Learning while you learn

by Joost Agterhoek — on  ,  , 


It's been almost a month since my last confession (uhh, post). We have been (again) busy moving, this time to a (hopefully) permanent residence. Because of this, this website has been down for a few weeks and outside of work, I haven't really touched a computer: there was always a box to lift or lost kitchen appliance to look for.

What I noticed in this time of little to no selfstudy or recreational typing, is that I started to miss programming. Of course, I am only still LEARNING how to program, but while I can find it a daunting, frustrating thing to do, it's also starting to click with me: I might really like it.

What made me realize this, was both this sense of yearning to go back to exercises out of Learn Python 3 The Hard Way (see my code here), but also that I got to do some (low, no) coding at work.

Specifically, as I talked about in this blog post, building Azure Logic Apps for Microsoft Sentinel. This includes a workbook to easily triage user activity when researching incidents and through API requests enriching incidents with IP and file checks.

While it's more low or no-code, the notion of taking a useful parameter from one component and reusing it in another function, did remind me of some Python or C exercises I've had. Also, I got a quick (and tough) class in JSON Path, filtering specific values from incident entity information. I had never worked with JSON (or JSON Path) in the past, but simple trial and error and websites like https://jsonpath.com/ ultimately helped me to get the exact values I wanted, which could then be reused in a KQL query to properly inform my colleagues!

As I now hope to return to more programming time in the near future (just today I got some function imports and object handling figured out in Python), I find myself enjoying the idea: having a problem in front of me, thinking it through, really focusing on what ways I can solve it, potentially learn some new solution or way to use what code or work I already have. As you learn a new skill or try out a new hobby, you are also really learning about yourself: what kind of person you are, what excites you. And maybe, just maybe. Programming is one of those things for me.

Image source: Ivan Shemereko on Unsplash