Midweek Madness 16 March. Wk4 GA

^/\ Alt J on repeat. /\^

I have made an executive decision to restrict my posting to two nights a week. Hopefully this will filter out most of the hasty notes I have been leaving for myself previously and allow me to write more about the experiences I am having. This also means that I will have to try and remember the contents or at least a summary of the previous three or so days as I write which is hard when the last month has melded into one continuous stream of thought for me.

As my previous post revealed we started on Ruby at GA this week. It has been interesting trying to learn another language so quickly but in many ways after Javascript it is quite quick to pick up. I am probably not as comfortable as others in the class but I don’t think I am alone with that train of thought.

Yesterday we ran through arrays, hashes and symbols with Ruby. for homework we were supposed to do the MTA task again which is creating a trip planner/ adviser for travelling the New York rail line, this time in Ruby as opposed to Javascript previously.


Unfortunately I did not complete much of this on the night as I had my 3rd instalment of Thoughtworks, very generous, LevelUp workshop. A basic rundown of how it has worked for me so far..

The workshop places you within a group of other people wherein you are given a role (UX Designer, Business Analyst or Developer). From this point you are split into two teams and each assigned a client for which to plan, design and develop a product. This takes place over a series of 6 weeks with after work hours meeting. (except for the first and last days which occur on the weekend)

Every week the workshop is trialling in that it forces you to work collaboratively, quickly and effectively. To not do so causes problems which become apparent swiftly. The excellent teamwork skills developed from working in the team that are ultimately invaluable. On top of this the industry relevant terms and processes shared by Thoughtworks are cutting edge, a fresh way of thinking which interacts nicely with the grand social issues that are broached in the workshop.

I can’t thank the huge amount of volunteer staff enough for being so passionate and involved in the workshop as well as sacrificing their time.

Anyone who wants a challenge, to learn to build a functioning product team, to tackle a relevant social issue or to grasp an understanding of leading business techniques should attend one of these workshops.
NOTE: This is regardless of experience, don’t be afraid!

This week we continued with the story process.

The story process can be described as breaking down the use of a product from the users perspective. Stories are used to embrace the users perspective before being broken down into small manageable instances. From this point wireframing/ user interface designs are quickly mapped out to begin planning a direction for the developers to start working on the functionality. This seriously helps to find issues and improvements throughout the design process and is constantly accompanied by full team meetings whenever any design improvement or bug is found.

As a Ux designer we started using a couple of phone applications: Pop and Marvel App to create a clickable sample prototype of out wireframes.

We then continued to develop the designs further and made some changes throughout the day with our continual team meetings, volunteers fantastic guidance. I have done a quick play around with Sketch in my non-existent free time since yesterday and uploaded it to the slack just as a reminder for the team on what we discussed this week(It can be hard to keep track when only meeting once per week).

Next week we start the coding process!!


This morning I got my Ruby MTA moving and logging the trip along the same line for both forwards and reverse. This was a great success andthe rest of the logic fell into place soon afterwards although considering I only had 40 mins, the code hasn’t quite been finished. Hopefully I have some time this weekend to get it done.

Today we looked over Sinatra, a Ruby web application library. It is used for

“quickly creating web-applications in Ruby with minimal effort.”

This was very interesting to get into although at the moment has proven fairly mind numbing or perhaps melting? This is definitely something I will have to read more documentation on to fully take it in right now. Ex-WDI student Loretta (who is also a dev on Team Purple) sacrificed her lunch time to come in and run the class through Phaser.io which was a nice break from Sinatra. I hope I have some extra time this weekend to continue working with Phaser.

I had my first SydJS meeting tonight, all of WDI13 attending which was good, the free pizza and beers were a nice compliment to a fantastic night of talks which covered some cool concepts on building games with canvas, a cool program that could edit instances across multiple documents, A way to increase performance debugging effectiveness and some talks on using React. I will probably add more details in my next post, It is nearly 1 am and I need sleep..