Starting Computer Science Fundamentals

Learning

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.

Why You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Learning

As uncomfortable as it is, we need to get out there and learn from people. There are several resources readily available to anyone who wants to use them. Where I live, there’s a free newspaper that lists the local groups that get together. Meetup.com is a fantastic way to go to a number of tech or coding meetups. When you go to one of these meetings, there are people that see things from a different perspective and may offer some insight into how to learn more efficiently. Generally, they are helpful, polite, and friendly.
Through Meetup.com, I have recently attended a front end developers crash course from The Iron Yard in Greenville. Although fast-paced, I found it easy to follow. It was an experience that I would not have had on my own.
When I arrived (slightly late) I was ushered into an open seat and had to ask the person next to me for the internet password. The teacher from the Iron Yard had us download Atom as well as a folder from the Iron Yard‘s website. The goal of the class was to get the students to take a shabby looking website that was provided and add graphics, edit text, and make the website give a better user experience. The main languages used were CSS, HTML and JavaScript. Since I did not have any experience with these languages, I had to raise my hand several times to ask questions. There was always someone close by to answer and help facilitate the learning process.
Had it not been for the crash course, I would not have any experience with front end development. I’m grateful to the Iron Yard for holding these classes and contributing to my learning experience.

If you want to become a great learner, networker, and developer, get out there.  It doesn’t have to be every day, but make an attempt to interact with the community.  There are so many things you haven’t learned yet and people you haven’t met.  Possibly, you could become a mentor or help someone with a problem that you already know how to solve.

The instructor demonstrates HTML and CSS code