Makers Academy – Day 9 – Tri Programming

In contrast to last week and my assessment of that week, I am beginning to get a sense that I can really achieve at Makers Academy. We are actually doing challenges and building things to simple specifications. It is really challenging and interesting. I as a pair (or a tri) with two of the other “Makers” have attempted a Roman Numerals challenge which spits out roman numerals when you enter a series of numbers up until 4999. It is interesting to work through the problem with the others and use all of our knowledge to successfully complete the challenge. It is amazing what conclusions a collective comes to that perhaps an individual wouldn’t have. I am really starting to enjoy the challenge of learning to code and to adapt to thinking like a coder. I really feel like Tri-ing now! (oh dear!)

Drawing the Battle lines – Investment Sins

Cardinal sins of investing:

Not beating the market

When investing for your future, you have two options. Active or Passive management. Active management (a fund manager making decisions on your investments) is supported by Wall Street firms, banks, insurance companies who – you guessed it – charge the fees and therefore have a vested interest in charging you for their “expertise”. Lots of large financial institutions charge up to 3% of the whole value of your investment per annum just for selling you that “expertise” and paying the expert’s bonuses. And you know what? Active management (most of the time) does not beat a computer!

Passive management is backed up by scientific research by university academics and private research houses. It is a proven method of gaining returns that track the market and saving oneself from the silly facts of behavioural investment. Passive investment is usually performed by a computer tracking a set market, such as the FTSE 100 (the top 100 companies in the UK). Indeed investing passively can increase gains by as much as 2.1% over active management and charges you a lot less for the privilege. That is something the big banks won’t tell you!

Don’t put up with financial advisors and large investment companies charging you massive fees for “experts” managing your money. At best it isn’t good value and at worst it is a systematic scam with a smile. Don’t commit an investment sin. Save for your future not theirs.

More sins to follow.

It was a bloody question mark?!

The most frustrating thing about learning to code and probably coding in general are the stupid errors! The missing question marks or commas instead of full stops hidden away in the code. It is the most frustrating thing I have yet found in my 6 days here at Makers Academy. Staring for hours at the screen trying to work out the really complicated issue with the code that is causing everything to break every time but no it is the bloody question mark!

Ok so I had a little bit of a rant. :) This can be quite frustrating sometimes. However it turns out I got what I wanted this week. Straight away we went in to programming actual things that do things over and above printing text to the console. It would be fantastic if it wasn’t for the bloody question mark!

Makers Academy – Week 1

With week one of Makers Academy over I have a feeling of not really knowing what I have learnt. I don’t feel I have gained anything really from the first week and I am not sure to it’s relevance. Except maybe to show us the materials to go to when we get stuck on a project. I am probably just not the sort of person that can sit and do a series of exercises one after the other. I feel I have to work on something or work towards a goal. Do a task that I can be an individual on and not sit and repeat the same thing that I have done 100 times again and again. This I feel however, is probably just me. I get easily frustrated when I do not feel that I am making large steps towards my major objectives. More of which I will discuss in a separate post about my 3 month plan.

I think this feeling of frustration may be largely my own doing, to gain the motivation for doing these tasks, which may indeed help me in the long run, I have had to cut myself off from all background noise and work alone in a room. Even then I have only managed to complete 25 of the 40 or so tasks. Hopefully I can catch up this week. We shall see.

Makers Academy – Intro to Ruby – Day 3 && 4

I have taken the bad habit the last few days of coming into MA a little bit late and not getting as much done as I can. To make up for that I stayed until 8pm this evening, making good use of the quiet room so I was away from the shouts of people playing Ping Pong or Wiff Waff in the main room. I got quite a lot done and concentrated on the “Extra credit” of LearnRubyTheHardWay (an intense but easy, oh the irony, way to learn it).

My proudest moment of the last two days has been managing to whittle 22 lines of code down to just 3 that did exactly the same thing just a lot more efficiently.

  1. from_file, to_file = ARGV
  2. File.open(to_file, “w”).write(File.open(from_file).read())
  3. puts “File #{from_file} has been copied to #{to_file}”

The above code copies one file over another file, these files are input when running the code.

I am certainly learning Ruby the hard way however, but I think that has something to do with the lack of hours I am putting in rather than the content I am using.

p.s. The extra “&” is a geeky joke. Forgive me.