14:19 - Kind of a cheater post, here’s a piece I wrote for the Moove-it blog’s DevSnack series. Enjoy!
11:00 - It’s been a few weeks… So here’s what I’ve been doing!
13:25 - After lots of time in what I like to call the “exploratory” mode of learning, last week I recommitted to the Odin Project curriculum and decided to go back to a couple of projects that I was a bit hasty with.
19:46 - I was reading Eloquent Ruby and came across the chapter about Object methods, i.e. the methods that come with every instance of any object you create (because all objects inherit from the Object class with few exceptions)and one of these methods is Object#send(:method_name) which has the same effect as calling Object.method
13:37 - I can’t think of a more gloriously nerdy time to write a dev blog post than 1337-o’clock on Pi Day in the middle of SXSW! I have a little bit of catching up to do…
14:31 - Another February, another Fashion Week. I won’t go into the details, but suffice to say this is the most lucrative semi-annual event on the NYC stage electrician’s calendar, and even after moving out of the city, it STILL makes financial sense to couch surf for a week of decent cash.
20:48 - Back in August, I put all of my Odin Project assignments into one massive repo.
20:48 - Today was another CodeNewbie ATX Community Coding Meetup. These are always a good time, because everyone gets a chance to share what they’re working on and code in a comfortable, friendlly environment.
12:35 - The last iteration of the ‘Rotten Potatoes’ example application from BerkeleyX explores a little bit of external API integration through a ‘Search TMDb’ feature. This feature allows a user to search The Movie Database for movies in order to add them to the Rotten Potatoes database. There is even a third party gem to facilitate the calls to the API, and that’s great, but where I’ve gotten stuck is in stubbing those calls in my Cucumber tests.
17:09 - The past month has been unproductive. Or rather, it’s felt unproductive. Like, all sound and fury signifying nothing.
15:10 - I printed my new #PassionPlanner last week, and decided my first big project was going to be to focus on building a good, focused, and varied portfolio.
19:30 - I’m rewriting the tests in Michael Hartl’s Rails Tutorial in RSpec, starting in Chapter 3, which focuses on the Static Pages controller.
17:58 - It’s been just over one month since my last post. Since then I’ve tackled Michael Hartl’s Rails Tutorial, though I feel like I only skimmed the surface of the material provided there. Thankfully, The Odin Project uses it as a basis for their instruction, so I now have the chance to go back and chew a little more. To expand further on it, I’ve decided to try rewriting the tests in RSpec and Cucumber, and possibly even convert some of the ERB to HAML. For funsies.
10:07 - I took the day off of work today for another Career Coaching session in preparation for Women Who Code’s Tech Interview Workshop tomorrow. I’m pretty excited for this potential glimpse into the interview process.
13:31 - This morning I took an aptitude test for UT Austin’s Software Developer Training Program. I think I did well, probably well enough to pass. If you’re in the Austin area looking for dev experience and training, there’s no reason not to at least take this aptitude test. It’s free, the program sounds pretty cool; if you pass you’ve opened a door for yourself and if you don’t you’ve really only lost out on about 2 hours of a Monday morning.
16:08 - Right after I got back from NYC in September, I started attending the Austin chapter of Code Newbie’s local Meetups. I’ve really enjoyed the podcasts, and the prospect of hanging out with other learners was significantly less intimidating than some of the other dev meetups in the area; at least I knew that I wouldn’t be totally lost in the conversation.
15:22 - Now that I’ve had some time away, I think a lot about the things that I DID like about my old job. Most often what comes readily to mind is the people. There was always a revolving door of personalities, but by the end of my time in New York, most of the time I would land on a job site full of people I could trust, and who put trust in me in turn. This goes double for bosses. I could hop into a scissor lift with someone and two people together would suddenly become better than they would have been apart. Communication was tight, everyone knew what they were doing based off of a drawing, and therefore we could very happily make small talk as we went without sacrificing productivity.
