Ada Week 15: Nearing Chaos

Edit: I just noticed this is my 200th blog post!!! Happy bicentennial post to me.

We rounded out week 15 on Friday at Ada with the end of a four week stint of group rails projects and lots of computer science lessons. Ada can be intense, but so far I’ve kept a positive attitude and the weeks have just been flying by with ease, even if the topics are challenging. However, we are all in dread of our next couple of months, when we start capstone projects and internship interviews all at once. Right now a lot of our time isn’t spent with our heads in code, but in researching and networking, spitballing ideas for projects, and trying to get a grasp on the professional side of this industry.

Another thing making the last month feel code-intensive is that all the in-class projects we have done have been 3-4 person 2-week group projects. The larger the projects get and the more people working on them at any given time, the more time that has to be spent working on planning and group dynamics. We have our groups set up like mini real-world teams with task managers and stand up leads assigned every week. Kari and Charles, previously our instructors, have become project managers we see only in our morning stand-ups or in meetings throughout the day. It’s fun to play at what a real-time developer team may look like, and also brings a lot of the same pressures: learning to work with people with different working styles, communicating well across the code, not having merge conflicts, etc.

I am proud of what all this work has produced however, both in code and in terms of my relationships with my peers. Both my groups worked really well together to create these two projects:

  1. Botsy, a fake etsy e-commerce type sight where robots can sell goods to humans. Github
  2. APIspy, a feed aggregator that uses the Twitter and Vimeo API. Github

It has been amazing to start using APIs this week. Many of us would tell you it’s felt like the whole world has opened up to us. Parsing through an API makes me feel like an investigative reporter at times and every time I hit on a new piece of information, another app idea springs into my head. Hopefully that will be useful soon, when I have to build an app on my own for capstone.

I’ve also enjoyed diving more into computer science fundamental topics like binary search, recursion, sorting, and linked lists. I’ve enjoyed looking at code in Java and starting to understand some of the difference in interpreted languages and higher level languages. There’s still a ton to learn here, but I’m excited to start.

It’s amazing that in about a week Ada will begin it’s fifth cohort cycle. I’m really excited to be a TA/tutor in the new classroom (what!?!?) as it feels like just a minute ago I was learning beginner concepts myself. I’m very excited to help a new set of students in the classroom and learn from them in the process. I’ll be able to give about a month to that before the chaos of internships and capstone hits.

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