Makers Academy Pre-Course Week 1

Ok so I’m not a programmer, not yet at least but I certainly existed between these states this week

My time with Makers Academy began on Monday, YAY!, and it’s been a really great week of learning new things, solidifying others, epiphanies, mind-blanks, leaving do’s and catching criminals! Well not really but more on that in a bit.

I was fortunate to have two months after my acceptance and prior to starting the pre-course and I was given the sound advice, by a Makers Graduate I reached out to on LinkedIn, of covering git and the command-line in whatever format I wanted (I chose Codecademy and Git Immersion) as well as reading Learn Ruby The Hard Way by Zed Shaw which I love.

A cool thing I was able to do at the start was create alias’s in my .gitconfig file to make things a little easier and quicker, such as ‘c’ for checkout and ‘s’ for status etc. I also set-up a GitHub account early on and pushed all my exercises from the book using terminal so I was able to get a good grasp of the main commands and settle into a comfortable work-flow.

This basically consisted of:

Creating file in command-line, writing ruby code in my text-editor, test code by running in terminal, adding file to git, committing and pushing to GitHub.

It might seem a bit redundant to do this for every exercise but it did wonders for memorising the syntax!

With that said I found the course material provided for the week to be a logical progression and was able to complete the lessons quite comfortably. That’s not to say I didn’t learn anything new, because I did but it was on-top of a sound knowledge base and as such I was able to digest it really well. I think my favourite new skill was the ability to edit the permissions of a file using ‘$chmod’ such that read/write/execute commands are controlled depending on who is accessing said file. Pretty neat, and I’m sure will come in handy down the line.

So, about that criminal I caught. Makers have created a murder mystery of sorts as a test/guide to ensuring you understand all the main commands and it was a lot of fun. It was quite the challenge to make sure you knew how to sift through reams of gobbledygook to find just the right clue you need, as well as piping multiple ‘grep’s into one command! I lost count of how many times I got an error or just a non-response from the terminal but I persevered and got there in the end.

Each time I got what I wanted I went back and replicated it just to make sure I had it down before committing to GitHub.

During the week I also managed to fit in putting together a tender for over £1million for a warehouse refurb, sealed a 12 month maintenance contract (commission for the win!), had my leaving do, played a round of golf, went mountain biking (oh Wales how I’ll miss you!) sold a house and moved over 250 miles!

All in all a crazy, at times stressful, but enjoyable week and I am really looking forward to being able to commit (pun intended) full-time to challenging myself this next week with more Ruby katas on CodeWars, some pair programming (cheers Tom) and delving into Chris Pine’s book Learn To Program. Bring it.


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