Reading failing test messages does help

After about four weeks of being at Makers Academy, I am finally coming to terms with writing tests. They actually do seem helpful, haha! I can actually now depend on my tests to tell me, why my programme isn’t working. Before, I didn’t really trust myself to write tests that tell the truth, but during last weekend’s challenge, most of the time, when I just saw a failing test and thought I knew why it was failing but didn’t read the error properly, it would take me ages to figure out what was wrong, just to find out that my tests were screaming at me (for example: “YOU HAVE TWO BUTTONS WITH THE SAME NAME ON THE PAGE! AMBIGUOUS! CHANGE THAT NOW!”).

The fun I have ….

For anyone interested, here’s my turn on creating a twitter clone: https://chittr-here.herokuapp.com (More info can be found on my Github: https://github.com/AnnemarieKohler/chitter-challenge). I didn’t have much time left to do much CSS, so next week during lab week, I want to polish it up a bit more. CSS is dangerous though, before you know it, 3hours have passed to find the perfect border colour…

Week 2 day 2

Today I continued with my partner to work on our oystercard challenge. He had already finished it at home and let me drive whilst pointing me in the right directions. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about TDD today 🙂

Generally, it’s so refreshing to work with motivated, like-minded people. This has never really been the case for me before. So I’m enjoying this a lot, already a bit sad about the time when it will end…

Week 1 day 4 – Starting all over again

I hadn’t been quite happy with my knowledge and understanding of the course materials this week, i.e. how rspec works. Therefore I asked my pair partner if we could start from scratch and redo the hole thing!

He had actually redone it the previous day and so I’m very grateful that he started a third time. 🙂 It was definitely a good decision for me as we went through the tasks slowly to make sure to know what every line meant.

The only downside was obviously that we were now behind. I think he’d stayed on after 6, which is what I should’ve done as well I think (oh hinesight)…

Week 1 day 3

The challenge on Wednesday for me were two things:

  1. Pairing with a new partner, who was more experience than me and therefore had a better and quicker grasp of the concepts we’ve been introduced to.
  2. Realising how I rushed through RSPEC/documentation the day before and not actually understanding it.

So most of the day I felt like even though we were pairing, and changing who was typing, I didn’t do as much thinking of my own as I would have liked. I probably should have stopped my partner more and just take the time to re-read the documentation, have a few more examples etc. That being said, he was very good as making his thoughts clear and explaining the processes, which was definitely very valuable.

I still felt a bit unsatisfied as I felt way behind my pair (not gonna lie: not an amazing feeling).

So Wednesday evening, after a quick half pint in the Maker’s local and a cheeky Japanese at home, I sat down and started re-reading rspec documentation.

RSPEC I WILL GET YOU!

Week 1 day 2

My second day at Maker’s was our first day of coding. Everyone was randomly assigned a partner and with them we were working through our weekly challenges. For most of us, it was the first time to actually code with a partner for this long. The difficulty with pair programming is to clearly communicate how you think the problem should be solved. However, there were a few cases where I wasn’t even sure how to solve it, let alone tell my partner what I thought is the best way.

We also did more TDD, where you write your tests first before you write an actual line of code. Technically this makes sense, however, sometimes it felt like the instructions and so the tests we were supposed to write, were taking so long, as the steps were so tiny that it could be a bit frustrating. I think I’m just too used to the process of getting stuff done the quickest way possible, and taking small steps isn’t usually the case then.