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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 (http://amazoniagathering.tech/) 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, Lynda.com 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 -> https://github.com/Unicornelia?tab=repositories

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. 

SQL!!

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!

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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!

First week @ Makers Academy 

The first actual week is over at Makers and I’m overwhelmed with emotions and all the learning we did this week. Not only feel I super grateful for ThoughtWorks for giving me this opportunity but also that I can finally do all day what I love!! => !!_code_!! 

 Everyone is super sweet and helpful and this is just really heartwarming. Although I did for a year pair programming at Codebar,  the experience is so much more different at Makers and I love it.  I was scared how this all will turn out and how do I learn anything,  but it turns out to be brilliant and super effective. I totally recommend it! Regarding code we spent the week with fizzbuzz and TDD and learning to do tests before writing code,  which is still pretty hard to do sometimes. Learnt a lot about myself too,  how impatient and mean I can be with myself,  not appreciating that learning isn’t a race, or just about how far I got in the project but hey, I’m getting there. At the same time I feel like my brain is exploding from all the knowledge we had to shove in and morning code practice,  stand ups and retros. Oh and we’ve got homework, and that is something I didn’t expect but super glad as I feel I really need to keep coding to keep this all up. So I’m sitting on a roller coaster all the time and actually loving the experience but I find myself screaming and panicking at time,  however I would never get off,  the ride is way to fun. 

Makers Academy – Precourse Week 3 & 4

It sounds all crazy and super scary at the same time, that after 4 weeks of precourse, tomorrow I will go to Makers and begin this amazing journey. I have been dreaming of this and yet it still feels like a dream. Over the last 2 weeks, I have finished many codewars, many homework we had assignments, including doing a pair programming task and my own CV on GitHub. It was all interesting, fun and a lot of new experience. I am super excited and looking forward to the coming weeks and months with these amazing people and amazing opportunities.

Makers Academy – Precourse Week 2

We arrived to week 2 at Makers, and our task is to finish some tutorials in Ruby so we can go further in our preparation. Since I have done a Lynda course and Chris Pine is not really my favourite I chose Learn Ruby The Hard Way, however this tutorial tastes a bit like the one for Python as since these languages are different, I am not sure this is the best approach, plus it is just loads of typing and copying and again, I feel like without Codewars this is pretty boring. So I am planning to finish up very quick and got onto another tutorial on the list, so I don’t feel like I am going backwards with learning about bloody strings again when I am nearly approaching 5kyu on Codewars and slaying the points for week 4 already :D.

Makers Academy – Precourse Week 1

Yesterday the first week of Makers PreCourse finished and I thought I share some of my experiences. First of, it was all about git, GitHub and the command line. Second, it was o much more, as I constantly had to fix my PC (yes, coding on Windows sucks) so I lost hours meanwhile trying to finish the task. Once I sorted the tracker and whatever else I needed it was a bit easier to proceed, but I think mainly because I did loads on Github already and I was halfway done with Git Immersion, so most things were not brand new (grep was kind of unused by me so I really enjoyed it). Plus the whole thing was about investigating and that is my fav kinda thing to do, a lot like coding but in a very fun way. Started Week2 just a few hours ago and I can feel that I got this, very excited to get on the actual course and rock Ruby and JS with awesome apps soon!

Makers Academy – ThoughtWorks

I clearly remember how excited and scared I was in May, when I was just contemplating the idea of applying for the ThoughtWorks & Makers Scholarship and how I will manage being unemployed for months and all that, but I applied anyway. Then studying began for the technical test at Makers, interview end of June and got accepted by mid-July, but I couldn’t afford the fee for Makers, so I was very sad and happy at the same time, as the scholarship was still open. Kinda heard things (gossip) about the scholarship criteria and was sure I won’t ever have a chance, even though I was sure I was definitely not a privileged one with the shittiest job and chances at that moment (having studied so much and trying so hard and in return not being appreciated at all, being paid so little while working at a psych ward where patients abuse you on a daily basis (my nose broke last May…), and management is the least supportive plus full of bullies – is no fun, if you like yourself just a bit, don’t do it, like ever!). So I was kind of really sad based on what I heard that I probably won’t make it.

Then  EMF camp happened and I was more hopeful and I met so many sweet and smart people. I wa splanning to apply for other coding bootcamps (Founders and Coders, their motto is amazing and what they do is also truly remarkable) and then I had a lovely email from ThoughtWorks. I was very hopeful again, but I still knew there was so much more to make it actually.

Soon after on the 1st of August CFG Summer Bootcamp started  and I was really excited to start building my media awareness app (still in progress, by mid next year I shall be done fully) so my mind was put off again.  On the 8th I had a really sweet phone chat with Jade from ThoughtWorks and we agreed on meeting in person, I was like jeez, crazy excited and scared at the same time, I mean this was THE OPPORTUNITY of my life. So I prepared for the interview as good as I could and hoped for the best. The actual interview (August 11) took around 2-2.5 hrs, and I enjoyed it more than any interview ever before. Everybody was so kind and interested in my story, why coding was like therapy for me, how I got to coding and why I was so passionate. From this point on things really sped up, they told me on spot that I won the lottery of my life and got the scholarship, i think I was in proper shock as I had to ask Jade to send me an email later so I believe it. I was shaking, tearful I couldn’t even talk properly and all I wanted to do is shouting and screaming in happiness, I am still having moments when I feel like this is all just a dream, but then I wake up and it is actually real.  I am sure this will stay the best day of my life for a very long time! Thank you ThoughtWorks  and Makers Academy! I am on the November cohort with Makers and in the following posts you can read about my adventures there.

The scholarship and the rest of the story can be found here.

 

ThoughtWorks