I mentioned earlier about my life changing career, didn’t I? I told you, I started the 16 weeks immersive programming course at Makers Academy in London. And about my goals too?
Now I reached the first stage of initialisation. Yes, literally, the word was used purposefully, I suppose I will start talking “code” as my fourth language. And that is only after 4 weeks of pre-course, can you imagine what it is going to be like when I graduate?
The pre-course lasts 4 weeks and its goal is to make sure that we are all at the same level when we show up at at the academy in January. Each week we were taking on a different challenge. First came github and git, so all about version control and talking to your own machine via command line. And do you know how they introduced us to these concepts? While solving a murder mystery. Felt as if I was reading one of Agatha Christie’s detective novels. Exciting!
Second week introduced us to the basics of pair programming and Ruby. So by the end of that week I reached 7 kyu on Codewars and completed a Ruby tutorial – Learn Ruby the Hard Way, all exercises up until 40.
Third week was somewhat more practical again, our task was to create from scratch a students’ directory, a simple command line app. Oh and of course, codewars – 6 kyu! You can take a look at my version of student directory on github if you are interested in what you can accomplish knowing only the basics of Ruby. It was probably the most intense week of the pre-course for me, mainly because some of the tasks were quite challenging for a beginner, a lot of research, trial and error were involved in the creation process. However, I believe, they wanted to make us familiar with a programmer’s daily tasks, show how you find the solutions to the problems and prove to us all that matters is to persevere and not give up when things get frustrating and difficult.
Last week of pre-course introduced a very important concept in programming i.e. TDD, Test Driven Development through a FizzBuzz challenge! We worked on this task in pairs, using Github Pong technique and it was the first day (of many!) I did pair programming properly. Very humbling and fun experience. I like the fact Makers wants to show us, even at this very early stage, how our life will look like both at the academy, and most importantly, once we start working as junior devs in few months’ time.
Learning to code’s taken over my life. I spent more time on Codewars than on anything else. You should try and see for yourself how addictive it is. I reached kyu 5 after four weeks of playing with it, even though at times I thought that was an impossible goal Makers wanted us to achieve. Some of the katas are more challenging than others, but what I love most about it, is the fact you can compare your solution against other people’s ideas, and I cannot emphasise enough the benefit of having this well of wisdom available to you when you learn and grow as a developer.