Down the rabbit hole.

NOW seems like a good time to go back to the post I wrote last Friday about trying to do my code challenge.
I got an email yesterday saying that I am on the waiting list for the Development Accelerator, pending an interview, which should happen in about two weeks. In the meantime, the suggestion is to “read either Eloquent JavaScript or the You Don’t Know JavaScript books (or both!), and update her code challenges with the design patterns you learn there.”

I noted in that last post that I didn’t really find what I was looking for in Eloquent Javascript.
Allow me to clarify a bit. I may have alluded to some of this a bit in the past, in regards to self-study and doing pre-work – We’ve all heard about people “going down rabbit holes” whilst searching for information on the internet – when attempting to research how to do something of this nature, going down a rabbit hole feels like an understatement. The Eloquent Javascript example is a great one.

I find the chapter on Modules (Chapter 10) and begin reading. Pretty quickly, two other chapters are referenced (4 & 9, and obviously, ideally, I want/need to read the whole book, but it’s a bit ironic that it’s pre-work for the class that I’m trying to complete a challenge to get into, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that by looking at the pre-work listed on the website), and then a link is provided to, which you might not realize is something you need unless you skip ahead to the referenced Chapter 20. So then you realize that you need to install a test running package, and you try to do that, which leads you to realize that you need to do a global install of Node (you already have this installed locally, but didn’t even know it could be installed globally) and after you do that, you try to install the package and it doesn’t work, and you have no idea if it has anything to do with the fact that the video you are watching is outdated (I KNOW I HAVE MENTIONED THIS BEFORE) or due to something else, so commence with more googling, and poking around trying to make sense of the instructions in the video, because it doesn’t really make sense anymore because what you’re installing is a different version and by the time you’ve gotten that far (if you even do, I certainly did not succeed the first time) 4 hours have gone by, and you still don’t even know how to use the test package, and repeat the last bit about trying to figure out if you’re doing it wrong because the tutorial was made for a different version or if there is something wrong, or…?

And then you start to have a panic attack because there went half a day because you didn’t know what you were doing and you don’t have a guide because this is self-study and you can only hope that was the tip of the correct iceberg.
And none of this seems to have anything to do with writing code. (I am well aware for many reasons that it does, and obviously these are all things that need to be learned, BUT when you think you’re just going to sit down and write some code, and then you discover that you have to do a ton of other stuff, it can be a bit panic-inducing.)

And it is all good. It is all good learning and every day I know so much more (or I think I do, anyway) than I did the day before. Perhaps I am doing it all wrong in the respect that maybe other people have really already crossed these bridges before even attempting to qualify these classes. Maybe everybody else already had these things installed and had a good working knowledge of it before they even started. I have no idea. Maybe that right there is the test.

I continue to plug away at reading and tutorials, feeling a great sense of satisfaction for all of what I am learning, all the time sweating, wondering if the amount of time I have will be enough.

Sometimes you just gotta say WTF.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who complain about how Google “stalks” them by storing their browsing data. We all know that browsers use cookies to store information, most of which is to our benefit (I love not having to enter my password every single time for things that aren’t financial or otherwise sensitive), but Google does it a little more obviously, by serving you ads based on what you search for (what most people notice) and by serving you improved search results (what *I* notice!)

So while everybody else is busy complaining about how “creepy” and “annoying” it is that Google is showing them ads based on what it guesses to be their interests (and it doesn’t do a bad job if you ask me), I am appreciating the fact that the results that I am getting for pretty much the same search terms today are much better than they were 3 weeks ago. Maybe I’m naïve, and maybe I am just imagining it, but I swear, the first 10 times I searched over the course of a couple of weeks of for something to help me do my code challenge, I got nothing. Or, at least I got results that would probably make sense to a senior developer, but to someone like me, who had just realized that “Hey! We did not cover this in class!” and SHIT, it also isn’t something I can easily reference in my Javascript & jQuery book, it was like getting results in Latin when I’m looking for French.

I had hoped to find something about using a modular approach in Eloquent Javascript, but again, what I found wasn’t really working for me. I’d ordered Javascript: The Good Parts in anticipation of taking a Development Accelerator and while I like it a lot (so far) I didn’t really get what I need to finish the damn challenge for the Accelerator. (I feel like I’m going in circles, already trying to prepare for a class I haven’t even gotten into while using the reading for that class to research the challenge I need to do to get into it.)

FINALLY – today I got some different results when I searched for … something, I don’t know what exact terms I used, but some variation of the ones I’ve been using because I don’t know how to ask for what I’m looking for other than by using those terms! And one good result led to another good result and another, and now I feel like not only am I making some progress, but I’m actually starting to comprehend what I’m learning.

