Personal Retrospective :: JavaScript Week and More

In this blog post I want to cover my impressions of JavaScript Week, as well as my experiences at our Friday code retreat last week at iTriage and a final wrap up of our first rails project.

  • What did you learn through Dinner Dash? Do you have any interesting areas of focus as you go into your next project?

The Hipster King Badge   

The Hipster King Badge


The most interesting thing that I got to work on for the Dinner Dash project was the merit badge system. One thing that I've learned from the last few projects has been that adding something unusual or 'shiney' to your app adds way more value than it often, code-wise, deserves.

On the next round, once I know and have faith that the app meets the minimum requirements and that the team is happy, I will definitely either branch off myself or encourage another teammate to branch off into a pet project.

The most important thing with adding the badges to Dinner Dash was pre-research. I sat down, looked at 3 different badge system repositories, watched a rails cast and dug into the code. Once I was confident that I could get the system to work, I split off onto my own branch - wrote tests - made a few badge images and got the 'minimum viable product' to work.

  • What did you think about the code retreat? How did it feel to work on a problem which, given your time constraint, was unsolvable? What lessons/ideas did you take away?

I really enjoyed the code retreat - even though I was fighting a pretty intense headache caused by intense water displacement the night before (hangover... I had a gnarly hangover)

I don't mind working on unsolvable problems - I actually found the Battleship game to be a pretty good base framework for experimenting with code. The next day I sat down and tried to recreate crunching out the game. I'm also reading the POODR book, and the game has been a great playground for testing out the concepts:

Additionally, I have a pie in the sky dream of using the ruby code to arduino-up an LED game board for battleship. 

Networking in the Programming World

Networking in the Programming World

  • How has the week of JavaScript been? What's making sense and what's confusing? What was the most difficult thing you were able to achieve

I've had a really hard time focusing this week, actually. On Sunday night, I not only caught a little stomach ichyness, but also had both my iphone cable and computer charger get destroyed.  This is something that the survivalist in me does not like to admit, but if my iphone, ipad and computer are all powerless, I literally have no method by which to set an alarm. I guess if the zombies riding a tornado full of nuclear rockets apocalypse actually does come then it probably won't matter if I wake up at 7:30am of 11, but on Monday, it did result in my missing class.  

Also - having been a little under the weather, I took a 'med vacation'. 

I try to speak openly about having Attention Deficit Disorder, if nothing else so that it might get the gears running for other people who have undiagnosed ADD. Had I known that ADD was a thing you could have while still being able to sit still when I was younger it would have saved me a whole host of other mental pains. Not being able to trust yourself to accomplish basic tasks leads to a surprising number of strange mental reactions.

Periodically I'll take 'med breaks' to kind of reset my brain and to sort of surface and take stock of things. Usually I take at least one weekend day off, if not both. Now that I'm in gSchool, these vacations happen way less often. I'm working all the time. 

It was amazing to watch myself trying to work through the Monday Javascript exercises while feeling sick and with no meds in my system.  It's hard to explain exactly how unproductive I was.

Getting a slow start to the week, and working on my lightning talk resulted in my picking up on VERY little JavaScript. I was NOT on the trolly. 

I plan to continue to work through the Codecademy JavaScript and JQuery projects and have started adding jQuery to a little Sinatra framework for the battleship game. 

Although this week has been a little less productive for me, I'm excited to keep learning.