Programming

*args and **kwargs by Eric on February 1, 2020

As a recent graduate in computer science, I really probably should have known this, but today I learned.  This morning as the team and I were discussing some new methods and software to write the discussion came up about what were the *args and **kwargs we so often see in method declarations within Python.  Off to the Internet we went and found a perfect explanation from none other than StackOverflow. Turns out *args and **kwargs are arguments given to a method.  Now, we all knew this to be true, this was not the interesting part.  The interesting thing to me was that you can put these in your method declarations if you want it to accept varying lengths of arguments rather than explicitly defined ones.  Very cool indeed. Now, I've used arguments a lot in computer science especially command line arguments when writing small assignments for classes.  I knew these were passed in as *args but was unsure of what the **kwargs were.  From the StackOverflow answer they are both sets of ar...

Getting Started with Programming by Eric on February 1, 2020

A friend of mine called me up recently to ask me how to get started with programming. I've gotten these requests more and more as the demand for programmers rises. I'm going to compile a list of resources to help anyone get started with what I feel are the basis for what anyone who wants to program will need. This list is by no means comprehensive and while this will get you started you should not feel like you can go from knowing nothing to building the next Facebook simply by following this guide. It will, however, give you a solid foundation with which you can build and grow to the point where you could potentially build something like Facebook or Instagram on your own or working with a small team.Which Language Should I Learn? This depends entirely on what you are trying to do. Some people want to make their work life more efficient by writing small programs to automate their daily tasks while others may want to create websites and web applications. For the first I suggest Pytho...

Computer Science Education Week by Eric on February 1, 2020

Growing up I was always interested in computers.  I helped put parts in computers and install programs as young as five or six.  As I went to school I always knew I wanted to do something with computers.  Sadly, I wasn't able to take any computer related classes in middle school or high school because they simply were not offered.  I would have loved to take a computer science course before going to college to better prepare myself for the challenges that it brings. Luckily, there is a group trying to change that.  Between December 9-15, 2013 is Computer Science Education Week organized by Code.org.  Their goal is to promote computer science education.  They've done a great job getting celbrities to back the cause and made a great YouTube video that you can see on this page and their site. Computer science is not just for those who want to program.  Computer science is all about solving complex problems and critical thinking.  The solutions computer scientists come up with are m...