Wow, so another phase completed and the final phase to go. I have enjoyed Phase 2 a lot. It has been great getting out of the console and onto the web. I like making sites look good and felt pretty confident with HTML and CSS before Phase 2. It has been heaps of fun to dive into the web and the learning has been exciting.
A quick overview of what Phase 2 has covered:
Week 4: Testing, Simple Web Applications, and Github: cover Rspec, Sinatra, ActiveRecord, HTML, CSS, and Heroku.
Week 6: Complex Web Applications: Week 6 ties it all together, discover how to use background jobs, OAuth, and other APIs.
It has also included three personal projects – a server side app (shopping cart), a client side app (customer management relationship app) and an api app challenge (this was wide open, I had a play with the Twitter api).
The personal projects were a great way to review and embed all the learning that happened during Phase 2. I particularly found this for the first project, the shopping cart, as we had 6 days for it, and I was able to spend more time on implementing the core the functionality. The client side and api apps were given to us at the same time and we had 6 days to do both.
For the sever side project, I spent a lot of time planning out how I was going to create the database, web pages and routes:
By taking the time with the planning meant that I only had to make my database once. This meant that I wasn’t rushed with any of the other components of the site.
We are a team of three and had a focus on our learning rather then worrying about making a really cool product. This meant we weren’t rushed in our planning and took the time to step back and look at the bigger picture. Hence, our planning was thorough and thus meant our development was efficient and effective.
Another factor that helped was having a small minimum viable product. We decided on a 2 by 2 grid, which meant only 2 faces, however, not knowing how difficult this was going to be it was great having a small MVP. We achieved this quite early on, which meant we could dive into our stretch goals.
Other learnings / experiences from Phase 2 have been embracing unexpected learning opportunities. In our cohort project in week 6, I was suppose to be in the front end / JS team but due to illnesses was in the back end with Ruby. It took me a little while to be happy with this, however, learnt lots.
I think I am tending towards the front end as I like creating stuff on the web and interacting with the web.
I had an ‘aha!’ moment during week 6 where I was reading this job description:
and realised that I could understand everything that it is talking about and that I could tick off most of them to some sort of degree. That was exciting!
Here comes Phase 3, three weeks – learning Rails, more JS, JQuery etc and then the final cohort project! Bring it on!