Getting Started

The point of this blog is not to encourage bad habits, it’s to engourage getting started even if you know the results will be bad. When I was in High School I was in a jazz choir and we sometimes had to do improvised skat solos. Our teacher, Mr. Cross, gave me a piece of advice that I’ll never forget. He said that you should imagine that you’re holding a big basket full of notes and when you improv, you are grabbing notes from the top. The problem is that all the wrong notes are the ones on top of the basket. If you ever want to get to the right notes you’re going to have to get those wrong notes out first. The point of practicing wasn’t to sing all the right notes, it was to sing the wrong notes so that later, when you were performing, you’d already gotten them out of your basket and all you had left were the good ones. What I like about the analogy is that it isn’t the old “practice makes perfect” crap, because that doesn’t leave room for mistakes. Instead it shows how mistakes are sometimes the best way to learn.

I realized that writing code is pretty much the same. I didn’t start writing good code until I’d written a lot of bad code first. Even more than that, I wonder how many people out there are interested in learning how to code and haven’t started because they might get it wrong.

So, I came up with this idea, and it happens that this domain was available, so I figured I ought to start a blog. I don’t want to just talk about code, I’ll post about all kinds of things I’m trying to learn, or that I think might help other learn. This is the first post, and I’m new at this, so it’s probably crap. At least I hope it’s crap compared to what comes later.