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Posts from 25 November 2014

  • Week 3 Day 2 - Tumblr.find_post_by_date

    Today's partner: Michael D.

    Unpacking, since I can't actually remember what we did today:

    I know this isn't the point of appAcademy, but today was the most fun I've had since we started. Michael and I were cracking up about mistakes and ruby/SQL absurdities all day.

    Yeah, so we were doing something with SQL… I thought populating the test database would be more onerous than it was, but really it was a couple INSERT procedures copied over and over.

    Oh, I remember now… so we made basically a tiny reddit clone, using database accesses on an SQLite3 instance. By reddit clone, I mean a class structure with Posts, Users, and Comment trees (Questions, Users, and Replys), where we had to write procedures to translate between stored and active objects. It was very educational, but similar to yesterday in that it was a straight walk through the instructions, implementing some calls that were well within our understanding of SQL and Ruby. Certainly nothing earth shattering, but the practice was good.

    In not quite unrelated news, I've been meaning to get my financials in a format I can actually do something with… I think I have just enough tools to start doing something interesting with my data. A CSV parser, an SQLite3 instance, and a lot of ruby code, and I could probably do some pretty damned cool stuff :)

  • Week 3 Day 1 - SELECT * FROM students WHERE confusion > 0


    Today's partner: Justin

    A good day. The assessment started out okay: I got through 90% of the coding in under 30 minutes… then I choked and couldn't scrape together enough bugfixes to make the last test pass before time was called. After crushing the practice assessment over the weekend, it was a bit weird to have such a turn of events this morning, but it just makes it clear that I need to continue practicing: ruby, rspec, and whatever else we're going to be learning. It needs to come easy, and I need to triumph over my demons of both attention, and attention to detail. (Did you know '8' is different than :eight? Crazy! Crazy eights!)

    So I have to do a three-line bug fix and re-submit before 9:00 to get that last point. Hooray?

    It's telling that by noon, no one was talking about the assessment anymore. SQL was quite the leap for just about everyone, and even though when I listened around it seemed like we were all on the exact. same. exercise at each moment, it turns out there was a lot of hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth at other tables.

    My partner and I didn't have any particularly noteworthy trouble, but there were some hairy JOINs that took a bit of digesting to grasp. Again, I know that I don't understand SQL completely yet - sometimes it feels like a matrix language, with all the associated transformations; sometimes it feels like a procedural language full of loops—but I can guess out what a statement is going to do if I can access the schema. So, hooray.

    I'm actually really excited about tomorrow's SQLite lesson. I keep hearing about SQLite in desktop and mobile app development, and now that SQL doesn't seem such an impenetrable barrier, if I get the hang of things tomorrow, I could theoretically look into learning Obj-C or Swift at some point and actually start making money off development ;)


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