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Learn to code | Codecademy

Learn to code interactively, for free.

Source: Learn to code | Codecademy

learn to code

A few years ago Lifehacker had a “coding bootcamp” series that would frequently refer their audience to codeacademy and I always had it in the back of my mind that If I needed some coding skills, that would be the first place I turn. Well as luck turns even after 15 years of solid IT admin/engineer experience I’m finding my skills becoming obsolete and I absolutely do need to learn how to code in order to work with the modern DevOps toolkits like Puppet and Chef.

Over the Christmas holidays I started plunking my way through the html and css modules, then javascript, jquery and angular js. Before I knew it I had dome well over 500 exercises. I should mention that I’m no stranger to the command line and I’ve worked with some scripting in the past with vbs, powershell, batch and bash.

The cool thing about codeacademy is the learning interface. It splits the screen in two with one half showing you the instructions like a cookbook and the other half showing you the terminal or browser output. It’s very similar to working in a development environment where you can split your screen to see the interpreter and output at the same time. The flow is so smooth because the errors they’ve coded are way more intuitive that what you’d see in your interpreter. So you’re constantly learning from the error instead of trying to avoid them at all cost.

They also make learning fun by awarding you with badges for achievements like completing a module or logging in for a 3 day streak. It’s all very fun an encouraging and not intrusive at all. It’s actually quite addictive.

I can’t say enough good things. I now have around 80 examples of sites I’ve coded in my github here. I intend to use this as my portfolio to get a job. I encourage everyone to give it a try and you may find a new talent that was hidden away. Please let me know if you have any recommendations for languages or tools I should learn next. Have fun!

 

 

Categories: Computers, Crowdsource, Personal Development, Technology

Blow my mind

List of Google Now voice commands

Google Now can do tons of great stuff using nothing but voice commands. The list is more longer than you might think!

Source: List of Google Now voice commands

 

Google Now isn’t new but the feature is getting more rich all the time. That’s because it’s learning.

The learning computer has been the dream and destination since Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace worked together on their invention the Analytical Engine computational device which is the first ancestor to the modern computer. Even in the early infancy the two debated voraciously if the device they invented which only performed the computations they programmed, could one day learn on it’s own and be interacted as though it were not a machine.

Alan Turing knew of this philosophical debate and created a test known as the Turing test which consisted of three questions for being able to tell the difference between a response of a human being from that of a computer. Turing is an incredible man worth study and recently the topic of the movie “The Imitation Game” which chronicled his work on the Enigma machine which he designed to crack the cipher being used by the German’s in World War II. He was able to foresee the power of computers and knew how easily they could be programmed to deceive as much as find truths.

This fantasy which seems like it’s part of a science-fiction novel is incredibly real. Jarvis from Iron Man is here and it’s call Google Now. Apple came out with Siri a few years back and people had a lot of fun at parties showing off the tricks they’d learned to make Siri perform.

Google Now is backed by the Google search algorithms which makes it a little different. Unlike Apple who’s core business is hardware, Google’s core business is about knowing you. They are inventing artificial intelligence that does a better job of demonstrating empathy than an actual human being is capable of doing. Coupled with Moore’s law, the Google AI is expected to be smarter than the smartest man in just a few years. Meaning we indeed will no longer be able to tell the difference between a computer that needed us to program them, and one that does not.

So Google Now may seem like a novelty, and for now it’s function is limited to that which the programmers allow. Rest assured, while we’re “playing” and “trying” Google is learning and their destination is clear. They are making the technology we really need; the technology that doesn’t need us.

Can a computer really think on it’s own? Or are some problems only built for the human brain, no matter how much computational brute force you can throw at it?

Categories: Business, Computers, Crowdsource, Economics, Linguistics, Math, Privacy, Technology

Blow my mind

Here’s a Tesla in Autopilot mode zipping in and out of NYC traffic – KnowTechie

Remember as kids when we used to dream of cars that drove themselves? Well, we all know it’s already happening with Google’s self driving car. But Tesla is going to blow your mind because they recently

Source: Here’s a Tesla in Autopilot mode zipping in and out of NYC traffic – KnowTechie

This is very exciting to me. I’ve been paying attention to Elon Musk for many years as someone who personifies the exponential thinking manifesto. The Tesla is a beautifully designed piece of engineering and I want, I want.

After seeing this video I now want a Tesla even more.

The most recent over-the-air update has added driver-less capabilities to the already extremely cutting edge vehicle. This puts the Tesla years ahead of any of the other makers in terms of innovation.

I think I may be waiting a while for the over-the-air driver-less update for my truck.

Solving the world’s transportation and supply chain challenges with alternative energy solutions may sound like geek talk. The sheer delight in this driver’s expression demonstrates you don’t have to be a scientist or engineer to understand the future is going to be a fun place.

The future is happening right… …now!

Categories: Automotive, Business, Computers, Crowdsource, Economics, Philosophy, Technology

Blow my mind

BOLD: Peter Diamandis

Source: BOLD: Peter Diamandis

This is the book where I encountered exponential thinking.

What is exponential thinking?

Well… It isn’t linear thinking. It doesn’t seek the solve the next increment one user at a time.

Exponential thinking is about creating wealth and abundance by harnessing rapidly expanding technology to solve a problem plaguing a continent or better, the entire planet.

This book gives some great prescriptive advice about navigating this golden age we’re experiencing today. It covers topics like the Internet of things and crowd-sourcing seed investment for your idea.

The opportunities are ever present for anyone creative who can synthesize and converge seemingly unrelated concepts.

Go big or go home as they say.

Categories: Business, Computers, Crowdsource, Management, Math, Philosophy, Technology

Blow my mind