And while I could probably keep researching and refactoring the code for the challenge (I think I’ve scrapped it completely and started over 4 times now) I’d really like to get it done today, and just turn it in. I am the kind of person who will stress out and worry about whether it something is “right” or not, even if I know there is no one “right” way to do it, so sometimes I get to the point where I have to tell myself to just say what the fuck and (in this case, anyway) turn it in already.

I am hoping to do just that today. Or at least be finished with this part and do a couple of more things to one other part. I just needed to take a break and get this off my chest. I guess I’ve only been working on this challenge for 3 weeks, but it feels like forever, but I feel like I’m taking way too much time. I had really thought I was going to get it done in less than a week (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!)

The important this is: I’ve learned stuff. I probably could have gotten it done in less than a week (and I know now that it probably would have been WRONG) or finished it a week after that, and maybe it would have been just good enough to get me in, but I doubt I’d have learned anything.

One more thing worth noting at this point: It’s interesting how I can circle around a subject and get a glimpse of how it works for ages, then suddenly one day it all comes together. BOOM.

ETA: Well, that’s it. I did it. For better or for worse, I decided that I was about as done with Code Challenge as I’m going to be, and I submitted links to my 3 repos. At this point, some people would pray, or at least cross their fingers and hope for the best.
Like I said earlier, I learned a lot doing this challenge. If what I submitted isn’t enough? I wouldn’t want to get in by “luck”. I can’t imagine what it would be like to get into that class by accident.

I just wanted to take the time now to add a few links that (I think!) helped me today.
Mastering the Module Pattern was the first article I found that made me go “A-Ha!”, and I went back to it over and again as I walked back and forth through this last challenge.
Learning JavaScript Design Patterns was also super helpful.
I gotta say though, Node.js Module Patterns Using Simple Examples is the bomb. It’s easy to understand, funny, and the design for this website is GREAT.

Hopefully, I learned what I needed to today, and I won’t be laughing at some later date when I find out I somehow completely misinterpreted what I was supposed to be doing. Hopefully, I won’t need to do it all over again. Hopefully, the last 3 weeks were worth my while.

B33 – Week Four. The End.

Four weeks sounds like a really long time when you’re coming from working 20 hours per week into a boot camp that promises 50+. Not to mention a commute, that, while still not bad, is three times as long (in each direction) as what you are used to.
But in the blink of an eye, it was simply over.

Don’t get me wrong – deep into weeks 2 & 3, it seemed like a long way to the finish line. Everything changes in Week Four. On Friday of Week 3, we’d grouped up for projects, and over the weekend, we prepared our proposal.
The whole atmosphere of Week 4 is completely different. There’s no morning class. Even though morning class was shorter than afternoon lab, it always SEEMED longer. While I didn’t really mind the Easy downstairs despite the lack of windows, it was still a hard place to stay awake. And no matter how fascinating the subject matter, it’s hard to sit still for that long. Afternoon labs are a lot more inter/active, they are above ground and include natural light, and since you’re primarily working on your own, it’s no skin off anyone’s nose if you get up to go to the bathroom or get something to drink or just get up.

Week 4 is all “lab”. No class downstairs, you just get right to work. And we did. We handed in our proposal first thing Monday, and got straight to work. We had team meetings 2-4 times a day and were constantly researching, creating, problem solving, etc. It was non-stop during the day, but we managed to keep our focus such that we didn’t let our project get out of scope and so we weren’t working on it afterhours. This likely kept our productivity high, not only because we weren’t burnt out, but because it kept our workflow clean and tidy. We were very strict about following our protocol for new branches, and only one person pushing at a time, and making sure that the whole team was aware of it, etc. Sure, we had a couple of minor glitches, but overall, we didn’t waste more than a few minutes total on Git/Hub issues. And because we kept our focus, we avoided wasting too much time on any one thing, and ended up with a really nicely balanced end product. Best of all, we managed to keep it pretty much error free (when we ran eslint, we came back with some errors, but almost exclusively either trailing white spaces or double quotes where there should have been single, that sort of thing. Easy fixes.)

Suddenly, it was Friday and we were done. Waiting for it to be time to give our presentation was hard, and it probably could have gone a little better, but it went well enough. And then…it was just over. Everyone left and I said my goodbyes and got on the bus. And realized that the next week, I wouldn’t be getting up to get to the bus anymore, and there’d be no more morning walk downtown, and I was going to miss my teammates.

