Obsession

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Obsession

noun

  • an idea or though that continuously preoccupies or intrude’s on a person’s mind

In my life I have had many obsessions. Throughout my many obsessions I was able to gain skill and knowledge from an endless supply of motivation. It was my key to becoming good at something.

Off the top of my head:

  • Motorcycles
  • Programming
  • Quadcopters
  • 3D Printing
  • Traveling
  • Video Games
  • Table Top Games

By learning how to channel this limitless supply of energy, I believe anything is possible.

Fire

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Mother F-ing Fire this week. Love it.

Work was fun and confusing at time. I knew we had multiple servers but didn’t realize how confusing it was going to be one day. Glad it didnt last very long. I had a stumble at one point because there were multiple staging servers that I was working with, our team’s sever and the Cars Direct staging server. After figuring it out, asking questions and seeking clarifications, I was able to keep on truckin. Also helped a coworker with an algorithm that checked if a sequence of numbers would be strictly ascending if we had removed a single number.

Something new I used: Deployment tools, easy peasy and pretty cool.

So far I am still diggin life as a developer. It might get boring sometimes, but it definitely does not stay boring for very long.

This weekend another drone session. A few crashes and broken props, but nothing major. Practice, practice and practice. Repetition, persitence and determination. All it takes to get good at anything, anywhere.

This week was fire and I saw it in the sky.

+700 EXP

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This has been a productive week.

Stats
Tickets completed: 5
Major blockades taken down: 1
Total expereince gain: +700

Summary

Tickets
I’m getting more comfortable navigating and searching through the bazillion lines of code. I am starting to identify patterns allowing me to move a lot quicker through the various issues I am tasked with.

Blockade
I thought I saw a ghost in my code this week. I learned about A/B Testing the hard way.

Task: Change some static text on a specific site
Response: Easy peasy
Time: 2 hours later …

Within the first few minutes I was easily able to identify which file I needed to change by dropping my standard `<h1>H1 TEST</h1>` tag to make sure I am in the right place. Then I proceeded to changing the selected text, but it didn’t work. First thought, maybe its was getting loaded from another file? Moved the text down right above the selected text and it worked. Hmmmm, moved it below, still worked. … Droped the test into the <p> tag. Ah ha! Text now displayed twice. One was my text and the other I had no idea where it came from. I concluded there was only one reason how it got there. A JavaScript file was appending it to my p tag!

TL/DR optimizely made me think I saw a ghost.

Fun stuff this week.

Work EXP +500
Side project EXP +100
Drone Pilot EXP +100

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!

The Tortoise and the Hare

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Progress update for Dojo After Dark overhaul.

Initially I was going to generate most of the views with a template I had found and transfer it into a React application. This week has proven that to be a much more difficult task because of the nature of React thus progress has slowed. I am going to rewrite the template into a React app  and rewrite the styles as well. This is going to be great practice for me to grow my understand of both React and css. During this ground up building process I am also going to familiarize myself with the new tools that most React apps are build with like webpack and other libraries needed in conjunction with React. After I finally complete all the views I am also planning to put together a D3js demo to share on the site.

Since I started learning how to program and my experiences in my boot camp, I always saw myself as the tortoise from “The Tortoise and the Hare” in the race of learning all that I can. I find it difficult to learn some of the concepts and it takes me multiple videos, readings and demos to have it sink in. I know that programming is my passion and I will continue to work on my craft until my time is up. I will be a master coder one day.

Check back here weekly for more updates!
Feel free to message me with any feedback or questions.
Also I don’t like coding alone, contact me for some coding hangouts if your in the area!