Documentation, Interviews, and Meetups

This has been a pivotal week, I think. Moving along Thinkful’s curriculum and other assignments, I navigated the upgrade of a Node package with breaking changes, had an informational interview with a Senior Web Developer, and attended my first meetup!

Sequelize Changed?!

My final Capstone, a full version of the HospitAlert demo I created for my second Capstone, features a SQL database and an API running on Express/Sequelize. The first app I created using Sequelize, a basic blog API, was built using Sequelize v3. My models looked like this:

I installed Sequelize v4 for HospitAlert. Due to some of the breaking changes in this upgrade, my HospitAlert models looked like this:

classMethods and instanceMethods have been removed from the define method in v4. Instead, they are constructed separately. For basic models like the ones pictured above, the changes are quick and easy to implement.

…Of course, when I built my HospitAlert models, I didn’t realize that I had installed a different version of Sequelize. I used classMethods and instanceMethods and had no idea why my app wasn’t working. After a few hours (yes, hours) of unbelievable despair and frustration, I finally compared the package.json file on my two apps. I saw that the apps were running two different versions of Sequelize (*face-palm*). The up side was that I was able to implement changes to my app using documentation as my only resource. As with many moments as a developer, the situation transitioned from discouraging to empowering. Of course, I had to Tweet about it:

Once my models were fixed, I built routes for all 3 of my models: User, Hospitalization, and Friend. I built the User and Hospitalization routes first. By the time I built the Friend routes, I got cocky and started writing too quickly. When my tests failed, I stayed up late to troubleshoot. Rachel and I instantly assumed that the issue was with my promise chains. Nothing we tried worked. Finally, I realized that I was missing a single keyword in each test. I think this is what everyone was talking about when they said that it’s important to be strong in the fundamentals.

Informational Interviews

While many of the mentors at Thinkful are working developers, they still require students to have an informational interview with a Developer outside of Thinkful. Knowing that I will be in LA next month, I took to LinkedIn to find someone at a larger company in LA. We met on Skype for almost an hour, and it was very insightful. I was able to get a good picture of what Jr. Developers may do at various companies and the importance of diversifying while looking for jobs. Some of the information was surprising, but it was all great! I’m glad we got to meet.

My First Meetup

Another Thinkful assignment is to attend a local meetup. I procrastinated on this assignment. Like (I assume) many developers, I’m a bit of an introvert. Walking into a room full of strangers is scary and uncomfortable. I finally found a meetup and RSVP’d. It was a Demo Day, so, of course, Rachel wanted me to present something. I was so nervous that I almost didn’t present, but I’m so glad that I did. I demoed both HospitAlert and Kitty Opinions. The 3 hours went by so quickly! I didn’t want to leave the meetup. To be able to network and chat with developers of varying backgrounds and skill levels was amazing! I feel like I have arrived.

Branching out of my comfort zone with my code and in life is what made this week so important. By next weekend, I should be done with HospitAlert and portfolio. Then, it’ll be time to start looking for a job! I still can’t believe how quickly I’ve progressed. My new life is right around the corner!

Thanks for reading!

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