Aug. 19, 2020

Should You Learn to Code?

Should You Learn to Code?

Will coding future-proof your career? How hard is it to learn to code? What's the best way to get started? We answer these questions and more in this episode of DWW.

How important is coding as a skill for the modern professional? 

In this episode, we discuss the whys and hows of learning to code, including:

  • Coding languages and which are most useful for beginners
  • Code learning resources
  • Finding your motivation

Click here for the transcription

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Ryan Purvis  0:00  
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather Bicknell. In this series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines. The problems they face, how they solve them. The years they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took, they'll help you to get to the scripts for the digital Express inner workings.

Heather Bicknell  0:31  
So, Ryan, we I know we were just talking about how we thought about recording these videos and putting them on YouTube. So I was just complaining about the webcam that's built into my laptop being at the bottom of my screen, instead of where it normally is at the top of the screen. So I have I have one Harry Potter book, The seventh one and one install Poetry anthology stacked on top of each other, and then my laptop to try to elevate it to be a little bit more of a normal web camera angle.

Ryan Purvis  1:12  
Yeah, I can't understand the logic of putting the camera at the bottom. It just makes your angles all wrong. Yeah, look very domineering. Looking down on on the camera.

Heather Bicknell  1:22  
Yeah. Correct. I know. It's it's kind of a nightmare for this age of video conferencing to have such a weird angle, but I guess I you know, I could be without a camera, which I did lie once on a call and say that I didn't have one at home with my own.

Unknown Speaker  1:45  
It's not

Unknown Speaker  1:47  
ready for the webcam that day.

Unknown Speaker  1:49  
Yeah, I mean, you

Ryan Purvis  1:51  
know, and I definitely think that because everyone's been stuck at home. They've had to use the cameras that they previously said didn't work. And I've seen some diabolical setups where you guys are like they're talking at the laptop, but they're actually using an external camera which is on their side. Or they got the laptop on the side and they're talking to the screen where they got the video call but that you just see the side profile of their face while they're talking. I guess people aren't comfortable with yet but you think after three months of doing this, everyone will have figured out the sort of basics

Heather Bicknell  2:33  
Yeah, I've seen a lot of those kind of help articles about how to make a good you know, how to make sure your lighting is okay and you know, working you know, working on the angle and like getting a decent video conferencing setup because it's not just work right. It's like all of the all the socialization activities, you know, hanging out with friends, that kind of thing. So people I think there is more interest. You know, before I didn't use my webcam that much So as in, you know, a huge deal that it's this terrible Upshot. But, um, now that I'm using it all the time, it's like, okay, maybe I do need to find a solution to this problem. Well,

Ryan Purvis  3:14  
that's weird. We I'll be looking at a desk like now for my camera, which I think really works as you saw the sides still dark. So I need to look at another solution for that. And I'm now going to look at a standing desk, which means I'm gonna have to move my study around. And I'm actually looking more and more and how the light is in the room to decide where to put the desk. Because of the art makes a big difference, and I realized it makes a big difference to how tired I am. If there's not enough art in the room, I get more and more tired. And I'm wondering if that's not a show someone come out with a study or something that says fatigue from from radiation from the screening versus natural light is affected everyone's productivity. In this world,

Heather Bicknell  4:02  
yeah, my apartment gets very little light and it's so early here so there's really not a lot a lot of light in this room either. So I feel you on that for the standing desk. Are you getting one of those that stands on top of your existing desk? Are you going for the fall?

Ryan Purvis  4:20  
No, I think I'll read the full thing. I've looked at those those when you put on your desk and what I what I think is the problem with those that is so it doesn't look really good or very clever. But I think you end up with the same problem that you would have the normal desk because you don't stand as much because you're gonna have idiots. They aren't really very wide ones though this sort of hundred 20 centimeters. Know what that is an inches. But that's just enough to have your laptop and maybe your mouse as long enough space to have your notes in your diary and your whatever else and then my my desk has got, you know, iPad, iPhone, microphone. In the laptop, you know, the docking station, all that stuff so there's a lot of stuff to have on the desk. So I really want the full piece that goes up and down. So we'll have to reiterate to re orientate myself while I'm working if I go up or down, and the desk will pretty much be in the same position all the time anyway. That's the other other reason. This I'm looking at one from IKEA which I think is probably the best of the bunch. Not the most expensive though you can go more expensive but it's about 405 pounds I think or something like that. 200 $500 but it does have its own nature. Its electrical one as opposed to manual one with a memory setting and you can set up you know why your app what what you want it to be and stuff like that. is quite a big one. I think it's 150 centimeters of depth. By no doesn't tell you why It's It's bigger than my current desk and lengthwise and it's very deep. So the last place and I think that's going to be the best one to go with. For me at least. So yeah, and then once that's in place that because I'm finding that out, if I work the whole day, my back has absolutely wrecked the next morning and it takes me a good half an hour to stretch it out. And then you can just go sit and do the same thing again, you're sitting in a chair and a desk near in an hour that you just don't hunching. So I really want to get away from that. And when I used to work for UBS, which was the first place that I ever had a static desk, and I used to stand seven, eight hours a day and and already set out like really when I was trying to do some boy at the time, you know, some some some deep thinking work. But most I was on the phone calls outstanding. I'll just walk around and stand and walk around and you know, if you if you're writing black documents or whatever, typically standing perfectly fine. So yeah, that's my thinking. get approval from the boss then I can bring it in.

