Drawabox - A Full Review

A full review of Drawabox. Time taken: 2.5 years. Skills learnt: Invaluable.

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Its been a really long time coming for this review. I posted my first review of the Drawabox lessons way back in September 2018, about 8 months after I started lesson 1. Those reviews were written a distance from having completed the content, which meant I'd had time to really consider the learning material. The rest of the reviews were posted a few days to a few weeks after the lesson, though in all cases, after I'd received critique from Uncomfortable. You can read them by following this link.

I'm going to start with a review of the final lesson and then the course as a whole, going over the things that I learned from this course and why it's helped so much more with my drawing skills than anything else I've tried.

HarvardX CS50 - A Full Review

After nearly 6 months of study, I've finally finished CS50. These are my thoughts on the course and what I learned from it.

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Back in February, I started studying CS50x. Whilst the course is split into 8 weeks before splitting off into specialised tracks, I took much longer to complete it. I finally finished the course on 23 July 2020, nearly 6 months after I began. The course is an introduction to computer science, algorithmic thinking, and programming. It introduces students first to Scratch, C, Python, and a few other languages depending on specialisation. The final project is a freeform assignment that can be anything the student wants, coded in absolutely any language.

I published my overviews of the various problem sets here so I won't go too much into the problems I solved beyond their impact on my learning. This article, published in 2018 gives kind of an overview of where I was at with my journey to learn to code before I took CS50. At that time I was working through a discrete mathematics book and starting to grasp some of the concepts, though not to the level where I could break out of the same patterns of solving problems.

Draw A Box - 25 Wheel Challenge

Draw A Box - 25 Wheel Challenge - Time Taken: 18 Days.

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This challenge was kind of a weird one for me. I struggled with it a lot but ultimately didn't feel like I nailed down any of the concepts by the end. I once again had to struggle with my gloopy Bic Round Stic and constant smudging. 

Basically the challenge asks you to draw 25 wheels in various rotations and designs. I picked a lot of non-car wheels because I couldn't for the life of me get them to look symmetrical and my ellipse guide is quite small, so I was limited in my ability to actually apply detail to them. That said, I did my best with what I had and freehanded a great deal of them - luckily my ellipses are reasonably tight and accurate these days, though I still struggle with my freehand minor axis alignment.

Draw A Box - Lesson 6

Draw A Box - Lesson 6 - Everyday Objects - Time Taken: 27 Days.

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I kind of feel like I'm killing it lately. That's a weird way to start a post about my Drawabox journey, but it's how I'm feeling lately. Despite some initial feelings of anxiety, the lockdown has honestly seen me thriving. I no longer have an hour long commute, which allows me to jump straight to drawing or other hobbies when I'm finished working, which has in turn really helped my work/life balance. 

Following completion of the cylinder challenge in 19 days, I moved onwards to lesson 6 which I completed in 27 days. For me, this is really quick, especially since I'm spending 50% of my time just drawing for the sake of it and I'm just generally drawing a lot at the moment. At the time of writing, I have filled 109 pages in the month of May, which is an average of about 4.5 pages per day. 

CS50 is a first year university course offered by Harvard University and more recently, Yale University, which dives into the basics of computer science, exploring algorithmic thinking and teaching students how to code in a variety of languages including Scratch, C, and Python, amongst others. In the last few weeks of the course, it offers a choice of three tracks - game, web, or mobile development that students can explore and create their final project which is encouraged to be something which is useful beyond the course.

The online course which is known as CS50x offers a stripped down experience of the real course. The assignments, known as problem sets (or psets), are marked against certain criteria and a number of test cases by an automated program. All of your coursework is pushed into individual branches of your own CS50 GitHub repository. I've copied these branches into a single repository for ease of perusal, which can be found here.

CS50 is a first year university course offered by Harvard University and more recently, Yale University, which dives into the basics of computer science, exploring algorithmic thinking and teaching students how to code in a variety of languages including Scratch, C, and Python, amongst others. In the last few weeks of the course, it offers a choice of three tracks - game, web, or mobile development that students can explore and create their final project which is encouraged to be something which is useful beyond the course.

The online course which is known as CS50x offers a stripped down experience of the real course. The assignments, known as problem sets (or psets), are marked against certain criteria and a number of test cases by an automated program. All of your coursework is pushed into individual branches of your own CS50 GitHub repository. I've copied these branches into a single repository for ease of perusal, which can be found here.

CS50 is a first year university course offered by Harvard University and more recently, Yale University, which dives into the basics of computer science, exploring algorithmic thinking and teaching students how to code in a variety of languages including Scratch, C, and Python, amongst others. In the last few weeks of the course, it offers a choice of three tracks - game, web, or mobile development that students can explore and create their final project which is encouraged to be something which is useful beyond the course.

The online course which is known as CS50x offers a stripped down experience of the real course. The assignments, known as problem sets (or psets), are marked against certain criteria and a number of test cases by an automated program. All of your coursework is pushed into individual branches of your own CS50 GitHub repository. I've copied these branches into a single repository for ease of perusal, which can be found here.

Draw A Box - 250 Cylinder Challenge

Draw A Box - 250 Cylinder Challenge - Time Taken: 19 Days.

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Following my longest lesson ever, my shortest lesson ever! 

The task: Draw 250 cylinders - 150 of those on an arbitrary minor axis, 100 constructed within a box. This was another one of those lessons where I wasn't really sure if I was learning till I got to the very end. A bit like the 250 box challenge. It also exposed some serious flaws in my ability to draw boxes.

Surprisingly, both the 150 arbitrary and 100 box cylinders took me roughly the same amount of time - 9 and 10 days respectively.