Day 4 + 5, Thursday and Friday. Week One Complete.


I finished up my CSS and Bootstrap assignments this week and I started on jQuery and jQuery UI today. The pace is pretty awesome when you think about it. I don’t feel the grueling craziness that I places like DevBootcamp talk about. But as far as I can tell, we’re operating on the exact same pace. Maybe I’m just blind to the fact that I spend (literally) an average of 15 hours a day banging on my keyboard.

This is probably a good spot for me to reflect upon the completion of the first week.

Honestly, I dont know how I got here already. It goes by VERY quickly. I show up on average around 7:30 am and, unless I dont eat breakfast, I usually dont realize its noon and lunch time until I see everyone else around me get up to go eat. Then the same thing happens during the second half of the day. I never, ever, catch myself clock watching. I usually only look at the clock to make sure I eat.

This is a blast.

Overall, I’d give Coding Dojo an 8 out of 10 on the Awesome Scale. They have a few issues that I would consider shortcomings but honestly, they are debatable points depending on your pedagogical intent. Regardless, I KNOW that at this pace, I’ll exit this program as a skilled web developer and I am more than confident that I’ll be able to find work.

I honestly love doing this. Its incredibly frustrating at times (especially since the air conditioning in our building died) and sometimes discouraging. But every day operates on a sine wave: you have your ups, and you will have your downs. But! You will come back up.

This was an investment well made. Do it.


Dev Bootcamp and App Academy

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.