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Recurse Center Week 2


I met with my Hacker School mentor (we chose from alumni) in the morning for bagelry and got some advice on what to do, in particular to fix some of my frustrations. One frustration in particular is that I want to do more “social coding” – pairing, contributing to other people’s projects, collaboration. After talking about it, I went in to morning check in and said “I want to do more social coding” and hopefully will get to work with my check in buddies this week. I spent the morning whiteboarding/pairing on trees with a resident who started Monday, and worked on an implementation of the trie data structure, in the repo Tree Party.

I also went to a fantastic intro to Go workshop, which makes me sort of tempted to glance at a new language per week, considering I went to a workshop for Haskell last week. The Monday evening talk from the other resident, Jamie, talking about the Eve project. It looks suspiciously like a visual programming language, which I’m a bit “meh” about. It’s interesting to study, but I’m not sold on eventual adoption.


I spent a lot of Tuesday standing in line for the Cinnamon Snail, only the best vegan food truck, that is closing this week.

It's happening! Thanks for being such an awesome truck, Cinnamon Snail

A photo posted by Pam Selle (@pamelaselle) on

I regret nothing.

When I finally returned with sandwiches and donuts, I did some pairing in Go with the person who instructed the Go workshop, helping him get started in d3. It was a great example of a pairing session where we each had something distinct and concrete to get experience with. Ex. I drove during Go (with coaching) and he drove in JS (with my coaching). Then I spent some time watching algorithms lectures.


I paired on d3 with someone from my checkins who wanted to visualize accelerometer data. I made it my goal for the day to “contribute to an open source project” (I just sort of arbitrarily decided) and ended up contributing to a d3 library. There’s more to contribute there, so I might do some additional work later on. I also talked through the architecture of someone else’s project that will be in Scala, and I hope we can collaborate more.

In the algorithms study group we discussed breadth-first and depth-first search (BFS and DFS), topological sort, and computing strong components. It was a lot, but it was cool. Design patterns group met for the first time, and I suggested we collaborate on a repository. Each week we’ll discuss at least one pattern and look through an implementation of the pattern.

In the evening (after hours), I spent some time writing my first email to my mailing list (eep!). If you want to get the next one, subscribe.


I started with helping someone get started with JavaScript/Node testing, and spent most of the day working on an article on tries, trying to solidify my knowledge of the structure and the implementation, ex. the difference between a data structure an an abstract data type (ADT). Sadly, my WordPress instance is being finicky, otherwise that article would’ve been posted on Thursday! I also led another session of code katas, and people really enjoyed it, and someone else signed up to run the next one 🙂


This week was definitely characterized by a lot more social coding. I really enjoyed it. I paired every day! This is a trend I want to continue, and I think it’s helping me form ideas around a larger project of my own to do.

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