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David Chandler's Journal of Java Web and Mobile Development

  • David M. Chandler


    Web app developer since 1994 and former Developer Advocate with Google now residing in Colorado. Besides tech, I enjoy landscape photography and share my work at ColoradoPhoto.gallery.

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Archive for April, 2014

Android Camp in the Rockies

Posted by David Chandler on April 29, 2014

Photo of Android green robot in RMNP

Join me in the Rockies Aug 25-29

Calling all mountain lovers who’ve been thinking about learning Android development…

Ever feel like you’re just a bit too ADD to spend all week in a nondescript classroom and pay big bucks to stay in a downtown hotel where there’s not much to do? Does your brain hurt after working exercise after tedious exercise using courseware that adds little value over the API docs? Do you gain weight eating on the expense account without much exercise?

Me too. Besides these problems, in my past training experience I’ve found that many students find it difficult to maintain concentrated technical attention 8 hours at a time (yeah, it happens in the workplace, too). For myself, I find that I frequently want take a walk, preferably somewhere more refreshing than the parking lot or around the downtown block.

So I started looking around for venues in more refreshing places. I thought of Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs (see the pattern?). But then I realized that as long as my mind would still be in the mountains, I might as well put my body there, too.

So this is a bit of an experiment. I’m offering a 5-day Android bootcamp with lodging and meals included in one of the most refreshing spots on earth, YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center. We have about 3 solid days of material, so we can cover it in 3, 4, or 5 days, and work around the weather for hiking. In the evenings, you can head into the bustling town of Estes Park or hang out in the meeting room to work on an app project with others in the group. We’ll have some special activities, too, like a BBQ or ice cream social. Because most schools in the US now start in early Aug, the last two weeks see a thinning out of the crowds. Which makes it a great time to visit RMNP, especially if you want to access the high trails free of snow.

Over the five days, we will learn the basics of Android development with an emphasis on enterprise apps. If you finish with a lab early or need a short break, you can play mini-golf or go elk-spotting in the woods at the center. During longer breaks, you can grab a buddy and go for a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. I know the trails quite well and look forward to sharing them with you if you’re so inclined. If you’re really nice, I’ll talk you to the spot where I took the photo above. Bring your tripod for HDR 🙂

For further description, syllabus, cost, etc., see the full event listing on EventBrite below.

See you in Colorado!

Eventbrite - Android Bootcamp in the Rockies Aug 18-22

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Ruh-roh, I think my brain is re-wiring

Posted by David Chandler on April 26, 2014

Spanish is starting to sound natural to me. This is very, very good news. But English… I can hardly spit this out: I’ve been making spelling mistakes. With increasing frequency, Gmail or Google Docs has put a red squiggly under a word after I’ve moved on the next one. At first I questioned why the spellchecker didn’t have certain words in the dictionary. But as it’s kept happening, I’m afraid there might be a better explanation. Spelling mistakes are very much a new thing for me (go ahead and laugh–please remember that I was very disappointed when I came runner up in the 3rd or 4th grade spelling bee). The other night, it took me until the next morning to remember the instinctive spelling of “legitimate.” For a long time, I sat staring at the red squiggly. I tried all kinds of things that didn’t make the squiggly go away and only the next day while I was walking downtown or maybe sitting in the kitchen, the word suddenly sort of appeared in my brain and it was obvious again.

Spelling isn’t all that’s wrong, however. I routinely find, upon re-reading what I’ve written, that left a word out or put in one the wrong order. This is very troubling! I have rarely needed to double-check my writing for grammar and spelling mistakes. No the purpose of revision is to smooth any rough edges [ok, this is getting ridiculous–the errors in the second sentence were for fun, but I really did forget the comma after “No” just now]. There are two possible explanations for this phenomenon. One is that I’m getting old. Of course, I know better than that. The second is that as I learn Spanish, my brain is somehow re-wiring. If that truly is the case, then I am left in complete awe of the Creator of the human mind. The capacity for learning our first language is a miracle, especially when you consider that two year olds do it. But the capacity to learn a second language at age 43, well… it blows my mind.

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