Coding it all out

I’m starting this blog because they tell me that explaining what you are learning while learning to code helps you remember it. Before I jump into the middle of that, I might as well write about my story leading up to now.

Let’s start in January of 2015. I caught wind of a government funded project in Oregon called Code Oregon that would help you have access to learning to code online if you are an Oregon resident. I signed up and a couple days later I had my way into Team Treehouse , an online coding school, and this began my journey. I would actually supplement my learning with codecademy to keep my fingers typing the realm of code and because, well, I am just a learner type (I have bookmarked probably most learning resources worthy these days). Fast forward 1 year and I have completed 5 different ‘tracks’ available in Treehouse and have a couple freelance projects in my portfolio. Around this time my ex and I decide to split and while my stability was shaken a little, my spirit was not!

While browsing the internet I stumbled on a different resource helping to get people into the tech field called ‘Reboot NW’. I went to the info session and found out it’s actually a study funded by the government to compare the outcomes of people who get funding for coding schools versus those who don’t (or at least that’s how I understood it). Anyhow, I was placed into the control group of this study… which means I didn’t get any funding. Poops.

A week later I hear from the coordinator of this program that there is another form of funding I might be interested in. I go to that info session, sign up, and voila… Code Fellows.

So today actually marks the end of the first course at Code Fellows. They call this course ‘Code 201’. They offer a 101 to those curious about getting into tech industry but my experience with Treehouse covered everything to get me in.

I can now say a few things I learned in the 201 class. What stands out the most right now is the process of collaboration. How to work on code in a group or in a pair. I knew I would experience some of this here, and honestly that was what I was hoping to get out of it. Also, git.

I’ll write about git for a minute because it’s been an interesting beast of a tool. I learned a little about it through videos and random research but finally using it in a group setting... Holy conflicts batman. For as amazing of a technology git truly is, sometimes it just doesn’t understand your code and what you were trying to do with it. I am actually getting better at understanding the output of git, and how it predicts which version takes precedence when merging. It’s an interesting concept but undoubtedly a useful realization.

I am feeling like I should set a few requirements for these posts. Like maybe:

  1. What is one interesting piece of code I have learned since the last post and why?
  2. What do I feel I have improved upon since the last post?
  3. What is one thing I want to learn more about before the next post?

There. Those seem pretty good.

I’ll answer these in the timeframe of starting the class until now, since I don’t have any previous posts. So to answer the first one:

Array.prototype.forEach();

Uh, this is JavaScript BTW. So I used this in a project a couple weeks ago and didn’t realize it existed until stumbling on it after a search. Basically you can ‘apply’ a function to every index of an array. (I know that ‘apply’ is probably not the right word, but it works in my mind). They call it a callback, which I understand, I just don’t like the word ‘callback’ right now.

So if you have an array and you want to do stuff to every element of that array, this will do the trick. I know, I’m junior level right now.

To answer the second question, I definitely improved on using chromes dev tools and finding bugs with breakpoints. That was actually a pretty awesome breakthrough. Especially to have access to local variables and see what the hell is going on inside a loop nested inside a function.

For the third question, I definitely want to learn more about testing. I know that we get into Mocha.js in the 401 course but I’m itching to know more about how to test what I am writing. Of course I’ll do some reading myself but I can’t wait to get my hands dirty.

I know I’ll get better at writing these as time goes by. Thanks for reading this first one.