I dosed myself with PHP

Today I added PHP to my list of things I thought I wouldn’t like but totally did. Tired and a little hungover, I didn’t feel up to the object oriented JavaScript review I had intended to work on. I browsed Treehouse for something to listen to while I lay groggily in bed. I stumbled on their project series, “Build a Simple PHP Application.” It’s terrific. Randy Hoyt is great on camera and speaks at the perfect pace. The example project is very practical, creating an online store.

Here are some more items from that list of things I thought I wouldn’t like but totally did:

1. Twitter – First, Facebook got suckier. They changed the default algorithm so that you mostly saw stories from the same people. Even when I changed my own settings, it killed the vibe knowing that most people’s feeds had become insulated bubbles without their consent. Even the ads became monotonous. Ads used to feel targeted to my demographic, and sometimes I’d even discover cool things from them. Now my ads are from shopping cart items that I deleted. That I WILL NEVER CONSIDER BUYING AGAIN. It’s boring and annoying. I realized the power of Twitter is in its customization. My Twitter feed is now a perfect balance between resources, industry conversations, humor, and opportunities. Even Twitter’s ads are better. I’m regularly discovering cool dev resource websites from paid Twitter ads. Yay for responsible commerce that doesn’t totally thwart my user experience.

2. Cross-country skiing – You stay really warm.

3. Morcilla, especially Morcilla Dulce – Blood sausage. But seriously, it’s really good.

4. Metalocalypse – This show is brilliant. FUCKING BRILLIANT. I can’t say enough good things and if I did they wouldn’t make sense because it’s weird like that. I hope the Amazon original Supanatural gets picked up and made in a similar vein. Supanatural does not qualify for this list because I knew I would love it. Like a story from my own twisted heart, it contains narrative bits I’ve been playing with for years, female main characters that go beyond the normal “tough heroine” or “romantic interest” tropes, and a playful use of stereotypes to mess with your expectations. The pilot episode isn’t polished and some jokes are lackluster, but that’s why it’s a pilot right? Supanatural has so much potential.

5. Programming in general – My first college class ever was Symbolic Logic. I took it on a whim and fell in love. I took all the classes UCSD offered in it that year, getting special permission to be in the upper division ones. I had no idea symbolic logic was the human language of computer programming. I had to take one computer science class to graduate and was so scared that I waited until the very last term of my senior year. To my surprise I liked it… a lot. I was mad at myself for not having realizing that a whole world of symbolic logic had been under my nose that whole time. As I began my career, I repeatedly ran into situations where I wanted to execute a creative idea, but needed a programmer. It felt like asking a painter to use a brush for me. At best it felt like an awkward interpretation of what I wanted, at worst the project would be abandoned because of business problem with the developers. Time and money were inevitably wasted. Someone told me recently that they saw me as more of a designer than a developer. His case was that anyone could be hired to do the programming but my ability to design interactive narratives was unique. During the conversation I was flattered, but later I felt kind of shitty about it. I’ve been on the side of trying to do everything through another person. The time I spend learning to program is worth every second to me. The code itself is part of the design.

I fink u freeky and I like you a lot


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