Studying on the Makers Academy course

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Arepo
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Studying on the Makers Academy course

Post by Arepo » Fri May 16, 2014 12:14 pm

I've just started a course at http://www.makersacademy.com/ - they advise keeping a blog on our experiences, which I'm too lazy to do, but thought it might interest people here enough to justify a thread on the experience of being here (it's a UK-based development bootcampy thing, so relevant to anyone interested in coding).

Day 5
I have just reached the point of understanding an ancient XKCD - hopefully by the end of the course I'll even understand recent ones!
(Disclaimer: Don't blame MA for me taking this long - I probably should have understood it earlier, but I've been playing around in Ruby the rest of the week)
"These were my only good shoes."
"You ought to have put on an old pair, if you wished to go a-diving," said Professor Graham, who had not studied moral philosophy in vain.

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peterhurford
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Re: Studying on the Makers Academy course

Post by peterhurford » Fri May 16, 2014 2:38 pm

Congrats on starting the course! Feel free to hang out with Ozzie and Patrick and I as well as we all try to get good programming jobs (though in America).
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Arepo
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Re: Studying on the Makers Academy course

Post by Arepo » Fri May 16, 2014 5:42 pm

Would love to, but I don't think I'll get much time for Google hangouts till this finishes.

Quote today from one of the instructors I enjoyed, re interfacing with computing 'Any technology indistinguishable from magic is insufficient.'
"These were my only good shoes."
"You ought to have put on an old pair, if you wished to go a-diving," said Professor Graham, who had not studied moral philosophy in vain.

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Re: Studying on the Makers Academy course

Post by DanielLC » Sat May 17, 2014 5:40 am

http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Now you can understand all the xkcd.
Consequentialism: The belief that doing the right thing makes the world a better place.

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Arepo
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Re: Studying on the Makers Academy course

Post by Arepo » Sat May 17, 2014 7:15 pm

That's cheating :P

Doing an exercise today where we write a FizzBuzz program from scratch repeatedly using test-driven-development (in order to learn the latter) as a time trial, trying to get it together in under 5 mins (current best after three iterations is about 14).

The instructor used the analogy of kata, which didn't thrill me, having tried ~40 different martial arts and decided kata is useless for all practical purposes. Also after the recent headlines about the '10,000 hour myth' I wonder if it's got a scientific justification - I might pass that link to the teacher, and see what he makes of it.

Scales seem like a better analogy - from what I understand, professional musicians swear by them. Does anyone know if they've been scientifically tested as a measure? I'm a big fan of obsessing over basics in the context of various activities (dance, improv, and non-kata stuff in martial arts from personal experience), so it seems like the main question would be how much the more advanced processes resemble the basic ones.
"These were my only good shoes."
"You ought to have put on an old pair, if you wished to go a-diving," said Professor Graham, who had not studied moral philosophy in vain.

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Arepo
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Re: Studying on the Makers Academy course

Post by Arepo » Sat May 24, 2014 4:32 pm

When I was thinking about doing a dev bootcamp, I interviewed with both the London ones (Makers Academy and General Assembly). Their responses to why I should pick one over the other were pretty confusing: Makers said their comparative strength was a heavy focus on test-driven development (see previous post), GA said exactly the opposite - that by restricting TDD to a single module, they freed up loads of time for extra subjects.

I'm surely biased by the choice I made and the environment it put me in, but even so I'm feeling quite good about the decision - we've been studying TDD for a week, and a) I find the arguments for it as good practice (interactive documentation that literally describes what your program does as it checks that it's doing it, plus forcing you to write cleaner code in general) quite compelling, and b) I feel like it's a very difficult process (much more so than at least the basic kind of coding I've done so far) which I expect to take several weeks at least to learn to the level of even basic competence.
"These were my only good shoes."
"You ought to have put on an old pair, if you wished to go a-diving," said Professor Graham, who had not studied moral philosophy in vain.

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