And I do. While it was great to get some extra sleep this morning, it’s weird being here at home. I have so many things to do, yet it’s hard to feel a sense of purpose (at least for now, some of my daily life things have to pre-empt code for a few days.)

Which reminds me – I had to make a pragmatic decision mid-last week to not finish the code challenge for the Front End DA that started today (or yeah, I’d be there right now!) I realized on Tuesday (? I think it was Tuesday) that with the amount of time I had to spend on it each day, I wasn’t going to get it done to my satisfaction in time. It was too stressful, and going back today would have been too stressful, I need some time to get some things done, and prep for the class. Not to mention I had no idea where I was getting the money for it. I’ll probably feel the same way in October, but at least I’ll have some time to deal with it on whatever levels I can in the meantime.

Being home is weird. Again, so much to do. I feel like I can’t domestic anymore. That stack of dishes over there is mocking me, and the laundry is just kicking my ass. I literally hadn’t swept the floors in 3 weeks. UGH.
I’ll be trying super hard to find a good balance between coding and house/yard work. I had really intended to get caught up this weekend, but we had a brunch Saturday that turned into an all day thing (in a good way, but we were out of the house all day) and a lunch on Sunday that was also basically an all day thing (which will happen when you have to spend 3 hours round trip just traveling there and back.)

Before I can do any coding, I probably need to clean up my computer (and decide if I need to keep all the downloaded images that didn’t work out and other things that I may or may not use again) and my bookmarks. I bookmarked so many things during class (even more than usual, as I am a big bookmarker, but I generally keep them really well organized, which I think I failed at during class) and I need to go through and see if I can discard any, and get them all in order and maybe even read some.

At least when I go back for a DA in a couple of months, I’ll know more what to expect. Hopefully, I can be more prepared, not just for the class itself, but for how to manage balancing life and school as well.

Boot Camp was one of the best times of my life. As much as it is good to feel a sense of achievement because it is over, I almost wish it would never have ended.

No, we have not found our dog. We did find someone else’s dog, and reunited him with his owner in LESS THAN 24 HOURS. While we’re glad Cupcake went home so quick (yes, we found a dog named Cupcake) it’s a little frustrating to know that our dog is still out there.

B33 – Week Three Summary

ETA: I got some questions about our lost dog situation that I wrote about below, under Thursday.
Here is a link to our lost dog’s website. Help Find Sasha!
Thanks for caring 🙂

This was one of the most stressful weeks of my life. Not so much because of boot camp – that actually went pretty well.

This day was kind of long, but I’d successfully finished my assignment by the end of the day (or maybe this was another one that ran over to the next day, but I wasn’t stressed out about it.)
This was also the day that I got confirmation that if I wanted to take a Front End DA, I could apply immediately, do a code challenge this week/weekend, the rest next week and start two days after boot camp was over – or I could wait until April. Well, waiting until April doesn’t really seem like a viable option, so I applied Monday night.

Got my code challenge this morning, didn’t really have time to look at it. This was a busy day, but again, not too stressful and I was done with my assignment and on my way home by 5, I think.

Today we worked on Ajax. I pretty much breezed through that, and backtracked to getting a chart working on my site. Still got my assignment turned in and was out of there on time.
Finally kind of had a chance to really look at code challenge for Front End DA. Had a small heart attack.

Discovered that Ajax wasn’t really a breeze after all, and that I had fooled myself into thinking it was working when it wasn’t. Fortunately, adding an HTTP file server with Node.js really IS a breeze, so I was able to spend the whole afternoon working on fixing my Ajax stuff, which was a bummer because I really wanted to spend my afternoon working on code challenge. Got home late, so did my husband, and I pretty much had a nervous breakdown. Scratch that – we BOTH pretty much had a nervous breakdown.

To add to the stress of boot camp and doing a code challenge for a DA that starts in less than two weeks, our dog is still missing. At this point, we’re actually pretty she’s more or less stolen. Not that someone took her from our house, but after she ran off during the thunderstorm, someone must have found her and is keeping her, rather than doing the right thing and taking her to the shelter or having her scanned for a chip, or putting a Found Dog ad on Craigslist.
I think this would be stressful for most people, but my husband is really bonded with that dog, so it’s extra stressful. Now we’ve reached the point of having to spend a lot of time making new interactive flyers that link to a website with all the information about the situation and a pretty big photo gallery and an interactive Google map showing all the places people have reported seeing a dog that might be her, paying for an in the Seattle Times, offering a reward, etc. Not only is it very emotional, it’s very time-consuming and we’re spending money that we don’t really have to spare.
I’m really hoping for another thunderstorm so that the dog will freak out and (hopefully) bust out of the house where she is (presumably) being kept, and (hopefully) return home (or at least get picked up by the shelter or someone who isn’t a terrible person.)

