Archive | August 2013

Chomp!

Well, I finally finished the Ruby track on Codecademy.  Like I said before, it got a little confusing, and I don’t have the sense that I really deeply understand it.  So many concepts: hash / array / block / proc / lambda / mixin / module / etc / etc / etc…!  But at least I got some exposure to all these things.

And here’s a list of some totally random, trivial things that amused me along the way:

“Chomp” will delete the blank line that’s automatically added to the end of a line of input.  Like Pac-Man.  Nom nom.

Apparently ” => ” is called a “hash rocket.”  Because it looks like a rocketship.  Cool!

There’sAWordForWhenYouWriteLikeThis: “CamelCase.”  To avoid spaces in FileMaker Pro, we_sometimes_use_underscores, and WeSometimesDoThis – but I didn’t know there was a word for it!  I guess the capitals resemble the humps on the camel…?

Onward!

Back to it

I am trying to get back into my learning on my own.  I have this whole list of things I want to do on my own, and I’ll do as much of it as I can before my Coding Dojo program starts – plus the official prep work they recommend, which I won’t get until a month before the program starts (which is coming up fast!).  Mainly the things I want to do on my own are the tracks on Codecademy and a bunch of Udacity courses.  I had intended to sort of do a little a day on average – so some days do more than a little and some days do none but it would average out to good forward progress.  But for whatever reason I haven’t been doing much lately.  Luckily I’ve scheduled it out well so I’ll have a full 3 weeks of time on my own before the bootcamp starts, so I know it’d fine to kind of save it all for then, but really I’d rather be proceeding forward at least a little even now.

One of the main things I guess is that work has been really busy lately with a good deal of detail-oriented type work, so it’s hard to find the energy after work to do more detail-oriented learning on my own.  Then I guess another thing is – on Codecademy I’m most of the way through the Ruby track, and I want to get that done – but all of a sudden it got way more confusing.  So I suppose that’s been holding me off a little too – feeling like it’s a little unapproachable.  They’re explaining these very general topics and showing like one example of how it works, but it’s hard to take any sort of big picture understanding away from that.  But then I just have to remember – my main goal on Codecademy, and really with all of my prep work at this point, is just to *familiarize* myself with these topics and ideas.  I’m not trying to learn all the ins and outs and fully understand every little thing.  (Not that I even could from Codecademy…)  I’m just trying to work my way through and get exposure to everything.  Then I’ll get down to the nitty gritty at bootcamp.  :-)

A quote comes to mind from Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project.  (Her ideas have actually pervaded my thinking in a lot of ways.  Some of her ideas are a little ridiculous, but many of them just ring so true in a way that is quite illuminating even though they seem like they should be so self-evident!)  Anyway her quote for this situation is:

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Exactly.  I shouldn’t obsess over gleaning every little item from each Codecademy lesson or taking meticulous notes that I would definitely understand later.  I shouldn’t let the energy that that might take stop me from just working my way through.  It’s okay to just do a “good enough” job sometimes and not force myself to be “perfect.”  :-)

Turn this potential energy into kinetic energy. Stop being a cartographer and become an explorer.

I finally watched the last few episodes of season 2 of Girls and got this great quote from one of the episodes.  Love those both.

Getting on the road…

I finally told everyone at work about my plans, and it feels good.  Now that it’s for sure and people know it’s sort of starting to feel more real – though in a lot of ways it still does feel totally surreal.  Overall I feel really good about it.   About taking this step to make a change.  I’ve been thinking for a long time, sort of what’s next?  Mostly thoughts of grad school that started very vague and turned semi-serious but never quite grabbed me in the same way.  (Though that’s still always out there as an option eventually…)  But for now this bootcamp thing just feels like such the perfect thing for right now.  And it’s a start on a new journey.  And that’s exciting!  It’s exciting to not know what will happen or where I may end up.  For a long time it felt more scary than exciting. – but now I think I’ve turned the corner on that.

I keep coming back to that quote that I put as the first entry to my blog: “If you can’t decide what to do, get on the road. You won’t find the answer. It will find you.”  I can’t say it any more perfectly than that.  I love quotes, and I’ve been keeping track of good ones from books I’ve read, and some other sources, over the past bunch of years.  Back when I was still sort of deciding about this, I spent some time going through and copying out all of my quotes that have to do with decisions and taking risks, etc.  So I’ll likely be posting plenty more of them as I go.  As continued inspiration sort of.  And affirmation that the time to make a change has come and that it’s exciting.  :-)