T-1: The ‘holiday’ is over.

Our period of Shared Parental Leave is nearly over. The Man has not managed to write a single blog post, despite his best intentions, so it’s up to me to make the most of my commuting time and share with you our collective thoughts on this whole experience before he goes back to work tomorrow. If you didn’t catch it the first time, here is what I thought at the start of his leave.

What Shared Parental Leave Has Taught Us

1. It’s not you, ladies, it’s the kids.

My husband has one of the most easy going temperaments of anyone I’ve ever met. Scratch that. He is actually *the* best natured person I’ve ever met. 3 days in to being full time with the kids however, that was not the case. Irritable, short tempered, snapping at your partner over the simplest things. Hey Mums, does that sound like someone familiar?? 

Well, here’s the good news. It’s not you. It’s not your personality. It’s just what hanging around with small kids all day on your own (and with very little sleep) does to you! Accept its inevitable. Tell your partner they’ll have to wait it out whilst your sanity only slowly return as the kids grow up.

2. Women do not make better mothers than men.

Ok, so that was a bit of artistic license, but you get the idea. It’s time to stop thinking your man can’t do it, and even letting *him* get away with thinking he can’t do it. He definitely can. He just needs the chance to learn. Same as you did.

I saw the incredible Anne-Marie Slaughter giving a talk at LSE last week and she gave a wonderful explantion of the situation: 

“What if you walked in to a new job and your boss said ‘well… I guess you might be able to this job, but I’ll write a detailed instruction list for everything you need to do first and then call you every 10 minutes to make sure you’ve done it exactly right.’ You’d want to sue him for discrimination.”

The Man may not do things the same way as you, but that’s okay. He might do some things better.

3. Support. Support. Support.

It feels rather tempting to leave your partner a little bit in the lurch, so that when they fall flat on their face you can feel smug about being ‘the one who can do it all’ and to say ‘Hah! I told you so.”

YOU MUST RESIST THE TEMPTATION!! Do not set them up to fail. Raising kids is hard enough as it is. There’s no point in adding to the misery.

Whilst it’s important not to micro-manage, your partner will appreciate support wherever and however they need it. Be there to offer non-judgemental help. It’s just the same as learning on any job – learn by doing, and keep stretching a little way out of the comfort zone.

Considering my husband was severely lacking in the cooking skills department and was then charged with weaning a 7 month old baby, I helped a lot in the first couple of weeks by planning easy healthy meals and prepping food in advance. But over time, he’s been weaned off this dependency – first as I dropped the prep, stopped leaving him step-by-step recipes, and (very nearly) not planning meals on his behalf at all. Lo and Behold – HE *CAN* COOK AND HE IS ACTUALLY GOOD AT IT!

From never having a night off from cooking, there have been a few times where I came home and *did not know* what I was going to get for dinner. My idea of bliss. Also, no more pizzas ‘cooked’ mistakenly under the grill. Result!!!

4. It really is up to us all to be the change.

No matter how many times I’ve reminded people that my husband is on full time parental duty, I have endlessly had comments such as “how do you juggle it all?!”, “I don’t know how you do it!”, “oh when do you find the time??”

The truth is, I am doing nothing different from the vast majority of fathers. Just 2 weeks after their child is born, they are back in full time work. Nobody bats an eyelid at this (but perhaps they really should). In fact, Makers have had at least three fathers of young children in the last two cohorts – one with a child even younger than mine.

On the flip side, hubby has predictably been quizzed on how he is coping with being full time dad, whether they can come and help him in any way, how brave (and/or dumb?) he is for taking the time off and how people ‘really respect’ his decision to be SAHD for a bit. Again, not exactly the kind of views held of women on maternity leave (but perhaps they really should).

Being in this position has given us both the privilege of being able to challenge people on these types of stereotypical views. Which is great. The more people out there doing this, the more we can bust these myths and bring about greater equality for men and women together. So please, if you ever have the opportunity to take Shared Parental Leave, take it.

5. A stronger relationship

Of everything I did not really expect, the biggest thing has been the positive effect it’s had on our relationship. I feel I better understand what it’s like to be the parent away from home, missing your baby’s first babbles, the first crawls, the first time he stands on his own two feet. I will make more of an effort to send over regular updates, photos and videos during the day in future so he can feel more connected to us at home, especially when he’s working long hours.

