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.

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.

4 minute read

One of the most challenging things about learning to work with compound data structures has been reading the nested hashes and arrays and extracting the right set of brackets to use to identify a particular value in your code. For example: movie = { title: ‘The Nutty Professor’, cast: [ { name: ‘Eddie Murphy’, characters: [ ‘Sherman Klump’, ‘Buddy Love’, ‘Lance Perkins’, ‘Papa Klump’, ‘Mama Klump’, ‘Grandma Klump’, ‘Ernie Klump’ ] }, { name: ‘Jada Pinkett Smith’, characters: [ ‘Carla Purty’ ] } ] } If I want to find a character, I have to reference an array inside a hash inside an array inside a hash…I think.

2 minute read

It happened again. At 5:00am this morning I woke myself up….talking through a solution to a coding problem I had at the end of the day yesterday. I was literally coding in my sleep. Remember the Tetris Effect? It’s in full effect. But I’ve seen this before and once I got over the shock of writing code in my sleep, I got pretty excited. It means some serious learning is going on.

2 minute read

So, all this week, I’ve been experiencing the Tetris effect and I’ve come to appreciate the beauty, and the painlessness, of learning how to break down a problem. Let me explain…. The Tetris Effect According to the study from Harvard Medical School, games like Tetris can reveal the way our brain integrates new information. In fact, the game Tetris has proved to be just that. Robert Stickgold and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School recently conducted a clever set of experiments in which they used the game to guide the content of people┬┐s dreams: among 17 subjects they trained to play Tetris, more than 60 percent reported dreaming of images associated with the game.