Weeks 13 & 14

160530 – 160613 — Total classroom hours 20(ish)

Yep, I fell behind again. Whats a guy to do? I’ve been making some killer progress (regardless of the low hour count for the two weeks). By the end of week 13 I had completed the Bloccitoff project, as well as the extra user stories that my mentor assigned to it because of my quick progress. At the moment it’s not much to look at, but it functions, and once I get some more front end developing under my belt I’m sure I can class it up in no time.

I completed most of my work over the weekend and after my mentor approved the checkpoint was pleasantly surprised to see the my ‘work completed’ progress bar on my Bloc homepage had moved tremendously! Basically, since the parameters of the curriculum are that I complete two projects, after the first project is completed I am two thirds of the way through the course (with the foundation coursework being the first third). For me, being able to get through the first project that efficiently confirms that I actually have a solid understanding of what I’m doing.

With this project taking me under two weeks, I cant imagine the next one taking me any more than a month. There are things I can improve upon, which will slow me down a bit, but I am pretty confident that even with that I will be done in 4 weeks or less. I didn’t test as much as I should have with the Bloccitoff project. I was so eager complete the user stories and move past the big problems that the testing fell by the wayside. I am going to be adamant about testing for this next project. Bloccitoff was proof to myself that I have a pretty solid grasp on the concepts, so now it’s time to start the good habits.  

With my timing as it is I now have to get serious about a personal project. I knew going into the course that it would be ideal for me to have a personal project, and now it looks like I’ll have the time to potentially complete one with the guidance of my mentor. Again, I’ve been thinking about this since I started, but have had a hard time coming up with something that is a) unique and b) potentially useful to the general public. After this weekend I’ve got and idea that fits both of those criteria and has a pretty simple user interface, which is also something I felt was important. Its also going to deal with automatically geolocating the user and measuring long/lat distances. Im pretty excited to get working on it, and I miiiiiight start it before Im finished with the next school project.

Last week most all my time was dedicated to the IPAs and APIs Hackathon put on by Avery Brewing and Mondo Robot. This was my first hackathon, and I was initially tentative about joining because I didn’t feel my programming experience was comprehensive enough. Luckily the lead coordinator of the hackathon convinced me to join and I had a great time. I entered as an individual, so I was assigned to a team. The team consisted of me, a UX designer, and a Java programmer. Basically, the Java programmer was the only one who had enough coding experience to get anything done, and since I don’t know a lick of Java, I wasn’t much help in that department. Luckily the UX designer had solid mock-up tools so we were at least able to show what we wanted the front end of the program to look like. Gaining experience working as part of a group was my main goal entering this competition, and I was very happy with how the three of us worked as a team. Our energy was always high and we communicated very well. At the end of the hackathon we were all proud of what we had accomplished. I would highly recommend everyone participating in a hackathon, regardless of where they are in their programming experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *