Coding Over 40 Goes To Dev Bootcamp

When I first started on my under-resourced, crazy and scary goal to combine my passion for coding with real-time paid work, I realised it wasn’t much different from the dream of being a rock star I had in my 20’s.  I never became a rock star but while on stage, I had this unexplainable joy of “how awesome is this? I am I having so much fun and getting paid for it?”
Fast forward 20 years and this is how I feel now. Each time I write (or copy and paste) some code and run a test, that I WROTE!, and it passes, I feel awesome, even though I realise I’ll be going through that process again.


I had very specific core values for documenting Coding Over 40, and one of the big ones was not to spend another dollar on a loan to learn. Learning should be free. I found Coursera’s Programming For Everybody and it began. I coded on my lunch break, I read TechCrunch like a fangirl on my smoke breaks and I came home and coded some more.

Recently, when I decided I actually needed to bend one of my core mission statements of no more $$ going into education, I found Bloc.

It has been a month and I have to say I learned more this month than I would have ever been able to learn coding solo. When I received a partial scholarship from GDI, that was a message. I called a very smart woman who luckily is also my mentor and she said “you are investing in yourself.” Some Kung Fu Panda mo-jo. So I enrolled and it has been about a  month, and I am having the time of my life!

via @quizzicalllama

3 Boot Camp Lessons I Am Learning & You Can Too.

  • One of the most important things you can start researching now is TDD and specifically Rspec (TDD for Ruby). When you are feeling stuck in the online ‘Cademies and want to see how it goes IRL, I suggest reading and understanding how this seemingly reverse logic process makes perfect sense.
  • Next, Version Control. It is SO true that Github is your friend and I love Github. Part of the reason is GitHub For Ages 4 & Up, this is Github explained with Tinker Toys and I recommend watching when you understand the basic git commands.
  • The Command Line is like Wonder Woman’s Amazonian Power.  It is the place where you know that you are smarter than the computer. Check out  Learn The Command Line.

3 Challenges of The Week

  • Experiencing my first ever TDD project, I have a lot of code that doesn’t pass from the start of the app due to misplaced ‘ends’.  I have spent more time trying to debug my ends (lol, always giggle at that), then I do fixing actual errors.  My advice is to be extremely careful when you are c/p your own methods and code blocks.
  • The coding environment has been a challenge that is probably a lot less serious than I am making it.  Due to some Terminal issues with my Mac, I started using the preferred IDE of Bloc, Cloud9. Cloud9 is fine, but I am not used to working in an IDE workflow. I like to open my projects from the terminal into a text editor and work that way. I use Sublime text editor, Bloc uses Atom. With that said, I am now using Cloud9 with success..mostly.
  • Bloc has what they call “Reinforcement Checkpoints” which I think are super cool. They have you take some Codewars tests to solve coding puzzles, mostly unrelated to the things you are doing in lessons. This can be a huge distraction, and was for me, so I do not do them. Instead, I set aside 2 hours on a Saturday and “practice” with Python and Javascript. Maybe I will peruse CodeWars for challenges that are relevant to current work and gist them.

Monthly Lesson

  • This month I want to work on how to ask the right questions, when looking for answers in Gists, Stack Overflow and Google. I’ll admit, I have the unfortunate characteristics of rambling and overcomplicating. It’s like an evil twin duo. This month I am going to figure out how to ask the proper questions.
  • Currently, my solution is writing it all down in Evernote. I will go through lessons and write questions, as they come up into my Evernote Sandbox. Ex: Can you explain let:{} to me? Then I will tweak those questions if they get answered further in the lesson, Ex: When using let:{} helper method, do I then create a new instance variable for ‘book’? I’m getting better at it, I swear!



Other Great Resources

kswope rspec docs in book learnin’ 

Mashable’s Clean Install El Capitan.

Up Next Coding Over 40 Goes To Dev BootCamp

More BootCamp Lessons
Challenges And How To Annihilate Them


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