Feelin' Austintacious?
500th POST, FTW!

I have to admit, I was immeasurably terrified when I heard that the infamous Delta Checkpoint was released for us, but after completing it, I feel confident in my ability to get a quality rails app up and running (relatively) quickly. And, as reluctant as I was at first, it’s all thanks to outside-in development! I’m still not at the point where TDD is second-nature (I definitely still have to spend a while getting myself into the proper mental space), but the benefits far outweigh my previous method of development, where my programs were held together by a lick and prayer. I mean… just look at the healthcare.gov fiasco! To me, there’s no better contemporary example of why TDD is fantastic than that. And while it’s definitely been a growing experience, just knowing that I have a robust test suite to back up my implementation is craaaaaazy comforting.

Until next time!

TDD

So, patience isn’t my strong-suit. I’ll admit it. Though I have a drive that certainly keeps me going while I’m working through my code, and while I absolutely enjoy doing what I’m doing, the Test-Driven Development (or TDD) philosophy of programming is proving to be a challenge. Not in the sense that writing tests is difficult, because I haven’t really found that to be the case. It really helps to give my code a good backbone before I even begin writing it out, but sometimes I begin to feel that it’s a huge drain on my time. I’m still trying to figure out what to test for, how many edge cases to consider, and what return values I expect when I haven’t written a single method yet, and oftentimes I just want to dive right into my code and start playing around. Hopefully, as I grow as a developer (as well as an individual), I’ll come to have more of an appreciation for taking my time with pertinent tests. 

All the hashes!

Okay, so these Ruby fundamentals are completely coming into play. Dealing with different data structures like hashes and arrays all this week has certainly been a challenge. For one challenge, we’re making a cash register that not only functions for store purposes, but also lets the manager print and view reports of sales. Making a working register was no problem, since we already had a few working versions of varying complexity, but figuring out how to retrieve (and subsequently parse and compare) specific information from our CSV files has been no easy feat. I will say, however, that my fellow Launchers as well as people in the Ruby community have been very helpful in terms of sharing what they know. It seems like people are really eager to help others accomplish goals among this sect of devs, and it’s really comforting to know that help isn’t ever too far away. Now I’m just looking forward to the start of Beta Campaign!

Onward and upward, y’all.

Breakable Toy Time!

Now comes the part where we start worrying more about our personal projects. My idea (for a lack of better words thus far) is a social design knowledge base. I want to craft a (relatively) simple open media environment for people that use design for social change. By producing a website that allows people to track their efforts (as well as those of other users) and allows a share knowledge, redundant efforts can be prevented, and the resources that are so often wasted by a lack of shared information can be saved.

Today I spent a lot of time just sketching and wireframing, taking some time to step away from the actual code, and designing the beginnings of something nice. I don’t know that I’ve come across any website or web apps that fit what I’m looking to do, which excites me, but also seems a bit intimidating. I’m taking this challenge really seriously though because the more I learn, the more I think I would like to fall somewhere between coding and design, and this long-term project is a great way to show what I can do when given time. “Design technologist” sounds pretty dang impressive, so I just hope I can learn to live up to the title.

Week One: Done!

As a minority in the US (or anywhere, for that matter), I have learned to become weary of the words “tradition” and “legacy”. That’s why I’m starting to feel really great about Launch Academy. This week has been a challenge (nothing I couldn’t overcome, of course :P), but I’m really anticipating what’s to come. This challenge-based approach to learning is really a lot more exciting to me than I thought it might be, and it’s really shifting the way I think about learning, as well as morphing some of the goals that I have for myself and my future. I obviously love learning, but I can be a lot smarter about the way I go about things, and knowing that is nothing but empowering.

Onward and Upward!

T minus 6 days

Starting my 10-week intensive next Monday, and I couldn’t be more excited! All of the pre-work has got my brain running overtime, and I can’t even begin to imagine what else they’re gonna fill my head with. All this talk of methods, invocation, rubies and gems is starting to make me feel like a wizard for sure :P 

Then tell the bus to hurry up! #noloitering #srsly? #thiswindowisliterallyabench  (at Wonderland)

Then tell the bus to hurry up! #noloitering #srsly? #thiswindowisliterallyabench (at Wonderland)

The State House, beautifully lit. #Boston

The State House, beautifully lit. #Boston

Double spicy salmon and crispy pad thai… and I was worried about the food!

Double spicy salmon and crispy pad thai… and I was worried about the food!