He says: “I used to feel sorry for myself when I was stuck at work late. But I never really thought to feel sorry for you – for all the extra work you would have been doing at home alone. I should have done.” 

Also, you know all those things you love to talk about in those wonderfully therapeutic Mumpathy sessions with your other Mum friends? Well now you get to be your husband’s Mum friend too.

And finally… Freeeeedom!!

One extremely fabulous benefit of SPL is that I no longer have qualms about leaving the kids at home all day with my husband. That means I can GO OUT AT THE WEEKENDS! I can go out for dinner with my friends. Maybe I will even have an overnight spa break. And I’ll no longer spend the time wondering whether my family is in A&E.

Our friends have reported enjoying the regular Facebook updates that The Man has posted during his parental leave. So I thought I’d leave you with some of the best bits here:

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Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 23.13.33 Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 23.13.45Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 23.13.48
Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 23.13.57 Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 23.14.29 Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 23.14.38

So you see… I think he finally gets it. What it means to be a mother. :)

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What is this dark magic?

A weird thing happened last week. After 5 weeks being carefully guided through our learn-to-code journey, we were cut loose and given a ‘lab week’ where we could choose whatever we wanted to do. A small group of us decided to explore the ‘MEAN stack’ which is a set of four technologies that allows you to use JavaScript on the ‘full stack’. That is, for the back-end brains on the server (e.g. database and calculations), as well as the front end presentation (what you see in the browser).

The Weird Thing that happened, was that we weren’t scared or intimidated by learning something so completely new and different to everything we’d done so far. And this time without a guided set of tutorials. We read around a few different blogs and then got stuck in to the documentation. It took us a long time to get everything set up and to understand all the different bits, but by the end of day 2, one of my group was ready to write this blog giving advice to anyone else wanting to get started with Node.js (the ‘N’ of MEAN), and we were test driving development of the ‘bookmark manager’ challenge we had previously completed in Ruby during week 4.

The second ‘Weird Thing’ that happened, was that we all became Mentors to the new junior cohort. In addition to this, I rejoined Mums In Tech as a mentor to three mums in the group. It felt very strange looking back on exactly the position I’d been just 3 short months ago and seeing how far we’ve come. We all feared not having anything to teach our mentees, but it’s incredibly validating to realise you’re in a position where you can share knowledge and help tutor others. I even posted my first answer to a question on Stack Overflow, and posted a suitably complex question of my own!

During the week I also completed the Bowling Challenge and produced a bowling score calculator program out of thin air that I feel super proud of. It’s written in JavaScript, has 31 passing tests in Jasmine and uses jQuery on the front end. We were introduced to all of these in week 5. I also had to read up on HTML tables and CSS in order to make this, having started the course with only the most rudimentary knowledge of HTML. There’s still more work to be done to tidy up the code and isolate tests, but I wanted to share this with you warts and all, so you could see the progress I’ve made vs. the Rock Paper Scissors Game I built for weekend challenge #3. Doing this challenge finally helped me get to grips with dependency injection* and how to make full use of separate objects to keep track of properties and behaviours.

It’s now Week 7 and we are being introduced to the supreme magic of Ruby On Rails. A framework built for Developer Happiness, using a language designed for Developer Happiness. I’ll let you know how we get on!

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Coding on the curriculum: Why does it matter?

Over the Christmas break, I had a little revelation. I needed to convert a list of names from a Gmail email and format all the hidden email addresses so that I could give them to Paperless Post and send out invitations for my daughter’s 4th Birthday Party.

In the past I might have written out the emails one by one, or (if I’d been able to do it during working hours) I might have used MS Excel’s data tools and cleaned it up a bit. Except I don’t have Office on my Mac and this sounded like a fun little coding kata (* a martial-arts term used to describe short practice exercises).

So I wrote the code for it.

This is why I am SO excited about Coding being put on the UK school syllabus. It’s a true breakthrough, a quiet revolution. A little bit of coding knowledge can go a long way.

Imagine if you had lived your life with the power to build any manner of little (or not so little) tools and apps to help you in your every day life and work. Imagine not only that, but also having access to everything everyone else had already built. Imagine then understanding how to plug the bits together and edit them to do exactly what you need.

This is the world that developers already live in. Open Source software has hundreds, thousands of small iterations contributed to it from a large community of developers thus creating the best work tools ever designed. By distributing the development across a community of people, programs can be continuously improved at a rapid pace with any number modules added on to solve a diverse number of problems. The Linux Operating System is one of the world’s best examples of the power of the Open Source philosophy, and my current text editor of choice Atom.io another great example.

