking, different blending techniques. It still is one of my favorite pieces that I have ever done.

Peter_SelfPortrait Good