Monthly Archives: April 2014

This is Why I’m Learning To Code

Last week, on a lazy Sunday morning, I wrote a letter to an asylum seeker, as part of a campaign by Julian Burnside, to show my support and hopefully raise morale somewhat for their cause. It took me, at most, 30 minutes to write and post the letter.

Afterwards, I marveled a bit at how short an amount of time it had taken to help contribute to someone’s project, and hopefully help another person.

I wondered what else could be achieved in short chunks of time like that, so, I used my new developing skills, and built an app for that.

Save the world in 30 minutesIt’s a simple concept – just a list of activities you can undertake to help a cause, a person, the environment…anything which benefits the world in some way. More specifically, I wanted this list to be all things which could be achieved in a short amount of time.

This is almost exactly why I’m learning to code. I’m not learning to code to bulk up my resume or get me a job (although that would be nice). I learnt to code as a hobby to help bring my ideas to life. Last Sunday I had an idea, and in a few hours, I had a MVP of that idea that I could share with my friends and others on social media.

Creating this app has given me renewed enthusiasm to keep learning. So far, I had been learning as a hobby, but imagine if I actually had skills in the future which could help the world in some way? Whether it was a small app like this that encouraged someone to donate blood, or working on a bigger, established project that needed coders to donate their time.

Bringing your ideas to life, helping others or making yourself more employable – there’s not just one reason to learn to code.

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GitHub Fork and Pull Requests

The Udacity CS101 study group is going well, and I’ve stuck with it – though I’m sure this is mostly to do with doing it as a group. Some of the problems are REALLY hard, and I don’t know if I would have persevered on my own.

Learning To Code Tip #2123: If you do a computer science 101 course online – consider a study group to help you through it!

As the problems are getting harder, our group organiser has created a git repository for it, so that we can get help/hints outside of class (since not all the problems have solutions). I loved this idea because I desperately need more practice using Git. So here are my steps on how to contribute to a repository through forks and pull requests:

Contributing to a repository on Git with Fork and Pull Requests

1. Go to the repository you want to fork from and hit the Fork button
2. Go to the fork of it in your own repositories now and copy the HTTPS
3. In your terminal run the following with that https pasted in

$ git clone

4. Move into that directory, then add the upstream (original) repository if you want:

$ git remote add upstream
(This gives the shortcut name “upstream” to this repository, so you don’t need to use the URL)
5. Whenever you want to get changes made to the original

$ git fetch upstream

7.  This will merge any changes fetched into your own files

$ git merge upstream/master

6. When you want to push up your own changes to your own remote repository, i.e. not the one you are forking from, you need to go

$ git push URL_of_your_remote_repository

If you want your changes to be considered for adding to the original repository make a pull request:

7. In Github, go to YOUR repository and click ‘Pull request’

8. If you have been good enough to be using branches, switch to your branch.

9. Click the green compare and review button



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