Week 4 at LEARN Academy
This is part 5 in a series about my experience at LEARN Academy coding bootcamp in San Diego, CA. You can read why I decided to go to bootcamp here, and also catch up with my thoughts on Week One, Week Two and Week Three.
The entirety of my programming experience in two phrases:
“That didn’t work as expected.”
“That didn’t work, as expected.”
— Heydon (@heydonworks) August 5, 2016
Week 4 at LEARN introduced Ruby and the Behavior Driven Development framework RSpec. So, pretty much I have added that comma and graduated from “that didn’t work as expected” to “that didn’t work, as expected.”
The one hurdle that was most difficult to overcome was the new syntax. I find that ironic since Ruby is supposed to be a little easier in that regard. My partner and I had so many syntax errors, it was getting to be ridiculous. But the more challenges we conquered, the better we got at not only writing code in Ruby, but at recognizing our error messages so we new where to find our mistakes.
Just when we began to get the hang of writing Ruby, we were introduced to RSpec and BDD. It was a challenge to figure out how to write tests and to know what to look for in our expected output. I’ve never celebrated so much as when we would get the “that didn’t work” message. It took us a few tries to go from “your test is broken” to “your test worked, now write the code” messages.
So, there was some grumbling around the BDD method, and I can understand that. When you read your challenge, it takes a lot of will power to not jump in and start writing methods. Taking the time to decide what you really need to do, what your input and output should be helped my partner and I to prevent a lot of mistakes. You can recognize some edge case scenarios that you may overlook when you don’t make a plan.
We ended up taking the time to write a lot of comments and took great care in naming methods and variables so that our code would be easier to read by others. Slowing down greatly increased the quality of our work, so I think that I’ve become a big fan of BDD and RSpec.
We finished out the week working on a project of creating a To Do / Task list. My partner and I worked diligently and got through most of the challenge. My list of projects to re-visit and finalize details keeps growing! That list is growing but I’m excited to tackle each and every one of those challenges.
I haven’t felt so accomplished since I graduated college. Learning programming has been such an exhilarating and exciting experience for me. I wake up early every day and can’t wait to get started on some code. This is definitely a journey that I need to be on right now. I’m so happy I took the plunge and went to a coding bootcamp.
This week also featured another round of great lunches. I did return to one restaurant on Friday because I wanted to join some of my cohorts for lunch:
Monday – Thai food at Street Side Thai Kitchen
Tuesday – fish burrito at Panchitas Kitchen
Wednesday – Lasagna lunch special at Florentinos
Thursday – to die for cheddar bisquits and Ham Benny at Urban Solstice
Friday – a return to URBN to share a giant pizza with some fellow cohorts
Up next week: Ruby on Rails, MVC and RSpec for Rails.