I have been trying to make writing code a (regular) habit for a long time now. What keeps me away from it is the fact that I find reading things must faster and reading gives me a better variety of topics to choose from. However, not writing code regularly can cause chronic disorders for a programmer like the inability to get a new project rolling from scratch or having to brush up on the semantics every time you start developing even a semi-complex module.
Hence, after much procrastination and sleepless nights, I have decided to make writing code a HABIT. I will do it for 21 days continuously and then see if it “really” becomes a habit. Choosing a language is easy. I have written code in C. I have manufactured code in C++ and I have dabbled in Ruby specifically for using Rails. To put a disclaimer, I am a finicky programmer. To me, semantics mean more than syntax and beauty lies in simplicity rather than convoluted language grammars. At the same time, I love challenges. The only problem is that I don’t keep my word with them. But now, I have CHOSEN to “Code or DIE”.
Talking about C++, it is a fairly complicated language to use and even more complicated language to understand. It has too many idiosyncrasies and I am talking about mere mortals – programmers who just want to get things done. I know what purists (and I am one too in my little humble way) will say – “to write you must understand”. C++ keeps too many ditches open for innocent, unsuspecting programmers to fall into and for the world to parasitically devour. Today’s business problems are more complicated than ever and the language doesn’t have to be. Anyways, I don’t want to sound like a C++ basher. I am a fan like many of you.
To learn C++ once you have a basic foundation is an equally challenging task. I have chosen to do a few things to quickly get started on my journey:
1. Develop a serialization framework for custom objects.
2. Re-factor an application that I worked on last year and make it more robust.
These two tasks will probably take a fair bit of my time in the next half a dozen weeks. One other thing I want to do is to keep my interest going, hence I am choosing to work on Ruby on Rails in parallel. I have written some code in it a few months back. Probably, I am going to brush up my skills and then use the “Learning Ruby” and “Ruby on Rails” books by O’Reilly to get going again. I find Rails combined with Heroku to be one of the most fascinating development platforms for developers across the world. Loads of programmers are already exploiting this fantastic platform. I am going to add myself to that list in the forthcoming weeks.