Recap: Follow Me from HTML Illiterate to Professional Programmer
In case you haven’t read Week 0 (about my preparation), I am currently a student at a programming bootcamp in the San Francisco Bay Area. I finished college a few months ago, but decided my business degree wasn’t going to let me do what I really wanted: to build rather than manage. This realization and my love for startups (and California) led me to begin working toward a career in software development.
The Wonders of Firebase: Before I build (or rebuild without the bugs!) the backend of myCard, I have been reworking the front-end and using Firebase to post and get my data. Google recently acquired Firebase, and for very good reason – the product is amazing! I understood how to use it easily and setting it up hasn’t been too difficult either. Usually, the back-end has so many details and busy-work involved that its never my favorite thing to set up, but Firebase makes the storing-data-thing easy enough to leave me no excuse to stall on working on the app.
The Beauty of Yeoman: Now, it isn’t that I’m completely obsessed with shortcuts. Its just that starting a new project requires so much attention to detail in order to prepare for neat and organized code that it can be very tedious. Yeoman works beautifully with what I’ve already written in Angular and essentially generates a template of files for me to work in. It is pre-organized and ready for code – which is perfect for junior programmers who really just need to practice their programming!
Independence: The past week or so have been pretty chilled out for us in terms of structure. We have been working on this huge team project, of course, but outside of that, there has been full freedom to learn on our own. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m an incredibly independent learner and feel strongly that self-reliant learning is the most sustainable kind. As a result, I have been more productive than usual this week and looking back at my checklist of completed tasks gives me warm fuzzies…which are, of course, attacked by ice pellets when I look at the rest of the list…
Buggy Back-ends: Back to myCard – buggy code sucks. It quits working randomly without any apparent reason and takes way too long to get going again. As a result, I’ve had to make the difficult decision of scrapping my entire back-end code as it is and will be using Firebase instead to optimize the front end before messing with Node (or maybe Rails) again. It was definitely a difficult decision considering the work that went into it all, but I also think its the right decision for the project!
Cold Emails: Well, emails are a bit better than cold calling, but only marginally. I do understand these emails are important to my job search, but sending busy start-up heads yet another email they have to sort through from someone they’ve never spoken to just hits a level of awkwardness that I’m not a fan of. Lets just say there have been several cold emails this week sent from my address and I haven’t loved sending any of them…except for when I get an enthusiastic response. I only email companies I really love, and getting a response that is just as excited about my excitement is great!
Issues with Terminal: This has been a low throughout the bootcamp, but I’ve had more issues than normal with terminal this past week, which has made working on our group project difficult for me since I spend all my time working on figuring out why I’m getting a hundred lines of error messages. Luckily, I have Samer to help me debug – but I definitely need to find a solid tutorial on best practices when using the terminal.
Hacking Spaces: After the bootcamp ends, I need a place to continue to work on my projects and network. I’ve been looking for a place where I can talk to other developers, but also have time to myself to work silently. There are actually hacking spaces nearby like Hacker Dojo, but I have to keep the monthly fees in mind and the fact that I don’t have a car yet. Any work space deserves some thought and consideration, so I’ve been spending some time each day finding the ideal place to set up shoppe!
Call for Nonprofits: I’ve been heavily involved with nonprofits and my community my whole life, and have been able to bring this into my career as a developer as well. Several nonprofits in my hometown have asked me to build them a simple, single page website that can get across the message of who they are and what they do without overwhelming the visitor with text. This is great practice for me since I can practice with basic front-end development and build my portfolio and it doesn’t generally take more than a day’s work. So I’ve decided to continue with this at least once a month on a Sunday, when I will dedicate the day to building something for a nonprofit organization. Send me a message if you’re interested for your nonprofit!
- Try new things – you’ll find invaluable shortcuts that will make your life infinitely easier!
- Make writing clean code a goal from the very beginning, otherwise you will end up with buggy code that needs to be re-written from scratch anyway.
- Take on personal projects and do them for free! You will have a great way to give back to the community, build your portfolio, and get some great practice along the way!