Heather Bicknell  7:05  
Nice. Well let me know if you like that one because I have an Ikea not too far from me and I have also been thinking about upgrading to a standing desk so good to know that they make one.

Ryan Purvis  7:18  
In the UK, there's a lot of options and you're looking to spend between 300 and 700 from what I've seen, and IKEA seems to have a nice mid range option, which gives you all the bells and whistles, but it's not as expensive. So one of the guys that works bought one, so I'm waiting for his to arrive. And then once he's had his one that I will 40 by that one. Because I mean we were at home all the time, so it makes sense to invest to the proper working space.

Heather Bicknell  7:50  
Exactly. I'm like, I don't know when I'm going to be back in the office. I don't know if it'll be this year, so I'm gonna bite the bullet in Make a real office.

Ryan Purvis  8:01  
Yeah, exactly. Exactly that's I mean this office will become my my daughter's room at some point so I've got to do this while I can plug in moved out to the shed outdoors or something

Unknown Speaker  8:15  
that's just a few weeks away right?

Ryan Purvis  8:17  
Well, when she's born she'll stay it's just you've been through with us for the first six months. I mean, that makes us so which is going to be big but depends on and then we'll look at you know, either at that point, I'll move out of this room and move in here that I'll move next door to the spare room which is correct, which is quite big. I will go to a is a Regis next down the road from me about a 10 minute walk. And I'll just read space, they see what the patient what their costs, of course. But that might be the way to go. At any tricky thing about that and I know it's also else but the tricky thing was when you start renting spaces That when you start committing to that space, and in these registers you typically committing to what they've got, not necessarily what you've got. So if I want to use my standing desk, then I may not be able to bring that in there. But that's, that's a problem to solve at that point. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  9:17  
for another day. No.

Heather Bicknell  9:21  
Yes, I know you'd wanted to talk about the question of, you know, should I learn to code should everyone learn to code?

Ryan Purvis  9:30  
Yeah, so I get this question. Lundy says he wants a day but I used to get quite a lot where someone that has not grown up in the technology world has this, this fear that say that they they don't know enough and they need to get into it I need to understand and whatever and often is what you know, what should they do? And, you know, these are these are typically people that are accountants or lawyers or have some sort of professional skill set. And they're not exposed to technology, per se unless they have, you know, listen to them where they work. So for example, they get too big in a given office 365 to do the email, they get into the documents, they might have learned a business application that that's been built for them to the legal version of assuming that ghostwriter, which is the legal, you know, generates legal documents, that sort of thing. But they don't really understand the underlying pieces that is know how to use the technology, the tool. So the question only comes about so so how do I think this is a future proofing? What's the word static, so by learning the stuff that they can either pivot into, you know, more technology centric role, or they're just trying to protect their jobs so they don't get caught unawares. As an only how's the questions that yes, I think I think people should learn how to code that are needed to go and build a, an application. That's going To be sold to millions, I mean, if you can do that do that. But it's really to go through the thought processes. And in learning, your program is a very linear one so much, but it's in the very logical, step by step process that I said not linear completely, because you can get to a point where you're doing things out of sequence, which is, you know, really fast iterations or explain what I mean to the sick. But the idea is that by learning to program, you learn how to ask good questions. And about planning things before you actually just dive into writing code. And we say you can get into sort of parallels if you're working with someone else. You're learning how to collaborate with someone who's working on the same codebase but might be in a different part of the system to where you are or even overlapping with you and you're learning how to cope with that. So, I mean, that's that's sort of the evolution. But to ask the question, I think everyone should learn something.

Heather Bicknell  11:58  
The future proofing element Reminds me of the film Hidden Figures.

