Makers Academy Review – Week 5 – Sudoku Pro!

Sudoku Puzzle!

Week 5 is over and it is time to carry on with the Makers Academy Review and I have to say I feel very disappointed in myself. I have done/learnt nowhere near enough this week. This has a lot to do with my lack of attention to the task at hand. I underestimated the amount of material it was necessary for me to cover and I am behind.

The main topic we are covering here is really Sinatra, this is Enrique’s favourite framework, although I am not sure you can call it much of a framework, it doesn’t really do anything! That is probably my ignorance of the topic which I am sure he will dispel me of next week!

One thing I did learn this week: I am awful at Sudoku!

Why fees can change your life –

A very bold statement, yes. It boils down to whether you believe money could have a important effect on your life. Most, I believe, can see money having an effect on their life in one form or another.

Fees cost pensioners £284,000+*
Really this is true. If you pay 2.5% fees, like most people do, if not more you are throwing away money that could be used to keep you in your retirement. Some could consider it immoral that an industry is built with almost exclusively salesmen whose sole incentive is to sell, sell and sell more. This is because these salesmen get a large chunk of that fee. It is easily possible to use index funds and pay significantly less (1%) for investments that, more often than not beat the performance of “experts”, who are just guessers. The lucky guessers are the ones who make the money. When they make bad guesses with your money, you pay them 2.5% of your entire investment for doing so, it doesn’t affect them much at all. It is all very clever and quite wrong.

One large asset management company has an army of “Partners” throughout the country. “Partner” is simply a marketing term they use instead of “Sales Rep”. Their whole business is built on selling high cost investments that bring in large bonuses and commissions. These fees potentially cost their clients £100,000s more than better alternatives on the internet and even provided for a much smaller fee by an IFA.

*Based on a 20 year old paying £200 per month into an investment for 50 years with an average rate of growth at 7% and paying 2.5% fees compared to 1% fees (these are even the lowest you could have).

So can investment fees change your life. Only if you believe £200,000 would change your life.

Makers Academy – Battleship & Sudoku – Week 4

This week at Makers Academy was the best I have had yet and I have more to add to my review of Makers Academy. To start the week off we split into teams and tried our hands at building a programme that would be able to play battleship with a server that had been set up. We managed to get ours to work after a lot of changes. It was an amazing experience and I definitely learnt a lot doing it. It was nice to visualise what we have all been working so hard on these past few weeks and to see how far we have come.

Later on in the week I paired with Darrell, who appears to study a great deal and is certainly ahead of me when it comes to his Ruby knowledge. I gained a good deal of insight and knowledge from him and I was shocked at how much he had picked up over the last 4 weeks.

Next week if turning that Sudoku into a web app, that should be interesting. Overall this week was fantastic and I look forward to learning more and carrying on with my Makers Academy Review

Makers Academy – Airport & Boris – Week 3

With week 3 over I can definitely say that I have gained a lot from the immersion in ruby that is Makers Academy. If I was to give a Makers Academy Review right now I would say that there is nothing better than Makers Academy that I have come across that really pushes you and provides the teaching in coding that you just can’t get at home on the computer. I would not know the best practices or have the willpower to sit down and learn all this alone.

I spent the week pair programming with another Maker on a Boris Bikes model. This was very interesting and often audibly funny. Who knew code could be funny!

Every Friday there is a test on what we have learnt in the week, this Friday it was to create a model system for an airport. I didn’t believe I was doing very well until this test. I thought my knowledge would be lacking when it came down to it and when I actually approached a problem I would have trouble. I was genuinely surprised to discover that 95% of making the model came to me very easily, the difficulties lay in areas which I had not yet encountered.

I am learning a lot and that test proves it. Bring on Week 4 and Battleship!

Makers Academy – Week 2

Week 2 largely consisted of working through Ruby exercises and doing various challenges to exercise our abstract minds and get us thinking like coders. One challenge, the FizzBuzz kata was very interesting. It was tough for someone who has just started programming to figure out all the possible ways to make the code achieve what we wanted it to. Makers Academy makes sure that all it’s graduates are ingrained with the principles of TDD (Test Driven Development) this is basically writing down what each element of the code is meant to achieve on a very deep level so that you can be sure that when you edit things in future that all the other elements remain correct. It is important for laying the foundations for code so that a team or even a different team can come back to the code and edit it with ease, rather than having to figure out for themselves what every element of the code does.

Week 2 being over, I must say things are looking up. I am aware and feel like I know more so much more than I did last week and I am looking forward to learning more next week.