My coding experience extended

This story is an extension to my last story, where I spoke about the events which led to me coding.

Stuyhacks Hackathon

I constantly seek pathways to learn more about programming languages that interest me in order to expand my programming knowledge. Last year in 2016, I came across an invitation to a hackathon called “Stuyhacks” hosted by Stuyvesant High School.

Before the invitation, I had never heard of hackathons, let alone attend one. Hackathon is an event where anyone can attend to innovate existing or invent new technology. In doing so, “hackers” or makers who attend this event learn about new things. Some take their invention or modification to the next level by building a brand.

I wanted to attend this wonderful event. At home, I planned about creating a voice recognition assistant using Raspberry Pi. I began to gather all of the materials that I needed to construct the device.

During the event, setting myself up to code gave me some challenge. At first, I needed to find a monitor to hook up to the Raspberry Pi in order to use it. Then I had trouble connecting the Raspberry Pi to the internet. Lastly, I ran the script only to find out that my voice commands were not being recognized by Raspberry Pi. This is because Amazon’s script that I used, required me to use a button to initiate the recognition. Another factor was that my parents did not allow me to stay at the event for the full 24 hour time period. The area that I was in did not have any hardware stores close by. The closest store was 30 minutes away. However by this time, it was time for me to leave and make it home by 8pm. After stumbling upon many more blocks, the Raspberry Pi finally recognized my voice at home. After a couple of tries, it stopped recognizing my voice and did not output anything to the speakers. I realized that pursuing this project is not worth it.

Web Design

Prior to starting the hackathon project, I was learning HTML, some CSS and JavaScript to do web design in Codecademy. While learning the languages, I found myself forgetting and looking up the syntaxes.

Software Engineering Course

I signed up for a software engineering course at my school where I am learning the fundamental rules a programmer should follow. At first, I was really lost in the class because the curriculum and style of teaching is totally different when compared to the rest of my courses. At one point, I have realized that the core of this course lays upon me understanding the 5-steps, which I wrote about in my first story. When I finally grasped the basics of the 5-steps, the class became easier. I was able to comprehend programming and coding much better.

I figured out why I was having trouble learning

At the core of solving every difficult issue is actually understanding the issue. The problem was that I babbled when learning those languages and never took my time to fully understand the logic behind every syntax.


Slowly, I moved up the hill through designing and coding more applications. The first big project that I began working with was a website for Jhal NYC. This company needed an updated and elegant website for their company. I have spent months to understand the code that lies beneath the web application and coding the website. I still volunteer to update their website to this day.

Another project that I was brave enough to accept was updating my school’s website. My school needed a more convenient to use website for its students and parents. As part of the website club in my school, me and my teammate have worked to come up with a solution. We outlined all of the pages and the layouts for the contents in the pages. We used a Bootstrap template and worked with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and JQuery to design the website. I had the opportunity to also present the website at my school’s science fair where I won first place.

Android App Development

Learning web design has been very interesting. Eventually, android application development caught my attention when doing a market research project for my engineering class.

Unlike web apps, the front end of android apps are primarily coded using XML and Java. I have used Codecademy to learn basics of Java.

I am now learning XML and various other components of android app development through Udacity.

In the future, I want to continue developing my news app that I spoke about about in my market research story.

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