Dev Bootcamp Week 5/6

So I decided to combine the final two weeks of Phase 2 into one blog post. I feel as if I have grown immensely as a web developer throughout Phase 2 as this was my first time working with several of the technologies we covered during these past few weeks. And while I am still getting several of the concepts down to a concrete understanding, being exposed to so many different technologies (many of which I mentioned in my last blog post), and utilizing all of them to develop a website has been an amazing experience.

I began taking full advantage of my evenings and working alone during that time frame which has really helped me. Going back and completing challenges I either paired on, or never got the chance to complete really strengthened my understanding of many of the concepts covered over these weeks. Restful routing, AJAX, and JavaScript were all areas that I really struggled with early, and while I have only began to tip the iceberg on each of these topics, I have definitely solidified my foundation into understanding them better.

*As a side note I still thoroughly enjoy pair programming and find a lot of benefits in it, however to ensure I am understanding the material without someone there to potentially solve a specific problem for me has allowed me to develop my skills more efficiently.

The work over the last two weeks focused on diving deeper into the topics we covered in the first week of phase 2. To build on our Javascript and jQuery skills we were tasked with different challenges such as constructing a simple racing game where different key strokes controlled the players, and users/winners could be stored in a database. We utilized the Twitter API in another problem and created a program that could send tweets from a website (or command line) and interact with twitter in different aspects. Several other challenges including hosting sites on Heroku, manipulating CSS and HTML files, and getting more familiar with associations and validations in application structure, specifically Sinatra.

The end of week 6 concluded with a project on whatever we wanted to build. Having the ability to now create applications that can be put on the web I decided to scratch an itch I've had for quite some time. Due to my obsession with live music I have kept a running tally of every concert I've been to, and all the details along with them in an excel spreadsheet since 2007. Here's an example of what it looks like:

concert_spreadsheet

It has always been a goal of mine to create a website where I, and others, can upload information like this on the shows they have been and have a way to store all the information along with any media they captured. Ideally it would be a place someone can go back and relive any memories from that specific show. A friend, and fellow classmate, Jared Rader, was also interested on this project so we tackled it together. Working through this project was an excellent learning experience as I was able to begin utilizing tools I had not used in the past such as the Youtube and Setlist.fm API. We were able to get up a MVC in a short time and I'm extremely excited for how the product is turning out. I will be sure to post it when we launch it hopefully later this week.

Over this past week the New York office was elated to have Dev Bootcamp's founder, Sherif Bishay come by for a visit. I met him briefly over the winter at the DBC NY kickoff party however I've been looking forward to meeting him again, in an environment where we can ask some questions, as the talks I have watched him in are always phenomenal. He spoke with all of the students and instructors for about 30 minutes and his presence and delivery is truly captivating. He spoke a great deal about the program itself, where it is headed, and how we as individuals can continue to prepare ourselves for learning outside of DBC. I find that very few people have the aura to command an audience with ease however Sherif was exceptional and I found his talk greatly inspiring and a wonderful experience.

When we arrive at DBC tomorrow we will be welcoming the 3rd cohort to the New York location which will complete our work space as a full Dev Bootcamp facility. It has been an incredible journey these last six weeks and I eagerly await what the final phase has in store for us.