Makers Academy W4 D3: Bug Hunting

TL;DR Sleep meditation: Good. Debugging: Bad.

Wine next to a bus stop: Makers students getting over the hump day in applaudable style and class.

Overall

Today was, as could be predicted by now, riddled with bugs but very enjoyable. Datamapper, the current mental mountain to climb, is great when it works but dealing with it when it’s broken is a nightmare. (That last sentence was actually a bit pointless and could be applied to many things. Southeastern Trains, myspace.com or even my digestive system to name a few). That aside, when concepts are brand new you don’t really have a solid grasp about the best ways to go about looking for solutions. I had no idea where to even start googling for solutions today! It was the first time I’d spent over an hour debugging a single problem, immensely frustrating, but after wrestling it into submission I’m pretty sure I won’t be tripping up over that twice.

In other news, every Wednesday people get together for 30 minutes of sleep meditation. You basically lie on yoga mat and get hypnotised in a big group — I would highly recommend as it’s immensely refreshing. Unfortunately, this week I hit the relaxation with a bit too much panache. I’m not sure if this is a widespread phenomenon, but every time I nearly fall asleep my limbs tend to violently spasm. So, half asleep on the yoga mat and firmly at peace with the world, my right hamstring contracted and shot my leg to near 90 degrees. Gravity then kicked in and and smashed my heel down onto the floorboards. Needless to say, the integrity of both my zen state and my achilles heel took a bit of a blow.

Aside:

I posted a link to Ling’s cars yesterday but I was immensely disappointed to check back in today and see that the cloying amount of cat and hen gifs walking aimlessly around the website had been replaced by a triumphant effigy of Ling on a Harley Davidson outside Piccadilly circus.

Don’t worry though, Jack and I went straight to the live chat functionality, clocked in with Rosie (head of PR) and demanded what had happened to the source code overnight. A bit of back and forth and we even ended up propositioning Jack up for a job as a front end developer for Ling. Sadly, when we tried to escalate the conversation with a nonchalant ‘wuu2?’ we got the cold shoulder.

Paired with Jack

Jack plays the role of the funny man or even the maverick goofball, but he’s actually an immensely switched on human. He’s partial to the daily Metro cryptic crossword, has an obnoxiously powerful table tennis forehand and even managed to go head to head with Alexander Armstrong in Pointless and win. Highlights of the day include discovering an endangered species of Japanese mole and finding out about the Linguini Incident. The pinnacle of 90s film making starring David Bowie.

Arguably David Bowie’s most poignant work.

Podcast: Freakonomics

Today’s episode was a breakdown of just how much power a president wields over the United States. It was a re-released episode timed to re-drop just after Trump snuck onto the iron throne. Presumably this was an attempt to calm outraged Americans that Trump couldn’t do any serious long term damage.

An interesting analogy was made that compared being elected president to being assigned to the co-pilot seat of a plane that was already on autopilot. Implying that, Although the president is the spearhead and frontman of the US and often portrayed as an all powerful benevolent ruler of the planet, the truth is that the control is shackled back by congress. I honestly don’t know enough about the US political system to drop into the details here but they made it very clear that the majority of presidential power lay in becoming a figurehead for people to rally behind, and in the influence that they had over the composition of political bodies that do have the power to make large changes.

Learnt:

Establishing many-many relationships between data tables.

SQL (structured query language) is unbelievably nifty. It allows you to set up relationships between different tables in a database to allow you to point multiple data entries in one table towards a single entry in another table. We used this relationship to be able to save custom tags to a library of urls today: very swish.

Singing Tibetan bowl

Absolutely need to get one of these. It’s a small metal bowl that you make vibrate by circling a wooden stick around its rim. Much like the singing wine glass trick but with a refreshing lack of wet fingers.

Cmd-Q

This is a Mac command. It seems fundamental but I’ve gone 3 and a bit weeks and not discovered it until now. Immensely useful for quickly shutting down windows permanently. Macs definitely have a thing about wanting to permanently keep things running in the background and I’m not a big fan of that sort of app uprising — got to keep them in line you know.


If you’ve made it this far

Rupp Love x