I really spend a great deal of my time optimizing processes and holing up in the computer because there are so many things to learn! One of my latest favorite tools in Linux is the virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper. It allows me to have multiple versions of Python running for different Python projects. Virtualenv or virtual environment, allows me to create a development environment that can autonomously set up its own requirements in Python version or additional dependencies. The virtualenvwrapper is the extension that makes the commands of virtualenv organic to the terminal bash.
It allows me to experiment freely on multiple versions. And with the help of the Terminator app on Ubuntu, I can already see all my working environments in a single view if I want to put them side by side. This, and add the nice semi-IDE feel of Sublime Text, and I have my good old working machine up and running to speed.
During my first year, I was really focused on setting up Drupal mapping projects. Drupal helped me get started with web development. These days, my learning has abstracted a bit and I started venturing in other territories, territories that I would not have imagined for myself two or three years ago. But here I am anyway, exploring frontiers in the backend side of things that are truly fascinating albeit sadly time-consuming. If I were to trace my GIS roots from college, I think that going for Python is one of the more logical paths to take: I began working with Python in the scratching-at-the-surface kind of way when I learned how to script. These days I am starting to look at Python in the eyes of a much larger website project framework. I have frequently heard of the powers of Django as a framework. The official website’s tagline is that it is the framework for “perfectionists with deadlines”. With someone extremely OC about details as I am, I am up for the challenge and I want to learn Python and Django framework all the more.
Aside from Python, I also started getting myself acquainted with the supreme powers of R programming for statistical analysis. I am just mind blown at the number of available resources online; the main challenge these days is really to fight for the time to learn the new technologies and make something extremely useful out of it. In the same way that I started to make peace with the kitchen for whipping up ingredients to create a new recipe, I am also starting to see how all these different tools tie together and help me create something new that can be consumed or of use to me and other people online and offline.
Simultaneously learning two languages has its drawbacks. Occasionally, I find it hard to focus and the context switch sometimes makes a dent on my personal productivity. But I have perpetually multiple pursuits and this challenge is the price I have to pay for the many wonderful things being thrown my way, code-wise. The only logical thing to do is rise to the challenge and say no when the tank of my work load is full. My constant gripe about getting started in web development at age 28 is that I should have started sooner! But it’s never too late, and I can compensate for the time loss by my passion to learn.
And with this kind of setup, I really have my game face on! 🙂 <3