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Posts from 29 December 2014

  • Week 7 Day 3 - Tumblr.Collections.Posts.add( ...

    Today's partner: Cihangir

    This morning started out with alternating stupid. John and I were both feeling lingering effects of the long weekend, and for the first hour or two before lunch we each had several moments of "wait, what are you doing there?" before we caught up with one another.

    I'm glad to say that I remember more about Backbone than I thought, but it was still a bit humbling to realize just how fragile our knowledge is at this point. Way back at the beginning of the cycle, I remembered seeing requests for assistance pop up from the previous cycle's students in chat, and I thought that it was ridiculous that they, in their advanced state, would need TA help… I thought I was missing something.

    What I was missing is that, while nine weeks in more than enough time to learn a lot of new things, we're not perfect nor are we professionals (yet). There are entire other languages and frameworks to be learned, knowledge to be solidified, skills to be polished… we've barely just begun. I feel like this cycle's schedule has been pretty perfect—we've had breaks when we needed time off, and the hardest assessments happened at times we were prepared for them. The silver lining to this most recent break, then, is the memento mori we all had coming back this morning: any time spent away from these skills reveals just how far we have yet to go.

    I'm reminded of basic training. Everyone was so intent on getting any information that allowed them to pierce the veil of future uncertainty that we'd grill anyone who was as much as two weeks ahead to ascertain what lay ahead. In a new environment a tiny difference in starting point can make a huge difference in perceived knowledge, and we all kind of figured out that the career soldiers didn't have answers that would be relevant to us, yet. However, someone who just graduated basic, whose skills were fresh and memories raw and who could recall just how far they had come from civilianhood could provide much more useful information for us, the recently transitioned, than could anyone else.

    The project today leveraged the anal retentive backbone_on_rails gem, which has a very particular way it wants you to setup your javascript files. It was what I was waiting for after watching Ned's videos introducing Backbone, where I could see each piece going to a very specific and predictable place in the file structure. I like this kind of obsessiveness: rails has its conventions, rspec its own, and now backbone on rails, as well… between all of these, it's good to see a right way to do things, even if it's not the only way to accomplish what we're trying to do.

    I've seen a lot of programmers come out of four-year programs not knowing anything about style or consistency, and I suspect they drift into corporate codebases, uglifying things and driving their team into technical debt while ostensibly meeting their career goals… some, presumably, get the bug for style and consistency, but I fear that many do not.

    There's really not much to say about the project today. It was another CRUD app—posts and titles, and a bit of dynamic rendering—but I feel a lot more comfortable with backbone's paradigms when it comes to generating and manipulating DOM elements, and handling client-side data manipulation. Tomorrow should be more of the same, as evidenced by the complete and total lack of readings, barring the project description itself… I think we're all chomping at the bit to get to final projects. We'll be hearing more about that tomorrow, god willing and the creek don't rise.

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