Individual Project - Half Way Mark

There are seven weeks left of gSchool and the weeks are ticking by pretty quickly. This week we started our individual projects, and it's been a refreshing change. Not necessarily better, but I like the change.

It's definitely interesting to see how being able to create what you want is rewarding on one hand, but challenging in that I don't have a list of features to build out. I have to spend more time thinking about what I want to do, and am unsure which direction to go sometimes. One thing I really love though is creating all the code, and understanding how it fits together better. In learning Rails, I think I'm understanding pieces but not how they all fit together, depend on each other. This is a great learning exercise in that regard.

I'm focusing on learning TDD more, and am feeling a lot more comfortable with feature tests. Yesterday I started working through Everyday Rails by Aaron Sumner and getting into controller specs. He uses Factory Girl so I'm using it as well, as I've really never used factories. To be honest they're sort of confusing me and I think right now I prefer to set up objects manually. It might not be the most efficient, but it's what makes sense to me at this point.

My personal goals with this project, in order of importance, are to:

  • Learn above everything else (this means taking time to watch more Railscasts, read, work through tutorials – something I feel like I haven't had nearly enough time to do during past projects)
  • Become a stronger coder
  • TDD and keep adhering to best practices
  • Have a product that allows me to articulate my breakthroughs, challenges, and newly learned technologies
  • Have something slick to demo

Because my primary goal is learning, I'm probably going a little too slow to have something amazing to demo, but I think that's okay. Those are my priorities and in the long run I think I'll be better for it. The more I learn, the more cool things I can build in the next few weeks, and the better of an apprentice I will make when I graduate.