Maybe in June you will start learning to code

Have you ever wondered if programming would be something you could be good at or have fun with? Or even if it might be the start of a career change for you, if only you could find a way to learn it?

June 2015 might be the month to start coding. At least, that is waht I think after seing what online courses are starting or have started around the beginning of this month. There are four courses that I would like to recommend to any how has an interest in learning programming:

These four courses are aimed at beginning programmers but with different goals and methods, so it might be helpful to know a bit about them, to have a way to choose, which course or courses might be appropriate. This overview I try to give will be somewhat subjective, because I have used all four to teach myself programming.

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Writing101: Unlocking my Habits

Building habits is something that is of recurring interest to me. I did some but not all of the exercises of “blogging101” from Blogging University in the last month and in the process, I got back into writing, not only online, but also offline, after some time (years) where I just did not have the time, at least that is what I wold myself. But that is the thing about habits: If you have habit, you will also have the time to follow it, if something is no habit, you will often find excuses not to do it. This of course relates to all habits, good and bad.

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Things I learned from watching action films: Where to look for wisdom

Today, when I was reading some blogposts on yoga and especially Ashtanga Yoga, I came upon a discussion between some blogs; the main question was: does an Ashtangi (that’s a person who practices Ashtanga) need to travel to Mysore, the founding place of this yoga tradition or not. After I had seen more then one blog arguing in favor of or against it, I read these lines:

“I’d argue that the deeper dimension can be found on your mat on any mat, that you don’t need to go anywhere for that but rather within.” (Anthony Grim Hall, called Grimmly)

That was the moment, when I realized, that without being an Ashtanga teacher or having been at this place myself, I knew the answer (at least for me) and I knew it for some time now. This one I had learned through watching Conan the Barbarian, the fantasy film from the 80ies, with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan.

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Why I quit Facebook

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Do Not Disturb.”

So a month ago I deleted my facebook account.

I didn’t do it, because I found no merit in social media. On the contrary, I really liked the possibility to reach out to a lot of people, that I know. Some of them, I met only briefly, others a long time ago and some of them I meet on a daily basis, but for the social network it is all the same and that seemed to me as a good thing, it even does so now.
When I first posted about the intention to quit facebook, I got some nice and friendly comments, telling me, that my shared links will be missed. Also I worried about keeping in contact with distant friends who I seldom get to meet in person. Facebook at least kept the illusion, that I know what they are about.
My life is no real secret and I do not hesitate to use my real name on the profiles of the different online servieces that I use. While I do not think that the “I have nothing to hide”-philosophy is valid, because there is an important difference between having dangerous secrets and having some privacy, I do not really think that there is much of interest about me that would be worth spying upon.

With these thoughts, it might seem strange, that I wanted to get out of facebook once and for all (even after deleting the account it took some time until my name vanished from the network), so I would like to tell you my reasons.

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Blogging101: Day 5 – Love your theme

This post is another one, that is part of the course “Blogging101”.

Choosing a theme

While I have not completed last days task, I decided, that playing around with the themes could be fun.

Misty Lake

At the beginning, there was Misty Lake a traditional blog-theme with light background, black writing and green decorations. I like it, because it is simple and natural at the same time. But the task is to try different themes, so I will do that.


The assignment also says: “Try one you’re drawn to, and one you would never use.”


The first part is easy: In the last days, I have seen Writr a few times and liked how it looks. But I don’t want to have my blog look like just another Writr-themed-blog, so a question I have to answer is: Is it customizable?
The preview is nice, but to really try a theme, I have to install it on my blog and change things around. I did that with Writr. I installed it, changed the colours and uploaded a header image. After that, I can say, that I like the theme. There is only one small thing, that is not to my taste: I like fonts with serifs for reading and Writer only comes with a sans-serif font.
While I was on it, I took cherylhooverowen idea and changed the blog title.


Afterward, I scrolled through the themes that were in my two criteria: free (as in beer) and responsive, because we have the year 2015.

Hemingway Rewritten

Minnow looked good in the little picture, but Hemingway Rewritten was another theme, that I had come to like, after I had seen it on other blogs. I Espacially like the parallax effect in the header. This one, I activated too and the only thing that it lacks is something that I lack: a fitting header image.



I said, that I like fonts with serifs, so I just had to try Typo.
It looks very nice and I like it, but it is perhaps a little to serious.


Temporary Winner: Hemingway Rewritten

In the end, the modern layout with parallax effect won the day. But I will maybe try some more themes over the weekend and try to find a good individual header omage.

Not there, but on the way … to a new name and tagline

The second day of Blogging101 does not necessary involve writing a blog post. Instead, the task is to change the name and the title of the blog. It is not a hard rule, that everybody in the course has to change these, but we have to at least think about it  (maybe with the help of some advice). Until now, I haven’t come up with a name or a tagline. I have thought about it and at the beginning of the day, I was convinced, that I would want the old words to stay the same: “Doxanthropos” was the name of my first blog and the tagline “Yet another Journal of unconnected thoughts” was as unspecific, as I wanted it to be. But while I was at work, the doubts came: “Maybe it is time for something new, the blog is clearly not the same as the old one.”, “Am I just to lazy to think about another name?” Now after I have read the advice for naming again, I have made a decision: The old name has to go. My post yesterday was way more specific, about what I want to do with this blog than “Yet another Journal of unconnected thoughts” and Doxanthropos isn’t what this is going to be about either. It is a word, I made up for my first blog combining the ancient greek words “doxa” (opinion) and “anthropos” (human). The tagline that came with it was “Meinen ist menschlich.” (roughly: having opinions is only human) a pun on the latin proverb “errare humanum est“. Both were appropriate for a blog with mostly political comments, but I now realize, that this is not true for this new blog. So I gave it a try based on my first Blogging101-post and after considering “To late for the Renaissance. Failing to learn about everything, but trying repeatedly” I settled for now with “Amazed webfarer. On the Journey of learning and growing”. I am not really content with it. It seriously lacks a pun, but it is better than the old one. So be warned, the title of this blog might change in the next days.

Writing about online learning and other things

“Isn’t the internet amazing?”

That’s what I thought some years ago, when I first learned about blogs and the freedom and possibilities, that come with freely available publishing technologies and I never stopped thinking that. Over the years, some new things emerged (like MOOCs) and others came to my attention, but have been there for a long time (like usenet-newsgroups). My amazement did not shrink, but it found some more specific interests to concentrate on: online learning, online journalism and online activism. That’s what I want to write about on this blog.

I have had others, more political, more technical, two of them are still in my profile, one (in german) where I write about Linux, Minimalism and one, where I plan to write about code, when I have to.

To really start this blog and get into the habit of writing about my thoughts at a regular basis, I take part in an online course by, more specific the “Blogging University” with the name “Blogging 101”. So when there is a tag “blogging101” on my posts, it refers to this course. Aside from helping to build a habit, I hope to learn in this course some things about blogging, about myself as a writer and learner and not the least, to learn about this special kind of online course.

As I am somewhat passionate about online learning, I have the luck to work at my Universities eLearning department, where I give technical support to professors and teachers, being qualified for this task by some years of studying philosophy, sociology and history.

Of course I also look forward to get to know some of the other participants of this course.