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Perl and School

by perl.j (Pilgrim)
on Aug 24, 2011 at 18:00 UTC ( #922160=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

So I start school (I'm in High School) in a few days and I'm not looking forward to it. It's not that I dislike school, I just dislike going to school (early wake-up) and coming home from school (homework). I want to somehow incorporate Perl with School. For example:

  • Write a program to help me do my math faster
  • Write a program to keep track of how much I study
  • Write a program to tell me how much time my homework should take me

These are all fun and dandy, but I want something more in depth. More of a project. More of something that Everyone, young and old, would actually use. Do you Monks have any idea what I could do that incorporates some or all of what I want to do together? Do you think I will have to learn a lot or a little more Perl (let's say I can do everything in the book Learning Perl, plus basic OOP, references, create Modules)? Do you think this can help not only me, but other kids in my school, area, etc.? Please do not hesitate to voice your ideas/opinions on this. Thanks!


Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Perl and School
by moritz (Cardinal) on Aug 24, 2011 at 20:18 UTC

    Let's start with the bottom of your post: Your current skills are certainly enough to start a project. You'll need to learn more as you go along, and that's the best way of learning for many people.

    As for small things, I found generating some graphics to be quite rewarding. A bit basic geometry and SVG lets you quickly create graphics which give you visual feedback -- something I always liked. Once you learn about the trig functions (like sin, cos, tan) you can do almost everything in graphics you set your mind to, and playing with them in graphics gives you a much better feeling for them.

    For the bigger projects I don't think I can give good recommendations, because it will have to be something that you want, otherwise your motivation will die out rather quickly.

    But what I want to point is that with the Internet, very cool projects are possible with rather little programming knowledge. Open Street Map allows you to build earth maps according to your liking, Amazon provides meta data for very many books, Wikipedia has lists of famous persons, historical events by date etc. There's a huge load of data out there that you can turn into something awesome -- only your imagination is your limit.

    And don't worry that everybody should use it -- if you want to use your own program, that's a very good start, maybe others will follow.

      Thank You. Your post is basically what I was looking for. +1 for you.
Re: Perl and School
by MidLifeXis (Monsignor) on Aug 24, 2011 at 19:05 UTC

    Find an itch that you want to scratch. I am sure that you don't want to scratch my itch, and I don't want to scratch yours. If you have some vested interest in the project, it will help to motivate you to complete it.

    Perhaps something to help with a club or group you are a part of. How about checking with your local college or ACM chapter to see if they have a high school programming contest. How about starting up one of your own. What about an application to manage the stats for the $favorite_sport team that you are interested in. Keeping track of rankings for your local tidleywinks club.


      Great ideas. I especially liked the "Sport Stats" idea. I am a basketball player so maybe that would't be a bad idea.

        Go to the basketball coach and ask what would be useful. That way, you will (a) avoid inventing a wheel that already exists, (b) start to experience the delight of writing for other people whose reaction is "I know that's what I said but it isn't what I meant". :-)


        John Davies

Re: Perl and School
by luis.roca (Deacon) on Aug 25, 2011 at 04:35 UTC

    I would highly recommend Mind Performance Hacks and the supporting site by Ron Hale Evans.

    He has a wide range of great strategies that help you improve memory, skills (including math) and organization. While it's not specifically a Perl book, there are a number of helpful tools provided written in Perl (Like creating a random theme generator for stories which could easily be used for essays). The author is a game designer and while he makes the book fun it's VERY useful. I would be surprised if you did not find at least a few tips in there that help you improve your study habits. :)

    "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote
Re: Perl and School
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Aug 24, 2011 at 20:39 UTC

    When I was in high school ... (never mind how many years ago, but let’s just say that the “personal” computers of the day were made by Altair, IMSAI, and SwTPC) ... I literally made up reasons to write computer programs.   I wrote programs to help me solve geometric proofs (which I despised, still do); programs for the local Explorer post of which I was a member; a program (my very first) to play the game of Fox, Chicken, Corn.   And that, minus perhaps the barnyard creatures and grain products, is precisely what I would suggest that you do ... continuously.

    No matter what they tell you in school (or in training classes) about diplomas and certificates and blah-blah, computer software truly is one of the last remaining crafts, and the only way to learn how to do it is to do it.   A lot.   “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”   “Practice, man! Practice!”

    May programming always continue to engage your interest, reward your creativity, and enable you to always be proud of what you have done.   Such has been my experience, and so I consider myself to be very lucky, indeed.

      So let me try to summarize this :-). "Make up your own problems"! LOL. Just kidding but this was great advise.
Re: Perl and School
by zentara (Archbishop) on Aug 25, 2011 at 13:25 UTC
    Learn to make Graphical User Interfaces, like Tk, Wx, Gtk2, and Tk::Zinc. That adds a real WoW factor, especially for high schoolers. :-) Check out the demo's that come with each module.

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh
Re: Perl and School
by Not_a_Number (Prior) on Aug 24, 2011 at 18:42 UTC

    How about hacking into the school database to bump up your grades?


      And what would happen if I got caught ;-). I would rather earn my straight As :-).
Re: Perl and School
by jdrago999 (Pilgrim) on Sep 26, 2011 at 17:43 UTC

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