Forget Kotlin

This is the future.

Kotlin has some nice structures for sure, but nothing to match fetlang. It just needs a JVM crosspiler and we are game on.



I did this (free) course recently:

Udacity Firebase in a weekend

(I did it mid week – NO ONE tells me when to study!) (/irony)

The course was good, I like the Udacity/Google courses, a lot of thought goes into them.

But anyway, Firebase…

The chocolate factory oompa loompas did all that shitty plumbing no one wants to do. And it seems they did it well. And they are giving it away for free. (For unpopular apps anyway (like mine…))

Having had to do some of that back end shizzle in the past I cannot believe how easy and frictionless getting a (fairly trivial, it has to be said) messaging app up and running was. And what a load of grind they have removed.

I’m sure parse server and the other similar systems do the same stuffs. But anyway I am (now) a big fan of these – I shall invest more time to learn more. Firebase is handy though as you just log in to goog and fire up a new app and you are away – no server installs and gaping infrastructure security holes when you miss some update admin crap. (there still might be security holes of course – just SEPs (someone else’s problem)).

I didn’t bother with firebase analytics in the last app I developed, a. because it was quite simple, and b. to minimise required permissions / maximise privacy. But as you need network access for ads, I’m not sure I ended up with that much less. Maybe I should stick fa in and see how few people are downloading and using it in even more gory detail than the play console.

App is already 90% developed by external contractors/developers


So how long will the other 10% take?

I’m guessing the budget is 1/9 of what those devs took?

No one heard that the last 20% takes as long as the first 80?

Unless those externals have such a good design, can communicate it and requirements haven’t evolved, and won’t change further…

In that case it will only need about 100% of the time they took to understand what they did, and another 100 to add decent tests and finish off the agreed, locked down 10% of functionality. But add another 100 for the inevitable changes – no point delivering something the users don’t want – even if it is what they said they wanted.

maybe its fully ‘documented’?

where do I apply….


Normally I have done face to face training, usually booking on the standard week long courses when I want to learn something. Usually last minute, usually at a healthy discount.

I have done C++, COM, MFC, IOS, .net MCSD, SQL Server, Energy trading, derivatives, Essbase, Oracle, Ethical Hacking etc etc I’m sure there are others I can’t remember. All self funded, all for personal development, all around 5 days in a classroom each. Part of being a contractor rather than relying on an employer to offer development in what suits them.

You’ll notice two big gaps in that: VB/VBA – how I have made my living for the last 15 or so years. And Android – how I intend to feed the family going forward. (with a good bit of VBA I suspect).

VBA, I learnt initially from a book, god it was dull, and hard, and made me sleepy. Since then I have obviously picked up a few decades experience and a Huuge library (of books and code).

Android, I decided to try just the internet, that was bonk, so I signed up to Udacity and Udemy for on demand video courses. Just recently I have been using mainly Udemy, but I have some things lined up in Udacity for the near future.

First off Udemy pricing is well sketchy, you need to be on the ball to get a sensible price. And it turns out if you are logged in they offer you worse prices then if not, so clear out that browser cache before clicking buy.

I’ll cover later my in depth view of this sort of learning but I really just wanted to call out a recent experience.

I picked up a new Udemy course today, and was working through it thinking wow this guy is buzzing (a bit like that squirrel(/raccoon??) in over the hedge) talking fast, very engaging, animated one might say – a bit like he was speeding. It was stuff I was pretty comfortable with so this was ok and in fact I liked the pace. Then I noticed his voice was maybe a little higher than expected (he is not a native English speaker so had some novel intonation anyway).

Then it struck me – I was playing the video at 1.5 speed!

I had been reviewing some previous stuff and not reset the speed, 1.5 I think is a bit fast but 1.25 is very doable – covering 10 hours stuff in 8 is not bad time management I think.

I use the Android app on my tablet, overall I think its pretty good, I have probably done about 10 courses from there now, and have a few more in my todo box. It can download and store content locally, which you need otherwise you will be watching very stuttery vids interspersed with the spinning wheel of irritation. Also with it being a separate device its easy to code along without flicking between windows.

What are your experiences with/views of on-demand video courses?