The learning path

The learning path

I set out a little over a month and a half ago to gain a deeper understanding of things I mostly just learned through doing over the past 16 or so years.

Started out with Head First C because I have been writing C for Arduino but never actually sat down and learned it. I just looked at examples and hacked it out until things worked how I wanted them. That book was quite useful, in fact I filled 2 notebooks from it.

From there I went on to learning C++ since I had not actually spent any time with it since ~2006 or so and had forgotten a good chunk of what I knew, not to mention all the new features. I started with which was pretty in depth but did kinda fall apart near the end there. Then because I wasn't terribly confident (Still am not, though certainly am more so) I picked up a Udemy course to help me review and maybe cover what I may have missed. Filled 3 more notebooks.

Then to take a break from C and C++ for a while I set about learning SQL, which was long overdue as I had been using it in a lot of things over the years. I have mostly been relying on ORMs which are actually fine, nothing wrong with that at all but I wanted to understand what was going on under the hood. Filled only a single notebook but it's not really the quantity of the information is it? It's the quality. I learned that from this Udemy course and will probably review it with Head First SQL at some time in the future just to make sure it sticks, maybe pick up some stuff not covered in the course.

Now in the past week I have moved on to Unreal 4, which by my reckoning is probably the most bang for my buck as far as game engines go as I could use it not only for games but for robotics and even animated shows if I should want. It has been a pain though, I bought 2 courses for beginning and one for networking and the first course required Visual Assist in order to follow along properly... can't afford that, plus it's a pretty old version of the engine, so I figured I would just save it for review. (Noticing a pattern?) The second one which I am currently working through is sort of obnoxiously wholesome if that's a good descriptor... not sure. Not to mention it comes from the assumption you have no idea what you are doing with C++ so I find myself kinda drifting off when they explain something I have spent several weeks drilling into my head.

While not a bad course by any means I would say it is very slow moving which is fine for most people I guess? I don't know, I'm not most people, I'm me. The projects use assets that remind me of kindergarten posters which I don't know... it just feels wrong to be doing stuff like that with Unreal. I've tried several courses from and you'd think I would learn not to buy them anymore because I usually get about 1/3 to halfway and just get sick of it whether because of pacing or the instructors or something I may not even be aware of.

I study and work through courses M/W/F and work on projects Tues/Thurs so today, being a friday I am about to delve back into the course and make an attempt to soldier through. If I find myself just not feeling it I will probably just try using the Unreal learning portal and docs and bang it out that way. I have really been questioning why I am even bothering with Unreal Engine at all since I started this course so it must be taking a toll.

Sort of off topic, but not really; I really do like Godot. I like the way it works, I like that it hides all the complicated stuff until you need it. I like how instead of crashing outright and forcing you to reload it it will handle exceptions. I am fond of GDScript since it is very pythonic and because I spend so much time with python it just comes kinda naturally to me.

I would just stick to using python all the time except for the lack of multi-threading. (now we're really getting off topic) I feel like if I were to try and write any kind of high CCU server in python it would be incredibly inefficient and I would have to spread the load over more machines than if I used C or C++. Python has been really easy for me to just think about a problem and solve it sometimes in a ham-fisted way that just gets the job done but hey, solved it, right?

Every time I think about getting back to this course I just feel my energy drain away and keep coming up with things to write about here, this can't be a good sign... I can't bring myself to type the words "Off I go, gotta get started on this course" with any seriousness my heart sinks. Do I really hate it that much? Maybe I should just go straight to the Unreal learning portal instead. Normally I would just tough it out through hard parts of courses but this isn't a hard part issue. I can't tell if I hate the engine or the course, though I am pretty sure it is the course I find myself not wanting to touch the engine anymore since Wednesday.

Maybe I should take a break from courses in general aside from casually working through the unreal portal and maybe like an hour or 2 of digital art instead focus my M,W,F on actually doing stuff in either Unreal or Godot. I had been wanting to work out some kind of ORPG/MMO structure and I do have some resources to at least get started. There's also Tamakai I had been wanting to do more work on... though I would need to add the code to a repo as it's barely a prototype sitting on my office computer. I often wonder while I am working on courses if maybe I should just be working on projects. I do learn better by doing... but then in my head I am constantly questioning if I am doing things wrong or forming bad practices.

Man this post went on long. Took about an hour to write but I was doing a few other things. Over 1100 words so far. Probably reads more like a journal entry than a blog post, too. Ah well, spent all this time writing it so I may as well post it. I think I might start messing around with trying to write some MMO servers in C++ or Godot today. Maybe I will just spend one day a week trying to work out Unreal for a while until I either get a taste for working with it or decide not to use it at all.

I think maybe I will start with trying to implement at least an ORPG in Godot. Maybe work on Tamakai a bit too (I want to at least have the server operational so I can build some hardware from an esp32 to interact with it). Yeah, come to think of it... I am kinda wasting my time in courses now. I got a lot of interesting projects I could learn from. So yeah, down to a day a week with the Unreal for now(if that).

I'm off to make a repo of that very basic code I have for Tamakai so I can edit it here later and then I will begin trying to implement an ORPG in Godot.

Cheers. Thanks for reading this far if you did. Wouldn't blame you if you didn't.