TLR #1 Corey Kirk

I never imagined that I would get a chance to learn a high level language like Python while studying English! As a bit of backstory, I learned HTML at a very young age (around 10). It was during the dot com bubble that my skills with HTML developed because I saw so many people trying to make their websites and have great success with them. Being the forward thinker that I was at the time, I assumed that I would need to learn the code inside and out if I was to have a job when I became an adult. However, eventually I saw many people that I knew shut down their websites because the dot com bubble had burst and they were left trying to find a different route to gain income. This scared me a little bit because my pre-teen mind didn’t want to run the risk of building a website and then have people upset with me because I had to shut it down. So I left building websites and lost some of my knowledge as I grew up.

Fast forward to about four years ago when I first became of student of this university. I learned that the CT track in English dealt with technology. I didn’t realize what that meant at the time, but eventually found out that I could take a web authoring class. Considering that I already dabbled in HTML, I decided to give it a go. I was instantly hooked. It was almost as if I was a wayfaring stranger that had come home.  I was instantly absorbed and became determined to learn everything I could about it. With this spark of learning lit again, I spent a lot of time exploring not only HTML and CSS, but also JavaScript, C#, and #PHP.

Though I am still learning these languages, I should be proficient enough to land a web development job right after I graduate in May. After all, there are always opportunities to learn more code, even if you already know the basic structure.  In that sense, it is a lot like literacy. People can learn to read, but those of us who have an obsession to reading tend to learn more and become better writers as a result.

All of this brings me to wanting to learn Python. To put it simply, unlike the web-based languages, which are considered low-level because they deal with specific components, Python is a language not depending on a platform, but gives purpose to a piece of software. It is considered high-level code. For example, if HTML and CSS builds the website, Python can be used to build the app that takes you to the website. Considering I am already a part of the gaming industry as a journalist, I think it is beneficial for me to learn at least the basics behind the games that I review and critique, so I have a better understanding of the ideas behind the scenes in the development studios. Plus, since the basic structure for high-level code is basically the same, I will transition to learning C++ easier after I learn how to code in Python, which is my ultimate goal in learning programming languages.  I hope to use sites like Codecademy.com to help me learn the basics of Python, but still use traditional books like the Python programming book that my dad is letting me use.

I’ve gotten a few lessons in, but am looking forward to diving in more throughout the next few weeks!

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