Ada Weeks 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, ….

So I haven’t been that great at blogging every week, what a surprise! Ha. Ha ha. This week, however, I have some time off (A WHOLE WEEK?!?) for the holidays and so thought it opportune to both share an update with you and also put off completing my homework. Win win.

What have I been up to for the last month? Rails! Learning the ins and outs of the web application framework has been exciting and not only because I can now share things with you (Scrabble Cheat Tool, Tasklist, Another TasklistPersonal Page, Farmer’s Market Finder), but because I feel for the first time like I can really see the power of these tools for web development. This week we are tasked with building our first rails application on our own and I think we all feel like that is entirely do-able, which is bizarre and so far from where we were just a month ago. My project this week is to build a digital retrospective boards for our weekly debriefs.

Pretty soon we will be applying for our internships and completing our capstone projects. It all happens incredibly fast and I can’t believe some people have only 10 weeks to complete enough to be job-ready. I am excited about all of our company sponsors, however, and can’t wait to learn more and interview with them. There is everything from a small 15-person startup to large companies like Amazon in our pool, and even though we are all a little horrified to be put out into the ‘real world,’ we are also excited to learn new skills.

In light of how fast everything has gone, I am also thinking a lot about what I want to do in the software development world and which skills I would like to concentrate on. For me, an easy first answer to these questions is data science. I studied economics in school and that’s where I first grew a passion for data, statistics and analytics. When I got home for my break I found an old economics journal I left here and felt a little pull of excitement reading through the appendixes of proofs and statistical models. While a distaste for modeling is why I initially disliked a PhD track career in economics, I understand the joining power of programming and statistics. I get incredibly excited about both the backend and infrastructure elements of data science, but also about the data visualization side. I have been reading a lot lately about the future of news and interactive visualization. I have enjoyed talking to people about how good UI makes data accessible to the people who really need it’s power. While, I enjoy working on the backend, with controllers and models, envisioning how the whole thing will come together to the view, I also am deeply interested in great design and building products that are human-centered and will help people.

Anyway, I’m excited that I’m beginning to get to the point that I can  have an idea and actually implement it using code. It’s a great feeling and I’m excited to expand it in the coming months.

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