Coding Bootcamp - Week 6

This week we hit a milestone.


The January student cohort, who started six weeks before us, graduated and are now out in the job market, looking for work or perhaps starting up their own tech businesses. Actually, chances are, today some of them are having a well-deserved rest. I was really impressed by the January cohort’s final projects and what they were able to come up with in such a short space of time. In four weeks we start our own final projects. But until then, we still have a raft of material to get through. As always I am looking forward to acquiring new knowledge and further developing my skills. But as usual, whilst excited, I am slightly nervous about the undertaking that lies before me.

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” Einstein

Thankfully, I can take some reassurance in the advice given to us by Makers Academy Teacher Enrique at our six week review session…[I’m paraphrasing here]…“Not understanding everything is what makes the software development field so interesting. Developers are often in the dark, holding a flash light, trying to find their way. They break stuff along the way. They defintely fail. But they they keep persevering and eventually get to their destination in the end and suceed.”

The Tech Stuff!

This week we focused all our efforts on creating an online bookmark manager, similar to existing services like Reddit. We combined our existing knowledge of the Sinatra web framework, this time incorporating our app with a PostgreSQL database to store users’ information. We used Capybara to test how real users would interact with our app and got a run down on security basics (safe storing of passwords using hashes, salts and BCrypt). I still have a fair amount to do on this, hopefully I’ll finish it next week.

The Software Craftman

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Ghandi.

I really enjoyed the talk given to us by Paul Pagel, CEO and co founder of 8th Light. Paul was one of the main thinkers behind an approach to software development called Software Craftmanship. It emphasizes the coding skills of the software developers themselves and offers guidance on taking a lifelong approach to learning the field. I won’t go into too much detail here but if you want a really good practical run down of Software Craftmanship then I highly recommend reading Paul’s blog post.

Taking it up a gear

Reflecting on all the things that were discussed last week and bearing in mind that there are only six weeks to go, I’ve decided to ramp up my efforts. Here’s what I plan to do:

1) More pairing (working with other students to write code). 2) Rebuild my previous projects from scratch (using test driven development as I go) and add new features where appropriate.and finally… 3) Be comfortable with not understanding absolutely everything that we are subjected to throughout the remainder of the course. The important thing is to keep striving to learn over the long term.

Written on March 30, 2014