Man, time is sure flying by. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing. I can still remember how slow week 1 went. Coding was such a new experience, everyday I was building a foundation on a blank slate, and each day felt long and drawn out. Fast forward to the present and it’s already day 1 of week 6! Every day I’m still learning new things but the concepts aren’t as foreign as they once were. A foundation has been laid. I won’t call it solid but it’s there. I’m not sure why times going by as fast as it is now as opposed to how slow it was going initially. Now that I think about it, it kind of makes me nervous that times going by as fast as it is. I’m nearly halfway through the program and there’s still so much I want to learn and practice but the pace of the boot camp is unrelenting.
We’re beginning to transition to back end development. We briefly worked with Google’s Firebase platform. Using it as a database I created a train scheduler for a homework assignment.
The user inputs a train name, destination, the first time it runs, and the frequency. The information gets stored in Firebase and we then use the information to calculate an arrival time and then display everything to the page. Seems pretty straight forward but it was pretty cool for the first time to have user input saved and displayed.
I’m looking forward to learning more about back end development. I think right now if I had to pick between the two I’d probably lean more towards back end. Although creating a visually stunning front end of a website is fun and rewarding, I think I’ll find the back end workings to be more interesting and challenging. That’s just where I’m at now, but who knows what I’ll be thinking by the end of week 12.
First off, I’d like to apologize to all my faithful readers. It is now Tuesday evening and I still haven’t updated you guys on how Week 3 went. That’s because this past weekend I actually had a social life! Yup, went for the full trifecta and went out on Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday. Yes, yes shame on me. All those good hours I could’ve spent coding wasted on family and friends. In my defense I coded before going out each night and my homework wasn’t due until Wednesday. So I don’t feel terribly guilty about not dedicating my entire weekend to coding.
Game of Trivia
The lesson there is to always be looking at the big picture. What exactly is it that you’re trying to do? What are the things that you’re currently working with? Is this enough to do what you’re trying to accomplish? If not, what else do you need? I’m still really enjoying this learning process. The more I learn and understand the better I get. And getting better is fun. I’ve never been in an educational setting that was so instantaneously gratifying. I can only hope the remainder of the boot camp goes the same.
The homework assignments have also started to increase in difficulty. In week one the homework assignments were more time consuming than they were hard. Planning, AKA pseudocoding, is very important. I’ll admit, planning has never really been my style. I’m more of a throw it against the wall and see if it sticks type of guy. But it didn’t take me long to learn that if I wanted to work efficiently I would need to take the time to pseudocode and figure out step by step what I needed to do.
Even after all the planning in the world, I’m still my own worst enemy. Debugging code as a newbie is definitely a frustrating experience. Does my code actually work? Did I write it correctly? Are there any typos? How about a missing semicolon? Do my conditions have the right number of equal signs? Are you sure there aren’t any typos? Are all my parentheses and curly brackets closing the right things? Is everything in the right scope? Lexical !@#$ing scope… If you have no idea what lexical scope is I wont burden you with an explanation. Just imagine Schrödinger’s cat meets Inception.
I think my head is still above water at this point, but I do feel myself sinking a bit. While most people will spend this MDW at the beach or BBQing, I’ll be spending a majority of it trying to stay on top of all the material we’ve covered, maybe one BBQ…