Archaic Positives

Adventurer, Traveler, Rubyist

Flatiron Progression: Day 3

Today was Day 3 of my program at Flatiron. Over the past two days, I’ve been immersed in a crash course for GitHub, HTML, CSS, and Ruby. In the midst of all of this, I’ve been getting quite familiar with my Terminal, and I’ve learned a lot of useful shortcuts that I never knew about in the past. I’ve quickly realized the benefit of using Terminal as a file management system versus a GUI (graphical user interface), which is what most users typically interact with on a computer. Coming from a Excel modeling background, the added bonus of knowing shortcuts does wonders for productivity in regards to development. While being exposed to many different formats of code, I’m also learning how to best manage my time.

We have been discussing the importance of the programmer ethos over the past day and a half. If you’re interested in reading the essay that captures this methodology, look for “Hackers and Painters,” an essay by Paul Graham. Graham’s point is that hackers and painters are both alike in that they are makers. There are a lot of misconceptions of what a software developer/hacker actually does, and ambiguous terms such as computer scientist don’t contribute any clarity towards identifying that. Like a painter, a hacker spends time learning more about his skillset, and better understanding the nuances of certain techniques, and how they can be applied towards achieving a certain goal or task. Over time, ugly creations become less and less, and beautiful ideas tend to thrive through the process of iteration, debugging, and creative destruction.

The big take-away that I took from Graham was that makers basically learn from examples. Like a painter who copies a famous painting to understand the techniques applied, a hacker learns to program by closely following good program (syntax, logic, etc). Skillsets improve via gradual refinement, and hackers improve through an iterative process just as a painter begins with a sketch and follows up by filling it in, piece by piece. I’ve taken that first big step.

First Post

Today was the second day of my developer-in-training at the Flatiron School. Yesterday we spent the majority of the day discussing the nuances of Git and GitHub, which are variations of a VCS (version control system). Ultimately Git helps simplify the collaboration process between developers by organizing the version control heirarchy. This may not be as important when it’s just one or two developers working together, but when you have a large number of developers (say, 15 or more), it definitely makes a difference. We spent most of the day today setting up our developer environments. This involved creating an Apple Developer account, installing software through the Terminal (such as Ruby, RVM, SQLite3, Homebrew, etc).

This blog is what I will be using to keep track of my progress throughout the semester at Flatiron. It has been relatively smooth sailing, but it will start to get more difficult as time passes. We will start focusing on SQL tomorrow, and then move on to Ruby on Thursday. I’m very excited about my time here. It will prove to be one of the most instrumental experiences that I have had, and I am excited about my opportunities that lie in wait.

NYC has been a great place to live in so far. I am currently in Williamsburg over in Brooklyn, and it is very accessible to Manhattan. The L train is on my block, so it’s roughly a 20 minute metro ride to the Bowling Green stop in Lower Manhattan.