I should bug the author to publish it… Gotta love little easter eggs.
Aaaannndd it begins. My time to travel across the country has begun. But most gut wrenching of all is the fact that I have to leave my famy again for another summer. This is why I am choosing to attend this school. I am sick and tired of leaving my family alone just so I can earn a buck. It wasn’t even a big buck either. Ha!
So the plan is to take a southern route across country: leave home and exit through south west VA, then through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas’ northern panhandle, New Mexico, Arizona, and then on up through California. I wanted originally to go more north and see family in Ohio, Kansas, and Colorado, but the fastest route would t have brought me close and I’m limited on time anyway. It’s just best for me to go the most direct route. That and there were tolls to the north. And I’m stingy 🙂
So yeah, I’ll try and take a pick every time I enter a new state and post it as evidence. After this trip I’ll have visited/drove through more than half of the US. Hooray
I’m back on the grid.
I’ve spent the past three weeks in Latvia as part of Saber Strike 13. It’s a multinational NATO exercise. It went great and if you want to know more just google it.
Any hoo, things are picking up here at home. We’ve had two garage sales, had our POD delivered, and packed up most of the house. We still have a lot to do and I’m not sure how we’re going to get it all done. Meh, we’ll figure it out.
I’m a bit nervous because I’m a bit behind on my prepwork. I’m also a bit rusty on what I studied because I slammed out a lot of topics but then I wasn’t able to do anything for three weeks. Ugh. Needless to say, when I show up, it’ll be 100%.
Here’s to the summer of crazy!
Time to catch up a wee bit.
The last few weeks have been a flurry of activity in applying to a number of “coding bootcamps.” (9 – 12 week long intensive programs designed to train you to be junior developers). I applied to App Academy first, took both their coding challenges, and I was rejected.
I was contacted by another group however called Coding Dojo. They are based out of San Francisco (by area) and are a newer program. They’ve had a few test classes, a part time program, and this last February started their first full time bootcamp class. The class recently graduated so its too early to have stats on job placement, but its promising. The program is growing quickly it appears because they are already overlapping classes.
To be accepted I had to fill out an application and create a video that explained a bit about myself as well as answer a few questions. I then interviewed with one of their head guys last Thursday and today (Monday) I received my acceptance!
So here’s more of the skinny on the Dojo: yes, its a bit of a silly name. However, when you look at other similar programs its not that far out there. The course is nine weeks long, and I will attend from June 24 to August 23. Schedule wise, this works out pretty wild because I will get back from some military commitments a week prior to the start, and my sister gets married a week after. In short, my summer is going to be packed.
A few things stuck out to me about Coding Dojo that I liked: First off, they feed you! And the food looks pretty great. They provide lunch and dinner as well as healthy snacks (fruits, veggies, etc). This may sound silly but its a big deal when you think about how much money I would spend on food alone over the course of nine weeks. Second, where other programs focus heavialy on Ruby on Rails and largely only that (because its the hot tech right now) Coding Dojo’s focus is to train you how to learn any programing language. Their philosophy is to train you for a great lifelong career, not just a great decade as a Ruby on Rails developer who panics when its no longer the hot item. They also structure their demo days with employers differently. They have more than one demo day (to my knowledge) so that prospective employers can snag students early and have them start focusing on a particular technology that they use. A sort of pre job placement. They also have guest speakers come in a lot from the industry and talk about various aspects of what they do. They build relationships and reputability.
The other side of the coin is that its a huge gamble for my family and I. The price tag of $8750 is pretty rough but its actually cheaper than many other similar programs. We still have to save up the full amount somehow, sell off half our stuff, put the other half into storage, the wife and kids will probably move in with my parents in AK, I have to drive to Cali, and find a place to stay that is within budget.
This is going to be very difficult.
But the wife and I have prayed about it. We asked God for an opportunity for us to change our stars. We found these programs and it all just seemed to click and fall into place. At this point, we are truly trusting God for his provision, protection, and guidance.
More will follow…
P.S. heres a link to the program: http://codingdojo.co
So I’ve been a bit remiss about my wee blog this past week. Reason being that I’ve been throwing myself into studying Ruby in order to take a coding challenge for App Academy.
What is App Academy or Dev Bootcamp you ask?
Well in short, they are both nine week intensive courses designed to train you to effectively code Ruby on Rails. The intent is that you graduate with enough skills to be “a world class beginner” and a successful member of a development team. In short, they both are freaking awesome. The only real difference between them that I can tell is their pricing structure. Dev Bootcamp requires payment upfront, App Academy only requires payment once you get a job. Either way, both are truly exceptional programs.
I’ve been in the process of applying to both of them this week. Dev Bootcamp requires a video submission where you tell a bit about yourself and you also teach them how to do something. I’m teetering between changing a diaper or making a fire (I lean towards making a fire for somewhat obvious reasons…). I plan on completing this during the weekend.
App Academy requires you to take a coding challenge in Ruby. They provide prep materials via Ruby Monk (www.rubmonk.com) and Code Academy (www.codeacademy.org). I went the Code Academy route and I thought the instruction rocked. They also provide practice problems.
I did really well on the practice problems and when I compared them with their suggested answers I walked away really confident. My answers were well more developed than what they were looking for. Supposedly this was to prepare me for the actual challenge.
It sorta did…
The challenge was harder than I expected probably due to the time limit and the “HOLY CRAP I CANT FAIL! I NEED TO SUCCEED IN THIS FOR MY FAMILY’S SAKE!” So I get nervous once in a while. But over all I think I did well.
After that there was a second challenge. This one sucked. Hard.
Honestly, the prep material didnt cover this level of work. However, I pieced together as much as I could and submitted answers to 2 / 4 problems. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that this was a test to see what I could do when faced with a “OMG, WTF do I do now?” scenario.
All in all, I’m rather confident. I know that I can do this very well if given the training and the time. I also know that I LOVE learning this stuff. I truly find it fascinating and wonderful (in the literal sense of the word). I WANT to have a career as a programmer, I NEED to have a career as a programmer. The next step in the App Academy application process is a Skype interview. I just hope I can convince them that I fit the profile of the guys they are looking for.
We’ll see where this all leads. Its in the Lords hands now.
So I’m once again out of town. This time though I’m pulling a two week stint and I’m enjoying my paid day of rest. I’ve spent the whole day working on my Caesar Cypher and my Vigenere (Vig) Cypher. I’ve prettied up my Caesar Cypher by removing the heavy lifting to two functions. Also, the actual function I used to encrypt the message I can actually use in both cyphers. Stack Overflow has become an excellent resource. It seems like there are people out there with nothing better to do than answer other peoples questions.
I’ve uploaded the updated versions of my Caesar Cypher as well as my Vig Cypher. Heres the link:
Here lies the rub: my Vig Cypher to compile. I tried to just post it here direction as a code block BUT for some reason WordPress decided to completely ignore entire chunks of my code, completely erasing them. Soooo, if you want to help me find my problem you’ll have to download it from my Dropbox. Cest la vie…
Anyway, I keep getting an error at line 32 where I have:
CypherShift (plainText[i], argv [j]);
The error I get is: passing argument 2 of ‘CypherShift’ make pointer from integer without a cast
I also get this error on like 9 where I prototype the function: note: expected ‘const char*’ but argument is of type ‘char’
So yeah, I dont want to vomit my entire wee program onto Stack Overflow and thus beg for help. I think its a bit out of good form to do that. So if the world reading this has any input, I’d appreciate it.