Breakfast notes

Job status: seeking

Mood: ok

It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me these past few days. After the pretty structured 12-weeks at Makers, I’m a graduate now: I need to find a job, I need to do tech tests, I also should be refactoring old code, I should be starting new projects, learning new frameworks, languages or at least become an expert at the stuff I do know. I should be going to a meet ups everyday and work on an elevator pitch for myself. Naturally I should be more evolved with the tech scene in general, i.e. follow interesting & inspiring people on twitter or feedly. And in my spare time I should be reading all the tech books and listen to pod casts for best practices.

I knew there was going to be a lot of stuff but I was a bit overwhelmed. Especially when I started a tech test and it took me a lot more time than I thought it would and threw my nice daily schedule out of the window. I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to do it right, to find a job immediately, to tick of all the items from my list above.

So now I’ve realised when I set myself out to do too many things, I get too stressed if something doesn’t go to plan. I’ve changed my plan to doing one main thing per day: either coding or applying for jobs. I’m hoping by doing that I’ll get more applications done because I’m ‘in the zone’ and write better code because I know I don’t have worry about writing applications for that day.

Makers suggested writing applications in the morning and then code in the afternoon, but for me that doesn’t work. So we’ll see how it works out with my new ‘plan’, and then reiterate and go from there. 🙂

So for today: coding -> tech test!

Hiring week

With the presentation of my final project, I’ve officially graduated from Makers Academy. I can write Junior Web Developer on my CV now and will be paid for writing code. Right now this seems absolutely crazy! I’ve only just stared coding right?

But thanks to makers I’m not completely lost – the last official week is dedicated to preparing us for the next steps: finding jobs, writing a meaningful CV, preparing interviews and tech tests etc.

Here are the main things I’ve learned:

  • Keep coding (refactoring old projects and creating new ones)
  • Go to events and meet other techies
  • Use your personal network (even if they don’t work in IT, most companies have a website these days and dev departments)
  • Have a CV that is personal and couldn’t be written by 30 other people if you remove your name

So what’s next?

There are so many things that I could be doing now which is quite overwhelming. For now I’ve decided to go back to basics. To make sure that I am writing cleanest code (small goals to start with).

To keep coding we’ve been recommended to try upcase.com, which is by the makers of thoughtbots and provides many resources and exercises to practise your coding skills. (I’m currently working on the refactoring trail.)

Even though looking for jobs, interviewing and all the rest of it is scary, I’m really excited to start a new job 🙂

SocialCow – My final project at makers academy

The idea

Organising meet ups with friends can be very timely. We often spend ages in messaging groups and sometimes it doesn’t even lead to a meet up because of indecisiveness. So my group and I made a website that wants to make this process easier.

Here’s a little demo video:

The idea is simple: have a calendar that is accessible by all of your friends, so you can add an event to the calendar and your friends can see it and select to take part. The video shows other features such as commenting on events and notifications that your friends are coming to your event.

Technologies

We used Angular & Bootstrap for our front end and NodeJS. All of the tech details can be found on our project’s GitHub page: http://github.com/AnnemarieKohler/social-calendar.

Things I’ve learned

Biggest learning was definitely using NodeJS, as this isn’t being taught during the course. So whilst building the app, we had to learn a new technology, which was definitely challenging since compared t Rails documentation isn’t as easy to work with and there seem to be a million ways to do things with about two million packages.

Another great learning curve was testing both front end and back end, since each of them was written in JavaScript. We’ve only known Angular for about 2 or 3 weeks so our knowledge was somewhat limited. This meant resolving a lot of promises (and at the beginning of the project, I didn’t even really know what that meant).

Final thoughts

I’m generally quite pleased with what we’ve delivered in the given time. My team and I have decided to keep on working on the app, to implement features we didn’t get to do and to refactor the code.

Starting final project of makers academy

This past week, I have been working on my final project. My team and I will be making a social calendar app, which is supposed to make meeting up with friends easier, as you can share a calendar with them. Friends can show interest in events that others are taking part and join them.

For our little app we decided we wanted to learn something new. So instead of using Rails/Sinatra for our backend we went with Node, Express.js to be precise. Using Express itself has been okay so far, the trickiest bit was writing the tests. Different backend, means different testing suit – we used Mocha and Chai.

Despite the tests or the lack of good documentation, our little app is slowly coming together. I’m not sure if we will finish it the way we planned it out, at the beginning, but I sure am learning a lot from it, which to me is the most important factor.

Also I really enjoy working with my team! All of us had better and more challenging group/pairing sessions of the past few weeks. Because of these experiences we wanted to make sure to have two really good weeks. So we’ve agreed right at the start to have daily stand ups (at least 1), feedback sessions (end of the day/or as part of the stand up), and use the pomodoro technique to ensure we take breaks.

So far this has worked out really well, and I’m very happy 🤗

This is my amazing team: Paul, myself, and Yasmin (we met up yesterday at Yas’s place #bestoffice)
My team: Paul, myself, and Yasmin (we met up yesterday at Yas’s place #bestoffice)