Code Academy Week 2
The picture above does a spot-on job describing my life this past week. On the first day of class, my professor told me that my Code Academy experience would feel like I am an airline pilot, taking flight for the very first time. Two weeks in, it feels more like I’m piloting a space rocket, not a Boeing 787. As crazy as it is, I’m loving every moment of it!
Using various Ruby concepts such as arrays, hashes, and classes, last Wednesday my classmates and I were able to create a simple ecommerce shopping cart application that allowed us to add products and calculate the total price of goods. Building the shopping cart felt super easy, since my teacher was monitoring our progress. I was proud to have built something tangible…. I felt like a professional hacker- birds were chirping, champagne was flowing, life was good.
After class, I headed to a nearby computer lab to continue practicing coding and I was quickly turned on my butt when…
After class students usually migrate over to a work space across the hall to continue practicing coding. In front of the whole class Neal (co-founder of Code Academy) asked me to recreate the shopping cart application from SCRATCH with my laptop connected to the projector screen so everyone could watch. My first thought was “@#%#*… Gee thanks for VOLUNTEERING me Neal!”
Long story short the experience was quite embarrassing as I struggled to reproduce anything we had just learned in class. I only made it through with Neal guiding me with hints every step of the way. To Neal’s credit this was by far my greatest learning moment at Code Academy. Being put in a high-pressure situation to think through the coding processes was challenging, but it helped engrav Rails knowledge in my mind.
The next class we quickly dove into develop of a real-life web application using Rails, the moment I’d been waiting for! Although the application I built was nothing more than a page with some simple text, it felt liberating to finally be able to translate lines of code into a live webpage on my browser. Finally understanding the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern really made me appreciate the beauty of Ruby on Rails:
Click here to learn more about MVC
One of the great things about Code Academy is the plethora of resources the program provides to help prepare me for my coding/entrepreneurial journey after I finish Code Academy. This past week we were lucky enough to have a corporate lawyer come in as a guest speaker. Let’s just say I took full advantage of the opportunity to ask probing technology-law questions in what would have otherwise been a $500/hour attorney-client session
My biggest take away from the talk: Seek help from a lawyer as soon as the risk increases, (such as adding a new member to your team, or if you’re in the process of raising funding).
Another great resource provided to us is the Mentor Program, where we are matched with hacking veterans who will personally answer our annoying questions. I was lucky to have gotten Eric Marden as my mentor. He does a wonderful job keeping me grounded and helping me to map out a realistic game plan to complete my own functional web application by the time I finish the program.
By the end of this week I hope to have a solid foundation in my knowledge of Ruby so I can focus more on building and less on coding.