Getting into gear

Now that I am back to the States, I can now start getting into a routine. Though, I must admit that I have been having a little reverse culture shock. It’s definitely a strange feeling to be back in a sprawled out city of about 2 million people versus a city of about 9 million in Buenos Aires.

Either way….I haven’t had too much time to meddle with my Python adventure, but that will be changing soon. I’ll have more structured time this summer with having the internship in DC, so I’ll definitely be able to keep up with a couple hours of self-learning each day. I am excited to really get this process rolling, because I feel so behind. After realizing that I have lost out on almost ten years of learning, I feel extremely driven to learn as much as possible as soon as possible.

That being said, I have been reading a few articles on TechCrunch and ran across this article, Startup Act 2.0: Great For Foreign Graduate Students, But Not Foreign Tech¬†Entrepreneurs, it briefly discusses the new legislation in Congress. Here is the link to the text of the legislation if you’d like to check it out. I find the bill to fall short. Obviously, it will take a larger initiative than this to meet the demand for skills jobs in the next few decades. I suppose this is a start though. This summer I will actually be researching different STEM education initiatives, more generally entrepreneurial programs in regards to education, so I hope I’ll be able to develop a stronger sense of how to tackle this issue within the States. Time will tell.

And so I’ve been learning….

Though I do not have much time for anything other than my research project, I have taken up a personal project to learn the programming language Python. There is much debate about which language a person should learn first, so it took some thought and consideration. After all, this type of decision could be life altering to some degree.

From what I have read, Python is a fairly straightforward language. In the past I have meddled around with XHTML and CSS (which I am fully aware are not programming languages) and I even tried teaching myself C++ by reading a book my friend gave to me a couple years ago. Anyway. After I finally decided to take up Python as my next personal challenge, I then had to decide how to approach my learning methodology. More research (which I like to think has something to do with my ISP but it really doesn’t) and hours of googling later, I found my starting points.

Because I get rather bored doing one thing at a time, I have decided to learn Python by using the the infamous book that claims doing and repetition are key elements to mastery called Learn Python the Hard Way by Zed A. Shaw, slightly silly but informative video tutorials on The New Boston made by none other than Bucky Roberts, and last but not least a more formal online course at Udacity called CS101 Intro to Computer Science (also an introduction to Python by means of building a rudimentary search engine) led by Prof. David Evans. I will probably attempt The Python Challenge at some point in the middle of everything to get my feet wet. Besides, I hear it’s fun. They are each extinct in their manner of teaching which will be useful for learning.

I hope that once I have completed each of these methods to review each one. So be on the look out!

**On a side note: My independent research project is going well and is actually due for presentation and evaluation in five days on Wednesday. I hoped to have had more written at this point, but I have actually been reading a couple of books on constructivism theory in the pedagogical sense due to the heavy consideration that OLPC gives to the matter as well as trying to find mechanisms online where teachers can submit Sugar software suggestions/complaints/bugs. It has been a bit difficult and I have found a couple, but there are largely inactive. I am told that they are out there by a couple of developers, but it seems to me that there is a problem if I have been actively searching for two weeks with little success.