Day 8 and Going Steady

April 05, 2021

I honestly didn't think that the societal pressures of posting daily--not that anyone's really policing--will make me be serious about coding my one hour per day. And if I'm going to be even more honest, I have been logging 2 to 4 hours daily instead of one. I'm enjoying coding in Python too much. It's a different kind of high compared to the effect of a good session of pole-dancing, with neither being better than the other. I just love expanding the things I can do with it.

To anyone who's wondering, no, I didn't start from scratch. I learned the basics of Python several years ago, also last year, and then I took a refresher early this year. Yes, I took the beginner classes twice before but never really got the will to move forward. 

This is where I'm positive that the #100DaysOfCode challenge really helps. After I passed the basics portion of this current course, I realised I've been pulling around two hours or more to apply the things I have learned. So last week, I decided to just take the plunge and not really overthink this.

Apart from making the 10 Python apps that are included in learning Python, I have also been actively creating my own programs as another way to exercise my brain. 

In the past week, I ended up creating my own Weather app that sends me a text message of the weather in Celsius, and just now a web map program that retrieves data of eateries/food carts from the New York City website and plots it into a map. Two very simple applications that have real-life, practical use. 

Weather App that texts me

For this app, I used ArcGIS (for geocoding), DarkSky (to get the weather data), and Twilio (to send the text message). I finished this in less than an hour, while watching a movie. And I felt the need to say that duration because I have this noted on my To-Code list when I was trying to get started again on Python last year. My frustration with getting the weather in Fahrenheit made me want to create this so I will know how to dress up for the day. I ended up not starting it because I thought I needed to learn everything about the programming language before I can make something like this. In the end, all it took was sitting in bed and break down the project into small tasks that are easy enough to tick off.

It's a work-in-progress because I want to add some more useful and dynamic features.

Web App that loads all the eateries and food carts from the NYC Parks and Recreation website

After I finished App #2 from my course, I chose between sleeping or giving this personal project a headstart. It was late on a Sunday, and as bad impulsive decisions go, of course I chose to tinker with this. I must say though, it's great that the US and New York, in general, have data repositories for just about anything under the sun. Alas, I didn't really get a chance to prep and cleanse the data. While this web mapping program is working, it's not as fast as it should be. I'm flagging this as another WIP so I can improve the runtime and to add more information variables.\

For this app, I used folium (for mapping), Nominatim (for geocoding), and got the data from the New York City Parks and Recreation department website.

Facts derived from this exercise
Number of food carts/eateries with permit: 237
Number of properly maintained addresses for these permits: 114 

My biggest frustration from coding in SAP ABAP in my former career life was that the programs I was creating mostly helped corporations. The programs I used to create revolved around Finance/Accounting/Sales and Distribution/HR/Materials Management (you see, even typing this severely bores me) and at the end of the day, I'm still just helping solve a corporation's bottom line, with a very minuscule impact.

Rant aside, I'm excited to be on this current path. At the rate I'm going with 2 applications (of 10) per week, I will likely finish the course in 4 weeks. By then, I'd need to either do personal projects or take another course. Suggestions are welcome!

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