29 6 / 2013

A Fox and the Bean (days 22…31) 

Before heading out to Chicago I had conversations with several DevBootcamp alum and one of the instructors who’s an old friend of mine. It is only now, on the Saturday between weeks 7 and 8, that some of those conversations are coming back to the forefront of my mind. 

It will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done.

You will learn a lot about yourself.

I was given these spoiler alerts back in March. And I’ll repeat them to anyone curious enough to ask. Because, it’s not until you actually put in the time and experience it yourself that you can know what that truly means.

What I’m adding to that list is:

  • the lessons you’ll learn will be different than the ones you expected to. 

26 6 / 2013

16 6 / 2013

A Fox and the Bean (days 11…16, 18…21) 

I jump therefore I am. Surprisingly, it took 14 days before I did a gravity-defying selfie, which has been my MO for the past three years. I think it’s because it took at least that long for me to get into the groove of my current path as a fledgling programmer. 

We start week 6 tomorrow, and somewhere along the way, though I can’t pinpoint exactly when, I began to shed the cloak of self-doubt. After building my own blog and mini Flickr clone, pairing on two versions of a Javascript racer game and a clone of Hacker News, my biggest challenge is time. I don’t want to stop. I just want to add more features, make sweet seed files with my own Faker data, finesse the CSS, and push stuff up to one of my servers. 

09 6 / 2013

This past Monday we welcomed a new cohort to join us here in Chicago. Over the weekend, we were asked to come up with a lightning talk to present to the Otters on their first day. I made mine interactive by writing out the following program on two whiteboards a) so that I could practice some of the Ruby that was giving me a hard time during my Phase 1 and b) to share two nuggets of advice: stay healthy through exercise & make the code your own.

class Boot
attr_reader :name, :moves
  def initialize( args = {} )
    @name = args[:name]
    @moves = args[:moves]
  end

  def get_off_your_butt(moves)
    call_it_out = gets.chomp
    5.times do
      puts "#{call_it_out}"
    end
  end
end

wise_fox = Boot.new(name: "Anna Marie", 
  moves: ["jump", "lunge", "push_up", "high_knees"])

puts "What do you want #{ wise_fox.name } to do?"

puts wise_fox.get_off_your_butt(:moves)

26 5 / 2013

A Fox and the Bean (days 1…10) Each day, mostly first thing in the morning, I go to Millennium Park to take a photo of the Cloud Gate Sculpture aka The Bean. Here’s why:

  • Seeing the Bean without all the tourists reminds me of the Zen parable about the empty cup which teaches that there is always benefit in being ready to learn and consider things in new ways.
  • To make sure that I get some exercise in every day, even if it’s just a brisk 20-minute walk.
  • It lets me stay connected. This past year, I’ve made so many friends through Instagram that shutting myself off from the community didn’t make sense. So, every night, after I get home from my sometimes brutally long commute, I post a photo of the empty bean and write a little about my day. So far, I’ve gotten some great recommendations on how to fall asleep when my brain won’t stop and funny clips to watch when I have a day that brings me down.
  • So that I can retreat into competence. Photography has been a part of my life for over 21 years. When I start the day doing something that comes easy to me, I can actually enjoy being outside of my comfort zone for the rest of the day.

* Note: I learned about both emptying the cup and retreating into competence from “Apprenticeship Patterns,” a book by DBC Chicago’s own leader, Dave Hoover.

19 5 / 2013

We survived week one! For those of you wondering “is DevBootcamp right for me?” here’s my week one interpretation in code. If you’re game for nine weeks of that, go for it! 

19 5 / 2013

I will forever <3 the DBC Squirrels for setting up pairing sessions with us on our first Saturday. They are empathy rockstars!! Feelin’ gratitude  to be following in their footsteps and inspired to pay it forward.

I will forever <3 the DBC Squirrels for setting up pairing sessions with us on our first Saturday. They are empathy rockstars!! Feelin’ gratitude to be following in their footsteps and inspired to pay it forward.

14 5 / 2013

One of my core values: laugh every day. Thanks to my fellow foxes for making that easy today.

Without further ado,

people.map! { |dude| dude.gangnam_style }

13 5 / 2013

I “came out” as an aspiring programmer on Instagram today. 

I’ve been keeping my DBC journeys on the down low partly because I try not to share too many personal details on social media and mostly because of my fear of failure. Hearing about and seeing the graph that shows where we are meant to be during this journey — riding that line between the stretch zone and the panic zone solidified my decision to go public. 

Telling the universe was definitely getting me into my stretch zone and very close to my panic zone. This is what I shared:

Today was the first official day on my path to becoming a software developer. I’ll be in Chicago for the next couple of months spending upwards of 12 hours a day doing this. When I first signed up for this roller coaster, I found out that the key to survival would mean kissing all others parts of my life, including Instagram, good-bye. 

But did I truly have to? Could I figure out a way to stay connected? One of the facets about computer programming that I really enjoy is solving problems. And this was definitely one of those. IG is more than an addiction. It’s a part of my daily life. I love this community because I’ve befriended so many like-hearted people, and you inspire me every day. 

As part of our training, blogging is highly encouraged. Reflecting on what we’ve learned and disseminating it into words is a good way to let it really sink in. What better place is there than here, among friends, to keep track of this new adventure? So, yeah, I’m gonna be ‘gramming. Just in a different way for awhile. 

Some things I learned today: one way to refactor code is to create or change the method name so that it better describes what your complicated solution is trying to do, secret handshakes, I’m gonna be needing coffee

Tried for the first time: pair programming

Today’s quote: “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.” - Confucius

And these are some of the replies from the first half hour after posting:

  • Wow, great write-up AM. Gram in any way you want…I look forward to seeing your journey progress!
  • Best of luck with your new adventure. Look forward to reading updates on what you’ve learned. 
  • Continue to stay encouraged A.M.
  • Best wishes, luck your way. Enjoy this path.
  • Good luck! And you Have to have at least a few min to spare each day to do something you love whether it be iG or something else! You’ll find the balance! :) either way- such a great opportunity and you are following your dream which is all that matters!

There it is. Riding that line can be very rewarding. It’s truly a powerful and supportive network, and if I have to wake up extra early to get in some ‘gram time, it’s gonna be totally worth it.

05 5 / 2013

This video is both educational and delightful. Swoon!