Phase 3 and Final Project – Dev Academy

The last three to four weeks have been very hectic. I started Phase 3 on the 15th of June. The first week of this Phase was Rails week, the first half of the second week was doing more in Javascript and then on the Thursday we started our final project.The final project went for a week and a half, on the Friday of the last week we graduated and then this was followed up with a careers week. Now it is nearing the end of the week after careers week I am just beginning to feel normal. It has been absolutely fantastic having two weekends where I barely looked at a computer screen.

In the second week of Phase 3 we got to play more with JavaScript. The first challenge was recreating (and in the process demystifying) jQuery in the miniQuery challenge. This was a good challenge except for the fact that I got lost at the start and this through me out of sync for a bit. The second challenge was making Post It notes. Loved this! It was so much fun making this app and not necessarily for the expected functionality as this image demonstrates.

post its

http://libbyschuknight.github.io/js-post-it-notes/

The Wednesday of this week was open for us to explore JavaScript frameworks. I had already been playing around with EmberJS, so looked at that a bit more. The cohort has already had some discussions around what we wanted to learn during the final project and AngularJS looked like it was going to be on the cards, so I also had a look at this via Codecademy. Their Learn AngularJS was a good starting point for learning Angular. I have tended more recently to steer away from Codecademy as I didn’t really like their interface. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they have updated it and it works better for me. I enjoyed working through this tutorial and learning AngularJS version 1 – I’m not sure if I will make the effort to learn much more about version 1, since version 2 is coming soon and by all accounts will be quite different.

The second to last Thursday was the first day of the final project and pitch day. All of us in the cohort needed to pitch some apps ideas. We had about ten but settled on a meal planner idea, with the basic idea being that you can choose meals for the week and then see a shopping list with all of the ingredients for the week.

We did some awesome overview planning –

-which was good and gave us a structure to follow for the next few days. However, that is kind of where the planning stopped for a bit and this meant that once we had reached minimum viable product (MVP) we had some issues. The main issue being that the database schema needed to be changed a few times and this had flow on effects with how information was being displayed and interacted with by the front end.

We reached MVP by Sunday evening after some hard work over the weekend.

Once we achieved MVP we focused on our stretch goals. I wanted to work on making it a responsive design and looking better than MVP. We hadn’t planned well for the front end, so we had to kind of work backwards by using a Bootstrap template off http://startbootstrap.com/. It now looks a lot better!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We used Trello to put in place the use of a kanban board as part of our agile methodologies. This was useful with some people working at home in the evenings. However, we got a bit carried away with the number of ‘tickets’ on it and the flow of these – the board got a bit crowded and hence wasn’t as useful as it could have been.

trello 2

After some guidance by the teachers at EDA we became better at using the board. Although it seemed to me that those that hadn’t used Trello before weren’t that keen to use it. I, on the other hand, had used it at school with students and could really see the benefits, plus I kind of live on the computer.

A quick think about the lessons learnt…

  • it can be difficult working in a team
  • it is even harder when abilities are quite different
  • however, if worked right, everyone is able to contribute the best they can
  • it is exciting working with others and achieving something you didn’t think you could
  • hard work pays off
  • it is worthwhile to take the time to work with others and figure out how best to work with others
  • it can be very easy to slip into a ‘negative’ mindset about people when others are thinking the same thing
  • it can be difficult in a group situation to always be thinking about being kind – or actioning being kind
  • I learnt a lot about myself working intensely with others
  • sometimes I swear too much and get too loud!
  • sometimes I just need to let it out by swearing and being loud!
  • it can be hard to step away from coding when you are really focused on something and want to get it done.

There are many more things I have learn, that is just a quick list off the top of my head.

So, after we finished coding our site, we then had a day to prepare for the final project presentation on the last Friday of bootcamp.

presentation

You would think that since I have been teaching for a few years and kind of have been in front of people for most of my working life that I would be sweet with speaking and presenting. But I still got nervous and I think it was because I was invested in what we had made and really proud of it.

The day ended with graduation of bootcamp and a party. Got this cool little gift from EDA.

kiwi

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