Posts from 11 November 2014
The most notable moment in the day was when my partner and I were elbows-deep in a particularly tricky algorithm, and the instructor came along to look over our shoulders, and we were so engaged with what we were doing we basically didn't have time for him. When 6:00 pm rolled around, we actually kept going to try to work out some last kinks in the program before admitting that we were just too exhausted.
Today's partner: Cihangir
So. Good stuff.
It's been busy this week, which isn't germane to the appAcademy experience per se, but has certainly made it more interesting. Getting situated close to campus and investing in a good working space was a great idea because it's rapidly become clear that there will be. no. time. for anything else the next twelve weeks.
In preparation for this course, I spoke with a alumnus friend, and mentioned that this is my time to really focus on something. I think the next two or three years are just going to be a constant push to improve, and it all starts here, in twelve weeks of pushing myself as much as possible.
I tend to reflect a lot on how things run, and I don't mean to come off as negative, but I try to see the good and the bad. I don't expect anyone skimming this tumblr will come so far down that they'll see this disclaimer, but basically I don't generally whitewash things, but when I say something positive you can be pretty sure i mean it.
In no particular order, then:
- The whole experience so far has felt bootstrapped. Like, everyone is so concerned with making the best possible programmers with the most recent technology and the least possible overhead that sometimes things break. The facility is nowhere near as polished as I expected—for comparison, I've visited General Assembly in New York and they seemed clean but sterile. An acquaintance is starting their bootcamp in a week, and I'm curious if their polish comes at the cost of some flexibility.
- Random errors: the appacademy.io DNS entry was invalid for a day a couple weeks ago. The progress tracker is down now. Before I tried refreshing it, it was showing that I have a fine for coming in late to class tomorrow. What.
- Everyone is super positive and super excited to be there, or at least we're all faking it really well. :)
- I have never been so tired from working. Day one, where most of the material is review from the course prepwork, felt like the roughest study session I ever had in college times two, no joke. My brain doesn't hurt the way it did when I had to take a math test for a class I wasn't prepared for in a language I was just beginning to understand (long story), but by 4:30 I was just drained. I'm going to have to invest in blood glucose—snacks to keep in a cubby, coffee (with sugar?), juice, something, to get through the afternoons, but even this might not be enough.
- Pair programming is intense, in a super good way. Especially in the morning when we were fresh, I felt like my partner and I were really getting a lot out of it. He was really practiced in a lot of the nuance of some of the commands, whereas I rely much more on the documentation and learning as I go. I was able to offer I think some expertise in the choice and use of algorithms, which means that we balanced each other out in a lot of ways.
- I do wonder what the coming days will be like. Again, my partner seemed really sharp, and I wonder if that's typical of the quality of the students here. I joke (but not really) that 90% of Harvard's work educating students is done by the time they get through the admissions process, but I do wonder how true that is at aA. If my partner is a typical student… man, they run a tight ship. And the students at the cusp of admission must just be above average ;)
All in all, it was a productive day. There's almost too much to process in one go, so I'm just letting it all sink in and not stressing too much. I figure things will just click into place in time as long as I keep pushing.
I'm really not sure what these things are supposed to feel like or if there's a length requirement, so that's all for now.