React and Redux

After a long break I am keen to keep refreshing this page and report on my recent learnings. In the meantime lots of things happened and at some point I will summarise these but for now, my two new favs: React and Redux.

React is basically a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Its best features are that React is declarative and component based so basically it helps you build your app like you were playing with legos. Redux is on the other hand a predictable state container for JavaScript apps. Why is this cool? Well your apps will behave consistently, run in different environments and you can test fairly easily.

Image result for react redux

These two do not necessary go always together however they both are pretty cool. So first things first, where to learn them:

I was long waiting for my first WesBos course and I can say, it was a big mistake, as these courses are well worth every penny and some are totally free so, please a give a go and get some React and Redux under your sleeve today.

In an upcoming post I will detail some more of his courses as I am pretty addicted at the moment 🙂


Soooooo it’s been a while yeah?

I am back from India (TWU) and after 5 weeks of massive Java brain wash I will be frank but I still love Ruby & Python most <3 However!

I can see why Java is so powerful and I am totally open minded to put our relationship on new, solid grounds but for a while, I will run back and seek comfort in Ruby. In this case, getting ready and doing some work for our microservices conference ( and building a simple, lightweight backend, Sinatra in this case.  Since it has been a while, I myself needed a lot of revisiting and although I am a strong advocator of free courses here (hence the whole blog really) I have to say, came to save me again. In a short few hours, I am back on top with my Ruby skills, which is a bliss. In case you do not wish to pay for their courses, I am planning to have a short recap of each and every course I finish in the upcoming weeks, so if you are keen ->

Just look for the tutorial and Lynda keywords. Of course for a more comprehensive summary, there is always Ruby Monstas. 

Anyhow, it is amazing to back in London and do a bit freestyle in the office. I feel truly lucky, the whole journey, people I met in the last 2 months, I just don’t know when was the last time I was so happy and content with my life. So yeah, you know, keep on coding and hug a developer or something. 


You Whaaat? Yes, SQL, aka Structured Query Language. As boring as this sounds SQL is probably your best friend if you start building databases and adding stuff to your app. As most bigger application relies on some sort of data storing magic, time to dig in SQL. A while ago, I found this short tutorial for learning the basics of SQL and I think it is way better than the nowadays super limited Codecademy website. 

A database basically is great for 

  • keeping your data separate from your code
  • helps during backups
  • this way data is available for later analysis
  • easy to reach your database via APIs

Basically, if you want to deal with any data, learn SQL first. Apparently, it is also great for hacking.  [SQL injection is a code injection technique, used to attack data-driven applications, in which nefarious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution (e.g. to dump the database contents to the attacker).]

So go on, DROP some TABLEs.

Also, here is a cheat sheet.

Finishing Makers

Despite my best efforts to keep my blog alive during Makers, I lost it after week 6, had some personal drama involved in this process, but mainly the amount of work we had to complete. Although the journey was a lot of fun, and Christmas break was great, with lots of catching up and reading, it was also nice to realize how great it is to work in pairs and groups and how much I missed it! After Christmas, we hit Javascript, was a bit of a rough transition, but we managed, we built a great app over practice project week, about to go live with it and shortly after the madness started and I was on the wagon to prep for my interview and to do my tech test. Yeah, that was a bit of a rough ride, but hey, look at me, I’m the captain now!

Captain Phillips GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

JK, Interview was great! Positive like the rest of my experience with ThoughtWorks. I won’t lie, I studied and worked for it like a mad woman, but after all, this is what I wanted to do since I first wrote code. It was worth it. If your interview also will be in Ruby, the book from Sandi Metz shall be your bible. 

On finishing Makers Academy, we created an amazing augmented art app with my “super women” team and probably amazed most of the audience. We had a display in the room next door and I am still showing people how our app animates a classical art piece from Kandinsky. I will miss these moments, the hard work and all the fun we had over the last 16 weeks with this cohort. Despite having a very few unpleasant experience, this journey was the best so far in my life, on top of being life-changing and giving me a second chance in life. Really, what more can I say, but that I am super-duper thankful for this opportunity, this learning experience and every single friendship that came on this way. Love you all!

Happy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Ruby Monstas!

