Second Guessing


As an addition to my post below about App Academy. I’m starting to feel less confident in myself. I did well on the second coding test and I’m through the first interview now but according to the website I assumed that meant it was my only interview. Not so said the TA who put me through a coding test. So ugh. I was nervous, I got it done, but not prettily and I made some stupid mistakes. When I finished I was upset and called both my parents and my best friend. My dad was the best about the whole situation. He just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t give up if I didn’t get in to this ONE program. He was right.

I spent the rest of the evening prepping applications to the other programming schools in the Bay Area. I finished one for Coding Dojo and got an email this morning to set up an interview next week! I also applied to HackReactor which has suddenly vaulted itself to the top of my list. Not gonna lie, the free gym and really high success rate of graduates makes me happy. Both of those programs are also in November so they are my three that I’m most excited about. I also will probably apply to Dev Bootcamp and Hackbright, but they aren’t until next year and I don’t want to wait that long if I don’t have to.

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Everything Will Be Amazing


Someday I’ll be a better writer of my thoughts. In the mean time, there is a lot to catch up on. My bestest, best friend got into Hackbright! She starts in September. I am so ridiculously happy for her, not in the least because I feel like I taught her most of what she knows about coding currently and I can’t wait to be able to have deep, nerdy conversations when she’s all done with the mind-meld that is programming. It’s a little bittersweet for me as I was the one who initially sent her the link. I’d been thinking about trying for it myself, but the timeline just wasn’t right this year.

Hackbright became my gateway drug, however. I found out they weren’t the only game in town. There are all shapes and sizes of programming bootcamps and after reviewing a lot of them, I’m currently in the process of applying for App Academy. Application and first coding test are a check. I’m literally taking a break from studying for the second coding test to type this up. So second round of coding and then (fingers crossed) a coding interview left to go before I wait with bated breath to find out if I get the best birthday present ever (birthday – Nov 14, start date – Nov 18!).

Besides hopefully an entire life shift I’ve been sticking to my routine of Coursera class. Startup Engineering is at its halfway point and I have a shell of a crowdfunding idea here. Oh yeah, the Code Girls and Octavia are real things, sort of. They are mostly in the brains of the three of us (aforementioned bestest, best friend and my other best friend) but I’ve said out loud to myself that I want a working project within 5 years, so obviously I have to do it now.

Other than that: quietness. I spent two weeks in California earlier this month and spent most of the time falling deeper in love with the Bay Area. I came back and bought myself a Mac (for those keeping score, I now technically own 4-5 laptops, but two have been handed down to my parents, one I received for free and it doesn’t really work anyway, the 4th is a tiny fun Linux netbook and the 5th is the new shiny MacBook Air I lovingly call “Monster”). This Mac represents my promise to myself it is my first true “dev” machine. The first things I installed on it were Ruby and Python and all the little bits that go along with that.

Wish me luck. I think I should probably be studying.

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#Hashtag Redundancy


I couldn’t even finish the first Coursera course without starting another one. This time it’s Data Science. Yummy, yummy data that I get to program into submission. We are starting off with a trip through the Twitter API and I finally learned that JSON isn’t as scary as I thought it was when I didn’t know anything about it! Go me! We did a number of things with Twitter and some Python programming. The last part of the assignment was my favorite, the most popular hashtags. Some of my code (for a different section on finding tweet locations):

And my hashtag results from a 10 minute snapshot of new tweets to Twitter:

In theory I understand hashtags. In practice they bug me, especially the ones like the above “#YouWillNotBeTakenSeriouslyIf”. Ugh. Anyway, I actually went wild and crazy and Googled some of the hashtags, because most of them mean nothing to me. I even learned some Spanish! Seamos sinceros = “let’s be honest” which sounds just like another of the type of hashtags that bother me.

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I Are Learned


Whoohoo. The Interactive Python class over at Coursera just opened up. I decided to sign up for with a friend of mine who has much less programming experience than I do. Mostly for the lulz and because I’ve discovered I love teaching other people about my (limited) knowledge. I started her off just building websites then started her on JavaScript and I finally showed her the prettiness of Python and she wanted to learn it too.

Also I’m messing around with the layout of this website. So it will probably be a bit messy for the next few weeks (I say weeks because I’m down with a cold and my brain is having a hard time focusing for long periods).

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The Circus Waits to Takeoff


About a year ago for giggles I tried the Rails for Zombies class at Code School. I mean, it’s zombies. I am a huge zombie fangirl and I was getting back into Java programming at the time but wanted to learn something more web develop-y. Anyway, I got frustrated with Ruby/Rails. There were parts of it that just bugged me. So I stopped.

Then a few weeks ago I discovered Python. It was an immediate love. I started with Learn Python the Hard Way mixed in with Codecademy‘s Python lessons. Also I’m in love with the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python. I’ve been reading it like a novel.

Then I wandered around looking for things to do with my newfound love. Django just seemed too big for my very newb hackings. I can’t remember where but a blog somewhere out there in my searchings mentioned Flask. So I plugged that little baby into my cobbled together Python studio (i.e. my newly reformatted Windows 7 laptop) and felt a little overwhelmed. Undeterred I searched out tutorials and decided to start with this one which just creates some static pages (I’m moving on to more dynamic things as I post this).

Pic spam!!

My first Flask generated page. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Added some pretty pretty CSS (I missed web design, it’s been awhile):

And ta-da:

And then I added navigation and a second page:

And just because I find it pretty, my recolored PowerShell:

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A Light in the Dark


I’m about a week and a half away from the end of the school term and these last few weeks are devoted almost entirely to final projects in both of my classes. The more “important” class involves a lot of OOP theory and some lovely easy Java programming (except the final which is in C++, which for some reason I can’t find the love for). The fun one is my game design class. It doesn’t really count for anything for me and it’s not really programming, even though I’m eeking out as much code as I can in GameMaker (we have to use it).

My final for the fun class is to create a an original game and write a giant design doc on the process, but I’m hopelessly enamored with the actual game now. The problem with this is that I want to really, really code it. Not just mess around. Enter a vague knowledge that there are things out there more advanced and a few Google searches later I’m staring at Visual C# 2010 Express and some online tutorials on XNA.

I’m really trying to put the brakes on this. Not forever, but just until I can finish up the term. I have no plans to continue with school for a while. I’ve done everything I can online, now comes getting a new car and an actual will to drive into Portland so I can finish my 2nd Bachelors and I don’t think I will see those goals met before 2013. I’m studying for the CompTIA A+ exam, but I think maybe it’s time I designed a computer game. Also June is National Game Development Month, which is not helping because my projects aren’t due until June 14th and I really would love to design a game this month.

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