Monday, November 25, 2013

Pulling Back a Bit for Understanding

So I changed my registration for Railsbridge from helper to student. I'm still seriously stuck on the Intermediate course. I can make my way through it through Google, but I'm not really grokking what I'm typing. I'm not quite ready to help someone else learn it if I don't really understand it myself. I'll sign up for the next session as a helper. (And I'll be a much better helper that way, too.)

The super busy season at work is almost upon us. I'm going to get as much done today as I can and then get mini-projects done throughout the weeks. This is my last day off for 8 days, so I'm going to be blogging a lot less. I'm determined to keep up my Github and Stackoverflow streaks, though. I've got to be able to find an hour or two to carve out for learning each day. It can't be impossible. :)

Enough blogging, time to work. Wish me luck - it's going to be a crazy month or so but I'm going to make it through with a couple of mini-projects under my belt (and perhaps a bit of a sleep dept to pay off down the line...) :D

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Getting Ready for Tonight's ADA After Hours

In preparation for tonight's ADA After Hours, I'm drilling down into the public parts of the Ada Dev Academy curriculum. Today's warm up (which I worry may take me all day to complete) utilizes rspec, a testing tool that comes up repeatedly in posts that I've read but that I haven't really started working with yet.


After a bit of Googling and digging into Stackoverflow questions, I found a link posted by PriankaK in a question on SO, (shockingly) called "Getting Started with rspec." (Imagine that.) The link led me to a blog on automated testing techniques by none other than Jeff Nyman!  So, I'm poring over it, trying out a "testing spike", cramming in as much knowledge as I can on rspec and then I'll be able to actually start the "warm up" of writing a Hamming module. Yeay!

Things are going to start getting very frustrating. It's the uber-busy season at work (yeay, retail!) but I'm hopeful that I can catch up a bit when ADA starts working on Javascript (I will hopefully have less studying to do in order to complete those assignments.)

Back to work, but I wanted to share the link to Nyman's blog. It looks like it's going to be a very helpful source of info for me and may be for future learners, too. :D


OMG I did it:

# Implement a Hamming Class here:
class Hamming

  def Hamming.compute(strand1, strand2)
    diff = 0

    if strand1 == strand2
      puts "they match"
      length = strand1.length <= strand2.length ? strand1.length : strand2.length
      for i in (0..(length-1)) do
        if strand1[i] != strand2[i]
  diff += 1
    return diff


Excuse me while I vacuum up the yak hairs...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Next Five Days

My inter-library loaned copies of Beginning Ruby by Peter Cooper and Learn to Program by Chris Pine are both due on the 24th, so I have an externally imposed deadline to push me to finish this portion of my learning. I'm **nearly** done with LTP but I've barely cracked the spine on Beginning Ruby. I hope to get through at least some of it before I have to return it.

I have also signed up to help out at the next Seattle Railsbridge event on December 13th. It's a little crazy and definitely not something I would normally do (who the heck am I to go help teach people, right?) but doing what I usually do is what has kept me stuck in a soul-sucking "temporary" job. Taking big steps right out of my comfort zone should help me break out of this. :)  After finishing the Installfest and Beginner Railsbridge curriculum curricula I've been working through Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial after getting majorly stuck on the Intermediate level of Railsbridge. As is typical, it's been slow-going but I'm plodding along as best as I can.

I don't have any original code yet (it's all been based on the tutorials and is posted at Github, but I will have something original soon (I hope :D.) It's time to get back to work.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Days Like This

On days like this, when I have so little time to actually study and work on code, I wish that I could just be happy with what I'm already doing. I wish that I could live without ambition, without the hope that I can do so much more and contribute so much more than I am with "Did you find everything you needed today?"

On days like this, ambition just makes me sad.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Needing a Step Between Beginner and Intermediate

Yes, I know, :eyeroll:.

I finished the Suggestotron three times on Railsbridge and was pumped and ready to tackle my next challege, so I started the intermediate level.

And got stuck.

Majorly, completely stuck. I figured out how to create the controller and even managed to install Devise, but I had no clue of what to do next. So, I found a tutorial by Michael Hartl called (fittingly enough) The Ruby on Rails Tutorial. It's very take-you-by-the-hand and I've been able to skim a few sections but I've also picked up a few tricks along the way, too. (And, with the help of the comments section at Coderwall, specifically the comment by bnlucas, I was able to set up my path to allow me to open Sublime with the wonderfully succinct `subl`.)

I've only 45 mintues before my "day" job, so I'm heading back in the fray. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

So Much To Cover...

It's been a busy week (or so...)

Ada Developers Academy has created an "After Hours" lab once a week to give Adies and those playing at home an opportunity to talk code and get and give help outside of classroom hours. I went last week and it was so great! I didn't plan enough time for my commute (I forgot just how busy downtown Seattle gets during rush hour) so I arrived late, but it was wonderful to get out and meet actual people who are working on this! :D

I'm still working my way through the ADA curriculum as best as I can. They've modified it so that much of the actual curriculum and assignments are posted on a private LMS so that the class has a safe haven for homework and discussions. GitHub now posts the lesson plans for teachers, but I think I can make this work. I'm fighting my way through the Railsbridge Suggestotron curriculum now, after getting majorly tripped up by using an underscore instead of a dot!! (Love those typos!)

Which brings me to the last bit I wanted to post this morning. Last night I listened to the latest Hanselminutes. "Bugs Considered Harmful with Douglas Crockford" was terrific. One of the many (opinionated, of course! :D) things he told suggested that developers do is use a bug log. I've been doing that, thanks to the very helpful Learn Code the Hard Way tutorial. At this point, my bugs are typically typos and forgetting to type 'ruby' or 'git' before spewing out some long command in the terminal. Later I'll have better bugs :D.

Goodbye for now, back to coding...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Not Behind, But...

I feel behind.

I'm following along with the Ada Developers Academy curriculum, but, as could be expected, I'm still on Lesson 1. I'm trying very, very hard to not beat myself up. I'm attempting a course designed to be worked intensely full time and I'm working it around 50 hour work weeks and a family. It would be a sign of a bad curriculum if I could just breeze through it in an hour or two a day. (And it's clearly not a bad one!!)

Enough whining. Back to the books. Thanks to the wondrous King County Library System, I was able to get two of the three ADA books through inter-library loan. I have three weeks to work through both of them, so I need to get back to work. Hopefully I can catch up a bit with ADA once they start JavaScript. (I also have a link for Reg Braithwait's JavaScipt Allonge that's been calling my name and I'm looking forward to that.)

Hackbright Academy retweeted one of their students yesterday:

Inspiring and majorly jealousy-inducing at the same time. I can't wait to be able to say something like that. And that's why I'm up at 4am on a night that I close so that I can eke out just a tiny bit more coding and learning time. I'll get there. Like toddlers growing up multi-lingual, it's going to take me longer. But once I'm there, look out, world!