At the moment, the tech field is unfathomably dominated by men. And whilst there are women entering the workforce, this is generally at the younger end of the spectrum. (Check out awesome organisations like Girls In Tech or Code First:Girls – whilst I hold these organisations in high regard, I couldn’t help feeling somewhat alienated when I started looking for help with learning to code. If you’re not feeling quite so youthful these days, try Mums In Tech, the organisation that I’m currently involved with setting up.).

True diversity in tech will see changes in the kinds of programs that are being written, the start-ups that are being created and the types of problems being solved.*

Society in 20 years time will look very different when there is an entire generation all holding some knowledge of coding. I can’t wait to see it.

LINUX Tux Soft Toy Penguin

Open Source Penguin. Can you make me one?

* Whilst writing this blog, I realised I wanted to get a soft toy of Tux – the super cute LINUX penguin – for my kids. I CAN’T FIND ONE TO BUY! I guess there aren’t enough Mums In Tech yet (**). If you are so inclined, maybe you can follow these instructions someone has written and make one for me?! http://www.free-penguin.org/

** Or indeed Men In Tech That Can Also Sew. Personally, I cannot sew to save my life.


Resources

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The quest for good code

It’s been an exciting week at Makers. We built our first web-apps whilst putting into practice everything we’ve learnt so far and saw teams from the October cohort present the impressive prototypes they’d built within a short 3-day sprint. It’s feeling quite incredible to think that we’ll be there in just 6 weeks time.

Our latest weekend challenge was to build a ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ game using Sinatra (a web framework for Ruby) and for it to be fully test driven using Capybara (this a library which allows you to navigate web pages by using written instructions such as: visit ‘/index’, fill_in form, click_link and expect to see <whatever content> on the page).

This project is perhaps not really the hardest of tasks in itself, but more importantly the Monday morning review criteria includes an assessment of how well we have followed the Industry Best Practices that we have been learning.

Here are some examples:

  • At least 95% test coverage
  • Applies the Single Responsibility Principle for classes and methods
  • Clear file structure and naming conventions
  • Game logic (the brain that controls how the app runs) is kept separate from the ‘views’ files (the ones that generate HTML webpages)
  • Likewise, presentation content occurs only in ‘views’, rather than as output from the model
  • A ‘thin’ controller level (this is the bit that handles HTTP requests, responses and stores information about the game. It shouldn’t be doing any complex logic.)

Without these types of criteria, sure you can write a game. And it probably wouldn’t take very long either. But the code would end up an incoherent mess. Without tests, even a very minor change can break your code and result in many wasted hours spent bug-hunting. More often than not, ‘debugging’ means looking for a misspelt word, an errant capitalisation or a misplaced comma. Having 100% test coverage means you can get to the problem fast.

good_code

https://xkcd.com/844/

I recently started following Makers Academy on Facebook, and notice their sponsored posts tend to get a lot of vitriol from the general public. The comments usually go one of two ways:

  1. Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t learn to code in just 12 weeks!
  2. Rip off!! You can learn to code online for free!

Here is what I’d like to say to those people:-

  • There are actually a lot of hours in 12 weeks. It’s pretty standard to rack up 600 hours of programming by the end of the course at least. Most people will have done more.
  • No lazy learning or free rides here. Those hours are spent in efficient, productive learning through a curated series of challenges and highly targeted Q&A sessions. 
  • Industry feedback. The course itself is an agile development process, continuously improving via feedback from both students and industry.

SO, can you learn to code via online courses by yourself for free? Yes, without a doubt. 

Can you teach yourself how to produce top quality code.. you know, the kind that will get you a job as a developer? A small subset of special people are truly able to do this. Usually these are the kind that get started young and have a lifetime to learn. Sadly not so much of an option for us time-poor ‘oldies’.

CAN YOU DO IT IN THREE MONTHS?

At Makers, yes, you absolutely can!

Not sure? Check out some of their grad stories and their final projects here.

Still not convinced? Having seen the results of the course first hand, one of our current cohort quit his job as a recruiter of tech developers to join Makers Academy himself!

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Week 2: TDD, OOP, POODR and WTF?!

Two weeks into the course and I can safely report there has been a lot of ‘WTF?’ing going on. But at last it’s starting to feel like the things we learnt in the first week are clicking into place, and hopefully that means things we learnt this week will feel like second nature by the next.