Unknown Speaker  12:03  

Heather Bicknell  12:04  
yeah, the women who worked for NASA, and then they were, you know, being the human computers. And then the ones who the black woman who learned to code were, like they made themselves indispensable by switching that skill set. Yeah. And I feel like this whole conversation around, you know, as my job could be automated away, or the, you know, is automation or robots coming from my job. Failure is something I've seen a lot about in the last few years, especially, you know, with AI becoming more a common part of a lot of software and starting to become something that's less, you know, novel and more just an expectation that you're going to, you know, find a way to work machine learning into your software product, right, if it makes sense. So, that's all very interesting, I guess. I'm curious what what languages what coding languages, you know,

Ryan Purvis  13:01  
Well, that's a good question. I have to count. And I know when I say No, that doesn't mean I'm an expert by any means. I wouldn't say I'm an expert at any of them. But But I typically write quite a lot in C sharp. I've been learning a lot of JavaScript recently. So that's, that's been focused. That's really simple automation stuff on the iPad. I know, Pascal back in the day when I learned some basic. But nowadays, as I say C sharp did a bit of VB six back in the day. Java was part of my university assembler as part of my university PowerShell I use now as sort of one of those other tools. I'm learning Python, which I think most people should learn. Python is probably the most popular and probably the easiest one to pick up. I've written some stuff in Swift. I couldn't get my head around Objective C. I did some c++ long before C sharp was popular. php back as well, ages ago 12 language a lot

Heather Bicknell  14:13  
of coding languages, that's not even all of them that I know. And I'm not a developer.

Ryan Purvis  14:19  
Yeah, well, I mean, you know what, it's one of the things that you know, when you when you learning something, it depends on who you're around. So I learned a lot from my friends who wanted to do something. And it was a case of, well, we need some help writing this. And I'd have to go and learn how to help them to write it. But the concepts are kind of all the same. In a lot of these languages, object orientated. So as long as you understand in object oriented programming, you pretty much pick up those syntax and my biggest problem now, for example, I'll be working on something for work is I forgotten a lot of things from a syntax point of view. So I have to sit and go, Okay, this is how you do that or I'm making a very basic thing. We are I showed to the developer who writes me down, he goes, home, you made that mistake. I'm like, yeah, I'm either. Kidding. Yeah, you know, but it's just, it's just a practice thing. And if you don't practice that you forget it. So yeah, you know, that's, but I don't think everyone needs to know, you know, 12 languages. I mean, it's the same as you don't need to know 12. In linguistic languages, it's good to know one or two and be good and really efficient at them. You know, something like C sharp is quite a structured, quite a rigorous language. So you have to follow the sort of how the framework works and do it very. What's the word? It's quite verbose thing, when you want to do something. Whereas something like Python is quite, quite flexible, quite quick and easy to use. You know, you might write in one line, which you'd write in five lines in C sharp. And when you're writing a big application, those lines become pretty Important to minimize. So yeah, it's i think i would say Python for anyone trying to start it out.

Heather Bicknell  16:09  
Yeah, I only know a little bit of HTML and CSS, which I don't even know if that is quite the same as those other languages. Because, I mean, for me, I have, you know, the practical application of doing a lot of a lot of website work. And so if I was going to go ahead and learn another one, I feel like maybe JavaScript would make sense next.

Ryan Purvis  16:29  
Yeah. So so most people would not consider it a CSS or HTML programming language. Yeah. So they would be considered markup. Yeah. JavaScript would be your first natural sort of step Nick into them. And, and this is why this sort of question become very nebulous to people and you start sort of talking about all these things. And it sounds very complicated, but actually, it's not, is I think, you know, from a business discussion. And, and you can find the person who's willing to do this, for them to understand how long why things take so long to do. And if you think about building a web page, a very basic webpage, it's very easy to put that together in HTML. Because it's just you just writing text, you know, in the sense of like you would a Word document, you have titles, you have bullets, you have paragraphs, you have a header or footer, you know, very simple, very easy things to translate and your CSS who you Cascading Style Sheets just give you colors and colors for certain things. You're my tables must be blue, with a border of three, whatever it is. That's pretty easy because aesthetic that doesn't change without having to be like, you know, JavaScript in or any other sort of language. You're now starting to bring in dynamic content, which mean are starting to understand rules and and dynamic In the sense of, if I'm logged in, show me this screen, if I'm not logged in, show me that screen. And that's where it can become very interesting to plan your work. Which is why I say I think everyone should learn how to code something. Because you learn to either you can either let you sit down and write code and go with the flow between the writing twice as much, if not three times as much than if you planned it first. And then read the code. I mean, I was this thing I was working on. I had an idea in the morning. So in wrote it, and then I actually went for a walk with my son. And actually, there was such a stupid thing to do. Because I wrote the stuff for an app for like two hours and then went back and just deleted it and put it in two lines, and I did the same thing more efficiently and for the better results. The question is what I would have done that if I didn't write the two hours before and really got into the problem and tried to solve but yeah, getting so great. The point is, we'll make it once you're inside Our attempts to do these things, no build a web page, building a dynamic web page, etc. I think the appreciation for what a dev team puts out in two weeks, and why you need to have the people to do it and why you have different roles, and the team becomes a little more understandable. And why the investments are what they are in building software. And what you know, just just because you throw, he's got an idea for an app doesn't mean you can just throw it over to someone and say, oh, we'll build that and come back to me next week. That might be six weeks or a month, whatever it is.