11:00 - I actually started my coding journey a few years ago when, out of curiosity, I started following along in MIT’s Open CourseWare offering of 6.00 (later adapted for edX.org as 6.00x: Introduction to Computer Programming). The class, as I recall, was intended for non-majors or students without pprevious programming experience looking to get their feet wet in computer science.
20:37 - In response to my question to me from the last post, the bit about Coercion vs. Questioning is in the Event Manager Project.
11:48 - Just got home from my first session with my career coach. It was a nice “getting to know you” sort of session. I think this is going to work out pretty well. It’s nice to have someone who at least has a broad idea of what my path could be to help me get in front of potential employers.
11:15 - I took a break from development to move to our permanant apartment. I won’t gush too much, but it’s kind of perfect; exactly what we need right now, no more no less. The kitchen is bitchin’, the bedroom is huge, the living room is cozy, the whole place has fantastic flow, there’s a good-sized balcony which is very private, the apartment complex is dog-friendly, and best of all, the location cuts at least 15 minutes and all the traffic out of Ben’s commute.
16:10 - Subclassing! I’ve got two kinds of “code” object for my Mastermind game. They’re both constructed in the same way, but one of them relies on a second object for comparison to determine how good a match they are.
18:20 - I’m in the middle of the Mastermind project in TOP, and I’m… well I’m not stuck, but the code is starting to feel cob-webby. My classes feel bloated, I feel like I’m making things more complicated than they should be, and just…. ugh. I can finish it the way it is now, but am I adding into a crummy program? I feel like I don’t have a good metric for this…
Seizing the opportunity to try using a little exception handling in my Tic Tac Toe Game. There’s really only one place for this to go, which is in the player input part of the game. It was nice to work through this problem and actually understand “hmm, I think I need some exception handling here” and then slip it in there with little hassle. I could probably improve upon it by throwing an exception when a space is filled and then handling that exception differently. Perhaps after I figure out Mastermind….
17:49 - Just finished building Tic Tac Toe in Ruby. It was… more of a struggle than I anticipated, partly because I had a head swimming with best practices that seemed to get in the way of just making the darn thing work. Also, thinking in an Object-oriented way rather than procedural is interesting because it’s not super linear, so I think this was a great exercise for me.
17:19 - I have to say, job-hunting and learning programming are difficult things to do in tandem. By difficult, I primarily mean uncomfortable. Job-hunting obviously because it is stressful, full of rejection, and throwing in a career change on top of the usual stress means a lot of trudging through self-doubt to try and promote yourself as someone who is worth taking a chance on.
11:12 - I’m very OCD about how I organize things. It’s actually a problem sometimes because I’m always trying to build a better mousetrap as it were. Such was the case with my git repositories. For each little project in The Odin Projec, I made a little repository. This seemed dumb (it might not be), so I made a new repository in the root folder and deleted all the little repositories in hopes that I could just continually update all these little projects within the context of the larger one.
I’ve been keeping a journal in my text editor to keep myself on track while learning web development with The Odin Project. I have heard good things about Jekyll, so I’m trying it out. Here’s my first post!
09:59 - TODO today:
13:57 - Yesterday things got frustrating. I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not an easy thing. But the Caesar cipher… it’s not that hard to implement, really. I just think that the way I’ve done it is shitty. I can’t tell whether it is more productive to keep banging my head against the wall, or look at other solutions to identify ideas I didn’t have.
13:42 - Today I learned how fast the word changes. Trying to use “Learn Ruby” with test-driven development strategy. Super excited. Only problem, this curriculum uses a deprecated version of rspec, rails, AND ruby. So gonna have to downgrade all. Also rake seems to be failing. Wooooooo.
15:43 - TODO refactor englishNumber.rb. Thousands + repeats too much, need to put ‘hundred’, ‘thousand’, ‘million’, ‘billion’, etc into an array of some description. Also modify “store_repeat.rb” according to comments in file.
13:19 - This morning I had a meeting with a career coaching service to determine if it would be at all helpful to me. I decided that having someone to be accountable to, and also a deadline for a goal would be useful.
12:53 - I started using The Odin Project on Monday, July 27th.