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Recurse Center Week 1

This week I started Hacker School [update: now the Recurse Center]! For this week’s blog post, I’ll post about what I did this week.

Day 1

Morning was mostly introductions, orientation, and getting started with our first week’s checkin group, which are basically Hacker School standups. I set the topic for our checkin, which is “web stuff,” putting me in the more experienced role, which is nice, but also giving me a chance to start in familiar territory and get back to shipping before doing something completely different.

I started on a small Node project to get warmed up, and the excellent Nathan Bowser spent a good amount of time helping me more deeply understand Node streams. After the Monday night talk on performance and profiling, I got back to the place I’m staying and “finished” (to some degree) the Node project. I got to use HighlandJS, which I’ve wanted to do ever since Michael Ficcara said I should read the library to better understand streams & generators.

OMFG Highland

Day 2

Cleaned up the project I was working on and put it on Github. Justin Campbell started a new Github organization, kata-seeds, and made everyone in Turing Incomplete a contributor without explaining the project. Because I apparently know Justin too well, I intuited what his goal was and wrote the JavaScript seed. Took a break to retreat to the awesome reading corner and read a chapter of Head First Design Patterns.

For most of the afternoon, I went to a workshop on Turtle, a Haskell package for shell scripts. Now, I have literally done no Haskell, somewhat intentionally (“I’m not going to touch that until I mean it” sort of thing) but this was really great for seeing someone do something rather than talk about algebraic data structures. Now I’m very tempted to do the Learn You tutorial.

Day 3

I started writing this blog post (which may be evident from the screenshot above. THANKS GITHUB). I scheduled a code kata jam for Thursday (Day 4) because I was starved for social interaction. Days 1 and 2 were disturbingly quiet in the space. Rob and I went on an adventure to get many dumplings. Watched some algorithms videos, went to the algorithms study group, and started an implementation of Dijkstra’s algorithm. In the evening, I went to Women Who Code to continue algorithm practice, and did some group whiteboarding with folks.

Day 4

I worked on my implementation of Dijkstra’s algorithm including pairing with someone, and came to the conclusion that hey, maybe skipping to week 5 of the course just because that’s what the study group was on may have been presumptuous. I found this book that I think will prove to be useful. After a vegetarian dim sum/new year’s adventure, I led a code kata, and totally used a kata seed to get started fast. There’s a repeat session next week for folks who missed this one!


Now? It’s the weekend for me 🙂 Next week I plan to work on more algorithms study, with probably some detours into design patterns and maybe learning Haskell.

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