Fun with APIs

I’ve been getting back into the groove lately with my college studies. I literally blazed through the JavaScript modules in two intense, daylong sessions last weekend. I shaved about a month off of the time it will take to complete my studies, and I’m fairly sure I can knock out PHP/MySQL by next week (or the week after that).

I finally feel excited about web development, and a big reason for that is discovering some of the cool API’s out there covering subjects I’m actually interested in. Programming isn’t really an isolated domain; programming is something you do to solve a particular problem in some other domain (music, medicine, astronomy, nutrition, finance, hog farming, etc). The advice I’d give anyone who wants to learn about web development would be, “Find some cool, free API’s, and start playing around with them.” Sure, you still have to learn the boring stuff first, but a spoonful of sugar helps the boring stuff go down, and there is nothing sweeter than working with data in a domain that you actually care about (or, a domain that is relevant to your job).