November 12

Goodbye JavaScript, Hello Android!

One more class down and only one more to go!

This week I had a really successful team project. I’m really glad that it went so well after that project at the Hackathon. I think I learned a lot from the experience.

One thing that is different is that at school I’m usually the team lead. In lots of my past experiences in work and school that has been the case as well. I’d really like to think I could follow as well, but it probably depends on the leader.

I set out at the beginning with the idea that we were here to have fun and not to worry about having the best project in the room. I did not want to be that stressed out over the team project because they don’t really grade them or anything. So I picked my teammates with that goal in mind, because they seemed okay with the lower expectations to begin with.

Over the course of the week we did manage to keep it fun for the most part. I think we kept things pretty well balanced between everyone on the group. Everyone did get to contribute something significant. I was pleased with that part, and it’s the main reason I call the project a success.

We had some features that we didn’t get implemented, but we had a pretty solid set of features that were working well for our demonstration. We had a major setback on the first day trying to get Angular to talk to Firebase and revised our project to use Ember instead. That left us with 2 days to complete the project and so I don’t think anyone feels bad about the missing features. It was a nice project for 2 days…

screenshotWe could sign up users and log foods and activities for our demo. All 3 categories had full CRUD implemented. We also had some very solid design. Dean and Garrett did most of the design. Garrett made our custom Octocat with the weights and carrot as a logo. Alex got us some category icons and a drop-down menu (much harder than it should have been…but a good tool to have for future reference). He worked on an API that we didn’t get around to adding and did a significant amount of research about using a date/time picker, which we also did not have time to implement. I handled the database functions with some help from Garrett. And Dean did the bulk of the presentation on Thursday as well as some last minute CSS fixes Thursday morning.

It was nice to feel like we had a balanced group. Doing all the work can be fun and rewarding, but it sucks to sit around watching other people do all the work. I’m going to try harder to make future projects more like this one, even if it means a few less features at the end. At least while I’m in school…

Work is another matter. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Maybe I will just work solo, right? Or the teams will be the kind where everyone gets a keyboard and tasks that match their skills…

JavaScript was difficult.

I wasn’t expecting it to be as hard as it was. And I can’t say why it was so hard. I think it was partly timing. We were all getting kind of burned out about half-way through the class (at least me and the people I eat lunch with seemed to be there). Most were really happy about this weekend being a 3-day weekend because of the holiday. AND we get a week off during the next class for Thanksgiving. Very happy about that as well.

The bootcamp experience is intense. There is plenty of work, and lots of new stuff to learn. I think it’s the new stuff to learn that makes the JavaScript class particularly challenging. I felt like I got it at the end of week 1 and was really happy with my project. But then week 2 introduced a whole new framework and so you start out the week lost again. By the end of the week I felt good about that framework, but then the beginning of week 3 was another new framework…

The constant “lost” feeling has to be part of what makes it seem so hard. I wish we had a whole 5 week class on all 3 of the frameworks, but we didn’t. (And it’s a good thing, because who needs to pay for another 2-3 months of training, right?) I think we are all anxious to get into paying jobs and catch up on some bills, or start growing the savings again. I know I am. Some of the personal stress in the past few weeks has been money related – or related to the lack of money and the need to pinch pennies all the time. I am looking forward to having a regular paycheck again and eliminating that stress from my life!

And Android.  They called us all aside for a special standup where they told us how hard Android was and how much time it was going to take… and by the end of the standup I was wondering if I should have switched to the PHP/Drupal track when I had a chance…

But I’m doing the homework this weekend and it doesn’t seem that bad.

I got started on it Thursday afternoon at school. It’s not at all bad there. The computers all have Android Studio pre-installed and it runs fine there. My laptop is another story.

I’ve been downloading MORE stuff for Android Studio in hopes that maybe it’s what I need to be able to actually RUN the programs I’ve written on my phone, if not on the emulator. If it doesn’t work then I guess I can write the code out on my laptop and debug it at school. But I really would like to be able to develop full apps at home.

Chris says it must be a sign I need a “dev box”… but I don’t know where we would put another computer, especially one that wanted a desk to sit on! I might try installing Android Studio on HIS desktop machine though. I bet he’d be happy enough to be able to watch some TV in the evenings while I do my homework downstairs.

I’m really excited about this last class. I wish they had more internships for Java/Android. I know they don’t expect to have enough for everyone and some of us will be doing more JavaScript instead of Android development. I’ve seen a few interesting JavaScript postings, but I sill hope to get some real experience with Android when that time comes.

Category: Android, Angular.js, Ember.js, Epicodus, JavaScript, Mobile Development | Comments Off on Goodbye JavaScript, Hello Android!
July 14

Debugging or Debirding?

Apparently getting the spearow off your keyboard does help… I started fixing problems right after I caught it!

I’m still skeptical about Angular.js though. If things keep moving forward today I could change my mind and like it. I’m still not completely sure I know WHY things weren’t working or what I did to fix them though.



Category: Angular.js, Personal | Comments Off on Debugging or Debirding?
July 13

Not Liking Angular.js

Angular.js is the coolest thing — when it works…. but getting it to work is… {{impossible}}?

I’m having some problems, even just following along with the Team Treehouse course. But when I try to move out on my own to experiment almost everything I do seems to break the program.

It’s frustrating!

Category: Angular.js | Comments Off on Not Liking Angular.js
July 12

3 Weeks and Getting Nervous!

Last week I studied Node.js. This week I’m going back to the front-end with Angular.js. I’m getting really nervous about starting school…the commute, getting up on time, working in pairs all day four days a week.

This weekend we were cleaning up the driveway. My boyfriend has been fixing up this old house and there was a huge pile of construction material in the driveway from tearing out a bunch of the walls to get to the wiring. And behind out big pile there were some pretty healthy weeds.

I moved in a week ago. This was the first time I ventured out of the house. While he was running to the dump, I would go out and dig up the weeds that were uncovered by that part of the pile. I’m just trying to help fix up the place.

So, on the second trip to the dump one of the neighbor ladies comes by. She starts out saying she’s glad that I’m doing the weeds. Great, thanks…

But then she gets all upset about how big the weeds are and they have been blowing into her yard, and then how he said he’d keep the place cleaned up, and THEN how *I* should have done this thing a year ago.

I’m like, I just barely moved in…

Then she starts cussing at me and when she runs out of cuss words she ends the tirade with “FAT BITCH”… shouted from half way down the block.


That’s why I don’t like leaving the house.

And it feeds my fears about going to school, and about trying to work as part of a team. I’m always thinking people are thinking things like that about me anyway, but when they say it out loud. And after knowing me a whole 30 seconds…

I hope that some of the people at school can at least pretend not to hate me on first sight.

I think that’s why I’m trying to learn so much ahead of time. I want to have something that can make up for my being fat. Something I offer, so  people so will like me.

Category: Angular.js, Epicodus, Learning, Node.js | Comments Off on 3 Weeks and Getting Nervous!