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Muscle Memory

Becoming A Programmer — Entry #3

I have always wanted to know how the command line works on the Mac. I’ve seen it used to get access to files before while a Genius serviced a machine for a one-to-one customer, but never took the time to learn it.

So yeah...you open up terminal and then there’s a blinking cursor—the middle man between you and the computer. So how do you talk in the middle? The operating system we use is just GUI. A Graphical User Interface. It’s composed of Images and buttons that were created to be “clickable”. They are clickable actions for you to tell the CPU what to do without you knowing how to talk in the middle. So, instead of remembering a bunch of command line terms you can just point-and-click. Why? Well if you just want to do a simple task such as check email, surf the web on an on and off basis you won’t remember the command language so there ya have it. Want to know the programming language? Well start talking. Wow it’s scary at first but that muscle in your head can remember what it sees and understand it as you work through it.

Like in Ruby, having the machine output a simple phrase such as “hello world” teaches you to think methodically about our simple, mundane, everyday tasks. You are the person defining the thoughts for the machine. Programming is as simple as saying CPU print “i love you”. Our language adds the formality’s of sentence structure that will cause some muscle cramps in the beginning. (and restless nights) “Learning to learn” programming languages takes more than just smarts. You have to change your habits. You have to become a programmer. You need to spend time with your machine and build a solid work ethic. Be resourceful and excel at googling. There was a night I was so frustrated with myself over iteration that I could not see the simplicity. If you are stressed the information will not sink in. If you don’t follow direction it will not sink in. Believe in yourself. Keep reviewing previous lessons. Remember that the information that was once troubling, frustrating, and down right maddening becomes familiar. Whenever my daughter is taking a nap and is down for the night I code. I’m writing this blog post on my iPhone while she plays with her new toys. And now i’ve completed this entry during her nap. #momswhocode ty Heather Marie Haas


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