For those of us who didn't do coursework...



  • On 07/09/2014 at 17:14, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    User Information:
    Cinema 4D Version:   All 
    Platform:   Windows  ;   Mac OSX  ; 
    Language(s) :     C++  ;   PYTHON  ;

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    I might look like I know everything about computer programming but my only degree is in E/M CAD.  Never went to university/college due to various reasons.  What I know is an amalgamation of 30 years of 'teaching myself' (starting with a mentor who did have a degree back in the mid-1980s).  I've read hundreds of books (many college-level textbooks), used online resources (once there was an 'online'), and joined relevant organizations such as IEEE and ACM to have access to papers on various topics of interest and people of common interests.

    Learning isn't about the paper and title associated with certified institutions that you get after putting in the time and money.  It is about the drive, diligence, and structure that is typically associated with continual learning and growth.  For instance, I have had a couple of 'formal' guitar instructions, some informal from friends, but most of my knowledge of music theory, composition, playing, style, improvisation and such was gained by applying those ideas listed previously: drive, diligence, and structure.  While I am no Mozart or Satriani, I can play electric, acoustic, and classical guitar in many styles - but it remains my 'hobby' and something that I enjoy doing without a career goal.  That said, the same was true of computer programming when I started and for about ten years afterwards.  It was a 'hobby'.  And much of the information that would have propelled me further was locked away at universities and in papers inaccessible to the general public at the time.  In the mid 1990's that changed.  My love of computer programming, despite all of the complexities and challenges, made me want to go further.  I still could not go to school (nor did I want to).  Just recently, Google decided to ignore degrees and GPA and concentrate on skill and knowledge alone which opens a path for people like me who learned by doing not by studying.

    All of this is preface to wonderful access to actual course material online.  MIT offers something called OpenCourseWare and they provide a large amount of access to syllabus, labs, lectures (audio, video, notes), and other resources.  If you are driven, diligent, and structured but don't feel that you have the chops you need, I suggest some curriculum akin to this set related to Cinema 4D and 3D CG:

    http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/find-by-topic/#cat=engineering&subcat=computerscience&spec=graphicsandvisualization

    While some of the Undergraduate material is redundant for me, I have started at 6.00 and am now working through 6.005.  At some point, I will diverge into a more specific area of interest (AI is one field that I studied rather deeply in the early 2000s).  Gratis and at your own pace.  For any developers here at Plugin Cafe that are considering their work here as a business but unsure of their fundamentals and expertise, I recommend putting yourself through the rigor and coming out as a more well-rounded, more competent, and better equipped programmer.  Even if you know a lot from experience, there are always gaps to fill and new ideas to consider.



  • On 07/09/2014 at 17:49, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    Thanks for the link Robert.
    I generally don't like "professional" resources because they take far too long to get to the point. But I'll take a look at what they have to offer.

    It's funny that you mentioned playing the guitar and Joe Satriani. Because I was a big time drummer as a teenager. I was really serious about it.
    But when I heard "Dreaming #11 and "Flying In a Blue Dream". It changed my life.
    I never realized the guitar could sound like that. Because it was nothing at all like the music they played on the radio. And I stopped playing drums and spent years teaching myself the guitar by playing along with Satch's albums.
    I even bought one of the first JS series Ibanez guitars when they first came out. And I still play it every week. In fact, right now it's being re-fretted by a local music shop.
    To this day. Nothing gets me more excited than a new Satriani album to play along with.

    -ScottA



  • On 07/09/2014 at 19:17, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    Satch is truly amazing.  His first album, "Surfing with the Alien" was the one that propelled me into technical virtuoso technique and playing.  I had the amazing fortune to see and meet him at a Guitar Center event not too long ago.  At that event, I purchased a JS1000 and had him autograph it.  For such a talent, he is so down-to-earth, accessible, humble, even embarrassed that so many people 'worship' him.  He forgets that what he has is something most of us only dream of attaining (and realize that we won't).  Do not forget that he taught the likes of Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett, and Alex Skolnick.  I guess the point is that one can interchange 'drive' with 'passion' or 'love' of what you do and what you want to achieve and, for sometimes unknown reasons, that translates into success and happiness in life.  As someone once said: "If you love what you do for a living and it pays then it isn't work."  When what you do has more meaning than a paycheck but you live reasonably because of it, that to me is the best paycheck in life.



  • On 07/09/2014 at 20:44, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    Yeah. He's always been very humble like that. His parents did a good job raising him.
    As good of a player he his. I'm more of a fan of his writing skills than his playing.
    He writes amazing songs. While other people just shred mindlessly. I wish I could write original songs that good.
    I've seen him live twice. But never had a chance to actually meet him. That must have been really cool.

    I love it when Stevei Vai tells the story of how he showed up at Joe's house for his first lesson and didn't even know how to put the strings on his guitar.
    That always makes me laugh. It never gets old. 😂

    BTW: You probably know this. But his first commercial studio album was actually "Not of this Earth"
    And he also cut an indie record before that when he was a kid.
    I was lucky enough to find a copy of it online a few years ago.

    I've got a fairly large amount of satch backing tracks (non midi) that I use to play over. Some of them are probably hard, or near impossible to find anymore. And I'd image you've got a bunch too?
    Wanna swap BT's?
    Maybe you have some that I don't have. And vice-versa.

    -ScottA



  • On 11/09/2014 at 16:21, xxxxxxxx wrote:

    Thanks for the link, Robert. Although I'll have plenty of lectures during my study, I'll definitely
    be looking through that database! Some of them even have videos :)


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