My Background in Coding

Where I started with coding.

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When I was 10, my sister was learning QBASIC at high school. As most younger siblings do, I harassed my sister to entertain me almost constantly. Eventually, my sister got annoyed with me and handed me some floppy disks with games on them so I would leave her alone. These games were written in QBASIC and the files were not compiled, so I had to open the IDE (or the equivalent of) to play them. After I quickly got bored with the rather simple games, I started to mess around with the QBASIC code to see what would happen if I changed things around.

From this, I taught myself how to make my own programs; these were usually quizzes that I asked everyone in my family to complete and usually were some form of Harry Potter trivia (I was seriously obsessed). My sister was also learning HTML at school and those floppy disks contained some of the websites she'd built. They were your typical 90s web design fare with animated GIFs, marquee and blink tags, and clashing colour schemes. As with the QBASIC programs, I opened these webpages up (with some guidance from my sister) in Notepad and started moving things about to figure out what was going on. This was late 1990s, early 2000s and we had the internet but my mum ran a business so I was only allowed two hours a week on the internet in one hour blocks so I didn't tie up the phone line for too long.

Draw A Box - Lesson 2

Draw A Box - Lesson 2 - Time Taken: 87 Days.

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After submitting my 250 box challenge, I was cleared to start [lesson 2]( Where lesson 1's focus is on straight lines, I'd say lesson 2's focus is on organic and curved lines. The lesson starts out with organic forms (I'll call them sausages) with contour ellipses and lines, it then moves on to adding texture to these from reference images, before tackling form intersections; both geometric and organic. Lesson 2 is more involved than lesson 1, but less so than the box challenge. I spent around three months on this lesson and that was… kind of my own fault. I'd in no way recommend anyone spend as long as I did on some of these exercises. So let's look at lesson 2.

Draw A Box - 250 Box Challenge

Draw A Box - 250 Box Challenge - Time Taken: 69 Days.

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Once I finished [Lesson 1](, I was instructed to tackle the 250 box challenge because my boxes were, frankly, woeful. You might be thinking "250?! Why would you draw that many boxes?" or if you're familiar with the Draw A Box curriculum, you might be feeling my pain. The intention of drawing 250 boxes was to improve the student's understanding of 3D space. This unique form of torture started when a student kept bothering the creator of Draw A Box with questions and, in an attempt to get the student to leave him alone, instructed them to draw 250 boxes. When the student returned after drawing 250 boxes, they said that it helped them with their understanding of 3D space and so, it was then a task routinely assigned to those following Draw A Box. So, it was with that knowledge that I started the 250 box challenge.

Draw A Box - Lesson 1

Draw A Box - Lesson 1 - Time Taken: 51 Days.

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Way back, probably 2-3 years ago, I found a community on Reddit called /r/ArtFundamentals which I subsequently subscribed to out of interest because the lessons looked interesting and ended up following their Facebook page as well. Fast forward to around October 2017 and the Facebook page posted up a link to their Discord server, which I'd started using heavily a few months back for online gaming. I decided to join up to the Discord server, was greeted by some… odd characters… and nearly a year down the track, I'm still hanging out there. What was interesting was how long it took me to actually start the lessons, even though I was hanging out on the Discord every day. I was offering critique to those that asked because whilst I can't draw very well myself, my degree trained my eye pretty well. It wasn't until late January 2018 that I actually sat down, set aside my preconceptions of my own skill level, and attempted the first lesson on