week 3 recap

What?!?! Already we are through 1/3 of the whole bootcamp. It never ceases to amaze me how fast time flies at these things. I traversed many topics this week, experienced many things that need to be discussed, & found another project that was impossible to put down, it’s just too much fun!

whaddya learn
  • | PHP – basics
  • | PHP – advanced
  • | beginning algorithms

If this bootcamp were a movie, this is where the movie title would be shown. I have always loved when a movie has some prelude intro where you are briefly introduced to the world, story, &/or characters before the title of the movie is shown. For me it makes feeling more EPIC. In the case of this bootcamp, we have spent two weeks learning all the base knowledge necessary for us to start the real journey. We know the characters involved: HTML, CSS, JS & we see the path we will take, but the adventures we will have getting there are to be seen. Finally, at the end of this week the content we display in the browser window will have persistence and be consistent with data provided. From this point death be not the refresh button!!!

PHP is taught here in two chunks: the basics just like the good ol’ Universities do sans the crowded classroom, & the birds and the bees of MySQL & PHP. Variables & conditionals & loops…. oh my! These are a few of my favorite things, but things really get hot when you can build a database, write some PHP code and watch the result of their steamy relationship. It is as risque as it sounds.

One of the surprising highlights of this week has been the new additions of algorithms in our lectures. We have begun to learn how to whiteboard algorithmic problems and think like a computer on a base level. We break down questions into only three instructions a computer can handle internally: setting a value, performing a conditional if statement, & looping. I enjoying it so far…

this week’s addiction
  • | War – the card game
  • | tic tac toe

As you can see, I had games on my mind this week. Big whoop, want to fight about it. But before the sweet fun of games, I first covered some other topics. I quickly blasted through Ajax, OOP, & and finally settled on MVC through Code Igniter. Ajax is a great enhancement to PHP because the processing can be performed without having to refresh the page. The analogy I think of involves personifying the browser and code into little gnomes who do your dirty work. Imagine a form is sent to another PHP page to be processed, w/o Ajax means the gnome that is the browser must go to that process page and so your browser follows him and even if that processing page quickly redirects back to the previous page, your gnome still had to briefly leave and so all the previous inputs were refreshed and deleted. But, w/ Ajax your gnome texts a friend of his and ropes that friend into going to the process page in lieu of him. This friend then returns to your original lazy gnome with whatever was processed. It is almost like parallel programming and w/ jQuery it is insanely simple. This is just one use of jQuery and Ajax, but it is a really powerful one.

OOP & MVC to me worked really well together and so rather than two separate topics, they complimented each other and blended really well. I really saw the beauty of OOP when I was making my War game.

video games baby!

wartic tac toe was the first game I built this week and really wet my lips for more games. It is pretty basic and I don’t think it checks for the diagonal win case, but meh… click ME to see some codes. On to WAR!!!

War was an amazing project that I just couldn’t put down. As much as I am frothing at the mouth to talk all night and day about this project, I am going to hold back and gab about it in luscious detail in another post.

Look for it!!!

week 2 recap

whaddya learn
  • | jQuery
  • | MySQL

This week’s goals were to tackle jQuery in around three days and learn enough MySQL to conquer thirty or so brain teasing database queries. In the previous bootcamp I found jQuery really interesting, but it wasn’t until this second time around that I realized one of the amazing benefits this library provides. jQuery provides some amazing methods and tools for accessing practically any element on the page, and in a familiar CSSey (is that a real word??? >.>) way. This is of course on top of all the animation and effect based functions.

I spent a ton of time helping the other students throughout the week and while explaining concepts I saw the beauty of mixing jQuery and javascript in the same statements. It is so fluid that at times I wasn’t having to thik about whether what I was doing was jQuery or not. Also, due to all the discussing I have done, the topics have assimilated and matured so much more.

cat_ninja cat_ninja2Once again I put my work up on github. I really enjoyed this particular jQuery assignment because it was the beginning of a game, and I love my video games.

some other things I worked on…
  • | PHP

checkerboard checkerboard2 checkerboard3
Beyond jQuery and MySQL, I started to work on PHP. One of my more memorable projects was a checkboard created dynamically with PHP, but I decided to add some jQuery to it and allowed the user to change the boards colors with either sliders or text inputs or even randomly.

