5 minute read

We have hundreds of models in our codebase at TrialNetworks.

As a new developer, the first 12 features I was asked to work on didn’t touch the same parts of the code. In terms of learning our product, I think that was good, but without some serious “orienteering” practice, it was also confusing and frustrating.

I felt like I was being pushed out of a plane in the middle of the night, with a backpack full of gear, a tiny map, and some night vision goggles, and I was told to rendezvous in 6 hours in a place I’d never heard of before.

In fact, I still get this feeling, every time I’m asked to work on a new module in our platform.

So when you jump out of the plane, how do you land, get your bearings, and complete the mission?

6 minute read

It’s been 3 weeks since I graduated from Launch Academy and I start work at a new job on Wednesday as a software developer.

Obviously, I’m thrilled with this whirlwind process, and coming off almost ten years in my last job, the pace of all this change is a little hard to grasp.

In this post, I want to tell you why Launch was such a great investment for me. If you’re considering doing something similar, I hope you find this helpful.

4 minute read

It’s 6:23 on Sunday morning, day 2 at Burlington Ruby, so I thought I’d take a few minutes and recap some of what I saw and learned yesterday. Everyone keeps talking about what an amazing community we have in the Ruby world and I guess I’m spoiled since I don’t have any other software communities to compare it to, but I can tell you that every talk has been thoughtful, curious, and in different ways caring: caring about the future of the language, caring about other people’s growth and development, and caring even about novel, smarter, and more refined approaches to getting things done.

3 minute read

Earlier, I explained how I built my personalized url shortner in Sinatra. This past week, we’ve been spinning up demo apps in Rails instead, so I wanted to walk through a little comparison of the two frameworks. As one of our instructors said, “Sinatra is like a stripped-down muscle car and Rails is like an RV.” Here’s how setting up a simple “Hello, World!” app breaks down between the two.

5 minute read

This past week marks the end of Week 5 at Launch Academy. My head hurts a little bit when I try to give a quick summary of all we’ve worked on. There’s so much! At the same time, I see the runway towards the end of the program getting shorter and shorter… So are we 5 weeks in? Or do we only have 5 weeks left? Immersive Learning in the Short Term I’m constantly weighing my learning experience here at Launch Academy – 10 weeks of coding – against my past immersive learning experiences in Tai Chi.

3 minute read

This week at Launch Academy, we started working on Object Oriented Programming (OOP). We’ve been guided by the conceptual model that objects, which can have state and defined behavoirs, respond to methods the same way that you would respond to a question. Of course, a week of asking my objects questions made me think of this: And the more I thought about The Bridge of Death, the more the Bridgekeeper’s questions made a lot of sense in our OOP world.

10 minute read

Ok, so technically I just purchased a Mongolian domain name: Why, you might be wondering? This week at Launch Academy we’ve been building Sinatra applications with simple databases (Redis and Postgres) and deploying them to Heroku. One of the extra-credit projects was to build a url shortner and I thought it would be cool to hook mine up to a customized domain, kind of like a vanity plate for your car.