Category Archives: Programming

My Journey in Teaching My self How to Code

Category : General , Programming

When I would read about other’s success stories, I was extremely skeptical.It is only until I went on my own journey that I began to appreciate how hard work can pay off.

A few years ago, I decided that I would teach myself to code.I was unhappy at the job opportunities in my field. I wanted a change and I felt programming was the right fit.

Changing Careers

It is very scary to completely give up on a career. I was working in finance, but I felt as though the opportunities were limited. Unless I was willing to work the insane hours of an investment banker, I was not going to have the type of career I wanted.

I also felt there was too much personality in banking, particularlyhaving to gain favor from the right people in the company to advance. I wanted a job where I could progress on merit, not because I was building the right relationships.

Learning to Code

While many people take the route of a paid coding course, I decided to teach myself. It is partly because I wanted to save money, but also because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it on my own.

I looked at how I could use free resources, such as forums, Code Academy, Skill Crush and more. There are so many websites that can help to teach people the different elements of coding. I used as many of those as I could fit into my routine.

Free Courses

Aside from going on forums, trying various coding exercises on free websites and reading coding books, I also used free courses to my advantage.

Courses such as Udacity CS101 and Harvard CS50 are incredible resources. These are free courses that anyone can sign up to take. The resources are available on the course site, while it is possible to log percentage after every exercise is done.

Learn Linux

If there is one step that truly helped me “understand” programming, it is when I decided to dual-boot Linux onto my Windows computer.

It was an initially frustrating experience, as I had no clue how to work Linux. But after much Googling and research on forums, I started to get comfortable with how it worked.

Linux is helpful because it shows the practical aspect of inputting various code into the system. I was learning so much just from trying to add various functionality to my Linux OS.

FreeCodeCamp

When I was done with my two free courses and I had spent a lot of time on Linux, I went on FreeCodeCamp to try and hone my skills. The site is great because it offers free courses on HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and Git.

There are thousands of little lessons on the site that helped me learn how to code. I will admit, some of the lessons took me a LONG time to complete. But it was worth it.

There are also five final projects that each provide a certification. Only when I was done with all of them did I feel confident enough to apply for my first coding job.


A Computer Program Can See the Future

Category : General , Programming

Researchers at the University of Bronn may have developed a computer program that can see into the future!

While the program is not going to determine major events around the world, it is still very impressive.

The program, developed by computer scientists, is able to predict actions that will happen a few minutes into the future.And it was made using cooking videos!

Predicting the Future with Programming

The computer scientists at the University of Bronn had an idea. They wanted to create a computer program that could predict what was going to happen based on the action it was seeing.

They chose cooking videos to create such a program. The idea is that a cooking video is played and the program is able to accurately predict what the chef will do in the next few minutes, based on what is happening in the moment.

Practical Use

It is not just a fascinating concept to have a computer program that can predict a few minutes into the future. There are practical uses.

For instance, a kitchen robot with AI could be able to predict what steps have to take place at what moment, based on the dish being cooked and what is happening. The robot would know when to add certain ingredients, when to take something off the stove, when to stir and when to set the oven for preheating.

These are the types of actions that humans are able to perform as second nature, especially after a bit of practice. But it is not so simple for computers.

Training the Program

When it comes to this program, the computer scientists put it through hours of “training” before seeing if it could predict the future.

The program watched around 40 hours of videos where people were making salads. The recordings were around 6 minutes in length and had around 20 different actions being performed.

The program would “watch” the videos and its algorithm would learn what actions were following each other. It is not just about the order, but the amount of time in between different actions.

Time to Predict

When the program had watched all that training footage, it was time to see if it had learned anything.

The computer scientists would show the program around 20 or 30 seconds of a salad preparation video it had not seen before. And the goal was to predict what would happen for the rest of the roughly four minute video it had not seen before.

The results were impressive. The program managed to predict the correct outcome around 40 percent of the time – for short forecast periods.

When the activity was more than three minutes into the future, the program was only accurate 15 percent of the time. Accuracy refers to both the correct action and the timing of the activity.

The issue in a computer program predicting the future in cooking videos is that every chef has their own method. If one were to watch the same type of salad being prepared by five chefs, they would all do things at different intervals.

But the future of computer learning is here. It is only a matter of time before computer scientists succeed in teaching computers how to predict events with greater accuracy and further into the future!