My experience at Recurse Center

These are my unabridged reflections on my first batch that ended a few weeks ago.

What it is

Recurse Center is quite an interesting place without routine and with little to no structure — it truly is experimental. It’s a space that attracts quite kind and well meaning  people from all over the world who generally love programing for the sake of programming, and because they love to program they want to dramatically become better at it.

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Did I just do that: the process of learning & growing

I’ve come to find the process of considerable growth is often filled with “did I just do that” moments.  These are moments of dramatic growth that are so surprising that they seem to occur and perhaps only occur, at the extreme ends of one’s imagination or realm of possibility. These uncommon, unexpected, pleasant and gratifying moments aren’t an occurrence of chance but rather are a pattern of attitudes and actions.  I’ve experienced a few of these in the past two months and I’ve also identified some patterns that lead to such events.

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Imali a Blockchain Implementation: Part 0

The following is an introduction to a series of tutorials on implementing a Blockchain from first principles and an application of the Blockchain: Cryptocurrency. The on-going series will provide a theoretical overview of blockchain technology and how it relates to crypytocurrencies and an implementation in C.

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Datamining in C — Building a Recommendation System

The looming question: Why C?
C has become my favorite language, so initially this started as a fun toy project to improve and practice my C before attempting more difficult projects.

Development Speed:
However while building in C I came across the work of Ben Klemens (http://modelingwithdata.org) where Klemens (also the writer of “21st Century C” ) argues that statistical systems can and perhaps should be built in C. The arguments of C being slow to program with are no longer quite valid as there are a great statistical and mathematical libraries, such as apophenia, that can be quickly used without investing too much or extraordinary development time in building them. In fact the role of a C developer in ways has become a combination of mixing great libraries and some custom work to accomplish a task as opposed to the early days of C where writing code was mostly custom work and reinventing the wheel.

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Recurse Center Initial Thoughts (Day 0)

I’ve started to see programming as a philosophy, an art. A way to model truth or truthful aspects of something. Sometimes to search out the truth of a thing, an entity, a system requires deepening one’s knowledge of that specific thing. It requires exploration, depth, passion. This is what I see Recurse Center (RC) as — a place to discover and deeply learn in the context of a community.

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Why you should learn to code

A programmable sytem on a chip (PSOC). A great intro to hardware + software.

In the Middle and Dark Ages only the elite and educated knew how to read and write. Fast forward a few hundred years later almost everyone can read and write.

In today’s ever increasing Digital World coding is becoming how we read and write. It’s becoming central to how we share ideas and create. Unfortunately only a few us us can code. Those of us who can code we’re NOT special, we’re not all super smart — we’re just ahead of the curve.

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Minimizing for More Clarity (Raspberry PI 3 + Docker setup)

I’ve been working a lot with C and experimenting with Assembly Language the past few months and the attractiveness of minimalism has grown on me. I recently decided to downsize much of my coding environment to a Raspberry Pi in an effort to be as minimal as possible.  For any extra computing I have access to various cloud servers (Amazon, Digital Ocean). There are certain pros and cons to doing this –but so far the pros have been great:

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Passport

In my West-African drum class the instructor has given us our “passport” a basic rhythm that finds itself as a base in many traditional West African rhythms. On new years’ day in San Francisco I stumbled upon a nighttime drum circle. I couldn’t resist the urge to join so I did and I began to use the passport, even on rhythms I hadn’t heard before. My passport allowed me to fit right in and harmoniously contribute to the vibrancy of the drum circle.

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Stack-less Graph Search Algorithm (DFS) & Queue based BFS

In the past few days I’ve been thinking about implementing depth-first-search algorithm that doesn’t rely on the stack (data structure) and the stack (activation record). Graph traversal relying on the most minimum data structures. I decided to go ahead and try.  To refresh my memory, after a few years of not writing graph algorithms, I decided  on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth-first_search

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