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Recurse Center Week 12 (last week)

The plan as it is right now is to post this today, and then post a (probably longer) “return statement” (thanks Gonçalo for the name!) next week reflecting on the whole experience of my batch. This post will cover the last week in the same format at the previous 11.


I did some programming on Friday that I finished up on Monday. The #talkpay hashtag started on Friday scraped, and I thought it would be interesting/smart to save the tweets to a database to 1) make the data more queryable than on Twitter and 2) creating a dataset at a point in time, considering that people might delete tweets.

I used Dokku on Digital Ocean, and it’s awesome and also used MongoDB for the first time (it probably wasn’t the first, but first I can remember, so it’s been a while). Hopefully I’ll write a tutorial on using Dokku, because it was really cool. On Monday I published the script that did the work (and ran all weekend) and the database of the data on Github.

At RC, Nat and I got ShhParty working for our expected technical behavior (a DJ could create a party and have listeners join). I also set up the project to store data about open parties without a database (which was interesting!), and we did the handshake completion that enabled us to prove that it “worked.” It still needed lots of UX/UI help though!


At checkins, I mentioned needing UX and UI help, and Cole came onto the team. Sadly, as soon as we sat down to discuss UX, the RC network broke the things. Being as the app uses WebRTC, the network being weird about NAT meant that we couldn’t open a channel. Nat and I went into a debugging hole that we didn’t figure out, so our suspicion is that it was “them, not us” as the app (tested the next day) worked on different networks.

There was a bit of lost productivity and lots of goofing off because of the network issue, but I did go to the PGP keysigning party and hope to use PGP to communicate with at least people from RC to practice using it on a regular basis.


Code! We resumed design plans with Cole, and I gave her access to the repo to write the UI. I appreciated that we made it a group process, because with design, I usually defer to designers (because I hate design by committee and respect people as professionals). It was nice to discuss UX problems and how we would solve them, and also what design expressions we’d like for the app.

I worked on adding some technical features to the project, including adding metadata ability to parties. I also added WebRTC rooms for ease of notifying listeners that a room closed, which is now finished except for, you know, the UI part actually showing the listeners something ;). In the evening, I went to QueensJS with Sarah and had fun seeing JavaScript folk.


My last day for this batch at RC :(. Cole and I worked on refactoring the front-end architecture a bit and the UI looked miles ahead of what it did on Wednesday. I made some UI updates myself and made sure it works on the RC network before demos. And I did some last hurrah pairing on Swift with Damien on an iOS app.

Presentations were great. I especially loved Libby’s recursive definition of Recurse Center. Nat and I demo’d ShhParty, and there were lots of other cool presentations (including a mockumentary filmed in 2 days).


I was a bit worried that the last week I wouldn’t program much (senioritis), but there was a very healthy mixture of taking lunches that were a bit too long and working on projects with others. I suppose I can put more of my feels into the “return statement” as they’re related to the whole, rather than just this one week.

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