October 17

3rd Course, 1st Week


The first week of our JavaScript course was all about building a development environment using Gulp and consuming APIs. We made a weather app and mapped stolen bikes on Google map during the week, then for our individual challenge we had to use the GitHub API to show a list of repositories for any given username.

The APIs are fun once you figure out how to get to them. Sometimes the documentation is not that good and it can be hard to “find” the data to begin with, although the ones we used this week were pretty straightforward. Google maps was hard because it didn’t return an object like the others, and that difference left some of us confused about how to use it.

This weekend has been all homework – building a ToDo list (yet another one…) using Angualar 2. Two 2-day projects coming up this week and then we move on to Ember and I’m afraid to even look at the homework for next weekend. I think someone forgot that idea about having some work-life balance they talked about way back in the beginning of our bootcamp. It’s all school and homework, and if you are lucky sleep.

Meanwhile, October is half over and I have not found even one open source project to contribute to.  At the beginning of the month I thought I might participate in “Hacktoberfest”. Anyone who made 4 open-source contributions would get a t-shirt. Yes, I thought I could do THAT on my weekends instead of insane amounts of homework. I’m a little disappointed, but still hoping to make my first REAL contribution this month, even it ends up being just one tiny one.

I started and open source group at school. We have a dozen people who are interested, but so far the homework has kept most from even contributing to our small starter projects.

And then there are the meetups. Go to meetups they say… I actually did go, twice last week, and that’s part of where the sleep deficit comes in. School nights are bad because you get home late and that makes the next morning harder. But there were both AT Epicodus, and that makes it a lot easier to attend since I only have to stay, and not GO anywhere.

I tell myself that it will be easier once I’m done with school and have a job – because there won’t be any homework. But the gal I was talking to at the meetup just looked sad and shook her head – no, it doesn’t get any easier. I sure hope she’s wrong about that.

Category: Epicodus, JavaScript | Comments Off on 3rd Course, 1st Week
October 8

The Problem (Opportunity) with Group Projects

Group Project from Java Course
Group Project from Java Course

It’s hard to work in a group.

I hate to admit that because I know it sounds bad… like I’m some kind of anti-social freak that can’t get along with people.

I think that “do you prefer to work as part of a team or alone” question has lost me more than one job in the past. I mean, I try to be honest.

I usually prefer to WORK alone.

I think teams can be great for some things: Brainstorming, for instance.

And pairing is very useful for learning/teaching programming. I’ve learned a lot from pairing with my classmates.

But my favorite day of the week is still Friday. Continue reading

Category: Best Practices, Version Control | Comments Off on The Problem (Opportunity) with Group Projects
October 5

Took too Long…

Week 4 Final Project: Wildlife (or Pokemon) tracker
Week 4 Final Project: Wildlife (or Pokemon) tracker

I’m still fighting a tendency to bite off more than I can chew. I added Pokemon to my wildlife tracker.

I think there were other ways that I may have overdone this one as well, although it didn’t seem like I was reaching that much at the time. Continue reading

Category: Epicodus, Java | Comments Off on Took too Long…
September 24

Java – Week 3: PostgreSQL

Screenshot of 3rd week, 2nd class independent project
1150 lines of Java (360 of which are tests), 280 lines of HTML, and 13 lines of CSS later…my final project for the week has been turned in.

We can finally persist data!

Kinda… on the computers at school, not on the internet.  We don’t always get the same computer. But I have a backup file and can carry the data between school and home for when I re-run the program.

This project took me ALL day, and then some. Maybe 9-10 hours. I came in early, took a short lunch, stayed late. REALLY would have preferred to stick around another hour or two to get those appointments working too – but dinner and my boyfriend decided to drag me away. Continue reading

Category: Learning | Comments Off on Java – Week 3: PostgreSQL
September 17

Spark Framework

This week we learned all about how to use the Spark framework with our projects. I love it! I really like having that web-page front end on my projects and don’t miss the days of terminal programs at all.

The only thing is that Spark “isn’t used in the real world” and so I wonder why are we learning it instead of, say, Spring… which IS used out there in real jobs. There are courses on Treehouse for Spring, so I’m going to make sure I know how to use that framework as well.

The week was uneventful. Everything seemed to line up just right and run smooth. I feel like I’m not working hard enough. The end of the week project was a dictionary with two objects: words & definitions. We were supposed to make it so that each word could have one or more definition. I had that done in about an hour and had to find a way to entertain myself for the rest of the day. It all just seemed too easy.

Continue reading

Category: Epicodus, Java, Team Treehouse | Comments Off on Spark Framework