Weeks 08 & 09

160425 – 160508 — Total classroom hours: 29

Oh what a few weeks it’s been! My mentor took a vacation, which meant that my program was frozen for a week. I could have just taken the week off, I think I could have easily made the argument that I had ‘earned’ a week of just doing nothing and catching up on Netflix. But, I don’t sit around well, and the finish line for the foundation section is within sight, so instead of chilling for a week I decided to keep up the momentum and crank through some checkpoints.

There seems to be a rhythm starting. With just about every new checkpoint there needs to be either an entirely new table or a column added to an existing table. New models, new controllers, partials, polymorphic relations, it’s been pretty wild. I’m starting to feel confident in performing these repeating actions on my own. I’ll see what the coursework is heading towards and I’m able to work a few steps from memory, then confirm my actions by scrolling down the coursework webpage. Whereas at the beginning of the Rails work it felt like I was typing voodoo magic, now the connections make sense to me, I understand the logic behind the coursework code and the assignments are becoming a bit less stressful. I’ve heard many times that programming is about muscle memory and repetition. Its tough to trust that, especially at the beginning when everything is so new, but it seems to be working out that way.

If you’ve been reading the blog you know that I have a husband and wife power-programming team (Corey and Emily Davis) is  in my corner and they are eager to talk about my progress every time we get together. We’ve met up a few times over the past two weeks and it is so incredibly helpful to be able to talk to them about what I’m doing. They’ve given me some great input when I’m stuck on something small, but even when I’m not stuck on anything, to be able to just have a programming conversation is invaluable. It’s a bit of a confidence boost to be at a point where I can simply talk shop with other people. This also leads to discussions about different approaches to problems and challenges. Every school has a slightly different approach to teach programming, and having the input from other industry professionals -including my mentor- is making me a bether programmer than if I just had my blinders on and was cranking though the classwork.

The end of the the foundation block of checkpoints is in sight. I only have 5 checkpoints left, which in theory means that I could be finished by the end of the weekend. I’m definitely going to give it my best effort, but I’d be pleasantly surprised if I actually get it all done. I’m excited to get into the projects, this Reddit clone project had been a great learning experience, and Im sure I’ll be referencing it quite a bit during the projects. I haven’t really dug into any of them to see what I want to do first. I’m trying to keep my eye on the prize and keep my focus on this foundation block. I’d like to get some experience with APIs, as I’m interested in being able to take advantage of user-ready data. My mentor mentioned a path that he felt utilized Bloc’s project curriculum in the best way, so I’m also curious to hear his input on it.
All in all things are going very well and I’m eager to see what the projects will be like.

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