I recently discovered this amazing resource for Ruby, that teaches you great practice for beginner Ruby and for Web Apps too! I think it has been a while I ran across such a full, nicely and clearly written website such as this. The tasks and steps are easy to follow on Ruby Monstas, they build on each other and the examples and tasks are also super useful and real life like. None of that foo bar nonsense. Just projects you might actually want to do later, so the knowledge you can gather here is pretty practical. If you consider learning Ruby, do go over all their materials and try to do all the tasks. Well done Monstas!

Fifth week at Makers 

Week five arrived @ MA and is still on with different challenges and tasks to cover. First, we hit JavaScript & Jasmine and we hit it hard with diving into testing and redoing previous projects in the context of JS. I mean on Monday I was still deep in my chitter challenge and Ruby&Sinatra&Rspec and then Tuesday suddenly, go do fizzbuzz and a thermostat app with some weather API in JS. KTHXBYE! Quite surprising however that it was so much easier to swap and get used to it. It is scary how much your brain just gets used to absorb huge amounts of information in such a short time,  understand concepts,  the differences, and syntax.  But then again I love studying so this is not really a complaint! 😀 The 30 days of Vanilla JS challenge is on as well and it is absolutely my holiday plan to work on that. As it is to refactor all my previous repos and finish whichever challenge was not finished before. On the other hand, despite having a fun and only at times challenging week regarding code, I had to realize that even in London even at Makers some guys still think like it’s 1950 and women should just suck it up and not expect the same as men, like you know, do as your biology determines, whatever the heck that means for them, as they just wanted to let me know how much less I am. When I brought this topic to Codebar people and others it was so refreshing and reassuring to hear that most recruiters would indeed not hire such narrow-minded guys, in fact, they kinda prefer to hire women anyway, so there is that. (Go girls!). Quite frankly this sexism rubbish was building up for weeks, and always the same 2-3 people, so I had to do something. The amazing thing at Makers is that these issues were listened to, taken very seriously and now actions are being prepared and I am super looking forward to see how far we go with this. I mean I am involved in planning, they do want to know my insights, ideas how to tackle bullshit like this, and I am so ready for this. Even though I am just halfway there, It is such an important issue to change the tech scene (probably any scene if you ask me) and have more and more of an environment where people are respectful, tolerant,  supportive and partaking in gender equality and diversity issues. Because you know, this should be normal, not something we should still fight about and explain why we want the same options, treatment and rewards. However, I am quite aware of that this will annoy some, many, a lot who are in very privileged positions and make them feel, we are taking something from them, which is not the case, but as long as there are people thinking this way, we have to keep fighting. Meeting and talking to so many great people this week, who absolutely support this case made me feel so much better and in fact stronger.  If you ask me, a year ago not only could I not imagine to be able to code every day, all day, and be appreciated for this, but I also I could not imagine that I can just speak up, people listen to me, agree with me, I am not humiliated or punished for this, and things happen afterward. I think I am still living the dream and probably for a very long time, this feeling will stay with me. I think I am home finally.

Third and fourth week @ Makers

The last 2 weeks were pretty intense, to be frank, I heard people saying how their lives just turned upside down, but to also experience this, that takes a whole person. Week 3 was pretty cool, to be honest, except when my post was due, my life just kind of fell apart, you know how it is, I don’t ever seem to have it easy, however, this time I also seem indestructible which is quite reassuring. In the middle of a personal shitstorm I powered through the week and despite week 4 being super difficult, I did not lose my hope. Week 3 was pretty much the web and making pretty and functioning things on the web that used a lot of things we learned so far, not just testing, ruby and the web but to put all this into use, understand how a request is sent, how to separate out tasks and create a model/controller set up. On week 4 this confidence we gained with finishing the tasks first time in our studies at Makers (yes, finishing is not the goal, tell this to my maximalist self), so all this confidence was pretty much gone by Friday. Highlight of the week was however some Magic! But back to week 4, we were pretty much thrown into deep water again, building even more complex things, with login, password and co. . On the weekend we were supposed to build Twitter beta, which pretty much left everybody but probably our only cohort member (who seems to know everything and his ego reflects this too, not the most pleasant pair partner to be frank) shattered. Kind of like this: 


So a bit scared of week 5 and what more is coming, but hell I still love coding, even more in fact. Something must be wrong with me, as despite all failings I felt code was my savior, my therapy this week. I feel I have a purpose again when I am building something, and this means just so much right now. Stay tuned, more posts are coming.