I can’t believe I haven’t gotten shingles yet.

Was a better day. Although I had some weird port conflict while trying to deploy to Heroku (which we discussed in class so everyone got to witness it, yaaaaaaay), once that was resolved, that was pretty much a breeze as well.
We split into teams for project week – I had proactively spoken to Sam about this, and pre-solicited some people for my team. That seems to be turning out well so far – everyone has taken off with their responsibilities and seems very self-managing. We went on a little “field trip” after lunch, as our project is neighborhood centric. That was kind of fun.
I got home at a reasonable time, and finished one the  challenges.

Did some more tests on the challenge before moving onto the next one. Satisfied that it really did work, I then realized that I need to set up a file structure to put this whole thing on github. Put the first part on github and realized that my .gitignore hadn’t worked. Removed the whole thing, started over, this time it worked. Yaaaaaaaay.
It should be noted at this time that THAT was the only git issue I had all week. Worked on the next challenge. Didn’t get very far. Stared at it. Worked until 8:30 that night.

Tried to work on the challenge from the day before some more. Got stuck some more, realized that I needed to move on, push it to GitHub, started on the next one. Got a bit of framework built, sat there and stared at it.
Took a break to do my wire frame for project week. That went well, anyway. I’m happy with the result.
Went back to the last challenge. Stared at it. Got a helpful hint followed by a decent period of peace and quiet, in which I hashed out what feels like a decent framework.

At this point I had hoped to have all 3 parts of the code challenge done and submitted. One part is done. One part is maybe 65% of the way done? Last part is maybe 35%. (I don’t know where I’m getting these numbers, I’m really just spitting them out.)

I really don’t want to have to work on this at all during project week. I’m not sure what’s going to happen at this point. I’m struggling with the idea of going into a new class right after this one. I like to be more prepared than that. But I can’t wait until April and I don’t feel like there are any other realistic options. Also, I heard that the instructor for this class is great, and while I’m sure the next one will be too, I’d obviously rather be with someone who has been doing this a while and comes recommended.

If I could tell anyone going into this kind of situation anything, it would be:

I prepared myself for the idea that every day life was going to fall apart. That the dishes and the laundry weren’t going to get done, the bathroom wouldn’t get clean, the cupboards would be bare.

What I did NOT prepare myself for was the idea that something unexpected was going to happen. I figured it was going to be business as usual, except that I’d have less time to get things done for a while. I wasn’t expecting a lost dog bombshell, or a push to get into a DA in less than two weeks.

I hope those kinds of things don’t happen to anyone else, but if you’re thinking about doing something like this, you should expect the unexpected. There isn’t really a way to prepare for it, but in retrospect, I should have at least expected it.

Also, if you’re going into a program like this and there’s pre-work? Do the pre-work. I did, and it was well worth every minute of my spare time that it took up before I started boot camp.


B33 – Week 2 Summary

Holy shit, it’s halfway over already. Kind of unbelievable.

This week started out kind of rough, and stayed kind of rough (although it did get better.)
Monday 8.10.15
We started the week off with domain modeling. I got off to a flying start and was probably really actually ahead of  the game as of 2pm Monday. Then I got stuck, and even though I was close (so close!) I didn’t end up finishing my assignment that day or turning it in on time.
Tuesday 8.11.15
I got most of the modeling figured out by lunch (except for, as I later figured out, a total that wasn’t calculating properly) and moved on to events. That wasn’t any less of a hassle than Monday’s assignment, and again, ended up turning this one in late.
Wednesday 8.12.15
Had to spend some of my afternoon lab working on Tuesday’s assignment, but fortunately we moved on to CSS today, so I had caught back up by the end of the day, turning my assignment in on time.
Thursday 8.13.15
Today was layout day, which was just as fine with me as CSS day was. I like all the front-end stuff. I actually had that epiphany on this day, that as much as it would probably be a great idea in theory to do the full stack, I’m never going to want to work on the back-end. Began considering the idea of just doing the Front End DA instead of the Full Stack in October.
While Monday and Tuesday were rough because I was learning totally new things, and by this day we’d moved on to stuff that was somewhat familiar to me, this day actually ended up being a bit rough as well, as it became woefully apparent just how bad my gitsues were. Although I’d proceeded with great caution, I still ended up with merge conflicts, which, when I tried to resolve them broke my code so badly that I had to re-do it to turn it in.
I realized that I probably had a “workflow issue” and did not touch my code that night for fear of causing another one. That was frustrating.
Friday 8.14.15
Fortunately, Sam is just about the coolest guy ever, and spent some time before morning class, and even more at lunch working all this stuff out with me.
It was also this morning before I got to school, that I suddenly had a panic attack about being able to go straight from boot camp to a DA, having learned that it isn’t that common for people to do so.
After we fixed my gitsues, and had a good talk about what was up with my workflow (basically, we are teaching an old dog new tricks here, and habits are hard to break), I asked about going straight into a DA and was relieved to be reassured that it would likely be do-able for me. I felt really good after this conversation, and proceeded to have a good afternoon. (At least until I got home and found out that our dog had gotten frightened during the thunderstorm and had made a grand escape from the house to find her person, my husband, who wasn’t home – at this writing she has yet to be found.)

