Ada Spring Workshop

Wow, I can’t believe I never wrote about this. Wait, yes I can, because I left for NYC two days later and it’s been chaos ever since.

Let’s just say it was an interesting and enlightening experience. Not quite what I expected. I thought it would be more like a class, I thought the group project would be more or less something we built ourselves from scratch, I thought it would be more interactive, as I have read so much about pair programming.

Ultimately, it felt much like I was working on a tutorial, much like I do on my own at home, except surrounded by other people.

Some aspects were great – I chose my spot to sit fairly well, quite in the center of the room, so I was able to hear the questions and answers not only of my own group, but the one next to me as well. I didn’t really have that many questions, as I learn most effectively by simply doing the thing, and especially with coding, I have found that more often than not, the questions – eventually, anyway – answer themselves. It is, however, interesting to listen to other people’s questions, even if they aren’t ones I need answered myself.

The “group” aspect was interesting. Our coach didn’t really lead the group as I had expected, we just sort of started working on our own. I quickly realized that I had gotten a bit ahead of the others, so I tried to slow myself down and wait, but it soon became clear that not only would that drive me crazy, but it was fairly pointless since we weren’t really doing anything that required everyone to be on the same page.

The exercise was informative, but not even as difficult as the ones I’d done with Learn Ruby the Hard Way.
I felt like I learned the most at the end, which suggested adding or changing aspects of what we’d “built”.
I was able to discover what the issue I was having was (as mentioned in previous posts), and learned how to fix it (basically, from time to time a gem needs to be re-installed) although, even after just the short amount of time that’s passed since the day of the workshop, I might have a hard time remembering exactly how to do it.

We had a long lunch that day (2 hours!) and I will say that it WAS interesting talking with some of the others about their experiences with applying to Ada, as well as hearing how they’d gotten to this point, what they were doing on their own to self educate, etc.

In the afternoon, after we’d completed the exercise, there were some lightning talks and resources offered up, and that right there may well have been the most valuable part of the day. We all received an email the following Monday containing all that information. At the end of the day, one person took it upon herself to gather emails, and suggested the implementation of a Facebook group. I’ve since joined it, and I believe I am the only who has posted in it. I posted about the ACT-W Conference on Saturday, and the Hack the People Mentor Night I’m going to this evening.

I think I actually thought that was next week, until I was actually looking at my calendar yesterday and there it was today. SURPRISE! Things have been super crazy all around, so I’ve been a bit anxious about going to this tonight. Looks like I’m going to take the bus, try to arrive about 45 minutes early and go grab some sushi across the street beforehand. No idea what to expect – should I take my laptop??

Also a bit anxious about the conference on Saturday. As excited as I’ve been for it, it will be a completely new experience, and I have no idea what to expect. It also sounds like it will be a long day.

I’ll be really glad to get past the conference, as then I will only have one more currently scheduled activity – the Dine & Dash night. Excited about all of it, but just a bit overwhelmed, not only with these events, but socially as well. It’s been one thing after another, and it just doesn’t quit. I’ve also been busy at work, so for Wednesday, I decided to order food for us from Munchery, because at this point, I just can’t even anymore. Thursday will be easier, just me for dinner, but I’ve got a couple of things scheduled for Friday, and multiple things for Sunday, and next week we go to Sasquatch. With all this going on, I haven’t made nearly as much progress on my different various lessons as I’d like, and in fact the only reason I’ve stopped to write this is that I am completely and totally stuck on the first problem set at the end of the first Git & Git Hub lesson. Not because I can’t figure it out – well, sort of.

I keep getting the error “__git_ps1: command not found” when I’m trying to run git diff, so I can’t find the bug, because I can’t compare the commits. I think I found something that describes how to fix it, but I am somewhat chagrined to admit that I can’t remember how to access my .bash_profile. I recall (from just yesterday) that . files are hidden, and I think I need to move it and change it to a different kind of file, but it took me long enough to get to this point that I needed a break from it before I try to remember/track down the procedure to access the .bash_profile because I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to discover that it doesn’t actually fix the problem anyway. And I can’t proceed with the lesson until I fix the problem. SO.

The last thing I wanted to add was back to code schools/boot camps/developer’s academies….
I was surprised to discover at the Spring Workshop that one of my peers had applied twice already and was planning on applying in the fall for a third time, and had gotten an interview both times she’d applied already.
Why was this surprising? Well, for a couple of reasons, both at least somewhat relative to the fact that I didn’t even get an interview. The first and most obvious one was that this was a person in my group, which I’ve already noted that I was pages ahead of everyone in my group. I would have assumed that anyone who was at the workshop would be on a self-study plan, just like I am. I actually specifically asked her about this, as I couldn’t wrap my head around how I felt like I was more knowledgeable than she if she’d already been in the process of trying to get accepted for over 6 months. She stated that she had tried to work on Learn Ruby the Hard Way, but that she couldn’t even get it to open (?? I am still not sure what she meant by this, perhaps I misunderstood.) She said something about everything she tried to do taking two days – I don’t recall if this was an old computer issue (maybe) or what, but I was just a bit perplexed that anyone would let that slow them down so much, especially if they were motivated enough to continue applying.

The other reason was also related to being motivated – as much as I want to re-apply to Ada because I do think it probably is a really good program, I think I’ve already decided that especially if Code Fellows starts offering scholarships, and I can get one, I won’t keep waiting for Ada. I certainly know that even if I do wait and apply again, the second time will be the last time. I simply cannot continue to wait. I need to move on with my life. That is how motivated I am. I need to make this work, one way or another. I cannot just continue to keep re-applying to the same place over and over again indefinitely. I already feel so weird and lost, so caught between two worlds, that it is absolutely exhausting and disorienting.


ETA – NM! Figured that shit out. It was another big DUH on my part, likely the result of just working on one thing too long and forgetting a tiny, crucial step. So, now I can go back to that problem, all I needed was 20 minutes with something else. D’OH!!

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