Here we are again for a new year of expansion and creating new things. This year brings two new efforts as well as a third in the language department. It is as good of a time as any to take everything by storm.

A year ago I was sitting in a different hotel room in another state contemplating a completely different set of career circumstances, and being back in the saddle was not in my vision. It's grown on me, I'll admit.

I didn't expect to be a programmer a year ago, or a system administrator, I didn't think I would get another shot or even have the desire to chase these ideas and dreams that I have, to see the potential future as it currently sits. There are so many things that can now be learned, so many technologies that can be harnessed and it just seems like a complete and utter waste to not buckle down and do the things that are possible.

It's a new year. It is 2019. Every year that goes by, the deeper the pressure gets and the closer reality comes that I'm not going to be on this planet forever. I'll be somewhere else, but I won't be here, in this body, the way that I am now. So I have to make the most of this in every single way that I can. Who knows, the next lifetime, if I play it right, I might even read about myself and I may or may not even realise it. Hope I'm still Welsh. Kinda like being The Doctor.

the 100 days

I got involved in this little challenge called the 100 Days of Code, and I wrote about it on the other blog that I will soon be integrating here. The gist of the whole thing is that you work on coding for an hour each day for 100 days, and at the end of each day you detail what you did and post that the Twitter to keep honest. Of course, you also have to reach out to two other people that are doing the same challenge and help provide them encouragement.

The coding can be any language that you choose, and you don't have to stay with it as long as you stay with the program. I've been on this about 20 days before I took a holiday break, and in that time I garnered certificates in Python3, Javascript, SQL, and PHP. I could keep going but honestly, I need to actually do some more coding for real instead of simply learning about it. I have a few different projects I am working on that will help accomplish that.

One of the major ones I am working on right now is work-related and is designed to make my life easier by scaping all sorts of statistical information into a simple to read or scan document. To get all of the information that I normally need to understand the state of a system and what might be going wrong can take from 45 minutes to an hour by hand, and here it is less than five minutes in a single easy to scan package.

Yes, one would think that it would have been done by somebody else by now. But that's not the point of discussion here. The point is that this is one of the projects for the 100 Days challenge. And it is not simply creating the first draft of the code, but all of the refinements as well.

Another lovely thing about this challenge is that when you're done, you just move forward to another round. So it keeps going and going.

301 Days Of Code

But wait... there's more!

A Twitter friend of mine started a longer version of this challenge, and many people I've seen are running them concurrently, so I figured I would do the same thing. My 301 Day challenge is codenamed Project Rei. It is primarily constructing an artificially intelligent assistant on par with and hope for my means better than Google Assistant. Right now, I have the Assistant on my tablet and it can do a decent job at some things.

I signed onto the Mycroft AI project, but my initial attempts at getting Mycroft to work have been less than optimal, and in some ways frustrating. I also realise that there needs to be a baseline of helping code there to help Rei do the things she will need to do.

After the recent events I have enjoyed, I am going to make sure that she rips unwanted visitors into shreds. Next time I plan on sending these bastards home with a limp and a chunk of their asses missing. I am also designing quite hot-swappable servers so if they get stupid with one, I can burn it with fire and have no downtime.

I suspect that I will have several rounds of this project before I am going to see the kinds of results I want out of it. We'll see.

100 Days Of Cymraeg

There is yet another variant of this 100 Day project that handles non-coding related things, and I am using that to finally learn my native language, Cymraeg. I am using the coursework packages from a friend of mine, Aran Jones. I have worked off an on again with Say Something In Welsh for almost a decade now, and finally, I got sick of dabbling and committed to it. So it's the same thing... every day I do the lesson and tweet about it to stay honest.

a community is the key

Perhaps the greatest power behind all of these are the communities that are involved in them. It is easier to accomplish things when other people are right there with you, slogging it out. I now have friends that are doing the same kinds of things I am and they are trying to better themselves in the same way. It's awesome to see them move ahead, and I get a charge out of cheering them along.

But there are always those sitting on the sidelines doing absolutely nothing and have nothing useful to contribute. They have no faith in people like me, and I think it has nothing really to do with me, but I got a song about it.

Wanna hear it?

Here it go...

a nice little ditty that fits the theme (lower the volume before you click. Just warning you).