Week Nine at The Iron Yard

September 6, 2015

This was the last week of lecture. I’ve enjoyed learning new and interesting things in the lectures, but I’m also excited to finally sink my teeth into the final project. My partner and I doing something crazy. I’ll get into it in the next post when we start building it.


Lecture v Self-Teaching

At this point I’ve had plenty of time to experience both of these. I taught myself HTML, CSS, and some JavaScript before going to The Iron Yard, and just finished up about two months of lecture on Ruby/Rails. There are a couple key observations I’ve made about myself and about learning in general.


First, lecture is a great way to understand a topic very quickly. Something about the mix of seeing what’s happening and hearing what it’s doing helps me to pick up on what I’m learning quickly. It also helps when there are small pieces that you need clarification on. Often I find myself knowing how to do something, but not knowing the underlying process behind. Being able to quickly ask and receive those answers makes learning easier. When you’re teaching yourself, it’s easy to fall into other, more confusing rabbit holes when you want to learn a little bit more about something.


Second, self-teaching is still an unbelievably important skill. I’m glad that I had spent some time teaching myself because it has undoubtably made The Iron Yard a more valuable experience. Lecture is wonderful for opening up a topic, but if you want to really figure out it’s usefulness, you need to teach yourself the rest. This career path also requires constant improvement and learning. New technologies are always showing up and engineers need to be able to pick up on new ways of working to stay relevant.

What’s Next

The next three weeks we will all be working on a single project to present at Demo Day. Final projects are similar to capstones at university. We have to build a fully featured product that looks and works great, then present it to friends, family, and potential employers on our last day. I could not be more excited. I’m excited to start using what I’ve learned to build something real.

Weekend Thoughts

This was an interesting week. Since our next big project would be our last, lectures covered random bits and pieces of Rails. We we’re able to ask and learn about anything we felt fuzzy on or we’re interested in. This was great because I definitely had some topics I wanted to cover more. The weekend lab was pretty light in preparation for final projects so nothing to report there. Time to get to work!


I can be found complaining on twitter (@CalebOnesimus) and posting selfies on Instagram (@CalebOnesimus).