On the pre-course we were allowed to get somewhat ‘creative’, shall we say, with our new-found Ruby programming skills. Since starting to learn the process of ‘Test Driven Development’, that little habit has been given a good kick.

With true TDD, you are not meant to write a single word of application code without having written a corresponding test for it first. The point is that when things inevitably have to change in future and you start ballsing up your code, there is a handy ‘stack trace’ (also known in English as ‘a list of errors’) which tells you exactly which bit of the code has stopped working. Lovely.

If you are about to embark on the Makers journey, you will find it at least 10x easier if you start out with the following information (which now all seems so obvious).

  1. A ‘feature test’ is a test relating to your whole application, and tests an overall feature (i.e. the thing it’s meant to be able to do). It might need your objects to interact with each other.
  2. A ‘unit test’ is a teeny tiny test. It just checks one specific behaviour of ONE of your objects.
  3. You might need to write several unit tests and get them to pass before even one line of your feature test will pass.
  4. The Rspec documentation is a pile of poo. But don’t let that be get you down. The best way to learn the syntax is to see real examples of tests anyway. (NB: RSpec is just the name of a testing tool for Ruby.)

So having not-so-gleefully battled Rspec and won, we then had an ugly introduction to Dependency Injection towards the end of week 2. ‘Dependency Injection’, as far as I can tell, appears to be some Fancy Geek Talk for saying ‘a good way to link your stuff together’.

Thankfully we have since been saved by a follow-up introduction to a book called POODR: Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby which, despite its name, is really quite the opposite from a pile of poo. It explains what dependency injection is and how to do it, IN (almost) PLAIN ENGLISH. It is also written by a Super Amazing woman called Sandi Metz. Presumably, she opted out from using the more common OOP acronym (Object Oriented Programming) so that the universe wouldn’t refer to her book as POOPR. Though I notice it says on her website that she enjoys running public POOD courses.

Let’s see what fun things are being said about #poodr right now around the world:-



 

PS – Sorry about all the poo references. Got a small baby and all that.. when it comes to new parents, some things never change.

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Lessons in Life, from Makers Academy

Narrator:
It is a grey winter morning and Mummy Pig is about to leave for her first week back at ‘full time work’ since Peppa was born. Peppa and George are eating breakfast.

Peppa:
Mummy, where are you going?

Mummy:
To work.

Peppa:
But I don’t want you to go to work. Will you come back again?

Mummy:
Of course. After I go to work, I will come back again. Same like Daddy Pig. Except Daddy is staying here with you today. Won’t that be nice?

Peppa:
Waaaaaaaaht???!!!

And so began Week 1. I missed my kids. I bored my fellow students with my incessant natter and irrelevant anecdotes about parenthood. I got a number of raised eyebrows and quizzical looks each time I disappeared into the small kitchen stockroom cupboard at lunchtime. (Young men: you will regret asking me I tell you what I’m up to in there, but if you read this blog, well – then you’ll know.)

Our first day of coding was intense. Amongst our cohort, tears were shed. The initial shock of not understanding a single thing and feeling completely out of your depth is a scary feeling. But, over the course of the week, we’ve learnt how to embrace that feeling and to accept that it’s OKAY not to be able to do it. To not understand. To appreciate that it’s simply an opportunity to learn something new.

To survive Week 1 at Makers there are three key insights I think you need to come to terms with. Once you’ve got that mastered, the whole experience magically becomes a lot less stressful and a lot more fun!

1. The struggle is part of the process. 

The learning format requires you to struggle and grapple with something first and it’s that which gives you context. Then when a topic is explained you can apply it directly to your own experience and it is much more likely to; a) make sense and b) stick. People can try to give you advice and teach you what they know, but some things are better learnt from direct experience.

2. Reach out for help.

Don’t ever struggle alone for too long. Because you are not alone. You are not the first person not to ‘get it’. Makers Academy have an ‘Escalation Process’ guide designed to help you with asking for help! There is no shame in admitting you don’t know, talking things through with other people or Googling for more answers. Besides, it’s what professional developers do all the time.

3. Sometimes you’ve got to go slow to go fast.

Forget trying to get to the ‘end of the exercise’. Learning is your only objective here, so take your time. Don’t race through at the expense of valuable learning opportunities. If you didn’t get it the first time, just do it again. (And again. AND AGAIN.)

