Monday, October 28, 2013
Here's a recent conversation I had with Bob.
$ ruby chat.rb temp_logfile.txt
Hello there, I'm Bob.
Hi, there. I'm Jaime.
Yes, Bob. I am me.
I don't understand you.
What does me mean?
Type 'skip' if you don't want to teach me that word right now.
I know this is just a tiny, tiny step forward but like an ugly baby, it's beautiful to me.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
When I have to choose between coding and blogging, I'm trying hard to choose coding. Thus, the radio silence for the past week.
I've tried to install Linux on a partition on both my laptop and the family computer but haven't had much success. From my research, I see that installing Linux on older iBooks can create all sorts of WiFi issues, so I was scared off from that route before I even tried. (Working with the busted-up keyboard and it's half-missing keys reminded me why I retired Wall-e in the first place.)
I'm going to defer applying for Gnome's Outreach project for another six months. I'm continuing my work through the Ruby the Hard Way book, though, and I'm in the beginning stages of building a little chat bot website (yes, it's been done before but not yet by me.) I've plunked the start of it over at GitHub here and here. I'm also looking into WGU again. I'd love feedback from people with first-hand experience!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Every single time that I've been stumped by some odd error message or unexpected behavior in a program and then Google it, the first (and sometime the first several) listings are all on StackOverflow. Many of the answers help (some don't) but nearly every time, I see some other purportedly skilled programmer has had the same exact problem that I'm having. Or this problem.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
I spent the evening after work baking brownies and coding writing mini Ruby programs of silly questions with my kids. Initially, my seven year old was rather miffed that I kept insisting that we type in responses to each multiple choice question. Once she got to see the program in action, she could see that it was fun to enter in the "wrong" answer to get a "try again" from the computer. She got to learn something about logic and I got to complete an exercise in the Ruby book!
Tomorrow I will attempt to load Linux into my old iBook. Wish me luck!
Friday, October 11, 2013
The past few days have been filled with frustration. My work has left me with very little time to code. This has the double edge of leaving me too tired to be super-efficient with the bits of time I can steal and angry that my work is effectively trapping me by not allowing me to develop the skills I need to finally escape from it.
Gnome has started Round 7 of their Outreach Program for Women. When it became clear last spring that I didn't yet have the technical skills to apply, I promised myself that I would apply for the next round. Whether through Imposter Syndrome or self-awareness, I don't really feel like I have the skills now.
This insecurity kept me from clicking the button to start my application for the Ada Developers Academy, as well, though. If I had powered through the uncertainty and taken the risk, I would have seen the deadline time and could possibly be interviewing for a spot right now. I am determined to not lose another chance like that again.
So, in addition to finishing the Ruby book (I completed 12 exercises today!) and starting the rest of the ADA curriculum, I'm adding to my current Five Day Plan to install a Linux distro on my old (older than two of my children old) I Book. All of the Gnome OPW projects use Linux (an open source OS is pretty key ;) )
I know this is a lot and I'm not really sure how I'm going to do it, but I won't keep doing what I've been doing. I don't have the resources to simply quit my job (to many people count on me) but I deserve a little happiness in my job, too.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
After hitting a neighborhood of speed bumps with the last two exercises, I haven't written any code over the last day. Exercise 23 in Learn Ruby the Hard Way instructs us to visit GitHub and read some Ruby code that we can find there. Obviously, I choose to delve further into the Ada Dev Academy repo :).
I dutifully kept a list of symbols, words, expressions, etc, that I didn't understand. (What does :variable mean?) I surprised myself by understanding a little more than I expected and could guess the meaning of a few things (do |t| is some kind of enumeration?) I'm sure I will find out soon. (And will search once I'm on a real computer and not just my phone!)
More realistically, I expect to finish the next 15 exercises or so by Tuesday. I have my new workflow in place: read an exercise, write the code, test it, push it up to GitHub then work on the next iteration in the extra credit work. That will give me the practice I need on git and the Ruby book.
And I'm off!
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
I like the Ruby Rogues podcast so much that I started regularly listening to them before I started studying Ruby. After an ill-timed phone call at home from my boss, I needed a little turnaround before I took to bed with Cracked.com and avoided the world until it was time to report to work. So, I turned on BeyondPod and brought up the latest Ruby Rogues podcast, all about company loyalty and curating your own career and, as usual, a bunch of other great gems. (Pun totally not intended.)
Ah... that's better.
I was feeling rather discouraged about my sprint through Learning Ruby the Hard Way. I underestimated the amount of time it would take me to complete it and overestimated the amount of time I would be able to steal from other parts of my life to work on it. That has left me far behind my little Five Day Plan. The good news is that I'm still at it. And, because my plan includes pushing all of my code up to GitHub, I'm being certain to complete every extra credit assignment. I read somewhere that you'll write better code if you know someone else is going to read it and that certainly seems true for me!
TTFN, I'll write more soon.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
I just finished writing a post entitled "I Did Not Code Today," but a "network connection" error on my phone stopped the post from publishing. As it sat there in my notifications list, it seemed liked a second chance to end today on a really good note.
So, here I am, blogging instead of coding. Time to pull out the keyboard and get to work!
Friday, October 4, 2013
I squeezed in a bit of coding today and completed a review of Exercise 15 and nearly all of Exercise 16 (including the extra credit). I'm off tomorrow, but so is the rest of the family, so I'll be able to get in an hour or so.
If I really push it, I can finish up the rest of the book sometime on Tuesday. Then I'll start pushing my code samples and exercise scripts up to GitHub. I'll start Bash from the Ada curriculum after that.
I realize that this isn't most scintillating set of blog posts, but right now it's serving it's purpose to keep me on track. I'll have something more interesting to say soon.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I just discovered a Ruby for Android app in the app store: Ruboto. It looks like I may have just lost my whiny "I was on the bus all day so I couldn't code" excuse. This should be interesting. Now let's see what I can do with GitHub on here!
The Freelancer's Show had a book club episode on "Book Yourself Solid" by Michael Port. He talked lot about networking and general business building, but he did touch on how important it is to do work that is important to you and to avoid working with clients that burn you out.
And that's a big party of why I'm
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
I think I may have finally found what will break me of my procrastination habit. I missed the application deadline for the Ada Developers Academy by a few hours because I was too afraid to actually start submitting the application. I read the assignment, created and even uploaded the YouTube video, everything. My fear held me back.
Luckily, the ADA curriculum is open sourced on Github, so I'm following along. I'm working through Learn Ruby the Hard Way right now. I'm planning to use the overall timing structure of the ADA to keep me on track and focused and put a little fire under me. When it comes time for the real ADA students to start their internships, I'm going to take a deep breath and find something that at least resembles an internship for myself. I have no problem advocating for my kids. It's time I did it for myself, too.
So, back to work. I'm going to blog along the way. (And if I have to create an entry that says "I sucked and didn't do any learning today," I will. Just one of those that pop up on a Google search should keep me in the game.
Edited to add: my favorite little pep talk bit from Learn Ruby the Hard Way is this:
- Remember that everyone makes mistakes. Programmers are like magicians who like everyone to think they are perfect and never wrong, but it's all an act. They make mistakes all the time.