Monday, October 5, 2015

My ~10 months of coding: an update.

Wow, I can't believe I haven't post for such a long time.  Sorry about that.  Even though I haven't been posting about my progress, I've still been busy coding, reading coding books, and even attended a small conference, and also took a few weeks off for a much needed vacation.

So, to recap, I've been learning to code for ~10 months and working professionally as a Ruby on Rails developer for ~5 months.  I feel I've learn a lot and progressed a great deal over the past months in my knowledge about Ruby and Rails.  I still get stuck on things, but not as often.  I can work through most things pretty independently.  Of course, I still like to talk through things with my colleagues because sometimes you find a better way to do things by just talking about it with another coder.  One thing I need to work on for the next few months is learning beyond Ruby by trying to do more JS and other languages.

I try to always be reading a coding book during my free and commuting time.  Most recently, I read Eloquent Ruby (a good review of basic Ruby concepts!).  I started reading Design Patterns in Ruby and, somehow, I'm not challenged with just reading one coding book :-P, so I am also concurrently re-reading Sandi Metz's Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby (POODR) on my commute.

My mornings.  7:30 am.  On the train and reading POODR.

I read POODR about 3 months ago for the first time.  I really liked it and learned some stuff, but to be honest a lot of the concepts were hard for me to get a good solid grasp of.  I have only re-read the first couple of the chapters, but I can already tell a difference on how well I am getting the concepts.  It feels really good to be more comfortable and have a better understand of object-oriented design concepts this time around.  It means I'm still learning and progressing.

I took a few weeks off at the end of August to go back to the US to go to Burning Man.  It was my second burn and was simple amazing.  I was worried it wouldn't be as moving as my first time, but luckily it was even more amazing.   I met a bunch of cool people, had meaningful conversations with strangers, wore my amazing fiber optic dress, danced all night, and generally just had a blast.  No phone, no internet, lots of dust.... ;) it was a great recharge for my spirit.  Just like my first time, it helped me refocus and re-evaluate where I am, who I am, and where I wanna go right now in my life.  It also reminds me of what/who I appreciate in my life and what is really important to me.

Riding around in the desert by the light of my dress.
A few weeks ago, Google had the first ever Polymer Summit in Amsterdam.  Polymer is a google framework for creating web components.  It's a bit out of my comfort zone since it is more front-end oriented than backend, but I spent the day learning how to use polymer and how get the most benefits out of it and the tools it provides.  I'm super excited to use it.  I've already started on a pet project to remake my personal site out of polymer.

This weekend there is another conference I will be attending - the Google DevFest in Amsterdam.  It's more oriented to mobile dev, but there is a workshop on Angular 2 that I'm really looking forward to attending.

I'm also helping out with the RailsGirls meetups.  I will be hosting the December meetup in Amsterdam.  I'm still working out ideas for it and planning for that.

And if all that doesn't keep me busy enough, I'm super close to my moving date and officially will be a resident of Amsterdam in a couple weeks!  So excited for that.  I'll trade a 1.5+ hr train commute every morning and evening for a 20 min bike ride.