Iron Update: PreWork & Week 1 Recap
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Well, the first week of iOS bootcamp at The Iron Yard is done, and things are looking up! I’d forgotten, until I dove back into coding, how very much I love getting pushed and challenged with projects. The highs and lows that get you excited, frustrated and elated. Every frustration you suffer trying to figure out where and why it’s failing (this time) are more than balanced by the thrill when you figure it out and get it all working.
Prework: Before the cohort even began our instructor sent us a series of assignments to complete before the first day. Some basics like Codeschool’s Try Git course, Treehouse’s Swift Basics, signing up for Github, etc. Most of which I’d already done, but the Swift Basics course was a good foundation to get familiar with the language structure and syntax. The instructor also set up a small app to familiarize us with Xcode and Swift, with a few items to complete. Unfortunately, the recent changes with Xcode, Swift and iOS broke the original app, which was frustrating until it was updated to the new standards. It was a good exercise in creating an Issue on Github and getting back into practice with Git.
Week 1: We’ve gone over a TON of material in the first week. It feels like a semester’s worth of traditional CS education in 5 short days. Mon-Thur, the first half of the day consists of a standup meeting first thing, a short review of the homework, then a lecture and in class project. The second half of the day is lab time, with the instructor available for help and guidance. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful it is to be able to bounce ideas around with other students, or even be able to get a fresh set of eyes on your work to see if you’ve missed anything obvious. Throughout the week we get daily homework project apps, Code Katas (to date, algorithm problems from Euler Project), and occasional assignments such as short essays on relevant topics. On Thursdays we get a bigger project assignment for completion over the weekend. Through it all, we are learning to get more comfortable with Git and Github, finding tools to help in our work, and learning about best practices and working with the documentation. Fridays we have a weekly huddle with TIY staff, guest speakers, lab time, and time to hang out and relax with our cohort.
Topics covered: Swift/Xcode: NSDate, Storyboard, constraints, Timers, Date and View Pickers, Segues, Delegates; Git: branching, pull requests, issues, wikis
In the spirit of scrum and daily standups, here are my bright & dim bulb(s) for the week, and my blocker(s):
- Learning about the “growth mindset” (see more: Carol Dweck: The power of believing you can improve)
- Github Desktop completely locked up on me, but that just means more practice with CLI git. I also ended up finding out about Tower, so it’s a win in my book.
- My 2011 MBP was running really slow – like, 5 minutes to run an app simulation – so I upgraded to an SSD, and it was the easiest/best hardware upgrade I’ve ever done. A fraction of the cost of a new laptop, and took maybe 30 minutes of hands on time (it was ~5 hours to clone my HD).
- Learning to balance life and work – this is pretty common, and it’s more extreme being in a bootcamp style program. As we move forward, I imaging this will smooth out a bit. Right now I’m super-focused on getting projects done as soon as they are assigned, so I can relax without guilt or worry.
- I don’t really have any blockers for the week. The pace is intimidating, but it’s not more than I can handle at this time, and the instructor is very responsive to the needs and progress of the students. I’ve very grateful that I had previous programming experience and education – it’s made it easier, but by no means easy.
Tags: bootcamp, hardware, iOS, progress, Swift, theironyard, tools