I did this with one particular exercise, spending over an hour on it with my pair partner even though we’d each done it twice the previous day. I’d also gone through the solution with my coach that morning. It was only then that things really started to click and by the end of the day we were flying through. That old adage ‘don’t run before you can walk’ has never rung more true. 

Now you’ve read this post, try reading it again. How can you apply these tips to everyday life? And what about raising children?

Sometimes we lose sight of our most important objectives. It’s too easy to always be in a hurry just to ‘get stuff done’. If there’s one thing I’ve learn from my first week at Makers, it’s that taking a moment to reflect on our day, and to think about how we can do it just even the tiniest bit better tomorrow, is a better way of living.

When the coding gets too much, cause chaos in the nursery and put on a Totoro hat.

When the coding gets too much, cause chaos in the nursery and put on a Totoro hat.

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Why join Makers Academy?

Day 1 was all about getting us set up and prepped for the course. It also included ice breakers, memorising every new students name via the Name Game, lots of tips for survival and throughout all of this a LOT of laughs.

One of the exercises called upon us to share our top reasons for choosing Makers. For anyone thinking about doing the course, here is what was said.

Why MAKERS?

  1. Pairing

    At Makers you will be pair programming with someone every single day. Not just sitting side-by-side but actively sharing the driving seat and taking turns to be navigator.

    This is about learning how to communicate effectively about code and your thought processes, and is a vital way in which you can add value out In The Real World when working with Senior Developers – even when you can’t code yourself. 

    Having two pairs of eyes and brains working to solve the same problem means more resilient programming, a better overall solution and much faster learning.

    On the weekends, challenges are issued for you to work through on your own, consolidating the week’s learning.

  2. More fun than General Assembly!

    Yes, there is daily yoga and meditation and A Chief Joy Officer who, it is said, spreads Rainbow Unicorns wherever she treads. But these are all fundamental coping strategies to help you make it through a highly intensive course without having a complete meltdown! Anyway, when you have kids you will learn that Having Fun is *always* the best way to learn (or do) just about anything (for example getting dressed in the morning, brushing teeth and tidying up… have you heard those songs??)

  3. Industry connections and job support

    Makers is 110% focussed on getting you employed. The business model depends on it. Only 1% of graduates are unemployed 6 months after the course finishes, and job support continues long after with some of the first graduates back in touch looking for their next step.

  4. A focus on learning languages rather than a language

    Whilst the course starts with Ruby it rapidly moves on to a range of other languages with one of the weeks challenging you to learn 5 languages in 5 days.

    However, this is not about how many languages you might know upon leaving. Rather, it’s about teaching you how to learn so that you can be confident of being able to self-improve and learn independently in future (without needing to go another boot camp!)

    When it comes to coding there is practically in infinite amount of stuff you could know. The secret is not to learn it all, but to learn how to access it all.

  5. Discount for women

    Whoop whoop! Get £500 off the course fees for not having a Y chromosome. They also offered an extra 10% off for paying fees before the pre-course starts.

    That means it cost me £6,800 for the 16 week programme – pretty good value for money, when you also consider the extent of job support included. I mean, I know people who spend more than that in nursery fees…

    You can also get an NUS card for the year (which would have been good to know before I bought a new MacBook!)

  6. Fast.

One of my fave bits of the day was an inspiring talk on the philosophy and general approach of Makers Academy given by Jordan, who made us feel like we are a part of something really special. No… this was not your bog standard leadership talk – I heard lots of those in my old job at Radio 1.  This was basically ‘take everything you know about traditional teaching methods and how to run an organisation and chuck that all out the window – that’s not how we do things here.’ 

It’s worth reading this piece by the founder Evgeny on how it’s possible to run a business on the principle of trust.

Interestingly, the Makers philosophy was not really one of the things to come through in the ‘Why Makers’ exercise, but for me this is one of the most exciting things about joining. Joining not just the course, but the Makers community at large. Something I hope will continue long after the course ends.

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Failure.

I have failed the final pre-course challenge in quite some spectacular style.

The task for the weekend was simply this:

RELAX

Ah. Well just go and ask the impossible why don’t you?

As Monday morning has been creeping up on me coming like a runaway railtrain, I’ve been experiencing some combination of panic / terror / guilt / stomach-ulcer-inducing worrying. Nothing at all to do with the course mind. Predictably, it’s all to do with the kids.

