Open Love Letter

Here we are, in a cold dark room, just you, me, and your slithering tongue. You promised that you wouldn’t hurt me, but you gave me << and >>.

You promised that if you bit me, it would not sting. But here I am, in agony, nursing pain from your {0:_^11}.

I’m still here, but can I trust you again? Should I love you even more than I do now? No objections? No conditions? You promised me Boolean that even a an engineering novice would understand. You poured on the NOTs and ANDs. Should be easy, you said, after all Marcel, you’re accustomed to I/Cs, deciphering sloppy pinouts, NAND gates, XOR gates, and more.

But “had I known” is always at last. To think that I continued to believe you without a shadow of doubt, I should have been a bit-wiser.

You’re scaly,
you’re devious,

Damn it, you’re a Python.

And I like that about you. So, I’ll see you tomorrow. At the same time and at the same place.



“I’ll always love you, even when you’ve done me wrong.”


Bitten by a Python: Project Code, Tools, & Evernote Notebook link with Audio

As I begin my expedition into the wild wild circus, I realize that I am going to want and need a lot of practice. Especially if I want to be an awesome acrobatic-tight-rope-walking-juggler…in this hypothetical circus of course. Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

At great heights, Python seems less scary. And perfect for someone like me juggling engineering courses and mastering the science of owning businesses.

What I’ve learned from my beginning project is that you can’t trust anyone’s code. I’ve also learned that Python has several import attributes that will serve me well in the long run. Let’s go over the latter, then I’ll expose a simple question that you, my fellow Codists, can help with. Or I’ll just suck it up and ask my dad to explain. {His explanations can get passionate and lengthy therefore I’ll try to avoid that route for now (No doubt about it, I do love you Dad!)}

Python is:

  • High Level: It looks a lot like standard English making it easy for a beginner to write.
  • Interpreted: Don’t need a compiler to write and run Python. Can use your own computer’s terminal or command line prompt.
  • Object-oriented: Python allows users to manipulate data structures called objects in order to build and execute programs.
  • Fun to use: Of course it is! It’s named after Monty Python’s Flying Circus

After learning this, I began to appreciate the language more than I already had.

Until I came to the Project.

One popular learning source out there ends each tutorial section with a project. Projects are an exciting way to compile what you’ve learned. It might also be a good way to segue into larger projects at GitHub and coding problems at RosettaCode.

As a skeptical optimist naturally I would raise questions. And the simple math has me baffled. Is Python as telepathic as it is easy to learn? Does it know what your code is trying to do before you actually write the code out? I’m sure I know the right answer to that. And if it “ain’t” what I think it is, then Mama, I’m going to be retiring to Aruba pretty soon.

I’ve copied the project below after my audio notebook and tool list. Please check it out tell me that my logic is entirely wrong so that I can sleep well tonight and not wake up crying and in a cold sweat!

My Python Evernote Notebook w/ Audio

My Tools

  • Komodo Edit: For I/O (Input/Output) screens and writing code. Though it’s been recommended to execute in terminal/command line.
  • Tincta: Quick copy and paste. Not a large download and let’s you choose which language you’re writing in from a drop down, for an easy save.(Available at the Apple App Store
  • A Byte of Python by Swaroop: Beginners guide to Python
  • Schemaverse: Extra SQL practice (also a great place for beginners). Can use coding languages to play the game

Now for the Project

#Tip calculator
“””Site’s tip calculator insisted on the following code:
Assign the variable meal the value 44.50 on line 3!
meal = 44.50
meal = 44.50
tax = 6.75/100
You’re almost there! Assign the tip variable on line 5.

meal = 44.50
tax = 0.0675
tip = 0.15
Reassign meal on line 7!

meal = 44.50
tax = 0.0675
tip = 0.15
meal = meal + meal * tax

meal = 44.50
tax = 0.0675
tip = 0.15

meal = meal + meal * tax
total = meal + meal * tip

print(“%.2f” % total)”””

“””The following is the code that I thought would have been suitable for the project given the objective.”””
meal = 44.50
tax = 0.0675
tip = 0.15
meal_tax = meal*tax
taxed_meal = meal_tax + meal
total_tip = taxed_meal*tip
total_meal = taxed_meal + total_tip
total = total_meal*2
print total

Question: In the project’s initial code, how does 44.50 + 44.50 * .0675 yield the actual total of the meal and not a percentage of the total needed to compute the meal’s actual total after tip?

Rule No. 779: Always ask questions.
Rule No. 1: Don’t trust anyone’s code.


‘Til next time,

Twitter: @marcelaepila



STG: Short Term Goals
LTG: Long Term Goals

Here’s where I’m going with this: I’ve decided to make myself publicly accountable for my actions.

Like many others, I have long term and short term goals. What makes successful people different from those who aren’t happy with what they are doing is abandonment. If you don’t abandon your goals, you’ll achieve them. I’m guilty of not falling through with some awesome ideas. Ideas that seemed to have been jacked from right under me when I didn’t push them through. And I’ve watched some people (fashion designers at least) laugh all the way to the bank.

It is time for a change.

I figure if my proclamation is public, I can be held accountable for doing (or not doing). I want my future employers to ask me if I’ve followed through. It will be humiliating to say that I haven’t. So I am going to. And I will share what I am going to do:

Short Term Goals (~1 Year or Less)

  1. Learn How to Code
    • Python
    • Ruby
    • Java
    • .Net
    • PHP
    • JavaScript
    • JQuery
    • Objective-C
    • C++
    • C#
    • (API Calls)
  2. Attend App Academy
  3. Work on open source projects at every level.

Long Term Goals (More than 1 Year)

  1. Work for a compelling consulting practice.
  2. Work for a Fortune 100 Company.
  3. Get MBA
  4. Continue building my companies and found and/or fund a technology start-up.
  5. Get PhD in Engineering.
  6. Run for public office (and win!)
  7. Launch and execute tech/green tech initiatives in under served communities in the U.S. and abroad

Looooooooong term (100 years) Die a happy Codist 🙂

Make me accountable, ask me what I’ve done. Call me out if I’ve been naughty and I’ll forever be grateful!

Let’s get coding.

Introduction to Marcela

Hi! My name is Marcel.

Marcela Ezoua de Epila

Marcel Kouame

Well, this is kind of awkward for me. This public display of affection (for coding).

I guess I decided on it being this way since no one forced me to start an online journal.

Hi, my name is Marcel. That is me up there. A pleasure to meet you.

I am here because I’ve decided to start a blog about my journey to application development, software engineering, web development, engineering, whatever term folks out there may use, I want to learn how to…


…in as many programming languages as possible.

Now this may not be much to start. As I have just embarked on this somewhat self righteous journey.

But it is enough for me, and other happy souls out there who have realized that they should have done this a long time ago and are realizing that now is the time and it “ain’t” too late.

If you’re curious about who I am and what I used to do, here is my bio:

I am the child of a former IBM programmer who loves to program in languages like C++, C#, and Java. He just so happened to teach me SQL before I went off to college. I was formerly a mortgage broker, purchasing manager for commodities, an IT/IS auditor, and an executive in sales. I love fashion, I am a freak about big data and its BIG BANG, know a bit about electric utilities: demand side management (DSM), business intelligence (BI), and data analytics. And of course I wouldn’t mind a clean energy future. That goes without saying.

At 25, I am an entrepreneur, I started a men’s accessories business, am a leader at, and I am taking up engineering at Harvard University.

I do not believe in having only one set path in life. When you plan on being awesome, you’re allowed to have as many paths as you like. As long as you enjoy every moment.

Look Mama I’m Coding is simply a blog about my journey to application development. I am officially a coding baby (again). Watch me grow.

For now, I’ll write a couple of entries either daily or a few times a day to share everything from accomplishments to frustrations on my journey to becoming an awesome codist.

I like the sound of that >>> CODIST. It actually sounds better than Programmer and it shows some kind of enthusiasm about coding. ( I think I just coined it or something.)

I digress.

So… I don’t know which language I should tackle though I felt good practicing at Codecademy. I won’t write about the languages that I have already learned. I do want to write about languages that I am interested in learning more about. Because that makes sense for me.

After reading a few articles, Python is a good place to start in terms of application development.

So, here I go.

‘Til next time, let’s get coding,


If you have any interest in contacting me for any reason, I can be reached here:

GitHub: marcelkouame

Twitter: @marcelaepila


HTML & CSS for Beginners – Evernote notebook share: Evernote Notebook Share HTML & CSS