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Recurse Center Week 3


I decided to start working an ambitious project that I’ve wanted to work on for kind of a while … two years in fact. Now it’s happening. AHH! I got the app structure started, and then paired with Alan to look through the program I’m inspired by to see how it works, and I got an initial version going. By the end of the day I had a working prototype, proving that what I want to do is possible.


I decided that, with the project, I definitely want to do functional programming, and I think the problem domain really lends itself to that. But then I got overwhelmed by research into functional Swift options. There are lots of libraries coming out in Swift. Also Swift is really cool. I took a break to write a blog post on Reactive Extensions, and its place in the framework explosion timeline, which caused lots of chatter on Twitter, so be warned that you’ll fall into a Twitter conversation hole if you try and follow along (hey, it’d be nice if you commented on THE POST folks). Either not many people involved read the actual post, or my existential prose on zeitgeist were lost on them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Later, I ran into a wall with making a giant Swift enum. I did get to pair for a very short time, helping someone do a flexible layout in an app written in Scala. Fixed the enum problem.


Wednesday was mostly pairing. I paired with two people: the first turned into adventures in regex (so I can reuse code from the inspiration source by rewriting in Swift syntax). I learned a bunch, even if we didn’t get code out of it. It was exactly the kind of yay-I-came-to-Hacker-School [Recurse Center] validation, because without the pressure of a deadline or anything, it didn’t matter. So long as we were both learning something (and we did), who cares?

I learned about the kleene star, and that vim regex is different than other regex. At some point I also learned more about ML and grammars, I think that was from the first pair. The second person I paired with encouraged me to go with a much simpler data structure than building out something to mirror the other project, which definitely helped me get unstuck a bit. I spent the rest of the day in workshops, doing intro to Haskell and then design patterns club.


This was me trying to decide on data structures on Thursday:

Despite deciding to “start simple” on Wednesday (which makes COMPLETE sense by the way), I decided to fuss around with hey, maybe this way, no maybe that way ALL day. And I didn’t pair. So murr. BUT today (Friday), I had some ephiphanies while doing some light reading and I have a really strong path forward. Like I feel SUPER good about it. Thursday did get exciting though because I reached a point where I said “THIS IS A JOB FOR FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING” and got super excited. I’ll (at least start with) using Dollar.


I feel very warm and fuzzy about this week. Like in a “ahh, I think I get it now” about the Recurse Center. Maybe I do? We’ll see.

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