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Christian Schlobach
Still trying to make sense of things ...
Still trying to make sense of things ...


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So I Started to Learn How to Code
Part1: Preliminary Thoughts

A while ago I decided that it would be a good idea to learn how to code. The goal was not so much to become a full-fledged programmer but rather to obtain enough programming knowledge to be useful in a practical sense. In this first part I will describe some of my preliminary thoughts on the matter and how I wanted to go about acquiring these new skills. I want to write about all of this to encourage other people to think about learning to code as well. It is a very helpful skill set once you have mastered a certain level. And if you are so inclined you might even enjoy programming for fun :)

By the way, some of you may have noticed that I haven't been around much for about the last 2 months. I was busy with all sorts of things and somehow didn't find the leisure to post much on G+ or pay appropriate attention to the people I normally follow (sorry for that, by the way). One of the things I did in this time was to start learning how to code. I wrote about why it might be a good idea to learn some programming a while ago ( This is still an ongoing project but I have made some nice progress and enjoyed it a lot. I haven't achieved everything I wanted to yet. But the most important thing is that I have fun and feel motivated enough to continue on this path. 

When I first thought about learning a programming language I had to think about what I actually wanted to achieve with it. My motivation was driven by several goals. But the main one was to acquire practical and easily applicable knowledge. I wanted to be able to create simple applications that can make my life easier and help with recurring or time-consuming tasks, both on- and offline.

The good thing about learning how to programme is that it becomes easier to learn additional languages once you have mastered the first one. The reason is that with the first language, its syntax, its rules, etc, you will also have to learn some fundamental programming paradigms which are not language specific. Many languages share paradigms with each other. So you might have learned the first programming language and at the same time have become acquainted with, for example, the concept of object-oriented programming. Now it will be much easier to learn another object-oriented language. So even for a newbie like me who cannot devote himself full-time to learning how to programme it becomes feasible to learn multiple languages.

After some research and some helpful suggestions by other people I limited my choices to the two general-purpose languages Python and Ruby. Both are supposed to be beginner-friendly and fairly easy to pick up. I also considered JavaScript as it allows for some helpful client-side scripting when dealing with websites resp. HTML. With JS I can do very simple things like creating bookmarklets or small user scripts. With enough knowledge I could even create Chrome extensions or Android apps. Of course I would have to brush up on my very basic knowledge of HTML as well and get acquainted with CSS.

With all that in mind I contemplated my options. Anything else but a self-taught approach was out of the question as I have no patience for this kind of class-room teaching in this context. I could of course read a book. But in this case I thought that an interactive online course might be a good idea as it usually combines theoretic knowledge with immediate practical application. I deemed this hands-on approach to be most effective as repetitive practical tasks will consolidate and cement the acquired theoretical knowledge. That should get me sufficiently started. And for any advanced topics I could always buy a book.

So I looked around for interactive courses on the Internet offering my choice of languages. It turns out that there are countless excellent resources readily available on the Web. And most of them seem to be free as well. In the end I settled on a website that offers free interactive courses in precisely the languages I am interested in. The website is called Codecademy ( In Part 2 I will tell you more about Codecademy and how I started my first course there.

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Adobe New Year Give-away

Edit: Download link at the bottom of the post

So you all had hopefully some great holidays and a great start into the new year! To sweeten things for you I'd like to point you all to a nice give-away by Adobe.

Adobe offers the complete Creative Suite v2 for free. You only need to register (for free) to obtain an Adobe ID, then you can download the whole package or parts of it. Mind you, the suite is from 2005 so it is not exactly brand new. But considering that you get it for free and many professionals in creative jobs might still work with this software as it is still awesome and was once sold for more than $2000 (I think), I would think that this is still a great deal :)

The package contains the following programs:
•  Acrobat Standard 7.0
•  Acrobat Pro 8.0
•  Audition 3.0
•  GoLive CS2
•  Illustrator CS2
•  InCopy CS2
•  InDesign CS2
•  Photoshop CS2
•  Photoshop Elements 4.0/5.0
•  Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0

Here is the download link:

Last time I checked it was down, probably due to excessive download requests. So you might have to be patient :/

I just read about this in this German article ( by +t3n Magazin. Thanks to them for the heads-up!

#adobe   #adobecreativesuite   #giveaway  
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Merry Christmas to all of you!

May you enjoy the day with friends and family. And if you don't celebrate Christmas have a wonderful week!

I'll be posting again after the holidays. Talk to you all soon.

On the picture you can see Thalia under the Christmas tree (best present ever :-).
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Benny's 15 Minutes of Fame
The First Anniversary

Exactly one year ago, on the 18th of November, our little tomcat Benny had his 15 minutes of fame. The website where we order our cat supplies has a section called "Liebling des Tages" (translates roughly as "Pet of the Day") where each day a pet is featured with photo and text. My wife +Marianne van der Zaag submitted a photo of Benny (back then still called Benoit) when he was about five weeks old and a few weeks later he was chosen Pet of the Day! Okay, it's not a big deal really but still cute to see our little Benny featured on the website :)

On the pictures you see Benny when he was 5 weeks old and in comparison a more recent photo as a one-year old. Back in the days he had this big pink nose already but by now I think it suits him very well :)

#cats   #caturday   #thedayaftercaturday  
Benny's 15 Minutes of Fame (3 photos)
3 Photos - View album
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In Remembrance

(November 11th is Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth.)

#remembranceday #poppyday #caturday

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Happy #Caturday !

I hope you guys had a great (and less exhaustive :) week. Enjoy the weekend!


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Its been a long week - "I'm done, stick a treat in me!" :)

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How Great Is your Nation Actually?

Via +Lisa Frankenberg

#fidofriday  #animalrights  #mahatmagandhi
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Good morning ... and now if you will excuse me, I need more coffee!

Have a great week everybody!

Good morning Plussers !! 
Thursday morning and the weekend is just around the corner !! :-) 
Coffee anybody ? 
#breakfastclub   #coffeethursday   #coffeeclub  
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Happy #Caturday !

A bit of fun for Caturday :) I hope you all had a good week.


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Martian Panorama from Curiosity as a Nexus 4 PhotoSphere

This is so cool! You have to see it :) Thanks to +Gary Calpo for the PhotoSphere. He says he will upload more :)

Martian panorama from   #Curiosity  as a #Nexus4  PhotoSphere

Click the thumbnail to see in +Google Maps style street-view.  Best viewed from the desktop version of  +Google+
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