Turing School. The hardest thing I’ve ever done.

My name is Jhun de Andres. I am 27 years old and I currently attend Turing School of Software and Design here in Denver Colorado. The program is a seven month immersive program that is divided into four seven week modules. Most weeks I am averaging about sixty to seventy hours a week and I am currently reaching the end of the third module. I have programmed every day for the last one hundred and forty-nine days. This has easily been the most difficult academic experience of my whole entire life and I have to say up to this point it’s totally been worth it.

I find that I never really ever pick the best time to do things. Let me explain. Two weeks before I started this intensive program me and the love of my life decided to get married. As you can imagine all the hours that would of gone into prepping for this intense program went into planning me and my wife’s wedding. It was obviously completely worth it but it did come with it’s set of challenges. My advice for anyone that is considering doing any sort of program that is like turing is to be prepared for the commitment this type of program demands. It’s early mornings and very longs nights, lots and lots of stress and learning to deal with a lot of ambiguity.

Every day I am surrounded by some of the brightest, smartest, and most driven people I have ever met. Turing tends to attract those types of people. They have a pretty small acceptance rate and they aim to prepare their students for the world of programming. Through my time at turing I’ve learned so much and to my surprise I’ve been able to retain a lot of that information and apply it.

One of the biggest lessons I learned about programming is to embrace the fall. The program I am in is not only conceptually difficult for someone like me who does not have a background in programming but also there is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on you to do well. I learned that the faster I was okay with not knowing everything and being okay with not completely understanding every piece of the code the better off I was. Programming is a completely different mindset it’s almost like a different kind of outlook on life. Our society shuns failures and programming wouldn’t exist with out that. Academia uses terms like forgery and in the open source world we simply refer to that as ‘forking the repo’. The sooner I was okay with that mindset the better off I was.

Today I am about to finish my third module. If the program lets me through all my hard work will really start to pay off. The school will put there stamp of approval on me as being a real life developer. For my final project for this module me and my partner built an application for a company in town called Trelora. They’re a real estate company here in Denver and we built them an application that takes in their internal API and produces a viewable leaderboard with a dynamic background that changes based on the weather. The reason why I bring this up is because I have never wrote a lick of JavaScript up to this point in my career at Turing. Halfway through the two weeks we had to finish the project we ended up scrapping our application and rewriting it in JavaScript and JQuery/AJAX. I was also able to implement a dynamic background and based on the weather that dynamic background would then change.

This is when it’s cloudy
Snowy
Rainy
And Sunny.

Up to this point I have never appreciated how powerful JavaScript and JQuery was. I am now a believer. Not only did my app load so much faster but I learned parsing a JSON response (which is valid JS) in JavaScript is so much easier than doing it in ruby (consuming the API in a service object, passing it’s response to a PORO and passing the parsed JSON response through OStruct and then initializing it in the Controller and then iterating over that in the view…) .

What that feels like.

I’ve learned so much during my time here at Turing. I think the most valuable has been learning to be okay with ambiguity and being confident in tackling a problem and figuring it out. Programming is an adventure and an exercise in confidence. I like that.

-Jhun