Wednesday, September 3, 2014

MakerSquare Day 5: Swimming with a new pod (2/1)

Our second week started with a bunch of pod-switching, which makes me realize I never described our office beyond "has a ping pong table." Really, the ping pong table is most important. But if you must know, we have three big desks that the students sit at; along with a tall desk for the instructors; and a wireless-enabled projector that has only once or twice accidentally picked up on someone's music or Skype call.

First week, I was in pod one; second week, pod two. Which seems like a great idea. I could imagine someone saying "why do we need to do this?" But already I've had more conversations with my new pod-mates than I had with them when they were not my podmates. Of course, given my sentimental nature, I'll probably start thinking of pod two as a close family and then get wrenched away from them next week.

Speaking of wrenching away, today's big project was to work on something for a puppy breeder. (If I can get political for a second: people, check with your local animal shelter or rescue before purchasing a puppy from a store or breeder.) There was a lot of individual coding time working on setting up the tests and turning them green. 

Bonus challenge: we were given a list of things the client wanted... which was not all the information we needed. The lesson being that sometimes you got to form questions to ask the client so that you can do your work. Or that our client was irredeemably sloppy in their thinking and should not be allowed to have any puppies.

Extra bonus: after class, a few of us went to a meetup for the Austin Ruby community, which was interesting since the topic was testing and rspec and how sometimes you shouldn't let your tests drive your programming. All in all, it was very interesting to meet some experienced web dev and programming people.

Though my real takeaway was this line of argument, which I'm paraphrasing from something that night's speaker said:

"When something is painful, it is broken; make it better—nobody else can."

I don't know about you--like, literally, I have no idea who you are reading this--but that line moved me some. With all this talk about Ruby and rspec, we shouldn't forget to make our code beautiful in its own way. Or put another way: don't forget to have fun.

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