Time

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I survived 2 weeks of life as a paid developer. All I can say is that I love it.

Now that I have found something I like to do everyday I have been more careful with my time. I try to wake up early. This past week I have been successfully up at 5:30am. Next week I am pushing for 5am. Waking up early allows me to complete tons of tasks before the day even begins. Some the things I do in the morning are :

– Go for a walk
– Algorithms
– Read
– Organize my notes from the previous day (simultaneously reinforcing the previous day’s learning)
– Prepare food
– Do some miscellaneous todo tasks

Each weekend I make time to refine my schedule depending on what worked and didn’t work. I also take special care to keep my projects organized in Trello so I can make progress while juggling many different projects with different teams.

I felt more than prepared for the first few weeks as a developer thanks to my bootcamp and my own learnings. I spent every day after graduation preparing to be employed as a developer. I have a long road a head of me, but I definitely feel like I was prepared.

Pro tip: study hard.

I find it hard to sleep at night despite waking up so early. During the day it feels as if I am downloading a terabyte of data into by brain much like a server, except I have to reboot mine daily and for about 8 hours. The excitement of learning and working on fun projects keeps me awake. At night I find myself getting up to make a note of some of the thoughts that go through my mind.

Discipline is all I can practice daily as I fight to tame my mind. All we have is time, I am choosing carefully what to do with mine and I recommend the same to anyone reading this.

Tick Tock

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The Monday Interview
As I eagerly await the start of my interview I am escorted into the room we had reserved for the next two hours of my life. The room was dead silent making the clock located near the top of the photo excruciatingly painful to listen to. I was ready and nervous, so I had a notebook ready so I can write down what happened incase I blacked out.

Some stats about my interview:
It can be summarized into 3 parts.
I was schedule for 2 hours but ended up staying for about ~4 hours.
It was a lot of fun.

Part 1: Estimated Duration ~ 15 minutes
The Recruiter
For the first part of my stay I was able to meet face to face with the recruiter that had reached out to me so that she could get to know me. In my nervousness I had forgotten most of the questions she asked but they were mostly about my resume and some personal details to illustrate who I am.

Part 2: Estimated Duration ~ 30 minutes
The Project Manager
During the second part I met with the project manager for a potential team that I was being interview for. We had gone over my resume and he checked out my personal website. After that introduction we began the technical part of the interview. We went into questions discussing various topics in programming that required me to answer by definitions and explanations to demonstrate my understanding of various topics. We also went through some algorithms followed by more technical questions.

During this part of the day I was not feeling so hot about my performance so far, but I knew what I needed to do afterwards. I need to get better at expressing my knowledge and understanding in technical explanations. I also needed to brush up on my vocabulary so that I can make a clear connection between topics and to demonstrate that I know what I am doing. At the end I was already starting to feel defeated but tried to calm down and convince myself otherwise.

Part 3: Estimated Duration ~ 2.5+ hours
The Technical Director
This was my chance to redeem myself. Considering the amount of overtime we went on our room reservation I think I did okay.

In summary here is a list of hings I did that might have helped me:
– Asked a ton of questions
– Prepared some even before I arrived
– Asked some questions about the tasked I would be performing “if I were selected”
– Expressed my genuine interest in the company, role, team, services they provided and culture
– Did my homework on the company
– Asked more about it because the internet didn’t have everything I was hoping to learn about the company
– Kept learning everyday before the interview and even during the interview
– Paid off when I got the questions “What have you learned on your own? How did you learn it?”
– Focused on getting better, even during the interview
– Talked out loud to demonstrate my problem solving skills
– Asked for clarity on questions and algorithms
– Took a ton of notes during the interview
– Explained my answers whether it was a confident answer, a guess or an educated guess

At the end of the day I think I did pretty good.
After a few days the recruiter emailed me saying “We would like to go forward with your candidacy!”. It’s unclear exactly what that means to me so I will have to wait until my reference check clears, background check clears and starting date is established.

Until then I shall continue to develop my craft…

Coding + Mind Mapping

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I am so glad I learned how to code this year. For the latter part of my life I have been searching for something that I could do everyday that would bring me joy. I knew I was always into technology but this year it was time to learn to build things with it. Programming tests me everyday to make sure that I keep challenging myself. Some days I feel like I am a boss at it. Most days I feel like a total noob, but I keep coming back for more.

My bootcamp experience taught me how to learn and tested my patience for this new found discipline. The above quote is an excellent summary of how I learn best.

“Tell me and I forget.” I have a terrible memory. In one chapter of my life I learned to not trust my memory and write things down. This habit I have developed helped to organize my life better.

“Teach me and I may remember.”. Lectures definitely do not stick. Even in elementary school and high school, I was never really able to pay attention the whole time in a lecture. During the bootcamp I was somewhat able to because it was usually a demo or at least it was involving my new found passion, coding.

“Involve me and I learn”. I like how involved we get to be when learning to program. I get to practice and try things out while following along with a lecture, demo, book, video and whatever other source I might be using. The best way to learn to code is to code!

Sometimes coding seems really difficult for me to understand because a lot of the things I am learning are usually abstract ideas. I am a very visual person so I found that mind mapping really helps me pick up new topics.

According to litemind, information in a mind map is structured similar to the way the brain works. It is also an activity that engages both halves of the brain.

If you haven’t tried out mind mapping, I highly recommend it!

There are many different programs out there that do the same thing and it usually comes down to preference which one you choose to use.

Check out this one at coggle to get started.

Otherwise, I’m going to back to coding!

ChristopherBautista.com Is Live!

