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!
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.
In contrast to last week and my assessment of that week, I am beginning to get a sense that I can really achieve at Makers Academy. We are actually doing challenges and building things to simple specifications. It is really challenging and interesting. I as a pair (or a tri) with two of the other “Makers” have attempted a Roman Numerals challenge which spits out roman numerals when you enter a series of numbers up until 4999. It is interesting to work through the problem with the others and use all of our knowledge to successfully complete the challenge. It is amazing what conclusions a collective comes to that perhaps an individual wouldn’t have. I am really starting to enjoy the challenge of learning to code and to adapt to thinking like a coder. I really feel like Tri-ing now! (oh dear!)
With week one of Makers Academy over I have a feeling of not really knowing what I have learnt. I don’t feel I have gained anything really from the first week and I am not sure to it’s relevance. Except maybe to show us the materials to go to when we get stuck on a project. I am probably just not the sort of person that can sit and do a series of exercises one after the other. I feel I have to work on something or work towards a goal. Do a task that I can be an individual on and not sit and repeat the same thing that I have done 100 times again and again. This I feel however, is probably just me. I get easily frustrated when I do not feel that I am making large steps towards my major objectives. More of which I will discuss in a separate post about my 3 month plan.
I think this feeling of frustration may be largely my own doing, to gain the motivation for doing these tasks, which may indeed help me in the long run, I have had to cut myself off from all background noise and work alone in a room. Even then I have only managed to complete 25 of the 40 or so tasks. Hopefully I can catch up this week. We shall see.
I have taken the bad habit the last few days of coming into MA a little bit late and not getting as much done as I can. To make up for that I stayed until 8pm this evening, making good use of the quiet room so I was away from the shouts of people playing Ping Pong or Wiff Waff in the main room. I got quite a lot done and concentrated on the “Extra credit” of LearnRubyTheHardWay (an intense but easy, oh the irony, way to learn it).
My proudest moment of the last two days has been managing to whittle 22 lines of code down to just 3 that did exactly the same thing just a lot more efficiently.