My First Few Weeks at Grace Hopper Academy

Check out their cool logo :D

Welcome to my coding journey! I’ll be sharing my experience learning to code, the milestones in my life that have led me here, some of my work, and the exciting (and the not-so-exciting) adventures along the way.

It’s been four weeks since I started the Grace Hopper program at Fullstack Academy in New York City. Eight weeks, if you count the four weeks of the remote Foundations portion of the program. The program itself is 17 weeks long, which means I’m almost half-way done!

Week 1: The first week felt like a massive info-dump. Each day has a general structure of lecture, workshop, review, and Q&A. This week we learned about data structures, the DOM, and Node.js. I generally felt like I had no idea what was going on, which left me feeling quite inadequate about myself. At the end of the week, we had a group “Retrospective” session, where we each discussed how we felt about our first week. It was really eye-opening because it seemed like every one of my classmates felt the same way.

Week 2: This week, we learned about SQL databases, promises and how to build an Express.js app by building a Twitter clone. In an effort to learn as much as I could, I studied all weekend and reviewed in the evenings after class. However, I found myself feeling incredibly exhausted, unable to sleep due to late-night coding anxiety, and ultimately unproductive the next day. Halfway through the week, I decided that I would do minimal work after class and focus on taking care of myself so that I’m healthy and ready to learn the next day.

Twitter clone made with ExpressJS. “I’ma let you finish coding, but…” — Kanye West

Week 3: This was the first week I felt like I had finally adjusted to the flow of things. I didn’t feel like I was overwhelmed with work or far behind my classmates. This week, we continued building out an Express app, called “Wikistack”, a Wikipedia clone. We also built our own Promise library, called Pledge, and learned Bootstrap and HTML/CSS concepts.

Week 4: I had my first assessment on Express.js and Sequelize and I did well :) After the assessment, we had a Tessel Hackathon with the Fullstack juniors. My team and I programmed our Tessel to act as a RFID-activated “lockbox” for receiving packages while away from home. It was mostly theoretical, but we were able to hook up the RFID reader and motor to lift and lower a Lego piece, which acted as our “lock”. Our team won “Best Campus Solution”! We each won a copy of Cracking the Coding Interview. Two out of three of the winning teams had Grace Hopper students, which is not bad for representation! The rest of the week we worked on building a full-stack Trip Planner app using Express, PostgreSQL, jQuery, and AJAX.

Next week, we’re learning React!