Makers Academy W4 D2: Databasics

TL;DR First ever live webpage launched today!


Today was a day of firsts. 3:30: fingers flying, I felt like a pro as I noticed that my once flailing digits were padding over the keys in a comfortingly programmer-esque fashion. I was steering the command line towards the deployment of my first live web app! Heroku, installed? Check! Database linked? Check! I hit the return key with a flourish. Text careered down my screen, but not in a good ‘all the files are executing without a hitch’ way. It was in the bad ‘there’s an error stack more enormous than Stormzy’s new album’ way. In hindsight, things were definitely going too to be true.

Gangs signs and prayer: “Enormous” Tunes.

3:45 — after wading through the errors I had to reinstalled a couple of widgets and aligned a couple of thingamajigs and voila! My web app was live! (I’d share it, but the free hosting expires after a month or so so the link will expire). It was the first time I’d felt like a proper web developer which was a brilliant feeling! Not quite on the same level as a good cry on the bog or a beer and bbq in summer but it was definitely close!

What else was a first? During meditation today I had this period of time where I didn’t think about anything, a total mind blank, and yet was still fully conscious. It was, irrefutably, bizarre but kind of pleasant! Nice to know that persistent training gets you where you need to go ey?

Finally, at the beginning of the course we were told that we would eventually feel comfortable feeling uncomfortable. That we would become accustomed to moving forward and dealing with problems and concepts that we were 100% not on top of yet. Today would be the first day I would agree with this. The new terms and concepts were assaulting me thick and fast. I felt immense mental discomfort when I actually started to think about how to build and interact with big online web servers but I was more than happy to start off small and chip away steadily at the errors and bugs that flew incessantly in my general direction. Fake it until you make it ey?

Ate at: Roast and toast

I wandered around the whole of petticoat lane market and I was this THIS close to dropping my cash into a delicious jerked chicken meal deal. But it felt like betrayal, another victory for roast and toast.

Podcast: Freakonomics

Heads, Heads, Heads, Heads, Heads. A tails is bound to be next soon right? OR Multiple choice exam: The answers have all been ‘A’ up until now, it can’t be A next? The answer to both is no. Despite the sequencing, the probability of it being heads is still 50/50 and the same applies to those irritating multiple choice exams. This is called gamblers fallacy and it is where the sequencing of events influence decisions you make. For a coin toss, this is rather trivial. But, research which has discovered the presence of this effect in baseball, loan approvals and even asylum applications. It really emphasised that the gamblers fallacy can crop up where the decisions have far reaching consequences.

A number of suggested solutions included incentives. Financial rewards were offered for making correct decisions and financial punishments for making incorrect judgement calls. This is generally effective because the people making the decisions take more time over each decision. Another suggestion was that the sequencing of choices for important decisions should be broken up with breaks.

Paired with: Ruan

I like to think Ruan is the dad of the group. He’s got a lot of industry experience dealing and managing developers in a work environment, so he always seems very unphased by the excrutiating amount of new database and coding lingo that’s flying around. I say dad of the group because, much like Emil who I worked with yeterday, he’s generally there to lend a helping hand for people with issues! His enjoyment of tech was epitomised by his wedding website. Instead of those tired old hand written rsvps he made a immensely aesthetic and impressive selection. He shared with me the joys of Ling’s No words can do this overwhelm of the senses justice. Seriously, if you click on one link today make sure it’s this.

Absolute Goals. Additionally, look at the source code. You will NOT be disappointed.

What I learnt

Live web deployment with Heroku

Absolutely magical moment when a web app I made was launched online using Heroku hosting. It allows you to easily push up ruby web apps from the command line for immediate live deployment.


This is a ruby gem (Gem = package of useful prewritten code) which allows you to handle databases using Ruby instead of SQL. This was a nightmare to set-up but once it was running the benefits were clear. Anything that keeps me away from the restrictive rigidity of SQL syntax and keeps me one step further away from an actual data base is a godsend. That said, you still have to set up the initial database but once it’s live then you’re good to go!

Keep that database clean.

When you’re running tests on database entry functions, the tests will be permanently changing data. By using the database cleaner gem it mops up all the shrapnel you’ve thrown into your tables for future use.


This is an acronym for the four main functionalities of an data structure. Functions interacting with data should only do one at a time, mixing functionalities should be avoided!

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Rupp Love x

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