Dude to Dev: Learning Software Development in 9 Weeks

by royalarse13


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Long-standing analogy I’ve abused when asked about learning Ruby on Rails or Javascript goes, “…akin to forced learning of a foreign language.  But in two months, and its Finnish.  Plus, you’re parachuted into Vaasa buck naked like Les Stroud grazing the land and listening to the locals.”

Don’t think it’s been told like that, but you get the essence: adaptability will determine survival rate.  Hard work goes a long way and the view of your surroundings will never be the same.

Bitmaker Labs has been outstanding.  My only issue is that I can’t stay longer.  The staff, my classmates, and the guests that frequent are an admirable combination of accomplished and ambitious, smart and engaging, curious and weird.  The nascent Bitmaker culture will thrive for long to come, as will its student who grasp Ruby on Rails, Javascript, jQuery, and numerous other software development languages, libraries, frameworks and techniques.

Coding is a mixture of art and science.  Our cauldron is a MacBook, the ingredients as simple as Google and practice.  It’s a powerful toolkit to bring information or entertainment into the world, since online activity is overtaking print, TV and real life for many.

Software developers are navigating that process for us.  The best of whom explore minds of others to discover and enhance human-machine interactions.  They do so by studying behaviour, language and logic.  If successful one can ply their talent in development, design, engineering, marketing and many other disciplines.

If you’re learning to code or a prospective students at Bitmaker or another software develop bootcamp, prepare for hard work.  Computers are stupid and learning how to chit chat with them is complex.  Two tips:

Know your machine.  Mac, Linux, Windows in that order.  Whatever your choice know how it works! Practice with the tools/apps you’ll be using while developing software: a text editor (Sublime), command line, console(s), Chrome Dev tools, etc).  Learn how to type fast and know keyboard shortcuts.  Memorize them right now, so important.

Do the pre-work suggested. Without completing the prework your asking Grampa to fight Colton Orr.  It’s gonna be a massacre.  Get battle-ready by doing the suggested pre-work, plus further reading and coding practice.  Those prepared will be both more likely to have fun during the course and obtain employment based on technical merit.

With limited experience and talent, and a lot of time invested you can create some cool stuff.  Modest few simple functions, but the door is open for more features and better style with time.

Next stop: something like this: http://bl.ocks.org/mbostock/6747043

UPDATE: This code ended up here.

Also, more fun with D3 on the Stats page.

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