Heather Bicknell  19:35  
Yeah, my, my boyfriend's a software engineer. So I'm definitely familiar with a project. seeming is you know, simple enough on my end, but you know, when he talks about, you know, the work that goes into developing it, like the complexity, even something like we were talking the other day about needing to change, just a little bit of text that kind of showed up throughout the project that he's working on, and it was like, Oh, well, that should be a simple enough switch, right? But there was, you know, it was, I don't I don't have the language to articulate it, but it was just touching so many other things that it was going to be, you know, it could break this or that it wasn't so simple as just, you know, replacing that item. So definitely, definitely a lot.

Ryan Purvis  20:24  
Yeah, that's a that's a very good question. Languages is one of those are actually one of those those things. So you can design your user interface, which is what what the users will see, based on English, for the most part, because that works out very well income and most most countries in the world. The challenge comes in and if you want to make your application, multi, regional, multicultural, and you want those labels to change based on on the user's culture when they log in, so let's say you've got a an English organization, but you've got a company's a sort of hit our offices in Germany or Sweden or somewhere else Switzerland, where they were French or German or Italian, you know, those, those are fairly easy to, to work out what's on the screen. Now your every label has to it has to be able to change based on what language you're looking at it in. So we're occation Which leads us to have someone who translates that word. Now you have two problems that needs to come out of that. One is the word that you use in English, maybe a different link to the word use in German or support source or whatever it is. Then you also have the sort of right to left country. So anything in Arabic will be different links as well. So your whole screen layer can change, which is a bit easier way but very difficult on a thick, thick application. And then of course you have going into the Asian languages and a set of Japanese or Chinese which are really cool. How do those look on the screen and your whole sort of configuration changes? case some applications are basically built again. Because they didn't do the research, didn't think of that stuff upfront. But then you're saying balancing act you like we're going to build this product and sell it. I can't think of all these problems right now as I've never built anything. So you build the easiest thing, which is English, and then you worry about those things. And you hope that what you have to change doesn't affect the whole product. Mm hmm. Which most the time it does.

Heather Bicknell  22:30  
I'm curious. I know. You know, I know sis track is in a number of languages. I think I've only seen the Spanish and Japanese ones. But curious. I see. I know we have it in Arabic. But I haven't seen any screenshots. So

Ryan Purvis  22:44  
I'm curious. Well, the other the other challenge you have with with changing languages. That was specifically I think a sister was that the database had to go from being Latin based to be in Unicode based, which was a funder. I mean, it's Sounds really old, we'll just change the current, the correlation actually probably meant, you know, have substantial amount of re rework. Because there because we Unicode treats characters slightly different. And I mean, going back to the sort of business use, I don't think they need to care about 30, that sort of stuff. I mean, yes, if they just go for it, but they're just just the basics of, you know, building a task management app, which, which will test a lot of, I mean, finding the samples, one example one thing, but, but building and then changing it to to sort of suit your needs. That that will sort of give the experience on what a developer goes through when they're trying to build an application and the functionality has to change and how to extend or contracted based on what the needs are.

Heather Bicknell  23:53  
Yeah, so have you I've used a little bit of W three school in the past. Have you? What tools have you learned to for us to learn all these different languages?

