Week 16

160620 – 160626 — Total classroom hours 8.5

Well, if anyone besides me is actually looking at the numbers, I haven’t had a 15+ hour week in at least a month. The irony is that I’m getting a lot done, regardless of the low hour count. As I type this I am on Checkpoint #8 of the Blocipedia project, and 89% of the way through the Rails curriculum. When the numbers are in my favor, it’s hard to not break out and head up to the mountains when the weather is beautiful, especially since I spent the better part of the spring (and end of winter) in my office programming until my brain was mush. I’m not sure the point of all this, probably me trying to justify the fact that I’ve been slacking a bit. Well, enough of that, what about what I’ve learned this week?

There’s a gem for that! That’s probably my biggest take away from the last week of work. Blocipedia requires user roles, and Bloc suggested using the Pundit gem to take care of the heavy lifting for that. The irony is that in my foundations curriculum we hand coded the user role function, so I had not used Pundit yet, and in the descriptor for the checkpoint Bloc was wording it in such a way that I should remember that time I used Pundit in the Bloccit app. Out of absolute dumb luck I happened to be in the same room as another Bloc student who was on the cusp of graduation from the program (more on that later on). He was a little surprised by my initial confusion regarding Pundit, but after a quick discussion we realized that Bloc had changed the curriculum since he took the Rails course. He still had all the documentation from his foundations curriculum and he happily passed it along to me. Once I read it over I was able to make quick work of Pundit and establishing user roles for my Blocipedia.

Although I didn’t code it out in the correct order, I was determined to establish tests for the user roles. Since I used Pundit instead of hand coding the roles as per my foundations curriculum I wasn’t exactly sure how to setup the Rspec testing, so I headed to Google. To my delight one of the first search results lead to a gem called Pundit-Matchers that makes quick work of the Rspec testing for user roles. Its super clean and intuitive to write, I highly recommend it.

Something else worth mentioning from last week, I have officially co-founded a code meetup! I’ve been attending the Boulder Ruby Meetup since November last year, and although it’s a great meetup, most of the content is over my head. The ratio of what I can grasp has obviously improved since I’ve started Bloc, but I’m still blindly following along during presentations quite a bit. Knowing that I could not be the only person attending that was having this experience, I decided that I would try to put together a meetup of my peers. I made the announcement during a meetup a few months ago and was approached by Sean Collins. Sean proceeded to tell me that he had been thinking about started a similar themed meetup, so we agreed to merge our ideas and team up to put a new meetup together.

We worked with the organizers of Boulder Ruby Meetup and started Monthly Coding Night, the goal of which was to get people of varying experience levels together and code on whatever projects we like. Its pretty informal, after some beer and pizza and mingling we get everyone together, introduce ourselves and what we’ll be working on that evening. There’s a big variety in projects, and some don’t have anything in particular to work on, so they just bounce around the room helping anyone that would like a little guidance. I think this first meetup was a success, as everyone seemed very enthusiastic about having met new people and making some code progress.

It may seem a tad daunting to start your own meetup, but I can almost guarantee that there are other like-minded people in your community that would like to get together, it just takes that one person to get the ball rolling. In my case there were two of us, so that definitely helped, but it could most definitely be done with one person and I bet a second person could be picked up in that first meeting to help organize future meetings. I think it’s worth the effort, you never know who you’ll meet. Case in point, at last week’s meetup I met Justin, who is a fellow Bloc student! I probably would have never known that there was another Bloc student in my area had I not made the initial push to get this meetup going in the first place. Crazy things happen when you put yourself out there, that’s all I’m sayin’…

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