Today I am 11110!

This is the first official installment of a new tradition, Binary Birthday, where I re-learn binary every year on my birthday and express my new age as 1s and 0s.

A notebook pad showing binary counting and mistakes

I had an idea for a birthday tradition that I wrote about a few months ago called Binary Birthday where I calculate my age in binary every year as a means of re-learning binary. You can read that post here, but it’s probably not Worth Your Time because that last sentence sums it up.

Anyway…today is my birthday! I am officially 11110 years old. It took me about 30 minutes to re-learn counting in binary this morning, and another 20 minutes to write this blog post. I used this tutorial, the first result on a DuckDuckGo search for “binary how to”, to guide my re-learning.

Here is the notebook page I used – you can see it took me several tries.

Will the above page have fewer mistakes next year? Will I utilize my knowledge of the binary number system in the next 365 days? Maybe, but probably not!

More important than the usefulness of my binary counting knowledge, is that this exercise reminds me of how much fun it is to explore math and computer science, and how much it improved my skills and confidence as a self-taught developer. That is certainly something I apply on a daily basis.

If you’re interested in learning some computer science yourself, I suggest starting out with these blog posts I wrote to document my learning, or jump right into Base CS, an excellent podcast and blog series.

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