I’ve done a ton of programming over this last week. I worked on my portfolio page, and did some work on my own personal projects as well. Sometimes with programming, I feel like I learned something I could do differently to make things easier for me for the next time. Other times, something unpredictable happens that is completely baffling, and it can be pretty frustrating. This week, I experienced both feelings. I’ll tell you the good things first.
Working on my portfolio went well. One thing I learned is that it may have gone a bit better if I hadn’t have used a template. Don’t get me wrong, templates are awesome. They allow you to get your page off the ground much faster than writing it from scratch, and they give you a great place for you to start putting your thoughts and ideas onto the screen. However, I feel like because I was using a template, it actually slowed me down from coming up with my own ideas. Instead, I would end up just changing how one small part of the page would function or appear. If I had of just written the page from scratch, or used a very simple template, I feel like I would have had an easier time coming up with new ideas. They would have started popping up into my head as I was creating the different elements of the page.
Another thing about using a complex template is that it makes it such a huge task to change anything on the page. Rather than just building the different parts of the site as the way you imagine, you have to sift through hundreds of lines of someone else’s code before you can find the part that does what you think it does. I think that next time, I will either write the page from scratch, or use a much more basic template. Maybe something with just a navigation bar and a footer. It would probably inspire more creativity, as elements of the page would mostly be my own creations, rather than just being recycled from the template. Who knows though, we’ll find out! That’s what working on these types of projects is all about. I could end up being completely wrong, and that’s okay because I’ll have learned for the next time.
As for my personal programming projects, I’ve been toying with my programming language, trying out some new ways of increasing efficiency. While I was testing some things like loops, I found an anomaly that is beyond my scope as a software programmer. Apparently it is faster for my compiler to transform the source code into a bytecode file, and then run the resulting file – Than it is to just run the previously compiled bytecode file. It is not just a small time difference either, the second scenario was taking around 30 seconds whereas the first would take around 15.
After testing this many times, I found that it isn’t just a coincidence. It’s some sort of wizardry. At first I thought that the first scenario was faster because the file was fresh in memory. However, after numerous tests, I still could not beat the time of the first case. I tried many things such as loading the old file into memory, copying it into another file and then executing the resulting file, but no dice. This problem has me completely perplexed, as theoretically the second scenario should be the faster one. All this tells me is that there is probably some greater being out there that has it out for me, and does not want me to work on this project.