Teaching Styles

A picture from my sophomore year of high school. The yearbook committee must’ve thought I was doing well wrestling. lol.

I remember back in high school (almost 20 years ago!) I took a class on C++. It wasn’t the most fondest memory I had. As much as I was already building and fixing computers, this class was tough. Trying to understand the concept of programming through that teacher was a challenge. I barely passed the class and forgot about programming (outside of web pages, more on that later) until college.

As I began attending San Jose State University, part of my curriculum was an introductory course to programming. I was sweating bullets before that class started because of my experience with programming in High School. Fortunately, the professor was REALLY good at explaining concepts and showing real life applications. It is the source of my successes. Instead of focusing on the technical aspects of programming, the time spent in the classroom was mostly getting the students to understand the idea of programming.

The biggest take away from the college programming class is the thought process of building a program. We had plenty of logical exercises which introduced me to the idea of pseudocoding. How do you give a child instructions to put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? How do you know the scope? The answers I came up with helped me become a very efficient programmer.

Now that I’m at a point in my career where I know there’s more work than there is time, there’s a lot to consider. Who am I learning from and what am I learning? The style my high school teacher had in programming didn’t help me but the college professor did. What is the difference? That’s a few questions I keep in mind when I want to learn from someone.

If you’re not learning anything, you either have to adjust your learning style or find a teacher who fits your needs.

Thoughts? Comments? As always, holler @ me, let’s talk story.

Big Data & Hackathons in Hawaii

Greetings Everyone,

This past month there was plenty of activity in my home base of Hawaii. Check out some of the shots from the events I’ve attended:

Hacking away at a problem. Programming style. Photo by D. Ramos


One of my favorite projects out of the dozens of pitches at the ATT Hackathon. A group of programmers created a way to use Augmented Reality (AR) to teach a person how to play the ukulele.

Not only were there awesome ideas at the hackethon, but there were some resources that I did not know exist. For example, I knew blocks of codes can be used as puzzle pieces but didn’t know Google had a library called Blockly. Thanks to Mr. Kuok at OceanIT for introducing this to me. The following is an example of what Blockly looks like:

Here’s a sample of Blockly. You can also play around with it by following this link: https://developers.google.com/blockly/

Another highlight of March that involves big data is the Open Data Day 2018, organized by Burt Lum on Oahu. It’s amazing what kind of data is available out there. Meeting people involved with collecting the data and making it presentable was also a plus.

Before I started my company, I did a little bit of “market research” by digging up data on how many businesses are on Oahu alone. Thankfully I didn’t have to put too much effort. I discovered The Department of Business, Economic Development, & Tourism to justify my existence.

Introducing dashboards that summarize data the government has collected. Depending on your situation, this may be very useful for you or your business. Photo by D. Ramos

Months later, at Open Data Day, many of the people supplying this information were in attendance and shared even more data that would be useful for many different organizations. The amount of resources can actually be a little overwhelming. Like many of the conferences I’ve attended in the past, I share specific information with people who need it.

However, one thing I encourage is to stay active and ambitious about finding out information. It’s a lot of hard work but there’s so much that can be done. I like anything data so it’s easy for me to attend events like the Hackathon or Open Data Day.

If you’reĀ  a newbie, I suggest you should figure out what you’re interested in and THEN put on the glasses I have for data. Maybe you like comic books or maybe you like cosmetics. Just know that there are resources out there. And if you need help interpreting, we can chat. Let’s talk story, feel free to holler @ me.