After the first few days of SalesEngine, I'm generally pretty happy about how it's coming along and what we've accomplished so far. I'm very grateful to be pairing on this project, I don't have much confidence that I could have worked through it on my own (or at least not very well). My partner is teaching me a ton along the way, and not making me feel guilty for being the “weaker” coder. We've communicated really well and our planning/outline process was integral to setting the project up for success.
Last night I got twisted up in Git and couldn't untangle myself, so becoming more familiar with our source control process is a huge priority for me. I tried looking at several Git resources but still wasn't sure how to fix my issue, and at a certain point stopped messing with it for fear of making it worse.
Something I think has been really helpful for me is how we are attacking this project. Since my partner is a much stronger coder, he is figuring out the tests and methods for one class, then I'm implementing them across the others. I'm not copying and pasting (though it's tempting), I'm retyping it all to build the muscle memory and then I have to think through the smaller tweaks to customize things for each individual class. It's like Hunter Thompson retyping Hemingway, but with less drugs. At the same time, I'm itching to get down and dirty with the code in pairing sessions to try to work through things myself, which is how I think next week will unfold.
Besides this project in particular, when I step back and think of the first three weeks of school, I'm pretty happy about where I am. I did not expect such difficult curriculum up front, and some of us are still very unsure about gauging our success. Although I know more today than I did on day one, do I know enough? Am I understanding concepts at the pace my teachers expect? It's been interesting to talk with other students and observe how several of us are in the same place right now regarding skill level, but we all have wildly different interpretations of what that means. A couple of us talked about reaching out to some Hungry Academy alumni who also went into this process with no programming experience, to see if they felt the same, how they worked through their emotions, how they knew if they were on pace with the curriculum, &c. I hope we can do that soon, and I look forward to covering this in my one-on-one today.
If I ask myself, “Do I feel like a developer yet?” I'm sure the answer is “no,” but if my photography has taught me anything, it's that you never quite wake up one day and magically, you are a professional. For one, you have to sort of declare it to yourself and the world, and two, when you collect actual money for goods or services delivered, that's when it feels pretty legit. I might not feel like a developer until I'm getting paid for doing so, and that's okay. By the end of this program, we will know more as students than some people who are getting paid do. It will be a dragon we always chase, and that is one of the reasons I love this field. Continuous improvement is a favourite pursuit of mine, and infinite paths and possibilities await us.
In the next few weeks, I'm excited to have some lightbulb moments where concepts I'm still grappling with finally click. I think once I achieve a more solid foundation, I'll be able to build on it with compounding speed. It's hard to balance working on a project and taking some time to study on particular concepts, but I owe it to myself and my future projects and partners to make some time to do so.
At this point, all any of us can do is continue bumbling forward into the unknown.