I had my ups and downs this week, and actually had some dodgy moments. Fortunately, none of them lasted long, and overall, I feel better about boot camp this week than I have yet. I can only hope that the next two weeks go as well.
And that we find the damn dog. (Don’t worry, she has a microchip, and we’ve called all the appropriate places, posted on social media and with lost dog places, etc. I’m pretty sure that someone has her. Problem being that maybe that person wants to keep her.)

B33 Day 5 + Week 1 Summary

Friday (Day 5) was pretty low-key. No code review, no comment review, just going over the reading topic and adding a DOM manipulation. That worked well, as I didn’t really get it after doing the reading, but it made more sense after going over it in class. Afternoon lab was a success, because I only had a couple of gitsues which were really non-issues, and only actually needed help with my code once – I worked through the rest of it on my own. Still finished before 5.

Week One Summary

I am tired as hell. Even after a “whole weekend” off that included 9 hours of sleep two nights in a row, I’m still tired.

That said, I feel like this weekend went really well, from a getting things done perspective, although things could have gone better. There were a few more things I’d have liked to have gotten done. The frustrating part is that could have easily been achieved if I had done things the way I wanted to. However, there are always other people involved, so that is something that is probably just never going to work out.

I’d do it differently this coming weekend if I could, but I’m afraid things will actually be worse due to social obligations we have. All I can do at this point is plan carefully and try to get ahead of the game.

Overall, Week One was great. I LEARNED A TON.
I like everyone at school, I like the change of pace (despite being tired), I like the schedule. I don’t feel like I went through a weird adjustment period at all. I felt like the transition was really natural, and I did not feel out of place or out of sorts at all. I don’t feel like I “don’t belong” or I’m doing it wrong (no Imposter Syndrome here!)

In fact, I feel pretty good about it all. While I certainly don’t think that I’m a genius or a coding savant, or like I’m the “top student” in class, I feel like I am exactly where I want to be. I am getting things done on time, and staying ahead of the game. I feel like I “get” things just about as much as anyone.

I’m sure there is plenty more to say – I know I had more thoughts at one point in time, but maybe that’s for another post. For now, I’m just going to work on staying on top of things, and see how it goes. This week may be quieter, I may just do a week two summary at the end. We’ll see.

B33 Day 4!

This was the best day!
While I *do* mean best day so far (of class, school, whatever), I also mean it was just one of those best days. In life. We all have them (I hope.)

I had about 36 pages of reading to do still for the assignment due the following morning – I read some of it at home before I left, but had enough left that I made the tough decision to pass on packing lunch so I’d have more room and less weight to take my book to school. Took a chance on a Bartell’s sandwich on the way in. It was fine, although probably not my first choice!

Between reading on the bus, before class and at the beginning of lunch, I managed to knock it back to 6 pages that I finished in short order at home after dinner. I’m not going to try to convince you that I “get” manipulating the DOM, but at this point, I feel confident that I will soon enough.

We reviewed some code in the morning, and went over submission comments, and I was surprised to see that both a comment and a question of mine were in there, consecutively, but separately. I am not only feeling like I am retaining more in class and from the reading, but also that my comments and questions are improving.

Best of all – Today was HTML Day! I figured that it was, based on the reading, but I try not to make assumptions. Sam even said that this day would be easier, but for me, moving to something that I am familiar with? Sweet.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with HTML much at all, as I usually take the shortcut of using WordPress for blogging, and even for the business sites I’ve had in the past several years. HTML5 is definitely different from HTML4, and it’s not like I remember everything!