The only way I’ve been able to deal with this is by:

  1. Cooking. Lots and lots of cooking.
  2. Lists. Lots of lists.

Oh, and a lot of packing and making collections of things. Packing a bag for me. Packing a bag for my daughter’s swimming lesson. Packing the change bag. Making a pile of clothing for the children to wear. Setting aside food in the fridge – one pile of the things meant for lunch, another set for dinner.

All of this just for Day One..

We have also failed on our plan to get Crazy Baby on the bottle within the duration of the 4 week pre-course, which has meant I’ve had to request somewhere to express milk. This led to some very innocent suggestions such as..

‘Of course! You could use one of the meeting rooms’ (err, what? you mean one of the ones made of glass??)

And:

‘Will it be every day?’ (uhm, yes.. the baby eats every day.)

My husband shared my chuckles and reminded me of the time a young male security guard at the London Olympics looked very puzzled and slightly terrified having found a breast pump upon searching my bag. Well why would you know any of these things when you haven’t yet entered the realm of parenting?

In the meanwhile, I’ve had a lot of fun completing the final tutorial of the pre-course which was to follow the Makers step-by-step guide on building a website. Y’know, a real live website that you can stick online and it actually does stuff.

It gave us a little intro to Javascript (which is the language that runs within a web browser and makes a page capable of changing whilst you are on it), Sinatra (something called a ‘web framework’ for Ruby), HTML and CSS (the style sheets that hold all the formatting info on colours, font-type, alignment etc.).

If you’d like to have a play with it, you can find my one here: http://ancient-falls-6605.herokuapp.com/

Go ahead and Google some of your friends like I did (but only the ones with weird names) and then give yourself giggles by writing captions for them!

It was great to be able to have something I could share with friends and family and show them a little bit about what I’m embarking upon.

Looking forward to it all starting tomorrow!

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Rainy days and Mondays

When my Plan A of studying in the evenings after the kids were in bed were thwarted by illness and jetlag from hell, I attempted to spend a rainy Monday morning completing the weekend challenges at speed in order to catch up.

With child One yelling ‘I want to type, I WANT TO TYPE, I WANT TO TYYYYYYPPPEEE!!!!!!’, and Two banging at the keys with his slobbery hands, my progress was slow.

Husband finally came to my rescue, taking both kids and ‘entertaining’ them by PLAYING NINTENDO whilst the two of them watched the screen.

In the meanwhile, I learnt all about how to use the Command Line and the wonders of something called Git… and GitHub. And that’s not even a pun!

Dads have a different idea of 'childcare'

Dads have a very different idea of ‘childcare’!

Week 2 of the pre-course has got us kickstarted on programming in Ruby and using our new skills from Week 1 to navigate using the terminal and track every change. Who knew there was so much more to the command prompt than ‘C:/>win.exe’?!

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What can you learn in 10 hours?

On Friday afternoon, having hypothetically bagged a Makers interview for the Monday, I got an email about stuff I was meant to do to PREP for it.

It said:-

Before arriving you should have, at least, gone through and done each exercise from at least the first 8 chapters of the Chris Pine book, linked below.
You can also checkout this resource for additional help : Lynda.com – Essentials of Ruby video course
If you manage to do all three even better!

However, my weekend plans already looked like this:-

  1. Have first night out with the girls since having the baby
  2. Host an overnight guest
  3. Host afternoon tea
  4. Pack bags for our month long trip to Japan
  5. Do urgent shopping – baby food for trip and some new jeans to replace the only pair that fit me post-partum (worn so much in the last 6 months that they quite dramatically ripped..)
  6. Have bon voyage dim sum with my parents

Oh. Yeah. And did I mention my husband was out ALL DAY on Saturday watching the rugby quarter finals?!?

Yet, somehow, by midnight on Sunday I had learnt enough to write a program which outputs the lyrics to ’99 bottles of beer on the wall’, and adapted it to include a request for how many bottles you’d bought to begin with. That is the brilliance of the Ruby programming language.

So despite the jam-packed weekend, I’d completed 50% of Codecademy and got myself part way through the exercises of Chapter 7. It wasn’t the 7-10 days of studying they’d asked me for, but for a hodge-podged weekend’s worth of study I’d learnt an awful lot.

And how???

THANK YOU MR WALT DISNEY (and CBeebies). I simply couldn’t have done it without you!

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