Evan Beard

info & contact

Evan Beard

I'm from Annapolis, MD. I work at A+ and live in Los Angeles.

You can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Github. Reach me at .

Could Siri change the way we speak?

September 22, 2012

I was in my car today, and pressed my makeshift bluetooth Siri button to make a call. "Call David Wehrs" I said. But I heard myself pronounce my friend's last name with a rather awkward accent, drawing out the H, and I wasn't sure why. Until I heard Siri repeat back to me, "Calling David Wehhhrs". I had said my friend's last name the same way that Siri had repeated it back to me many times before. I wonder if the software engineers working on these text-to-speech interfaces consider that the pronunciation that results from their many lines of code can change the way that people actually speak. With Apple alone predicted to sell over 1 billion iOS devices by 2015, this seems like a subtle eventuality.
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Curriculum for Learning to Program

October 05, 2011

Introduction Many people have asked me to teach them how to program, so I have created this mini-curriculum. Learning to program, and becoming a good programmer, is a largely individual endeavor that requires much self-study. But the trouble with getting started is often that you don’t know where to start or what to topics to learn. This document aims to solve the problem of not knowing where to start by providing a suggested itinerary of topics valuable for someone who wants to learn practical programming skills. This document is intended for those who are interested in starting a technology company but have little or no technical background. Even if you never intend to write code for your startup it is vitally important that you learn to program yourself. It will allow you to know what's possible when determining your feature sets. It will arm you with discernment when comparing engineering candidates, for having strong engineers is vitally important. It will help you to manage your employees. It is not too late to start. You can learn to program and become technical, it’s only a matter of determination. You should start today. having said this, programming is not for everyone. The main requirement seems an ability to concentrate for a long period of time. Some personality types aren’t well tuned for this and may not make for good programmers. But this doesn't prevent you from following along to learn the basics. This is a work in progress. It is the curriculum of topics and skills that I put together to teach my brother how to program. He found it useful, so I'm sharing it in the hope that others will as well. It's intended for people looking for a thorough curriculum and have time to invest in learning. The topics I recommend are of course my own opinion. Please send feedback to ev [at] nbeard [dot] com. How to use this document You will learn the topics herein by Googling. You will need to Google everything. You will need to google for tutorials, walk-throughs, specific error messages, etc. for the topics listed in this curriculum. Please see here. Learning to program is like learning a foreign language: you first study the material, then learn by trying to use the knowledge that you just learned, then repeating. So it is critically important that you write code from the very beginning as you are learning. And don’t forget to read code; you’ll learn a lot by reading other people’s code. Although not required, it would be very helpful for you to have a technical friend on-call to answer questions when you are very stuck. Listed here are the topics that you should learn, but you will inevitably come to an impasse when doing something. If you can email someone technical they may be able to fix a problem with only a few seconds of thought that could otherwise take a beginner hours to solve. A second way a friend can help is to...
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