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Today I finished the GPA calculator. The code and work at times was difficult but I was able to fix all the errors and try functions that I hadn’t done in the books practices. Both programming books I’ve used have given set instructions on how to do the work. Doing this project on my own was nice because I didn’t have to worry about what the book said and debugging wasn’t simply just looking at the book and figuring out what part of my code was different. It was very satisfying to code my own project without having to keep checking directions.

The above picture is my GPA calculator that I coded. It had four number inputs and a button that when pressed displays the results. The result text box is empty by default so it pops in when the button is tapped.  The errors that I ran into I was able to fix with stackoverflow and looking at my other projects. It felt very good to look at my phone and see the app that I had coded on my own.

Overall I really enjoyed coding Java. It can be confusing sometimes but it is the perfect mix of being able to see it and just code. Python for me has just been all text and wordy if statements. There is no pretty things to look at. Java is very tangible and I like being able to add a widget and see the change.

I plan on continuing Java programming over the summer. I hope that by then I will be very good at it. I have also googled that there are now books about how to use android studio and I might get one of them as the eclipse book is already outdated.

10/10 Would code again

Chapter 2

Today I finished chapter three in the book. This chapter focused on user inputs and using math operators. This week involved taking input from a spinner(which is a list of options) and a number input. The inputs were then multiplied by 59.99. All of the tickets had the same and the price didn’t matter.

The project wasn’t very difficult and overall was very enjoyable and easy to do. I had a couple issues with running my code at the end and typing the onclicklisteners. At the end my code wouldn’t run on the emulator, it would immediately crash. This error was caused by trying to change the theme. I had changed the wrong attribute. The other error with the onclicklisteners was only because I hadn’t auto completed the lines and had hard coded it.

This week I will be working on my final project. I am going to try and make a GPA calculator. Using the math I just learned I should be able to do the path and have it show the end value. I hope this will be possible with my current level of knowledge.


This week I really tried to buckle down and work on coding instead of doing other things. The weekend was more of just me being frustrated at coding not working. Today I finally got it. I had problems coding button controls and on click listeners and was able to code it thanks to my friends android studio and auto complete.

This week I learned that auto complete is a very necessary tool for java. For a language that has a lot of confusing elements that need to be put in certain spots inside other codes. Whereas with other languages auto complete is rarely required and is more of a luxury. Once I was able to code the button controls I was able to code my own app using button controls within 30 minutes.

The next week involves using input and operators. This will help with my goal of wanting to build a GPA calculator. I’ve wanted to do this because most online GPA calculators are for college  and it is a simple thing that will be good practice.

Music MOOC

Because of the recent difficulty I have encountered in my independent study I have changed gears and have been enrolled in a MOOC on music production for the past six weeks. I have dabbled in sound design and music production before but I have never received any formal education in music production so it is tricky.

I am taking the course through Coursera. The course is VERY informative on the technical aspects of what the stuff is.  Each week has a topic and all the lessons are video lessons and they are very easy to understand and make sense. I also like being able to learn what is technically happening.

This MOOC  very organized and I like watching the videos for it. It also gives more freedom to experiment which the programming MOOC didn’t really do. I feel this difference made it much better then the programming MOOC.

Practice makes better

This week in my programming adventures I encountered an annoying problem. The book that I am using is for eclipse but I am using android studios. I haven’t been able to figure out how to make a button that changes the page in Android studio . This caused me to stop and review the basics that I’ve learned to practice.

This week I did some of the basic projects and fooled around with text boxes and importing pictures. The XML part of the code is easy for me but once the Java and classes are thrown in it can become surprisingly hard.

Next week I will have hopefully found a video tutorial or article that will help me. I will then continue with the book and see where that takes me.


This week I started programming on my own. I had difficulty installing eclipse. When I started my own projects it would generate with errors and it couldn’t display the XML properly. XML is the code that tells the screen what to look like. I decided to go back to using android studio. I quickly discovered that android studio was very similar to eclipse. I switched back to android studio and so far its been working.

This week I did basic tasks like putting text views and pictures into the XML. It’s surprisingly easy to do and I like being able to code and see the results of my work immediately.

I’m working on being able to use a button to transfer to a different XML page. It doesn’t seem too difficult but in involves making a lot of XML and Java documents.


This week I continue my programming escapades, without the guiding hand of the MOOC. Instead now I continue with a book. I’m reading Android Boot Camp For Developers Using Java. The book looks very good. It has lots of diagrams and seems very in dept.

So far I have only set up the eclipse environment. The installation wasn’t easy. I was expecting the install to be easier then the Android Studio install but it wasn’t significantly easier.

The future weeks will be coding on my own and using the book as a guide. I have no clue what I plan on coding in the future. I think what I code will be based of my skills then any plan or goal of what I want to make.

MOOC Summary

Most of the independent study I’m in is focusing on the MOOC (Massively Open Online Course). However the MOOC is over and my programming escapades will continue. This post is to reflect on the overall experience of the MOOC as opposed to the content.

The MOOC overall was decent, I wasn’t very happy with it at all times but it was effective at teaching the basics of java programming. The instructions were good and they were able to get the  basics across effectively.  The tests and quizzes were also a major help. I found often the syntax was best explained in the explanations on incorrect questions.

I felt the more complex skills weren’t as easily communicated. You could watch the video as many times as you want but it will still say the same things.The course often had discussions. I would rarely participate in them. I often felt that if I post something that I want to do then no one would probably read it and there’s no point. That’s just me. Could I have missed some content or connection by not participating? Maybe.

Overall I see massive online courses as a good way to learn. It was enjoyable at times and got me to do things I wouldn’t have done on my own. I wouldn’t have used android studio on my own.  It would’ve been my preference to use a different environment instead. Overall the MOOC did more help then harm.

10/10 Would Code Again

Final test

Week 7 and the last week of the MOOC is complete. Week seven was mostly quizzes and tests to see if you understand the material. On the tests my average score was 91%.  There were also videos encouraging programming on your own and trying to deconstruct video games to try and understand how they work.

Week seven wasn’t bad. The quizzes and tests definitely help me practice the syntax. However I do not feel like I have the knowledge to start a project on my own and create anything near a playable game.

Next week I will be venturing into the wide world of programming on my own, probably with a book. I’m looking forward to starting my own stuff and it will be easier considering I know the basic syntax and loops.