Ryan Purvis  24:09  
When before they before the internet existed like it does today, if I go back to some VB six or seven low, any of those things effects Alas, those those still, you could still search for stuff online. It was textbooks, textbooks and other developers, you know, you basically would find a book that was, you know, by one of the big publishers, and go through the examples and learn that way. And then obviously get to know people you knew the language around you and you learn from them. Nowadays, it's a lot easier just to Google examples. And most developers aren't really writing stuff from scratch. They are copying pieces of code that they're finding online and redoing it into their application. Which, which typically works okay, if you understand the code. The problem is most people don't understand the code. So it doesn't work that in a while. Work, that's probably the sign of a good developer versus a bad developer. That said, there are a few sites that people that usually end up on, which I can't think of Stack Overflow, probably the main one, that I think of it, and they sort of write the equation I'm trying, like, I was trying to do something with regex regular expressions today. So I googled C sharp, regular expressions. And I come up with a whole bunch pages, and I still go through and looking for it. I'm the sort of problem I'm trying to solve. And then I look at the code, okay. And then when they're trying to do that, I use that code. And then that becomes part of the arsenal, you know, you learn you know how to do it that way. with Python, which I'm reading at the moment, I bought myself a little raspberry pi, which, which you can install Python on. It is part of a lot there to manage the pi. And I'm doing stuff in there just to to learn as I go on. And that's, you know, basic stuff, but it's it's in our lobby. Anything you know, if you if you re looking for a certification or something like that they all they all sort of online things like Udemy or Coursera does one know a couple languages. As if you don't have any background that I would recommend if you go in getting and co developing or writing code is is something you want to do, then it's worth going for a full course will teach you what object orientation object orientated programming is and why you do it to the lesser stuff. Some people think that by reading it typically, I think it's good to have a course where they take you through the business like like math to learn about layers, you know, we teach you how to add them into general apply them and teach you how to divide and then to subtract, you know, your learning curve. And then as networking, it's people, finding developers are better than you and asking them questions. They tell you to go away. And then you find another one. And the other thing is just, you know, find an idea, build something, suffer through it till it's built, because that's what most developers do. They work hard and long hours to get it done. And then realize never finished, and you've always had an idea to improve it. Mm hmm. That's the best way to learn. It's probably why there's so many people that do end up writing code even as a hobby. Because it's one of those things that you can have instant instant response because either works or doesn't work. And you can continuously work on it as a pet project. Because there's that tactile feel every time I make a change, I can see what that change is going to do. And I can make another change and then I have another idea and it's one of the reasons why I don't like to code is because I know become completely fascinated by it and absorbs all my time. Even though it's probably done was supposed to Already, I was getting an idea what to add in or an improvement or something.

Unknown Speaker  28:05  
Mm hmm.

Heather Bicknell  28:07  
Yeah, it's not exactly the same. But I know, I know a lot of the engineers at our company, I know a lot of just developers, in general. And I hear a lot of them talk about the difference between the coding that they learned to do in school and the stuff that they're doing on the job. And that, you know, in school, you had the leisure of like, finding the perfect way to do everything. And you know, that's what you were graded on. But then on the job, there's a lot more of like, I've got to go to stack overflow or you know, you're like, you're really finding like the most efficient way to do things right and not that theoretically perfect way. So that just yeah, that just reminded me, sorry, I've heard

Ryan Purvis  28:50  
I remember when I started my my actual sort of career, I was doing my tutorials. I got into an argument with the with the lecture because what they're teaching In a tutorial in the real world and make any sense, you didn't do it that way. And I was one of those weeks that I had. And I'll never forget this because I'm not here with the two sort of senior guys on the team. This causes conflict between what they're teaching at university and what we're doing in the practical and go back to the vices and but this is, you know, having told us, you know, this is wrong, etc. And I got I got fail on a tutorial. But I saw the guy about 10 years later, ironically, it's an event here in the UK. And we're joking about visa Do you arrive but you see when it when you teach the course stuff, but to follow with the courses. And that's the problem is practically what you're taught to the degree is about 510 years behind what's in the industry. And they're never going to be in sync. So what you learn in university for computer science is really just theoretical. Mm hmm. So practical. I probably say that most most of those developers that unless they were doing stuff on the side Wouldn't would had to have done two or three years somewhere else before they came to work at Lakeside. So you have to have the basics. Because you don't you don't walk out being ready to code. A university.

Heather Bicknell  30:14  
Yeah, I know. I mean, we're right next to the University of Michigan. And I know there's a lot of initiatives there for the most of the developers I've talked to did some sort of, you know, some sort of side project, some internship somewhere nearby. There's a lot of opportunities there, whether it's working, doing something for the hospital, or I've, you know, yeah. So there are about a few things that I see projects that opportunities, I feel like to do that.

