Week 10: Game Changing

This week has been a week like no other. I’ve already demoed Helix three times and there are so many more to go. We spent Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday frantically getting everything we wanted to happen with Helix working. I finally fully integrated the 23andme API and all of my algorithms are humming along to find genetic traits for users that login to their 23andme account. I have the setup to record a video walk-through of Helix that I plan on doing sometime next week. Because the framework we used is in private beta we can’t actually deploy it live so unless you come bug me in person, you’re stuck looking at a demo video for now.

Thursday night we demoed for Famo.us. We also got to be a part of their weekly team meeting which was really interesting. I felt much more like an actual Software Engineer following conversations about their framework and business. Right before our demo, we found out that we will be demoing Helix onstage at the Famo.us Launch Preview Party. My team is so excited (and terrified). Helix has definitely been a labor of love and something I am so proud to have been involved in.

Next week will be a new adventure – job searching. Starting next week I am an almost free agent. We have some hype up (and warning lectures) and then the next week we have hiring day (and Famo.us Party demo). The week after that I’m attending a developer conference and the Launch hackathon. I am so excited that this is my life now.

Week 9: Highs and Lows and… WTF I only have three weeks left??

My week started out fairly average. We were all rolling along on our projects and then I noticed an event on the Hack Reactor Senior calendar. Tuesday, three weeks from this past Tuesday, is Hiring Day. Three weeks?? Not even now, more like two?? Oh, god. And yet, as much of a whirlwind as this has been and as often as I have impostor syndrome, I’m a little excited. I want to see what’s out there for me and find a job and learn and grow and do my instructors proud.

One slight stumbling block for me this week: Hacker in Residence positions. I applied and think I would have been accepted, but I had to bow out. After I sat down and thought about it, I just couldn’t justify being out of work that much longer (even on a stipend). It would have been fun to learn how to teach and spend some more time hacking on personal ideas, but that’s what weekends are for, right?

We also got to demo Helix for the first time. Helix is a gene visualization app that shows you your SNPs (base pairs) from 23andme that have traits attached to them (according to SNPedia.com). You can search traits or just browse your chromosomes for interesting info. It was built using a private beta framework (called Famo.us) that my team was lucky enough to get to be involved with. We have *fingers crossed* two more opportunities to demo Helix, one more run through at Hack Reactor and if all goes well, a private party/meetup for Famous.

Another fun thing that came out of Helix was that I got to dust off my Python knowledge. I had wanted to try BeautifulSoup (a Python web scraper) for a while now and I needed an easy way to pull rsid information from SNPedia so I created my own API wrapper! The code is available (including instructions on how to run it on your own) on my github account. It’s a tiny Python/Flask server that only has a couple of endpoints (the ones I really needed) but I’m thinking about expanding eventually.

And then I got sick. I came down with a cold on Friday and haven’t been to HackReactor since. I’ve been working from home, but mostly just trying to sleep, having weird dreams, and sounding pitiful. I’m getting better though and I will definitely be on-point on Monday to work out the last-minute details of Helix before all the demos come crashing around us.

Three more weeks until I graduate! My gift to myself – I’m attending the LAUNCH hackathon with two other women from HackReactor the weekend after it’s all over. I just don’t want to get lazy!