Makers Academy – Week 1

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.

Makers Academy – Intro to Ruby – Day 3 && 4

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.

  1. from_file, to_file = ARGV
  2., “w”).write(
  3. puts “File #{from_file} has been copied to #{to_file}”

The above code copies one file over another file, these files are input when running the code.

I am certainly learning Ruby the hard way however, but I think that has something to do with the lack of hours I am putting in rather than the content I am using.

p.s. The extra “&” is a geeky joke. Forgive me.

Makers Academy – Git – Day 2

A very interesting announcement was made by Siemens today. They said they were going to lay off 15,000 workers worldwide. Makers Academy have jumped at the chance to offer Siemens staff the chance of a new career. A risky and disruptive campaign but ultimately a very clever one. One that will position Makers Academy as a clear career change opportunity.

Today the main focus was on cementing how to make the Terminal (the command line of Macs) with Github and making and editing repositories, which are useful areas where you can store you code and go back to it if necessary and if something fails. It allows for a failsafe and for a platform for testing the code you have written. GitHub also allows for developers to show off and share what they have coded with the world.

I wrote the word pretty when coding today. That is not a word I yet associate with code. But maybe, if I give it a few weeks I will see beauty in code. That is how mad the next 12 weeks are going to make me or so I hear…!

Makers Academy – Day 1 – Command Line

So Maker’s Academy has begun and it was off to a rather slow start. Today we worked through the Makers Academy Hackpad or the command line guide on the Learn Code the Hard Way website. It was somewhat tedious and I am not sure completely of it’s relevance to the overall aim of thinking like a coder however, I trust that it is an important element that must be pushed through. It certainly wasn’t interesting, but not everything is. Indeed, I often got distracted and actually found myself behind everyone else so had to catch up.

Jordan, who is the “Shaker Maker” (PR Guru) has a very interesting way of learning/working that I must look into further. The Pomodoro Technique is where you work for 25 minutes and then take a 3-5 minute break. I can see the merits of it; you don’t burn out and you work effectively for those 25 minutes and get time to relax and feel like you haven’t stressed yourself out.

There are some greatly talented people in this cohort, I have had lots of very useful conversations about my mission and others people’s perspectives and ideas have been very useful!

Now to crack on with starting the next day’s material and maybe I just might sneak in the final episode of Breaking Bad, but don’t tell the makers!

Pre Makers Academy – The Warm Up

On Monday September 30th I am starting a 12 week course at Makers Academy. I decided to do this as it will allow me to get started on making my mission a reality. From what I have read and heard about them it is one of the quickest and most effective ways of thinking and working like a professional coder there is out there. The price although high is very good value when you consider that you are learning from dawn to dusk every working day for 12 weeks. (It has cost me £7,200) This to me is a small investment even if at the end I am only able to make small edits to the final product’s code. At least I will have an understanding of what is going on and an ability to fix it if something goes wrong.

Yesterday (September 27th) I went to a welcome event at their offices on City Rd next to Google Campus in ‘Silicon Roundabout’ (Shoreditch). The vast majority of the 19 people that are doing the programme in this, the September cohort are doing so because they either have a concrete idea that they want to develop into a startup or they want to get involved in or found their own startup but they don’t yet have a fixed idea of what they want to do. Incidentally the rest seem to want to broaden their horizons or are seeking employment (upon graduation) in a junior coding role. The event itself was great, there was plenty of free pizza and beers, which apparently are provided free daily (if one wants to develop a drinking problem). More importantly the way the team involved in this lean startup described their mission to teach as many people to code as possible inspired me to get as much as I can from the course as possible. I better get stuck into the pre course materials on Codecademy!

I am excited to start on Monday and get to work making my vision a reality and allowing everyone, not just the rich access to efficient and effective (investments)!