The Legacy Code that Won't Die
After last week's kerfuffle, moving on to the next scheduled project was not an option. We weren't ready, and needed to get our shit together with all of programming's soft skills, TDD and other practices.
So Son of Store Engine became Daughter of Store Engine, working with legacy code again. Building off the existing code base, each team has a unique assignment. My team is building another area of the Platform Administrator's dashboard to be able to invoice all their stores monthly for a cut of their profits. It's new and has a lot of pieces but isn't an overwhelming and obviously too-big project.
The whole point is to do things the right way, and it's interesting to see everyone try to strike the right balance and figure out just what that is. I've caught us a couple of times writing features without tests, not because we didn't want to, but because we totally forgot. That's a sign that TDD isn't second-nature yet, yikes.
Other Learning Priorities
Yesterday's warm-up was a simple program that takes in the size of each side of a triangle, determines if the sizes are valid and if so, what type of triangle they form (isosceles, equilateral, &c.). I was able to get through most of it on my own, and fairly quickly, which was a great feeling. We ran out of time so I finished the program with my mentor at lunch. We were able to both finish it and refactor it, which is always a great exercise. I feel like throughout projects, refactoring has been as low a priority as TDD, so I definitely need more practice doing it. I think it really helps me understand the code I'm writing and I might go back through old warm-ups and see where I can make things more succinct and easy to read.
Erika Trautman Visit and Lunch
Today we had a special guest speaker, Erika Trautman of Flixmaster. She's the CEO, and came to speak to us about Flixmaster and about being a woman in technology. She described herself as a “non-technical person” and had some really great insights about business and communication. I really loved that she touched on diversity of ways of thought/personality, not just diversity of gender, race, etc. She believes that having team members from different, unusual backgrounds make for a more successful team.
Flixmaster is really amazing, integrating navigation into video very dynamically (versus pop-up boxes). It was cool to see what it can do and when I find that elusive “free time” thing, I want to spend some of it looking at examples they've built. It will be interesting to see if video goes this way more and more, it's certainly promising.
After her talk, the ladies of the class, and Frank, had lunch with Erika at Gather. We wanted to hear her advice for building communication in teams, and anything else we could glean from her. I appreciated her talking about confidence and interviewing, and what she looks for in an applicant.
All in all, it was a really great way to spend two hours on Friday and was one of the more valuable conversations I've been able to participate while in gSchool.