Up until now, I haven’t had the assignment that hooks you and steals many hours of your time with fun tweaks and upgrades, but this was my first addiction. I iterated on this checkerboard many times, refining everything. I put the code here as usual, but I will also probably put it on my site as well (whenever I decide to finally make it… *sigh).


week 1 recap

Whaddya Learn
  • | HTML
  • | CSS
  • | Git – basics

This cohort has started off very similar to the Mountain View one, but has some key differences. Our morning & evening lectures are given by the founder Michael and he has ambitious goals for us. Same as the CA bootcamp, We are expected to fully cover and feel comfortable with HTML & CSS by the end of week one. Once we have the tags & attributes, we demonstrate our understanding by recreating four different websites with HTML & CSS from screenshots… no inspect element. I’ll put up my work on GitHub.

One key difference between the two cohorts was day two. Day two’s lecture was on some of the basics of Git. While just add, commit, clone, push & pull were discussed, it has introduced everyone to not only the technology & theory of version control, but also shown them the initially scary terminal. In Mountain View we didn’t discuss Git until end of week two.

A second small difference is the frequency of rapid group projects. In week one we did three different group HTML & CSS website recreations from screenshots.

Here’s what I made

website4 - HTML & CSSwebsite4 - HTML & CSSwebsite4 - HTML & CSS

Some interesting tidbits…
  • | custom bullet indents
  • | linear gradients
  • | position absolute/relative

While helping the others, I found that when a custom bullet is specified in CSS using the :before selector, items wrapped in that li element will not indent to same margin as above. Achieving the correct indent can be performed through text-indent:-1em.

Since this first week was a review for me, I decided I would just recreate the fourth screenshot. Of the four assignments, it has the largest room for reusable elements, in my opinion. While creating this site, I looked further into linear gradients in CSS. Unlike my previous attempts, I found that custom color stops can be specified in the CSS. background: linear-gradient(to bottom, silver, white 50%) In this way, backgrounds can be two toned w/o a ramped transistion.

Also on the fourth site, one of the interesting points was aligning images to the bottom of div rather than just adding some margin above the image. This can be accomplished with position:relative on the containing div and postion:absolute;bottom:0; on the div to be aligned to the bottom. This probably isn’t the best, but it is certainly concise and pretty clean.

And that’s a wrap

where were you now?!?

What happened?

Somewhere during the second week of the June 24th Mountain View cohort, my family experienced some pretty serious problems. I was torn, since I was loving and thriving in the unique bootcamp atmosphere and learning system. I continued to power on while still trying to assist my family back home, but finally at the end of the third week I could no longer take care of matters back home and had to return to help my family.

This was not the end though as I originally intended to triumphantly reappear back in Mountain View after a few days. These thoughts in mind, I kept trudging through the course materials in the evenings or any other time I could find. I made it through a couple more weeks before reality dawned on me and I realized me meeting up with the bootcamp was not going to happen. Since my family still needed me I had to stay.

Now what?

After discussing my predicament with Michael Choi, he invited my into their brand new dojo in Bellevue, WA. September 3 was the beginning of their first cohort in Washington. The first couple weeks are review for me, but I am acting as a teaching assistant of sorts.

The bootcamp could not have started soon enough, I was itching to jump back into the bootcamp environment. Once you have experienced this fast-paced, high volume learning system life outside seems slow and boring. The high-speed learning is addictive. I can’t wait to start creating.

where have you been?

Well I think it goes without saying that I have sorely neglected my obligations to this blog.  I had grandiose plans for amazingness and wonder back when I first set this up, but then I blinked and several weeks had passed and I had been socially mute.

Anyway… I have now realized my absence and have now resolved to not blink anymore.  While studying at this bootcamp, time flows like a firehose.  This is much to talk about and even more to reflect on.  Even after only 4 weeks or so life begins to change drastically.

Things to come hopefully before midnight tonight – my trip down, first week, second week, and maybe if I am ambitious some fun secret tools of the trade I have found along the way.

who are you & what are you doing?

Hello my name is Jeremy and I will soon be participating in a life changing event. In a few days I will start a programming bootcamp, CodingDojo.co

What’s that?

For the uninitiated, these new breed of schools are intensive small group workshops, with the singular focus of creating jr. web developers in 9 weeks.  Through powerful mentorship, extreme hard work, and industry contacts, they introduce & enlighten their students to a wide host of technologies.

The results

This innovative teaching method are employment & success rates in the high 80-95%.

We will see where this takes me.  I am excited.