Peace out.

Codebar Monthly

Last Monday was the last Codebar Monthly and I was happy and frankly quite surprised how I never actually went before. For some reason I always concluded that those who have some years of coding experience will understand everything, it turns out, 1. this is not the case, 2. even with little knowledge most of the talks absolutely made sense to me. So, let’s see them.

First we had a super interesting talk form Rabea about Progressive Web Apps.

Based on definition:

“A Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience. They evolve from pages in browser tabs to immersive, top-level apps, maintaining the web’s low friction at every moment.” (Addy Osmani)

They have some cool characteristics, such as:

  • Home screen access
  • Full screen mode
  • Splash screen
  • Push notifications
  • Exists in android app switcher
  • Works offline

However they have some other pros and also cons:

  • responsiveness
  • linkable
  • no app stores
  • browser support — only chrome opera
  • complexity

The process of these apps are a bit complex but not that complex to be honest. This includes a web app manifest, service workers, background script, front end technology and a proxy between your client app and the network. One coolness is that it can manage a cache of responses. SO after hearing about them the first time, I kinda want to make one now. 🙂

Second we had a talk about Defensive Programming in @quii ‘s presentation. The talk was quite funny but also managed to point out that sometimes it seems that programming is only fun and challenging and rewarding but most of the time it is actually tedious and frustrating, especially when we are not sure whether our code helping or hindering? Accidental complexity is a productivity killer. We must learn from the mistakes, test for many possibilities, be more defensive, be better in general (more thorough) and we have to make our code work in unforeseen circumstances — therefore the defensive programming title. It is kind of like anything that is relying on manual checks is doomed to failure. So for the long-term health of our code it needs to clearly tell a narrative — what it supposed to do.


Third we had an intro to RAM from Mollie Stephenson. I will be honest, I understand as much from RAMs and Hardware as a day old chicken about farming, so I felt I had no idea what was going on, but the presenter is my role model, as she seemed very much on top of her RAM game. I hope one day will slay in the territory of hardware too, hot that I am slaying a lot right now in software (my tests are pretty sensitive this weekend, yay TDD). Anyway, we heard about combinational chips, computing boolean functions, sequential chips, memory, the concept of time and about registers.

Fourth we had @elibelly to talk about Naming Things and how hard it actually is. To sum up our naming classes, methods, everything in code has to be descriptive, meaningful, contextual. So not just others, us, our future self understands this, but it also makes sense. Highly recommended book: Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin. Alternatively, you can browse through these slides too.

Fifth, and this was our closing talk, we get to know more about Open Source and how to get into Open Source. If you missed the 24 pull request event, keep an eye out, there will be more of these. To cite Charlotte Spencer, Open Source is pretty much FREE CODE! 

It is highly recommended to 

  • explore Github Projects
  • to contribute to something you use every day
  • to start your own project
  • collaborate with friends
  • follow developers, open source contributors 
  • just make you your first PULL REQUEST

Because every contribution matters, even the smallest one, so start small and take it from there. 

See you all next year, I had a lot of fun! ❤

(The post can be also found on Medium under codelog)

Second week @ Makers Academy

The second week pretty much just finished, and the third started without having much of a big breath in-between, to which I am more and more used to. Again, the task was, what it was (this time take away) and might have kinda completed but so many tests were missing, and had a pretty bad feeling, although spent the weekend in pry. Then today the gloomy clouds moved a bit as after review and refactoring it is kinda acceptable. But there is so much to learn. I have no idea how I can fit in reading extra books and learning logical tests for my interview on top of coding like 10 hrs a day (yes, weekend too). I started the “bible” (Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby) and I have the Design books on my list too, but I also wanted to make flash cards from concepts like how to refactor and how to write really nice code. So this is it so far, I am still enjoying it a lot, so despite being super overloaded and quite underslept I would do this again and again. This is what I love doing, and if I am happy to sacrifice some sleep for it, that is pretty much a big thing then 😀

To understand the sacrifice better, here is my spirit animal: