Getting back into programming: hurray!

Time to get crackin’! I’ve been away from programming for several years now, and I’m looking to jump back into things, beef up my skills, and build up a wee portfolio of code.

I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science back in 2009, and the vast majority of the coding that I did was desktop application type stuff: working with C++ and C#. I did barely any web development stuff (though of course I have general knowledge of HTML and CSS), and that’s the area I’d like to focus on now.

I plan to complete a series of small projects that cover useful concepts and languages that I’m interested in. I’m taking some inspiration from Jennifer De Walt’s wonderful 180 Websites in 180 Days project, but don’t plan on completing an app every day (and, of course, I’m not starting entirely from scratch). I’m fine with spending a little more time on one thing to really grok the concepts I’m learning (and even taking a day off here and there).

I have a few ground rules I’m laying out for myself:

  1. Keep the projects small and simple: The important thing is that I’m learning and applying new concepts, and then moving on to learn more stuff. I don’t want to spend too long on any one project.
  2. Just ship it: I’m not worried about making everything 100% bug free: if it works and does what I want it to do, I’m not going to spend a lot of time debugging minor things.
  3. Optimization: Similarly, I’m not going to fuss too much right now about optimization. I understand that size and speed are hugely important, but in keeping with the “just ship it” mentality, I plan on focusing mainly on making stuff that works and potentially finessing it down the road.
  4. Design: I’m not too fussed about design. I plan on taking enough time to make my projects look Basically-Not-Awful, but I won’t be spending a lot of time to make them look Fabulous. Hopefully I can find and use a few straightforward design hacks to reuse over and over.

And that’s it! Up, up, and away!