What we’ve “learned” in 6 weeks
We are now half way through the WDI program, which I have mixed feelings about. I definitely have been experiencing a slump and some depression after finishing Project 1.
Monday — Refactoring and Rspec refresher
We started out Monday with an instructor showing how she would refactor some of the code from one of our projects, and then we had to pair up and make notes for our partner of what we thought they could refactor in their project’s code. Then we were given time to actually go through our own projects and refactor our code. I was very excited about this because I have a lot that I want to clean up in my own project, and it’s definitely a work in progress.
We then had another Rspec refresher, which I was grateful for because it’s one of my weak areas, at least when trying to use it with Rails controllers, and then homework was that we had to write some tests for our projects, if we hadn’t already when we were building it. I had wanted to to test-driven development with my project, but I couldn’t get the tests to run, so I was really frustrated that I wasn’t going to be able to do the homework since that issue hadn’t been solved yet. Right as I was walking out the door a teacher was able to help me figure out that when I installed Rspec in my project, there were important things missing from the spec_helper.rb file that are supposed to be there automatically to tell it where to look for files.
So I finally could run tests in my project, but I spent hours trying to right a single successful test for things in my controller and couldn’t get anything to work.
I finally had a 1 on 1 with one of the teachers, after not having one in 3 weeks. It was really great to finally be able to address some of my questions, concerns, and subjects I was struggling with. It was the longest 1 on 1 that I’ve had and I felt really good afterwards. She helped with some of my Rspec issues, and I’m looking forward to actually getting to delve into it deeper when I have a chance.
For homework we had to do a one page Mad Libs site in Rails. It was basically the same thing we did in class with a To-Do list, but definitely hammered in what we learned by having to do it myself, even with having the previous code to refer to. Since I concentrated primarily on the back-end functionality and that took me a few hours, my madlibs were very uncreative. I was too tired to write out stories.
Wednesday — Underscore.js, Asset Pipeline, and JS Templates
Homework was creating a bucket list one-page app, using Underscore and JS templates. I had no idea what to do and wasn’t in a place that had internet, since I went to the Double Union Feminist Talks event that night. So I spent a couple hours just setting up my app the best I could, but didn’t actually finish. It was the first time in 6 weeks that I didn’t finish the homework. I was in such a great mood from the event that night though, being around like-minded people, that I didn’t feel too guilty about it.
Thursday — Halloween and Review
Since it was Halloween there were a lot of celebrations throughout the day, and I felt like we really didn’t do much that day in class, but I was okay with it, because it’s kind of hard to work on Halloween. We all ate a lot of candy, cupcakes, etc and there was a piñata. Not a lot of people dressed up, but we had a costume contest and I ended up winning Runner-Up. My classmate, Luke, won the contest with his Emperor Norton costume and I was okay with losing to that. Here’s some pictures of some of the costumes and festivities:
Friday — Ruby & JS Terms, jQuery review
During lunch I talked to one of the students from the last cohort, who just recently started an Apprenticeship program position through General Assembly. I started getting pretty nervous when she said that for their cohort there were only 3 apprenticeship positions available, and that other classmates were really struggling to find development jobs. I guess it only reinforces that I need to continue to work extra hard to make sure that I do not fail in my goals once the program ends.
We did a lab all afternoon and had to pair program. It was the first time in 6 weeks that we were instructed to genuinely pair program and I was glad for the mandate since I need practice doing so. I was very glad for the experience and while my partner and I experienced a few frustrations with the code, we kept progressing and got to a decent stopping point. I think I need to get better with self-control and etiquette while pair programming, because we were building the program on his laptop, and sometimes when I’d get really excited about what I thought would be a possible solution I’d practically steal the keyboard so I could type it out. I am also not as good at explaining my thoughts as I’d like to be.
Homework for the weekend was to finish working on the project that we pair programmed on.
Thoughts and Reflections
On Monday I had my first thoughts about dropping out of the course, but when I looked into doing so I realized it was too late to get any refunds, even a partial one. My reasons for wanting to drop out are opposite of the reasons a lot of people drop out. I won’t go into the reasons now, because I plan on writing a blog post about the course in general once the full 12 weeks are up.
Tests make me nervous, which is why I’m really nervous about job interviews. We had some questions on our assessment test this week that involved code that I’ve written a hundred times and have never had any problem remembering syntax. I wrote them wrong on the test. To be fair, the fact that I was writing it in a gist instead of a proper text editor kind of threw me off too, but regardless there is no reason I should have messed up such easy syntax. It makes me wonder if I’ll I be able to perform under pressure during job interviews.
I’m glad that the week ended with the pair programming high note, because other wise it was a pretty sucky week and I felt really apathetic for most of it.