REST and frustration

I’m coming across the acronym “REST” frequently. It stands for “representational state transfer.” I’m not sure why it is important, yet.

I am at that stage where the more I learn the more I grasp how much further I have to go to no longer be a beginner. Before the end of the year I am hoping to be competent enough to be a junior web developer. Another day, another handful of terms to learn and understand.

Also I am still working through the javascript track at codecademy and… well… I am realizing after working twice through the ruby and basic web sections that these tracks only barely begin to familiarize you with basic concepts. I am ready to start shouting at my monitor… for the thousandth time “Yes, I know what a loop is. I know what recursion is. I know how to iterate over an array. I know what an object is. What I need is to learn how to use them in a meaningful way, not just another pretend address book… urrrrgh.”

I have started experimenting using cloud 9 in creating webpages from scratch using html, css, and jquery. I have also completed the codeschool design course, started reviewing try jQuery, and hopefully I will complete the rails for zombies stuff before next week. I just need to minimize the frustration so I can finish the grueling parts and get back to tinkering. I feel like I learn and understand so much more when I am actually trying to make something work a certain way then by doing the endless “exercises.”

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For a while…

From codecademy.com

...for loops are great for doing the same task over and over when you know ahead of time how many times you’ll have to repeat the loop. On the other hand, while loops are ideal when you have to loop, but you don’t know ahead of time how many times you’ll need to loop.

So there is a slight difference between for and while loops, as I suspected. And below is a do-while loop. It loops through the code once no matter what but then acts like a normal “while” loop.

 

loopCondition = false;

do {
console.log(“I’m gonna stop looping ’cause my condition is ” + String(loopCondition) + “!”);
} while (loopCondition);

Stuff to work on for next week

Regex: Regular expressions.

I don’t get it. I have encountered discussions of them a few times, but I still do not grasp why they are important. However, I have seen discussions of them in several boot camp goers blogs, which makes me think it is something to try and have a good conception of before I walk in the door. It is something about having symbols that describe similar patterns in a set of data I think? I have read the wikipedia, watched an edx lecture on it, and I’m still a little lost. I am lacking context. 

I just found out the “optional” javascript prework (finishing the codecademy course) is apparently no longer optional. I was intending to finish it, but since I have worked several other js tutorials I decided to focus my time on extra jQuery work. Now I apparently have a deadline to finish it in, when I thought I was officially done with the prework. It’s not a big deal, I just wanted to start the next jQuery class at codeschool, and I am realizing all of my ambitions for the last week, which included trying to crank out a basic website using some jQuery functionality for my brother may not happen.

In other words, any more work in codecademy that was not review was low on my priority list. Now it has been bumped to the top, and since I have already worked a lot on other basic Javascript tutorials, I find this irksome. But it certainly cannot hurt to get a better grasp of the basics, and I am far from mastering Javascript at this point. 

So I guess I’ll get to it.

A new page?

I know I have gone crazy on creating new pages to my blog as of late. I am thinking about adding another one. Maybe I need a separate blog. I keep coming across little tidbits that I feel like I am going to need to know, or that it will be helpful to know during MakerSquare.

Would it be worthwhile to maintain a separate page with those on it? I don’t know. Right now I have a dozen draft blog posts with little notes, not to mention google document notes, and notepad notes.

Evernote has spoiled me, but I haven’t used it since I switched over from primarily working on my ipad to working all the time on my laptop. So everywhere there are notes. I need a place to organize them. Maybe I could just use a real life notebook and pen. He he he. It’s been a while since I used one of those.

I have found blogs from other people who went through developer boot camp programs, and I am coming across an amazing amount of advice, suggestions, and ideas.

Besides that, web development which I at best imagined as a narrow river of languages and concepts is suddenly turning out to be an ever-widening ocean.

Continue reading “A new page?”

Today’s Learning

It’s 3 am and I am knee deep, perhaps neck deep, in ruby odds and ends. I started working more of codecademy’s javascript course. I know the javascript is going to be important and it is the one area we had the least requirements in. I almost wish I had another six months to work on this stuff before I jump into makersquare.

The trouble is that it is just hard to get the hang of code that you are only using for dinky little projects and exercises. I almost don’t want to learn any more new stuff right now because I am far from mastering everything else I have stuffed into my brain.

I have been working on the Fibonacci problem that I posted in exercises, and have discovered that the problem is more difficult than it appears, and there are a myriad of ways to do it in ruby.

Also, I immediately discovered that I do not remember all the ways to do iteration in ruby. There are many, although the preferred ways seems to be creating an array and applying the ‘.each’ method to it. I am not sure why that is preferable, but I know that method well at least.

So my exercise has turned into figuring out why my Fibonacci programs keep not-quite working, and how/why exactly some of the others I am encountering work. I have also seen it hinted at that ruby might have an in-built Fibonacci method. I am still researching that.

Maybe I will post an explanation for how some of the programs work. I think that will help me in my understanding.

Crunch Time!

I just officially withdrew from Texas State. Hooray!

I sincerely believe in the importance of continually educating yourself. “Never stop Learning,” is not my mantra, because I do it automatically. I don’t need it as a mantra. The whole concept of continual learning and growth is deeply a part of who I am.

I am cheering because Texas State is the third institution of higher learning I have attended, and the second one that I found to be completely stultifying. Too often, my courses were an impediment to learning rather than a pathway to it.

Were all of my classes that way? No.

I took a great class on ethics, an amazing class on art history that completely changed how I thought about European history, a creative writing class that allowed me to hone my writing and critiquing skills in unexpected ways, and a spectroscopy class that I loved.

However, I could fill volumes with things about my other courses/professors/labs that were frustrating, irritating, depressing, infuriating, and just absurd. One day maybe, I’ll write a book or a series of articles that properly spell out all the absurdities that go along with big universities. I suspect many of those topics have been covered already in books by other authors. Still, I was the 18 year old kid once at UGA blaming myself for not being able to adapt to the university setting. I was that kid who was so proud of her A.P. scores and of her love of math and science, who felt like a failure because she wasn’t getting anything out of her classes.

“You get out of it what you put into it.” I must have told myself that a thousand times. Unfortunately, it is not always true. I actually can’t name a single class at UGA that I believe was worth my time in the two years I spent there. By comparison, Austin Community college reignited my love of chemistry, geology, and math. I still remember the kid I was, skulking at the idea of going to a community college. I was too smart for that, I was going to a ‘real school.’ It seems so naive now.

I hate the idea of all the kids that blame themselves for our ridiculously backward educational model. Someday, I’ll have to write more about it in detail.

Today, I have just over 10 days before the start of Makersquare.

I no longer have time to worry and lament about past wrongs. Now, I am going into a program that I wholeheartedly believe in, run by talented, passionate people that I believe in.  My ambition is to work in a field that has changed the world several times over in my lifetime and yes, I think I will be good at it at some point.

I have finished my assigned pre-work. Now I want to review every bit of it, some of it for the third time. I am going to revisit anything I didn’t quite get the first time, and scan previous lessons for any concepts, commands, or functions that I haven’t yet brought into my practice work. I am going to work a few extra ruby tutorials,  get a firm grasp of how to work with github, make a few more practice web pages from scratch with jQuery/javascript functionality, and try any tutorials that caught my interest in the past. I am even going to rework the command line tutorials to remind myself of any commands I might have forgotten.

I know some of these things will sink in more after I start using them regularly. That is why I haven’t had to revisit the HTML tutorials. I know it because I have used it. I need to be there with everything, and while I realize that Makersquare is going to help me with that, (that is why it is an intensive 40-hour-a-week, immersive program) I want to hit the ground running. I want to excel. I want to minimize the things I have to review and maximize the ‘learning new techniques,’ and ‘working new challenges.’ I want to shorten my learning curve. Now, I am wondering if that is a silly thing to say? Famous last words?

I want to dive in. It’s as simple as that.