The Terrible Twos

I recently left my career as an artist/band manager of 10 years to go back to school for computer programming. Full Stack Web Development to be precise, but who’s counting... It was gutsy of me to leave a career I’ve been a part of pretty much my entire existence and this idea of starting a new life in my late 30’s has been a bit scary and polarizing. One hears what coding schools/bootcamps are like but you never know if they’re true. The one true statement so far of a coding bootcamp that rings true for me has been the “bootcamp” part. In the military at a bootcamp all your time is one focus all waking hours and this is no different.

Since I’ve had nearly zero experience coding before my the bootcamp pre-work save a few college courses 20 years ago, the best metaphor how I’m feeling is probably the idea of trying to drink from a firehose.

Maybe like this:

Rob Kinda

Or probably more like this:

Yup, pretty much information and me.

Now that we’re into the beginning of week 2 of class it felt appropriate for a first blog post to share a little of what I heard is true, so far.

“They” say that when you’re in the midst of a coding bootcamp the concepts and workload have you at the edge of your comfort zone. For me it’s the un’comfort zone. Okay really for me, way way way out of my comfort zone. We feel like there’s so much being thrown at us there’s no way we’ll ever understand and that it’s impossible to “get it.” However I’m told that “in 2 weeks you’ll feel that way about current work and look back and the concepts that you thought you were at your wits end about are comprehensible, useful, and not that bad.”

Since this is week 2 of school (hence “the terrible twos”, clever, right?) I wanted to see if this could ring true. I remembered seeing a few things early on before I started at Flatiron that I was like “what the eff” is this stuff? It was confusing and hard and now just makes sense. These are my first of the “2 week rule” that held true (okay 1 week and 2 days rule), ya know, some stuff I find cool or found I wasn’t able to understand 2 weeks ago.

#inject

Does anybody remember reading this Ruby Method before starting school and making no sense of it? Now it not only makes sense but I can’t wait to put it to use.

If you’ve ever wanted to perform an operation on any items in an array and and keep the tally going without initializing a variable first, this is your method.

[‘R’,’o’,’b’, ‘!’].inject do |string, array_element|
string + array_element
end
=> “Rob!”

[‘R’,’o’,’b’, ‘!’].inject(“Hello “) do |string, array_element|
string + array_element
end
=> “Hello Rob!”

[5,10,15].inject do |sum, array_element|
sum + array_element
end
=> 30

x = 100
[5,10,15].inject(x) do |sum, array_element|
sum + array_element
end
=> 130

#partition

This one is pretty cool, I haven’t used it yet in practice but I’m pretty sure it’s going to come in handy. The partition method allows us to pass an array to a block and it returns a 2 arrays. First an array of the True elements and second a False array.

[1,2,3,4,5,6,7].partition do |element|
element >= 6
end
=> [[6, 7], [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]]
require ‘prime’
[1,2,3,4,5,6,7].partition do |variable|
variable.prime?
end
=> [[2, 3, 5, 7], [1, 4, 6]]

%w(foo bar)

Super simple, and had no clue what this was but it’s also pretty cool. It’s a quick shortcut to take a bunch of items separated by a space and wherever there is a space create a new array element.

%w(i think you guys are really great)
=> [“i”, “think”, “you”, “guys”, “are”, “really”, “great”]

Yeah I know Mr(s). big shot, these are all super basic fundamentals that are easy to comprehend. I know I know, but in retrospect I was a bit WTF when looking at these. The two week rule list really goes on and on, from Self to “.each vs .collect” to a puts returning nil, or one of my favorites, the backtick. You’ll be the only one of your friends to know what a backtick is and use it all the time. Did you even know it was on your keyboard 4 months ago?! I didn’t!!

Got my fingers crossed in two weeks that the dizzying and nearly impossible things we’re learning this week will feel pretty understandable by then.

Oh yeah, and maybe in in 3 months I’ll be embarrassed I even wrote this bc it’s all such kids stuff. This hash rocket is ready for lift off, lets do this! (Clever again, I know.)

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