By lunch, I had knocked out a basic template that I wrapped around my script real quick, just to have a good starting point for afternoon lab.

Had some more (can you believe that?) lingering gituations to address right off, but then I was on my way. This *was* kind of an easy assignment for me. That doesn’t mean I didn’t wrestle with a few things – because I don’t really have my images organized in a way that I would have in the past (thanks to not really using them for websites anymore and all this new-fangled photo sharing stuff – okay, you know it’s true that I love it) it took me a bit to track down a couple of images that I wanted to jam into a quickie banner. I need to further explore both Google Photos and Instagram to make sure there really isn’t a better way to search your own photos before I start complaining, but both seem lacking in that fashion. Yeah, I could have searched IG by tags, but who knows what I would have tagged something from 4 years ago? And no, I don’t have any descriptions on my thousands of Google photos. They auto upload and I don’t have time to go in there and put something for each one.

Anyway, then there’s the fact that I don’t have Photoshop installed on my Air. I also don’t have a subscription to the online service – I do need to investigate whether I think that is sufficient or if I’m going to end up buying a new copy sometime in the next year. The online Pixlr editor I use is fine, but I could only spend so much time looking for “stroke” before I did a quick & dirty workaround. I didn’t really process those images at all, either. They have IG filters, and we haven’t actually covered images in class yet, so I let it go.

I added all my basic tags, and then expanded a bit with some stuff from Chapters 6-9. Mostly comments, and then an email form. I could have thrown a table in there to improve the layout, but we’re not supposed to be suing CSS yet, and I couldn’t bear the thought of a crappy looking unstyled table.

Biggest change in HTML5 – and this drove me nuts because we’re not supposed to use CSS – is that there’s no more text tags to style. No font:face, size, color, etc. GAH. Times New Roman, noooooooo!

I was able to finish up in a couple of hours. I could have done a LOT more, but used restraint to stick within the parameters of the assignment, and intentionally left out things that I wouldn’t be able to style (like tables) because I’d rather just wait to add that until I can make it look decent.

More gitsues at the end, merge conflicts be damned! Sam happened to be right there though, and walked me through fixing it all pretty darn quickly. I volunteered to do an interview about potential changes at CF with Alex, and I was still out of there by about 3:45, I think.

And then, only a bit of reading and submit that assignment and no reading today! WOOHOO!

I have no idea what we’ll be doing today – more HTML stuff? I wonder if we’ll be working on a partner’s HTML? :0


B33 – Day 3

We started the day off with this:

There’s something a bit fun or silly each day, which is a great relief.

Sam started off by telling us that we’d be doing:
1) Code Review
2) ObjectFunctionPalooza
3) Go Over Today’s Lab

and then proceeded to inform us that this day was going to be the hardest day of this week.

Just that morning, I had been re-reading some of the “42 Year Old Coding Virgin” blog posts, and in Part Three, he talks about some people in his class dropping out, speculating that it may have had something to with the stacked module environment. I internally “Harumphed” to myself, because I *LOVE* stacked learning. I realize that it works better for some of us than others, but I also think it would work better for more people if it were more of a standard method that people were more accustomed to.

By that afternoon, as I was walking to the bus stop, I wondered if it had to do with sheer exhaustion. I am by no means considering leaving boot camp, nor would I. It is not my style. Not only am I way too stubborn, but I can’t imagine just abandoning even part of your tuition. Not to mention that I’ve learned in life that most things only seem terrible at the time. Some things actually are truly terrible in retrospect, but stuff like this? Usually once you get to the end, you realize that it was worth it, even if the activity is ultimately not for you.

It was only the end of Day 3, and even though I didn’t even really struggle today (and certainly didn’t feel like I had as much trouble as some may have, and was out of there before others, and a bit before 5 even – again!), I was exhausted. I had felt tired that morning, and even gotten myself a coffee at lunch, which is pretty much unheard of for me. When I got home, I felt like I could have gone to sleep on the spot. I did not. I cooked the food that my husband had picked up and prepped for us (things have yet to completely unravel here, but we are out of cat food, due to less than perfect planning on my part), and even got some of my reading done before we got ready for bed. Again, I thought I’d fall RIGHT to sleep, but I made it all the way to 9:30 again. Here I am up on time again (early this morning, really, my husband was up about 20 minutes early, so I was too) and today, right now I feel much less tired. Maybe because I know I am on the downhill side of the week?

