07 september 2017
Last night was Class 1 of 8 in a monthlong course on algorithms and data structures. That's not a lot of time for a lot of information. I'm attempting to compress a semester-long course into a month, which means I'm also attempting to adjust my expectations for how I'll feel by October. But I'm trying hard to make it my top priority in terms of time management (WHY THE FCK ARE YOU WRITING HERE THEN) and mental energy.
I was nervous going into this. A+DS are a core part of computer science, and more superficially, programming interviews at engineering-centered companies. My fear of whiteboarding and lack of smerts about binary search trees has kept me from applying to such ~dream jobs~.
But I think just wanting to work somewhere dreamy wasn't enough to motivate me. Now instead of some sort of status, I mainly want to learn how to do cooler things with code, and solve more interesting problems than centering things on a page. That motivation makes learning this stuff really fun. Still hard, but less torturous.
The first class covered problem solving techniques, including Polya's method from his book How to Solve It (required reading for this course). We also got into Big-O notation, which is one of the few topics in this area I've studied and understand fairly well. Mostly. That just means this will definitely be the easiest class all month, and I wouldn't say it was easy. There were plenty of opportunities for me to engage in negative inner dialogue about myself (a habit I'm trying to break), and second-guess myself constantly, holding back ideas and answers from the rest of the class. Goal for next class, "SAY THE THING YOU'RE THINKING!!"
Okay there's so much homework to be done, on top of wrapping up a freelance project and sleeping before the day job.