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.
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!
On Monday Makers pre-course started and we hit Git hard, so I’d like to take the opportunity and recommend another great tutorial for version control and git: Udacity.
The course I started and is totally free and you can find it here.
You can see a lot of videos, documents and quizzes, I personally don’t always like video tutorials but I was quite happy with this one. Documentation is great too and the way they explaing concepts is clear and to the point. Halfway through and feeling so much more confident with git and the basic concepts of version control, why we need it, why is it useful and how we can use it. So I would absolutely recommend to go for this course and do a lot of it (or all). If you are planning a career in tech, this is a must have skill.
Probably you saw dear reader that I keep extending my list of useful sites where you can learn to code for free, or learn useful skills that are super important if you are coding. One of these skills is Git [“is a version control system that is used for software development and other version control tasks. As a distributed revision control system it is aimed at speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows.” – Wikipedia].
You can learn Git on Codecademy too but I think Git Immersion is a bit more practical and makes you work way more. So the website, very useful as I said but also very annoying at some points, such as when it does not exactly specify what buttons to press to do certain things, so to save a stroke which I just had, here is an addition that is a tutorial for the tutorial, because why not. Happy gitting!
So MongoDB University is another great website for many many tutorials to learn MongoDB in depths, of course for free.
The full course catalog includes courses in general on MongoDB but targeting specific languages and frameworks. This website is a very practical one, especially if you started to think about building databases and collecting data. Another great thing about these courses is that you can actually receive a certificate for the completed lessons.
Recently I came across this very useful site (Web Design in 4 minutes) via a friend of mine (@thedevgirl).
Basically think of this as a game, you keep clicking as it would be an adventure game and you keep going to explore and more details about the beauty of web design. It helped me greatly to put my CSS knowledge into place and revise what is what.
Also the site shares very important details and principles how to build a project or portfolio, so keep on reading and have fun clicking!
So the EMF camp happened and I’m still missing it, therefore I think a post would ease my pain till I get to go again. A few weeks ago on Codebar slack and among emails there was an opportunity to win tickets to the EMF camp so I applied and since I apply basically for everything I also forgot about it. Until I got an email from these lovely people to let me know that I actually won tickets. This is just amazing!!!! I was so happy! After all, EMF is a nerd camp with the best kind of people. I managed to borrow a tent, get a raincoat and sleeping bag for cheap and here I come! I was really excited to go and although I had a few ideas what it will look like and that I will get a really cool microcontroller badge I had no idea about the level of awesome I was about to enter. It’s like if I die I want heaven to be a bit like EMF but you know with proper bathrooms and beds.
So the camp. I arrived on Friday afternoon and after I set up my tent and drank my first wine in my cute little carabiner mug I was ready to go and attend talks and do workshops.
The number of interesting talks and workshops were overwhelming. Just to mention a few there were talks about medical imaging technologies such as MRI, the origin of the badge, the mathematics behind Simpsons, robotics, artificial intelligence, ethics in games and see robots. See the full list here. There were workshops for hacking, security and creative activities. You mostly had to choose between good or better or make a schedule to be everywhere. There was a really cool pub as well with many types of beer, for normal prices and very kind staff who were mostly volunteers. Huge thank you for them!
And the badge. Well, the badge was the highlight of all this. Not only is it the coolest microcontroller using python but it was also part of the tickets so you know, free. It had to be assembled together but after we did that you can start playing with it. It had a mini joystick and some basic built-in functions such as the schedule or app list and of course snake!! One of my favourite workshops was where I actually got to hack my badge and install a torch on it and solder the elements too! So I ended up making a working torch on my badge.
Another thing I must talk about is the lights and colours and installations people set up and brought to EMF. Amazing fairy lights all over the camp, we had 8bit disco with a mesmerizing light show and many more. Anywhere you went you just felt this was a bit like Christmas, but we had more beer and it was sooo hot all day.
This was the grid, it changed its colour from green to red and all in-between. Just beautiful.
This guy made the best double sided lightsaber I’ve ever seen! Well done!
So from workshop to talk and interesting chats we stopped sometimes to collect some freebies or chill and charge in the lounge or just explore the various villages. The weather was beautiful we had WiFi and power everywhere and a cool pub. What else do you need? The camp was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I definitely will go in 2018 again!
For those who are totally bored with the ever updating courses on Codecademy, here is a nice list of hidden courses and projects that you can do.
Make sure to have fun! 🙂
Oh and React.js is on so you can start that too!
I read some useful articles at times and this one on medium (freeCodeCamp) is very important. The article details how to become a better developer, but not the way you think. It is very important to stop sometimes and be structural and organised and not trying to study and know everything. Especially when a girl just started. Read the article to have a better insight what could make you a better developer. You need to know what and when to study, but you also need to keep your focus. Have a nice day and code on!
Last night the kind and helpful Codebar with the collaboration of Lostmy.name provided an awesome 2 hr session on how to tackle common problems when somebody outside/inside of the tech industry plans to get their first graduate/ junior developer role. Apart from how helpful they were and how cool and trendy the whole office is, we learnt a lot (and the pizza and corona!!). Everyone was giving great ideas and I personally loved the individual stories. As myself some ppl came from totally different backgrounds and it felt super encouraging to hear it is possible to make it. Especially when one does not have money for a bootcamp, or struggles to convince ppl that coding is possible without a school:(
- Definitely work on your CV, have some summary, some lines about your projects, list your achievements, use a short but expressive design
- Don’t exceed 2 pages and make sure you have a nice and tailored cover letter
- An interview can take even a day, it has usually 3-4 bigger parts (phone interview, technical test/take home test/ personal interview / spending a few hours with the team etc, whiteboard exercise)
- They want you to communicate, talk through the process
- They don’t want perfect skills but a team player
- Be eager to learn
- Be curious and committed to the company’s goals and philosophy
- Don’t be shy to ask
- Or say you don’t know but you’ll look it up
- Keep trying as it takes a while
- Don’t give up! 🙂