After my “gitshow” Tuesday (Sam told us that is what B31 called it, but he’s aiming for “gituations” instead) I was relieved to see that we were starting off with further instruction on Git/GitHub. Sam drew us a fantastic diagram:

Git flow

Flow Chart for GitHub

I immediately was able to see where I’d initially gone wrong the day before. I took really good, detailed notes, and by lab that afternoon, I felt prepared.

I’d been assigned to be part of a group of three rather than having a single partner. We were told we’d have to work fast. Uh-oh.
Turns out I still had an unresolved gituation from the day before, in which the code in my repo was my partner’s refactored code. Shit. Asked Dale for help, and it was pretty easy to rectify since I still had the code locally. Then I got the code I’d be working on and the file structure was not what I expected, so back to Dale, who suggested I change it, push it, and do a pull request (PR.) Finally, I can get to work. Except now the other two people in my group are Driving and Navigating on one person’s code, so I can’t ask for Navigation to really get started. I’d looked at it, and made some notes about some seeming functionality, and began sketching out on paper how I’d construct a function out of what was there.

Finally, I was able to have a discussion about how the code worked, and was able to re-work it so that it worked properly. I constructed a function, and got one of three actions working. After a while, another, and then got stuck on the last thing. I had to wait a while again for someone to be available for me to ask, and that was the only time I got anxious, because it’s difficult for me to know I need to be doing something and not be able to. I definitely continued trying different things on my own until I could get someone’s attention.

Things went pretty smoothly after that. I had one small gitsue, that I created myself by not reading the instructions carefully enough. D’oh! Everything else seemed to go very smoothly, and I submitted my assignment and was on my way.

Overall, Day 3 was a great success and not nearly as rough as I’d feared!

B33 – Day 2

I didn’t know that I was going to sit down and write something today, but then I felt like it a few minutes ago. I’ll come back to that.

Yesterday was super busy. We didn’t even make it through the list on Sam’s index card, according to Sam at the end of the day (I’d like to take a photo of it – it was illegible even from my new & improved vantage point in row 2, Sam has tiny handwriting, but it was full top to bottom and three columns deep.)

A *LOT* of it was from the reading we’ve been doing, and it’s all Foundations of JavaScript,
so we can get a grasp of the terminology, practices, concepts.

We covered: code style (including best practices and readability,) DRY (don’t repeat yourself) Flowcharts, pseudocode, and then spent some time talking about yesterday’s game assignment and some of the assignment comments we’d made when submitting it.

One thing I wanted to make note of here and specifically put it in my notes: Someone mentioned that one incorrect character can prevent function. This makes me think about my biggest pet peeve: bad use of English language, poor spelling and grammar! Sadly, in everyday writing/reading, science has shown that we can read and comprehend some pretty garbled text. Even 55% is a pretty high number of people that are able to read:

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghi t pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

(Side note: That ^^^ just about broke WordPress. I almost had a stroke looking at all the red underscores.)

It’s posed as ONLY 55% can read that, and the implication is that, if you can read this, you have great comprehension! I’ve been seeing this and similar articles/posts going around for years, and people get really excited about it – “Cool! Spelling really DOESN’T matter!”

BAH. HUMBUG. I love code because you can’t really just let errors go. Your vocabulary and syntax really should be correct. Even though JavaScript uses text coercion (unlike some other languages) it’s considered bad practice to have sloppy code with superfluous characters. I LOVE THIS. I’ve definitely found my place in the world.

After that, it was rapid fire review from the reading we’ve been doing.

Objects and Properties, key:value pairs, events, line termination, commenting, variables and naming them, Expressions and Operators, Functions and Loops (oh my!)

After lunch the assignment was to pair program with a partner, and work on each other’s code from the day before, improving and enhancing it. We had looked at one person’s code that morning, as an example, and I have to admit that when I saw it, I was hoping I wouldn’t get paired with him. I’d kept my code very simple, and his was easily twice as long and complicated, appeared to have redundancies etc. Of course, I got paired with him. Turns out he was a really great, super cool guy who was totally easy to work with and we had a great time working on this.

We went over my code and I was a bit aflutter that we agreed that it was really clean, and formatted nicely with proper indentation, etc. And very DRY. We decided to add a function, and after messing around with that for a while, ended up adding a while loop instead. Then got totally stuck on working with GitHub, so we switched to me working on his code.  We added a function and extended his game to do a couple of extra things (after I removed his redundant code, and adjusted his formatting.) Again, he was a pleasure to work with, and I am GLAD that we were partnered for this. Sam was of great help during the coding exercise, gently nudging us along, and making helpful suggestions. I also got totally stuck on the GitHub stuff – still not sure if it was during the forking process, or because of how I stored his repo locally, or maybe because I tried to push to the wrong remote location, or possibly even because we merged at the wrong point somehow. Dale walked me through putting it back in order step-by-step, which was really absolutely invaluable. I can’t stress that enough. GitHub is my nemesis!

*Note to Self! Be more careful when interacting with GitHub! I am positive my issues (gitssues) were due to my own user error. The gituation I got myself into almost took more time to repair than the coding exercise. (The git puns were flying yesterday.)

Still, we finished a bit early, and I was home by 5:30.

Here’s kind of what inspired me to write a blog post “first” thing in the morning (ok, I’d been up since 4, or 45 minutes when I began this) – I came home, “made” dinner (re-heated one thing, while baking another in the oven) did some (not all) of the things I usually do in the evening, and was in bed by 8:30. Remembered that I had not submitted my reading assignment for this morning (SO GLAD I DID THE READING AHEAD OF TIME), got up, did that, and was asleep by 9:30. I was exhausted. I am still kind of exhausted. I slept for 6.5 hours.

But the REAL reason I got inspired is that I was thinking about making lunch (and carrying it, and between that and the time it takes to make, wish that I could afford to just eat from the food truck or Peach every day) and realized that I was having thoughts such as: do I even need to eat lunch? I’m not even hungry for breakfast, which is really unusual. I didn’t eat that much for dinner last night because I wasn’t that hungry (also odd for me) and I think it’s because my brain is just so busy that it’s shutting down some of my other systems. Hunger cues? Waste of time and energy! Forget ’em! It’s only Day 2, and my brain has already just totally re-organized its priorities. What errands? What do you mean the floor needs sweeping? Read? Watch tv? Huh?

My days have already become super fast paced with no time for anything superfluous, and I haven’t even really had much in the way of homework yet, or had to even stay at school until 5 so far. I love it. It’s fantastic. I can’t wait to see how I feel at the end of the week.

B33 – Day 1

9 am: History lesson!
In 1822, Charles Babbage invented The Difference Engine, the first mechanical computer, or automatic computing machine.
Babbage was assisted by Ada Lovelace (Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace – I know her!), the first programmer. She wrote algorithms for the Difference Engine.

Also, a bunch of stuff about navigating by the stars (latitude! longitude! and mnemonics) and math.

10 am (ish) Orientation/kickoff stuff – wifi pw, door codes, etc.

10:30 (ish) intros. I think staff intros were actually before the kickoff stuff, but it was fairly quick. Met instructors, TA’s, co-founder, admissions and social media – got a handout about blogging and tweeting. Duly noted!
Student intros – name, where you’re from, background, and something geeky about yourself (music geek, vinyl records.)

11 Break

11:15 Started working on first code exercise. Javascript basis/template for guessing game.

Noon: Lunch. inadvertently chose a bench outside in the courtyard that ended up being (literally) in the middle of an Amazon tour. Weird. Walked around a bit. Ran into a couple of classmates near the end, and went back into lab together.

Worked on code assignment – no real issues, but re-visited this morning’s “rubber ducky” discussion in the respect that we talked through the issues we were having. While I can’t say for sure that it made a difference (I’m sure I would have figured this out anyway, and in fact found a reference to the specific issue I was having in my notes from a GitHub tutorial) it was reassuring to dialog back and forth:
“Did you do this?”
“How about this?”
“And, this?”
Just hearing someone suggest the things I was doing (which ended up with me googling my error message to find that issue and how to correct it) made it feel like I wasn’t really just winging it.
Finished and submitted my first assignment – “Guessing Game“.

Finished fairly quickly, after working past  a “merge conflict issue” with GitHub. Submitted and checked in with instructor.
Looks like I’m leaving early, it’s only 1:55, and I’m approved to go home and read!

Overall, this was a really good day.
My bus ride was very reasonable, and in fact, today I think I will take a later bus. Yay!
I finished the reading assignment that was due yesterday at midnight and submitted that, as well as the one that I’d already finished, due this morning. I’ve also finished tomorrow’s, to submit tonight, and Thursday’s submitted a while ago (Thought it was due yesterday for some reason.) That leaves me with one chapter to read by Friday.

In addition to getting my assignments done and getting home early, I made dinner (with a bit of prep help), got the laundry done, and all the other usual stuff. A really busy, exhausting day, but really, REALLY good.

Also, I’m liking the classmates I’ve interacted with so far.

Not sure if I’ll have time to do this daily, or if it will be too boring to do daily – maybe weekly? We’ll see. I’ll be trying to stay on top of tweets, if nothing else.