Ryan Purvis  30:43  
Yeah, either either. You're gonna you're gonna give them graduate work first, and educate anybody to teach those grads or you're going to look, look at him doing hobby projects, you know, a developer that comes in and doesn't know how to run their hobby project. That is be working or she hasn't been working on, you're not going to be getting the best developer, we get a nine to fiver. I mean, I say this sort of tongue in cheek, that's not a bad thing. But if you're looking for top notch, you know, really, really high caliber talent they've got they've got hobbies. And then those hobbies are still more coding. It's not less coding, because they are absolutely, you know, bought into that realm. I mean, if I were to the guy who wrote his own version of search for SharePoint, at the same time, it was working on Moser, the fire was a brown browser. You know, this, this was a search that we weren't awards for that that's now the search you have in SharePoint. But it's on his search, but it's the same, same design, you know, is that kind of is that kind of caliber. So if you're looking for that you want you want to see the side projects, you want to know that they are constantly changing themselves with the most complicated problems. Hmm. So, so you haven't you haven't learned anything from your boyfriend on coding it? Um,

Heather Bicknell  32:07  
no. I mean, I probably could have I would he just felt a discord bot not too long ago. I definitely could have jumped in a little bit on that project.

Unknown Speaker  32:17  
No, actually funny enough.

Heather Bicknell  32:20  
I asked for I think it was my birthday a couple years ago for this coding kit that is, you know, it's a Harry Potter themed one. So you get this like, wand and it's designed for kids, right, obviously, but I was like, maybe this will motivate me to code and it was the same year I think I bought him the Nintendo lab Oh stuff. I don't know if you're familiar with that. But like the cardboard that you fold up and you know, he kind of did a few of those projects and abandon that. And I the few of the coding projects and abandon it. So I actually with you bringing this topic up. I'm curious to delve back and try it again. Because the problem I was having at the time Was that I was trying to use the iPad for it and something about where the however the device was sensing the the wand wasn't wasn't sinking up right so I need to try like a laptop or or something else but I am curious to see if if that kind of thing can you know because I feel like the approach there is going to be very different if it's geared towards children you know you're learning in a way that's a little bit more I guess less overt than if I learned you know, the theory itself so i don't i don't know if it'll work for me or not as well to try to do it in the more

Ryan Purvis  33:46  
hands on kind of way. You know, I bought the Harry Potter these my wife ages ago, but I do the audio stuff I deleted in your stuff for a while which, again, it's like a little raspberry raspberry. Problem is a very simple little thing and you you can wire up lights and resistors and capacitors or the atronics you can write a poem for that. And that's that's not too bad but I'm fine with that stuff. A friend of mines really entered he bought a lot of really cool stuff like he manages his his whole house back in Joburg has got solar panels with batteries. And, you know, he's Paul works on the sensor, the setup and he's got, you know, something else set up in the garden, you know, he's got all these little things that he's built. So I definitely think that they're quite powerful. I mean, they're much more powerful and they were well as options 510 years ago. But yeah, I mean, it's it does come down to just sitting down and doing it. Mm hmm. Surely.

Heather Bicknell  34:48  
Well see, I had this vision that I could then program this one to do things like, you know, turn on my smart lights or turn them off or like, I know I don't know if you can connect those things in any way.

Ryan Purvis  34:59  
But no purchase. So what you could do the idea the because when you when you buy the new, it's a portable kit, and it's about you know, sort of rectangular block and on the edge all your chips and stuff, but you're getting many ones, which are probably, you know, let's say a pair of the same size as this, this input case. And that can you can put an accelerometer on that either all happened to this friend of mine does the sort of thing you join them all together in your 3d printer box to put them in, you can do something with that that would plug into your Wi Fi and, and do stuff because a lot of components already, you know, it's amazing what you can buy and they're not expensive, you know, you're talking about $1 $2 a component. So it's not expensive to build anything. So that would work not not Unfortunately, the Harry Potter one.

Unknown Speaker  35:53  
Yes, this actually

Ryan Purvis  35:54  
happened, but there's actually a very good channel on YouTube. You only wear the guy's name as a as a mechanical engineer. And he actually bought a golf club that had a whole bunch of actuators on it. So basically, it's one club that does all the clubs. And it changes the angle of the face to pay which club you're going to use. And then it also changes the face. To keep the keep your strike when you hit the ball. I need to see if it improves scores and that very, very clever thing to watch enabled. I mean, this thing's got wild all over the place and whatever to make it work but fascinating. And that's the kind of thing that's the maker world. Which I think is is a lot of people making stuff during this pandemic. Yeah.

Heather Bicknell  36:47  
Yeah, I think what I what I need is just a project a goal, you know, learn it to do something with it, not just for the sake of it. So I know you know, you mentioned building your own sort of simple task management app. Or whatever you would cow however you would apply the code. But I think maybe that's just a strategy for learning in general is to be building something. Definitely.

Ryan Purvis  37:11  
Definitely. Yamuna are familiar with old house, I have a huge issue with humidity in the bathrooms, so I bought a little sensor with a Wi Fi. So it was I mean, it was probably probably as big as baseball with the sensor and the Wi Fi unit and then a band and a double to a two double A batteries to power it. And then measure the humidity in the room. So I can see what part of the day was days of the worst, and then use that as a way to change the heating in the house because I was probably that was causing the issue, the damp. There are easy things to do once you get your head around and some of the problems to solve.

Heather Bicknell  37:56  
Great well now I feel like I need to go learn to code but See, I do have I do have a teacher if I need one,

Ryan Purvis  38:05  
honestly I would probably say if you if you really I mean the Raspberry Pi's are really good. They're not expensive. You have $35 I think or $2 to get one.

Heather Bicknell  38:18  
Yeah, we have one. I

Unknown Speaker  38:20  
don't think I've even looked at it but yeah.

Ryan Purvis  38:24  
festival Yeah, that's a good challenge. I mean, my brother used to look like he's he said at one is a VPN client for his house, his fridge proxy as well. So they're nice. It is quite a nice magic mirror that some of these guys make where they use a Raspberry Pi to, to power a TV. So nice and thin LED, and it goes and collects like your weather information, your diary, all that kind of stuff. And then put the TV on on a frame and then they put a mirror, mirror but it's a it's a top class or to Gloucester cheaper so you can see through the mirror to the screen but he also see yourself in the mirror and there's color information as you can see your diary and all that stuff and then pies keeping in going keeping it refreshed and you just got this you know beautiful magic mirror as I say that's the last project to do as well if you're if you go to carpentry skills

Heather Bicknell  39:25  
Yeah Is that how the new Have you seen the new like fitness mirrors that are like like peloton but in a mirror form where you can

Unknown Speaker  39:35  
I've not

Ryan Purvis  39:36  
seeing them but I would expect it's exactly the same. Yeah, take that. I mean, you know if you look at the I don't know what the various costs, but I think it probably $200 and I think they're probably doing other things as well. But I wouldn't be surprised if that was the next thing you had in your house was it was a mirror that you looked into that told you all about your your weight and your you know, whatever are smarter So,

Heather Bicknell  40:01  
yeah, I like magic anymore. Everything is smart now. Can Be smart lights, my smart coffeemaker, my smart mirror, do

Ryan Purvis  40:11  
you use my smart stuff in your house?

Unknown Speaker  40:15  
Yeah, I have the hue bulbs,

Heather Bicknell  40:20  
smart speakers. I think that might be kind of the extent of it. The lights I kind of, you know, it's nice to be able to, you know, I have the ones that aren't just white that do different colors. So it's not something I use a ton for that purpose, but just you know, doing them and you know, leaving the house having them automatically turn off once you're a certain distance away or turn on when you're, you know, coming home is nice.

Ryan Purvis  40:54  
Yeah, yeah, we've got downloaders now, so I don't know if I get something for that. I I've changed a lot switches themselves. So that's my next project once we get there, I guess. But I quite liked having I had a nice reading light that I used to set on schedule and fluid or however the dogs were in the lounge and all that. So separate or making turn on this useful stuff like quite a lot quite likely from that point of view, having to like my neighbor's, they've got, they've settled they go colors in the garden. And the colors change based on the schedule and if they watch in a movie, that sort of movie scene, lighting and all that kind of stuff. I know. I know.

Unknown Speaker  41:39  
That's really fun.

Unknown Speaker  41:41  

Ryan Purvis  41:42  
So, so you're gonna lose code. That's that's the next challenge.

Heather Bicknell  41:47  
We'll see. I might break out that Harry Potter kid again just to see just to make the purchase worth it, but I'll give that a go. Good stuff.

Ryan Purvis  41:55  
How's your you're going you're growing thing.

Heather Bicknell  42:00  
Going, going really well, very happy that we made that purchase. And it came with a year subscription to I fit, which is just one of these, like, you know, has workout programs on there and a lot of rowing workouts and it syncs with the machine. So it'll up the magnetic resistance for you. Oh, that's pretty cool. Yeah. And it just is like a guided guided workout. Actually, the series I'm doing now was filmed. The guy's rowing in Zambia. And I'm actually finding it very stressful because he's on this river. And he's talking about how there's like hippos all around and crocodiles, and he's like, constantly feels like he's dodging the hippos and he's talking about how deadly they are. And I'm like, why are you riding on this river? I feel like that's like just getting my heart rate up, like worrying for this guy.

Unknown Speaker  42:53  
But does it mean I guess yeah.

Unknown Speaker  42:56  
Is that our new video as well? A video okay. That's pretty Yeah,

Ryan Purvis  43:00  
it must be for the same route. It's better to learn or or there's other things.

