Thursday, September 25, 2014

MakerSquare Day 21: Hackathon (almost)! (5/3)

Instructors, like everyone else, have catch-phrases. Now, it's possible that I was raised on old sitcoms, so I think everyone has catch-phrases, when in reality, only instructors do, but it comes to the same thing.

Instructors have catch-phrases.

And one catch-phrase that we heard several times in one day from our great Javascript instructor is that "The other students are our biggest resource."

And, as much as I like Google for looking for an answer, he's not wrong when he says that. Which is why I'm so excited about the Hackathon starting tomorrow. (Or, rather, starting today, by the time this is posted.)

A large part of today was dedicated to preparing for the Hackathon: coming up with ideas, dividing into teams, asking some questions of ourselves and our instructors (who, I'll admit, are also a pretty good resource).

And here's something else that happened today which may help demonstrate why I'm so excited for tomorrow. (Oh, and also: there will be breakfast tacos.) We started today with a coding challenge: given a list of words, find which words in the list are anagrams of each other; and return an array for each group of anagrams. Following the dictum "make it work," I wrote out several lines of code that were basically readable English. It wasn't an elegant or the fastest solution--it was merely the quickest to write out.

Then a peer/colleague presented her solution and it was this beautiful one line of code that worked because she found the Ruby method that was a perfect match for the task: group_by.

Now maybe in my younger days I would've been jealous to be outdone like that; but with the perspective of my thousands of years (or maybe it just feels that way), I can see that single line of code and just enjoy the elegance.

And also, now I know group_by.

So yeah, the other students are a pretty good resource.

Bring on the Hackathon!

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