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Check me out at ChristopherBautista.com

In preparation for a focused effort to join the job hunting front, I have completed my personal site. In order to reduce the amount of time it would take to build it from scratch I found a template that I liked and deployed it on Digital Ocean to diversify my experiences. I also experimented with using a one click WordPress set up just to see what it was about. I was impressed by the easy of use that the software provides and will definitely investigate it further down the road since many sites use it.

DojoAfterDark.com Major Overhaul Incoming!

During my downtime waiting for responses, I will be performing a major overhaul on the Dojo After Dark website. I am going to complete the front end views and turn the project into a MERN Stack (swapping out Angular for React). This past week I attended a hiring fair and noticed that most of the companies that were hiring for Front End Developers were seeking out people with knowledge in React. From my research I have noticed a big trend towards that tool so I will be implementing it into this project.

On a side note, this past week’s first Book Club meeting was awesome! During the overhaul I will be updating the notes to be displayed on the site and share the exercises that we did as a group. I am looking forward to the next meeting on Wednesday. I believe a lot of people will benefit from attending these gatherings. It is especially helpful because it helps us overcome parts of the books that prove to be extremely challenging or difficult to understand and it just makes the whole learning experience a lot more engaging and fun!

After attending the hiring fair this week I have gained a better insight as to what developer path I would like to go down for now. I know I wanted to focus on become a Full Stack Developer, but after seeing the demand for more Front End Developers, I decided to follow that path first. I am definitely a more visual person. It has become more obvious to me as I go deeper into the world of computer programming. I enjoy using mind mapping as my main form of note taking for instance. So on my road to become a Black Belt Full Stack Developer I am going to start at the front.

Stay tuned for more updates!

while (alive) {
eat();
sleep();
code();
}

The Test Drive

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This is a data visual generated by d3.js. At times code looks like this to me on the surface until I begin having a good understanding of what all of it means.

This past week I had begun my first live project. I call this my Contracting Test Drive. It was my first look into legacy code. Legacy Code is defined as: “code that relates to a no longer support or manufactured operating system or other computer technology”. Some even define it as: “code that was not written today”. The codebase so far has been extremely intimidating. The total of all the projects created by everyone at the Dojo during my 14 week boot camp does not compare to the size and complexity of this project. I have spent so much time trying to understand the overall workings of the codebase. I feel like the tortoise in the race against the hare. I feel like it is taking me a long time to understand the whole site. Despite my feeling of incompetence towards the code, I am sure that I will prevail.

During the week I was able to assist in the tackling of my first ticket (issue in the codebase that needs to be fixed). It involved one of the first few topics that interested me, MySQL database queries. Out of all the things that I have learned in the boot camp, database query and database construction has always intrigued me. It was the reason why I decided to join a boot camp in the first place. When I was teaching myself iOS development I ran into the issue of not knowing anything about databases, thus inspiring me to search for a boot camp.

The process for completing this ticket was done through pair programming, which is another of my favorite ideas that I had learned in the Dojo. I find that reading and talking about the same code with another person is extremely beneficial for all parties. It makes the learning and editing process so much smoother than I could have done by myself.

This week has reminded me what I have heard from many developers. Some days feel impossible while some days go really smooth. Coding definitely still feels like that roller coaster that I had experienced in the bootcamp. I am glad to say though that I am not bored with it. On my spare time try to get some reading done, learn a new library and work on my algorithm skills. My current materials are: Eloquent JavaScript, d3.js and Codewars as my algorithm platform. I enjoy the everyday challenges involved in the coding world.

Who was I before I became a passionate developer?

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After High School
I was not sure what exactly I wanted to do with myself yet. I decided to follow in the footsteps of my family and pursue both Nursing and Business Administration. Why both? Because it paid more for when I was to become a Nursing Home Administrator. I spent nearly two years doing prerequisites for the nursing program until I finally made the decision that this path wasn’t going to work for me. I am very fortunate that my family was supportive of my decision. The only problem I had now was that I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.

Second Time in College
The next four years I spend studying Business Entrepreneurship in the Philippines. I was given the option to study outside the country so I took it. At the time I knew I wanted to have my own business, but wasn’t sure what yet. I think living in another country is an experience that everyone should have. I was able to grow so much as a person living far from home. I am very grateful for having that experience. During my stay there I was able to tour a lot of the country and participate in the city life as well as the provincial life.

Hobby At The Time
While I was finishing up Business school I spent most of my free time 3D Printing/Modeling, traveling and trying to teach myself programming. I spent about 2 years 3D Printing with 2 machines in my studio apartment. I was so fascinated by the technology I spent almost all the free time I had learning all about the technologies. I had also taken my first real swing at learning to program through a short course offered at a near by university. We had studied C programming, but environment wasn’t right for me so I discontinued.

Return to Home
Upon returning home to the perfect weather in California, I had to finished up one more internship. I chose to finished it with my family business to see if it was something that I could still do. After my internship I was sure that this was not where I wanted to spend the next few years of my life. I new I was capable of learning it but I didn’t enjoy it. I then proceeded to try to self teach myself programming once more. My goal was to build OSX and iOS apps. I felt that I was doing okay following books and videos online until I realized I needed a database and so much more knowledge than just a database. I then proceeded to joining the Coding Dojo Onsite Boot Camp.

Coding Dojo Boot Camp
I spent 14 weeks here and I have to say this was by far the best learning experience I have ever had. It was intense, the pace was fast and I was challenged every single day. I learned more here in this short time than I could have done by myself in a few years. After attending the boot camp I am now capable of much faster learning and understand than I could have accomplished last year.

The Birth of: cbaut
cbaut is my programmer alias and I am happy to dedicate the rest of my years to learning the trade of computer programming. I always enjoying comparing coding to medieval blacksmithing, where an apprentice can make the journey to become a master blacksmith. There is so much to learn and discover in the world of coding. I hope that others find passion for the things they do everyday. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking!