w1 – App Academy Bootcamp Prep Wrap UP

160 Spear Street
The first week of AppAcademy bootcamp-prep is behind our class.

Even though I spent the first few months of the year studying the subject matter in-depth, I’m still finding this class to be useful. Let’s talk about some benefits:

First, it’s great to be around people who are actually good at computer programming. As I was walking home after the first day of class, looking up at the big glass buildings, I realized something crazy. That day was the first time I’ve actually talked with other computer programmers.

I’ve done lots of web development with our podcast production company, but never really met anyone who had a deep appreciation of iterative thinking and back-end languages like Ruby and JavaScript.

So it was surprising to actually sit down and enjoy a conversation about the details of what makes different functions better than others, even when the results are the same.

The Good

Bootcamp Prep is great because we take it slow. I think learning thinks like loops, arrays, variables, strings, objects, NaN and many more basics of programming, are going to be critical to a programmers success. I’m happy to go over things again and again.

It’s helpful to learn these elements from different people too. It’s great that a/A has video lessons from other professors, not just our main, in-class, professor. Learning from others helps me see the subtle nuances which might have eluded me on the first pass.

Sure, I can solve that problem with a for loop… how do you do it with a while loop. This stuff should be like walking forwards or backwards to a programmer.

The Bad

There is a style of teaching in which people who are knowledgable ask questions to those that don’t know the answer. There are these long pauses and I don’t think it works well for programming. It’s great for philosophy or some social sciences, but in programming the answers are to specific. Here’s an example:

Teacher = T | Student = S

S – Why is my loop causing my terminal to go blank?

T – You’re forgetting to iterate your while loop. Do you remember how to iterate?

S – (long tortured pause, starring at impossible code)…

 

This goes on a lot. I think there is a better way to do it. It’s all about speed. Here’s how I think it would be more effective.

S – Why is my loop causing my terminal to go blank?

T – You’re forgetting to iterate your while loop. Do you remember how to iterate?

S – (short confused pause)

T – Ok so with while loops you need to write in an iterator. Here is how to write a while loop to iterate from 4 to seven:

i = 4
  while (i < 7) {
  console.log(i)
  i += 1
}

T – Now type in node + the file name and run that code. Ok, so you want this while loop to be part of your muscle memory. You want to be able to type this without looking at a screen. So do this 5 times for the following iteration: 10 – 20, 20 – 30, 30 – 40, 40 – 50, 50 – 60.

S – (goes off to typing things really quickly)

App Academy View

Week One is Done

The best thing that has helped me this first week is hard work.

I’m going over every note, every video and doing every problem available 2-3 times and I’m doing them in different ways. Before each class, I work on the problems we will have at the end. That way I know the sticky parts before they come up in class.

Luckily, I’m loving the process. I love writing programs. I love solving the problems and I love the pressure of tests.

See you next week.

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