Four Weeks in, I’m a Full Stack Developer

We made our first full stack application this week! I guess this means we can officially count ourselves as “Full Stack Developers”, amiright?? Okay, so maybe that’s a stretch, but technically it’s true.

This week we were able to combine all the knowledge we’ve built up over the last few weeks to build a (very) scaled down version of a Facebook-type application. It is lovingly and appropriately referred to as “The Wall”, which is both proverbially and tactically difficult to overcome. I think it took our whole cohort three days of working together on it to get it working, but man were we elated when that finally happened! It was so cool to link everything together and see how you get information into the database with every little transaction that occurs on the page. When you’re the client working on the front end, there’s no way you could imagine what is going on behind the scenes. One comment accesses and adds information to multiple databases; it’s not just a comment that survives in the ether!

The latter half of the week was spent on Object Oriented Programming (OOP) and learning the basics of Django, which is a programming language used in Python. OOP came to me easier than anything else has in quite some time, so I loved it! Haha! Basically, it’s a way to make things easily repeatable so that they can be scaled and given attributes. Think of it like you’re building humans and some of those humans can be Wizards and some can be Ninjas. All of them have human qualities, but their added status makes it easy to give them different attributes on top of that. Super cool. Django, on the other hand…

An unlocked door to the roof offered up some great mid-week views.
An unlocked door to the roof offered up some great mid-week views.

Okay, Django is actually really cool, but the setup is absolutely insane. Thank god the Python commands you enter into the terminal create so many of the folders for you, or I’d be lost. Once you set everything up, the workflow is really simplified and super easy to use, though. There are a million files and folders, but you really only use three once it’s all said and done. Four if you count adding CSS to your project, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts. It’s definitely cool to make a project do all of these rad things, but the creative in me hates a “finished” project that looks like a kid typed it up on a PC in 1998. How hard is it to add a background photo and use a different font?!

The dojo hosted a really cool event on Thursday night for a local Python group called ChiPy. It’s part social meet up, part sharing-oriented, with two different people presenting things they have been working on for a while. The first presenter was working on something that does data migrations in Python. The concept seemed cool, but well beyond my scope of comprehension for only knowing Python for two weeks.

Bringing Python to Schools!
Bringing Python to Schools!

The second presenter talked about an after-school program he runs teaching kids to code, which totally got my attention. I got to have some great conversations with members of the group and definitely look forward to the next time they’re in!

wp-1480568495639.jpgThe weekend was mellow and mostly quiet, which is exactly what I needed. I spend half of Saturday at the dojo studying and hand-drawing a map of how in the hell Django works before beginning another project. Saturday night I went on what Hubs and I refer to as a “mini-tour” with a couple friends. Basically, if you visit three breweries (or bars that serve a wide variety of craft beers) in one go, it’s considered a mini-tour. Conveniently, Dovetail, Begyle, and Half Acre breweries are all within walking distance of the house! After a lazy Sunday morning, I had a “Treat Yoself” afternoon and went to the craft store. What was once a bi-weekly stop has become a luxury for me now, so picking up some yarn and a crochet hook was exactly what I needed. Pair that with some football, a couple of IPAs, and some alone time….paint me happy!

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