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Posts from 9 December 2014

  • Week 4 Day 4 - "The worst part about solo days is your partner"

    Today: solo day

    The project today was solo.

    Besides seeing that, still, I need to practice more, there wasn't much that was tricky today. Everyone else in class seemed to be progressing much faster than I did - and given how many people got to the bonus material before the end of the normal class time, I know I can do better. Or should.

    The thrust of today's work: make a rails app that does the standard stuff for user creation and session authentication, and then create bands, albums, and tracks, then permit users to comment on tracks, and so on and so on… nothing earth-shattering. The migrations and models are old hat by now, controllers are pretty straightforward, there's still more to be learned about creating proper views… but it's very evolutionary.

    Again, nothing was tricky: left to my own devices, I almost never need to ask the TAs for help. I can't tell if this is a bad thing. Carolina remarked, early into working at my last job, that I need to learn to ask for help earlier in the process of trying to attack a problem, and maybe she's right, but I never feel in over my head, just slow.

    Nonetheless, by 4 pm I was moving at a steady clip, and was knocking out stuff left and right. Honestly, I was trying to be slightly too abstract before noon (creating partials that didn't need to exist in ways that didn't make sense) but by 4 I was doing a lot of rote fixing of the same stylistic flaws across three or four or six different files. When would have been the right time to refactor? Some of what I was doing needed to be done right then in order to test functionality; other stuff, not so much.

    It's all very engaging, which is a plus, but there's only so much more time I have to commit to this. Ned or Kush said that we should be committing 80-90 hours to a/A, and that works out to about 12 hours a day doing something a/A related. If I get there at 8(:15) and leave around 8 pm on the weekdays, I'm getting well toward 80-90 hours per week, but then I could be doing more on the weekends to round it off. Does that 90 hours count lunches? Does it count time not actually in front of the computer?

    One of the weaknesses of the pair programming model is that if you're thinking about one half of a given project and your partner is thinking about other things, it's possible to not quite totally learn something you'll need to know. After typing BCrypt::Password.create(password) about ten times Friday, I wasn't able to remember that string of tokens today. This might be problematic.

    As I knew before applying, one of my weaknesses is syntax. I seem to have the architectural details overall pretty solid, but I spend five minutes here and five minutes there playing with the syntax of a command, first trying to make it work, then trying to make it better, so as to not have to pay technical debt down the road, and what I do learn I learn very solidly. But I just don't have the speed yet.

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