HALF WAY MARK!!!!!

gSchool is half way down! I have mixed feelings about this, since I am both excited to graduate and get a job, and want the program to continue.

We just completed our second Rails project, and it was… interesting. It's normally a three-week project but we had about eight days or so to complete it. Yesterday was the deadline and demo day, but not a single project was demo'd thanks to us collectively blowing it. Despite being told it's better to build half a project well than a whole project terribly, we all apparently strived for the latter. I think when we're handed an assignment, we simply think we have to complete it by the deadline, and do what we can to get there. It didn't occur to any of us to look at the impossibiity of the deadline and speak with our “customers” (the instructors) and tell them we couldn't deliver a complete, quality project on time. We tried to do it all, except for that quality thing. Some teams literally pulled an all-nighter the night before the deadline, for nothing.

Speaking of sleep, I'm pretty concerned about the “hero mode” thing that's happening with folks staying up really late, into the next day, and now without ever sleeping at all. People are going to start getting cranky, fighting, and collapsing if it continues.

I'm here to learn as much as possible: that includes the languages and frameworks but also the best practices that will make me a great employee when I graduate. I want to practice TDD, learning not only how to write the tests themselves but how to approach a project by testing first and going in small, deliberate steps. I want to refactor along the way. I want to pause and study up on a particular piece before I implement it. I want time to study on Ruby fundamentals and Rails outside of a project, to reinforce things and build the foundation I need.

It's quite silly to have to write that last paragraph, considering that is exactly what this program strives to deliver. I'm actually very thankful that we ALL blew it, because we really, really needed the wake-up call. In a few minutes we'll discuss it as a group, and I'm very keen to see what Jeff and Katrina have to say. I'm hoping that whatever the conversation is, it results in the next group project being approached properly and with a team that isn't on the razor's edge of burning out and melting down from lack of sleep.

This weekend, I plan on continuing Michael Hartl's GREAT Rails tutorial, among some other resources to change things up a bit. While I definitely learned a lot on this last project and had a great time working with my team, the intensity of it didn't leave any time to study whatsoever. At times I felt lucky to have clean pants to wear