Heather Bicknell  43:05  
Yeah, so that's been, I think, you know, I think I'm hooked on that subscription. Because it just it is very nice to basically have that personal trainer kind of component where they're telling you what to do. And I do think it helped me learn to row better, you know, to understand power versus speed of rowing. So get my technique down, so

Unknown Speaker  43:27  
it's cool.

Unknown Speaker  43:29  

Ryan Purvis  43:32  
Yeah, I mean, we, as part of a health membership, we go to four months of peloton to use during the pandemic, our opinion is going on. And I've been impressed with that experience in the sense of the personal trainer during the class. I mean, I don't do the live class, I do them sort of the next day or whenever I wouldn't do them. But just having this person who's recognizing other people while you work it out, even though you know that it's a really According it's quite good quite like that. What you know if I ever get the money invested a peloton or something similar, just because it's nice, I like the interactive nature of it.

Heather Bicknell  44:11  
Yeah, anything, it's nice to to sit down for like, you know, 40 minutes, 45 minute class, whatever it is. And then you're in that class, you know, versus if I was just doing it on my own maybe with some music or watching something else, it'd be more like, well, I feel a certain point you're, you might be more aware of like physical discomfort. And it's like, you might not make it as long as like an interactive class component. So

Ryan Purvis  44:36  
yeah, I totally agree with that. Nothing as I was doing in 70 videos before that, and I was kind of getting bored of doing the same routine all the time. I mean, they're still tough. There was nothing I can do without breaking a sweat. They are they're still tough, but it's like I like I know I don't like the six sauce. I don't want to do this one. He does get into that sort of thing. Whereas by doing the peloton, ones which are still you know, hate workout. Every single one I don't know so it's completely new fresh and it was also mixing my insanity was I think they met in 70 was a tougher at least I'm breaking them up with a completely fresh material that's always refreshing which is which was quite nice.

Heather Bicknell  45:18  
Yeah some of the rowing workouts are hit style where you'll row for a bit and then get off and do different things and some of them involve like you'll put your feet on the seat and do sort of like inchworm plank kind of stuff and use the machine is like a different sort of workout to which is very interesting. So definitely more creative than I would have been on my own with it.

Ryan Purvis  45:41  
Yeah, well that's the thing is that you know, some of the stuff I think when these guys come up with this weird they think of you know, doing this on the machine because you just get on a row. But I could definitely see how that's interesting.

Heather Bicknell  45:55  
The only problem is now I really want to try out wrote like actual rowing you know, in a boat But I don't know what I'll be able to get my hands on that so need to train up so that by the time I do it, I'll be it will be a breeze.

Ryan Purvis  46:13  
You do get my invited journal on Apple Watch.

Unknown Speaker  46:17  
No, I don't

Heather Bicknell  46:21  
have to check in my I never say good. I'm just gonna say I've never connected with someone an Apple Watch before so I don't know which how the pops up.

Ryan Purvis  46:35  
I see the two gmail account. Okay, right so I don't know what you what you What's your Apple ID is that Gmail or something else?

Heather Bicknell  46:43  
I believe it's my Gmail. I've had it for so long, but it should be my Gmail. I probably just need to check my email. Yeah, because that's

Ryan Purvis  46:50  
why the kids have to say to another invite. No.

Heather Bicknell  46:57  
My my Gmail tends to get buried And a lot of see now that's cool

Ryan Purvis  47:05  
I was you can always invite me in

Unknown Speaker  47:08  

Unknown Speaker  47:10  
cool well that I have to be honest with my stay honest with via

Unknown Speaker  47:18  
someone someone knows that's well

Ryan Purvis  47:20  
that's that's funny that my mates moments come over my watch them like that anything today and they've done you know work out or they're playing golf or something and oh my god I need to go work out so I think it's good good and healthy

Heather Bicknell  47:36  
yeah our time zones gonna be very different to which is

Ryan Purvis  47:40  
what are you gonna wake up to me having no more workout every morning

Heather Bicknell  47:44  
Ryan's already done it I haven't even woken up yet and Ryan's already

Ryan Purvis  47:52  
super sure because it off there.

Heather Bicknell  47:54  
Yeah, I think so good.

Ryan Purvis  48:00  
Thank you for listening to today's episode. And the big one that producer editor. Thank you for your hard work on this episode, Pease subscribers series on iTunes or Google Play Store. Follow us on Twitter at the WWE podcast. The show notes and transcripts are available on the website, www dot digital workspace that works. Please also visit our website www dot digital workspace that works and subscribe to me. And lastly, if you found this episode useful, please share with your friends or colleagues

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