Etch A Sketch


I learned something today. Don’t be afraid to scrap your ideas.

I spent the better part of the last 30 hours working through a database/deployment issue. Being my first time working with Heroku up close and Mongo/Mongoose simultaneously, I ran into some issues on both ends. Luckily, I had the good advice to deploy my app early on in case problems caused me to miss my deadline. Despite that, my working Heroku deployment came to an abrupt halt upon trying to connect the database.

The problem.

Looking back on it now, it was a simple fix. My database became overwhelmed with superfluous information because I was testing my app’s functionality and hadn’t figured out how to watch what was happening inside of it. I was totally unable to drop the database I had created in any way that I tried. I was implementing code in my app, SSHing into my deployed server, working with the database in the cloud, NOTHING worked. I showed my issue to half a dozen different people and none of them could come to any different conclusion.

The solution.

Over the entire 24 hour period I worked on and off on the database issue. I kept productive; splitting my attention between implementing my application and coming back to the database when I felt like I wasn’t wasting time, or had a new idea for a solution. I was putting off what I knew might be my last resort, just destroying my deployed app/database and starting over.

Well, that’s what I ended up doing. Took me about 20 minutes.

I felt like I had spent a day trying to draw a circle on an Etch A Sketch that ended up looking like a deformed tumor with radiating electric pylons growing out of it. Instead of trying to turn that mess back into a circle, I should have just shook the thing up and tried again the right way.

I’m happy that I got to learn more about Mongo/Mongoose, Heroku, mLab, and working with the full stack in general. I had never made a full stack application before today, and I feel so accomplished. My app was simple, but it worked. It was functional, and it was on the internet. And delightfully enough, it was immediately used by my class at Hack Reactor to fulfill the need which I created it for.