Alejandro Perez
Jun 22, 2016 · 2 min read

Launch School Ruby Course on Core Programming

So I’m a cyberpunk nerd through and through. I like movies like GHOST IN THE SHELL and BLADERUNNER. A lot of characters in our scripts have a technologic bent to them, from a nerdy programmer homeless guy in a futuristic L.A. to the genius inventor. The truth is that coding is inevitable. We are constantly on our phones and I think having a basic (or even rigorous) understanding of coding helps to write better Excel formulas to more complex code in languages like R and SAS.

I first found Launch School through a the book RUBY TUTORIAL, which I never finished reading. Still, I have been pouring through the first course at Launch School which teaches programming fundamentals. And let me tell you- it is eye opening. I feel like I understand what machines are doing more even stuff as simple as assigning a variable. I like the approach Launch School takes in emphasizing core programming skills. I wanted an affordable alternative to coding schools with a 13,000+ price tag and that’s what I got!

Thus, I have become the cyberpunk character from my scripts. I have become the ghost in the shell or the replicas from DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP.

The biggest feat thus far has been writing a program that lets you play the card game 21. In case you don’t know how to play 21, the player gets handed two cards and has to determine whether to hit (get another card) or stay without busting (going over 21). During his turn, he only sees one card that the house has while the other remains hidden. It is a game of luck and a bit of strategy.

At first, my program had the computer opponent always staying when it held a hand that was exactly 21, which led to a lot of player wins. My family tested the game and gave feedback on needing to make the computer AI more intelligent, so I changed the code so that the computer opponent passes whenever he gets a hand that is within the range of 17–21. This led to much more interesting games where the house didn’t always bust. Thinking about detail and loops and methods has been a really rewarding experience. And I think this kind of systematic approach will prove useful in my next job, whether it be analyzing data or constructing more complex code.

I’m excited to continue this newfound interest. If anything it will inform my writing about future worlds where computers are sure to be everything and everyone!

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