def … end

I have been through a number of different, mostly lower level, computer programming classes. At this point through school I have done C++ and Java, which if I was more skilled or had the degree or had defined job experience (at least one of the three) could result in a decent job that kept my husband in bacon and me in chocolate.

At the University of Kentucky, they start new students in Python. Now, I was grandfathered out of taking that class because, well, Java. Nothing wrong with that. So, instead I took the Python course in Codecademy. Now, I’m under no illusion that using Codecademy is going to net me a job involving creative problem solving with computer programming. It does, however, allow me to become familiar with different types of programming languages, different database tools, and different programming tools (yeah, I’m looking at you Git).

All told, last year I completed 11 skills. Not too bad for an aging 40-something, full time worker, part time student, parent, volunteer, what have you.

It’s a great tool, and like doing the crossword puzzle on Sundays, it helps keep my brain sharp. Sadly, I don’t get to use most of what I’ve learned on a daily basis. Other than going in and working towards a new skill (Ruby at almost 50% completion), what do other people suggest for making programming more a part of daily life when it isn’t part of your work life?