Starting Computer Science Fundamentals


It has been a hectic week and a half.  The amount of information that has come my way is astounding.  If I had to give last week a name, it would be “method week.”  I spent all weekend doing homework that wasn’t even required.  Understandably, I was frustrated, but also exhilarated when I came to the correct answers on my homework.

This week is saturated by test driven development.  When working with tests we do something called, red, green, refactor.

1.) Red – Write a test that fails.  You do this to set up the standards which your code has to adhere to.

2.) Green – Make the code pass the test.  Break down what it is that the test requires and make it work.

3.) Refactor – Your code should be as efficient and clearly written as possible.  Ask yourself if this is the case.

Homework for this weekend at Ada Developers Academy isn’t getting any easier, but that’s the beauty of the program.  Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Shruti Van Wicklen is starting to teach our cohort computer science fundamentals.  The skills that I’m learning will elucidate the parts of computers, their languages, and memory that I haven’t had the joy of meeting.

night sky and trees

Night Sky and Trees

Other than class, I’ve been attending meetups with Chick Tech Seattle and Seattle.rb.  They’re both welcoming communities.  I prefer Seattle.rb for a quiet place to do some homework with the option to speak to experts in the Ruby language.  The Women in Tech SelfCare Series  was held at The Riveter, a bright, airy co-working space for women.  In addition to these, I volunteered to be a representative for Ada Developers Academy at a tournament at the Redmond Ridge golf course benefitting Ada as well as Year Up.  It was a lesson in networking and a source of renewed enthusiasm.

First Week at Ada


It’s Sunday.  I’ve spent a week studying software development.  Day in and day out, I’m learning about programming.  I love it.  When life is challenging, it’s more interesting.  The projects that are given make coding fun.

As my first week at Ada Developer’s Academy comes to an end, I look back and realize how much I’ve taken in throughout the week.  Currently I’m laying the foundation of what will come in the future.  I’m fully committed to the task.  Being a novice, I find it both frustrating and exhilarating.  I’m frustrated at my lack of knowledge and exhilarated when I can manage to find a solution to my homework problems.

Right now, we’re delving into the world of Ruby.  It’s a user-friendly object oriented language written by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto.  Discovering new methods in Ruby is my mission for the next week.  I plan on going through the documentation and taking notes.  Recently, I found that the regex method is helpful with finding parts of a string.  The notation is slightly difficult but is extremely helpful.

Other than class, I’ve been going to meetups.  Seattle.rb is a friendly group that I plan on frequenting.  I learned a lot of fantastic information at the Mozilla Dev Roadshow.  At times I felt that I was in over my head, but the people presenting brought things to a manageable level.    Today I studied with people from “Girl Develop It.”  We shared our experiences and our code.  I’m grateful to be a part of the Seattle tech community.

First Day of Class


I wake up at 4:30 AM and stare at the ceiling of my school bus which has been my dwelling for almost a month now.  It’s parked on the side of the road in the suburbs of Seattle so that I won’t get any tickets or undue attention.  Zac (my partner), and Mr. Tickles (the cat), and I have gone on an epic journey in this school bus named Odysseus.  We’ve crossed every major mountain range in the United States.  I learned how to drive a manual.  Friends and family made for welcoming pit stops along the way and we drank in the beauty of nature.  Odysseus is starting to feel like home and that thought scares me a little bit.  Although I know that I have an application submitted for an apartment, for the moment I am technically….. homeless. The thoughts of how the day would play out streamed in my head like some dramatic Netflix show.  Will they pile on an overwhelming amount of work right away?  Will the Adies be friendly?  Will I find out if I will be sleeping under a roof soon?  Will I fall asleep because I’ve gotten up so ungodly early? After the usual scrambling around in the morning, Zac fought his way through traffic and navigates to the Ada Developers Academy Headquarters.  Stepping out of the car, I realize that I desperately need caffeine.  The Starbucks had a line out of the door, but the Cafe Migliore in the financial building where the headquarters is located looks inviting.  With my coffee in hand, I head to the elevator to the tenth floor.  Inside the doors is my cohort.  I’ve never met a lovelier group of people.  Everyone is a new story with unique experience.  Everyone feels as I feel: apprehensive, excited, ready.  Introductions are made and we go through our first day in class.  Near lunch time, I get a text letting me know that my apartment lease is ready to sign.  Success.

As I lay down on my air mattress in the bus for a final time, the buzzing and whirring of vehicles passing on the highway was a comfort, because I know that tomorrow is a new day and opportunity is knocking.