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: 

giphy-1

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.

code_knight_small

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)