Weeks Seven and Eight at The Iron Yard

August 26, 2015

I’ve fallen really behind on the blog. Sorry.
 

The Grind

I’ve fallen into a fairly consistent flow of learning. I take what I’m taught each day and try to go a little bit further than is expected of me. But I’m starting to struggle with my interest in these projects. Now that I’m capable of making more complex applications on my own I get bored of making the little ones throughout the week. I enjoy the weekend labs much more than the one-day projects. I think it’s because they serve a purpose. Even though their crappy clones of other websites, it’s something that a person can use and play with. It has value outside of the learning objective. I definitely enjoy testing out new tools and ideas, but more than I enjoy creating things that somebody can use much more.
 
The last two weekend projects we’re a Gif website, basically a webpage that just shows gifs and lets people upload their own, and an Amazon clone. The Gif website was fun because the goal was to make it a single page application. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s a webpage that doesn’t reload as you use it. It’s like in Gmail when you open up emails and the page doesn’t refresh. It’s a single page, that is an application. Get it? Making an SPA gave me a chance to use some of the JavaScript that I had taught myself before starting at The Iron Yard. It’s interesting how learning Ruby made me a better JavaScript developer, even though I haven’t used it in a long time.
 

JavaScript v. CoffeeScript

I want to comment on this because I mentioned JavaScript. I would much rather learn and understand vanilla JavaScript than have to learn CoffeeScript. Either way you’re going to have the learn a new language. The difference being that if you get really good at CoffeeScript, you will only ever use it in your Rails projects. If you learn JavaScript, you can use it everywhere. Especially considering how Node.js has opened up JavaScript. Just my $0.02.
 

The Entrepreneurial Itch

Around my senior year of high school I started getting into business. I had this itch to start my own company and create something new. The only reason I stared learning web development was because I thought it would be a good complimentary skill. To my surprise, I enjoyed it. I taught myself bits and pieces over the next couple years. I learned off and on again because the goal was always to start my own company. As my skills grew, a career in web development started to sound more appealing. That’s the short version of how I got where I am.
 
Every now and then I get a new idea or I read something about business happening in the world and the itch comes back. It’s hard to ignore. I get infatuated with my idea or the freedom it would bring me. Sometimes it’s not even an idea that inspires me. I just want to create something useful and have the freedom to pursue whatever interests me. For the time being, it makes the most sense keep my head down and focus on becoming a great developer. For the foreseeable future that’s my main goal. I want to be awesome web stuff. Hopefully, that eventually feeds into becoming a great business leader. That was always the goal anyway.
 

Weekend Thoughts

I have some clear weak points that I want to address before I start applying for jobs. The most important I suspect are testing and database work. Testing is so critical and I haven’t spent nearly enough time getting good at it. Writing tests isn’t enough, they need to be good and thorough tests. There’s so much to learn in the world of testing that doesn’t even touch the user or product but it’s still very necessary. And I’ve only used SQL databases at this point. Postgresql is popular, so I’m glad I have some experience with it, but I think I need to explore some NoSQL databases, too. I’m also interested in seeing how they could be used together in one application. That could be cool.
 
I can be found complaining on twitter (@CalebOnesimus) and posting selfies on Instagram (@CalebOnesimus).