I am Growing Stronger
Week-1 was pretty much what I had expected it to be. Week-2 made me begin to question whether or not I was cut out for this whole thing and Week-3 put those doubts to rest.
I am beginning to understand my strengths and weaknesses in terms of both my learning style and my abilities. I have started to notice little trends in the way I work that I am either trying to amplify (good traits) or do away with (bad traits).
Let’s go over them. I have a pretty good fundamental understanding of Ruby by now. I understand the syntax well enough, I also understand the looping mechanisms pretty well. I have found that everything will be going great, I’m following along just fine on all the practice examples and then it hits me. Damnit. DAMNIT. DAMN. IT.
I have completely forgotten everything. Everything, in this context, meaning the most basic of things up until this horribly mind numbing moment. Damnit. Damnit all to hell.
But alas! A pattern has emerged, as this is not the first time! I have noticed my fault, and it is simple. I over complicate things. In one such instance, we had been doing multiple lesson exercises on looping. Basic loops, while loops. Nothing crazy here, kids. Then the assignment shows up and I began surfing Google for my answer, next thing I know I am trying to implement things I won’t be learning for another month! No wonder none of this crap makes any sense. Back to basics with ye!
And so I return, I begin a the top and work my way down. Top to Bottom. Left to Right. And I think it through until it clicks, and it always clicks. Sometimes it clicks a little too late, sometimes it clicks and you don’t even realize it but damn, when it does? Dem feels Doe.
And so this is my recommendation to all you future dev’s out there. Stick to what you know, do not veer too far off the trail into unknown territory lest you fall into a trap and end up spending hours upon hours working at a problem to which there is no real solution.
Now, back to Launch Academy wrap up. Like I was saying, I feel like I have a handle on things now, I finished up week 3 pretty early! It’s only Wednesday and I’m all done for the week. So, I plan to use my free time from the rest of the week to go back to last weeks material and just Drill, Drill, Drill. If there is still time, I will be working through the provided material on HTML/CSS as an overview. If there is time after THAT, I will be working through my RUBY track over at teamtreehouse.com.
In terms of Curriculum, we learned the following this week:
- Iteration (.each methods)
- Hash Methods (.keys, .values, .has_key?, .key?, .include?, .member?)
- Simple Data Structures
One big realization I had this week had to do with time management. Going into this I know it was going to require a lot of my time and energy but I may have lied to myself and figured, “I can put it off until I get to campus”. I can’t. I need to get on it now otherwise I won’t have the right habits in place when the time comes to call on them during the campus portion of the course.
What does this mean in practical terms? Facebook is gone. Bye Bye Zuckerberg. I usually get home from work at 3pm Sunday – Thursday, so from 3:30pm – 6:30pm, I do nothing but study. I don’t care what is going on, put in the time period. Then I fix myself a bite to eat, usually something easy, and I’ll bring my laptop in the kitchen with me and casually study or listen to a lecture while I am cooking. With dinner, I usually watch a show or something to unwind but I am back at it afterward from around 7:30 to about 9:30. Then I shower and hit the sack, wake up at 5:30am next morning and do it all over again.
I noticed that this week, after having implemented this strategy, that I have been able to accomplish much more. I work well in ‘runs’, long stretches on continue work where you are able to accrue a good deal of momentum that ends up paying dividends. I plan on sticking with this as it is good practice AND in the event that some other life event happens to take time away from my studies, I can likely make it up at some point in the week without falling behind.
I am optimistic going forward in this program and think that as long as I maintain focus, composure and do what works for me I will be able to succeed. It is a tough road, but that doest not at all mean it is impossible. Not at all.