MEAN Girl

I forgot to add something to last week’s post, but I think it’s worth noting because of where I am today. I was on the train back to the apartment and opened up Facebook to kill some time. Facebook reminded me of where I was a year ago… It was a picture of the front of the Sports Authority headquarters, taken on my very first day. If you had told me that today I would be pursuing a completely different career path, living in Chicago, and doing the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, I would have thought you were crazy. Yet here I am, starting on my second stack, and loving it.

One spilled coffee + one MacBook = ruined keyboard
One spilled coffee + one MacBook = ruined keyboard

So, to that end, the MEAN stack started this week, and I really like it. It’s based on JavaScript, which is probably one of the most popular languages to code in. We learned about the M, E, and N portions so far: Mongo, Express, and Node. Express is a minimalist framework that is used with Node. Node is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s JavaScript engine and has this insane package system called npm, the largest collection of open-source libraries in the world. There are an insane number of things you can npm-install. The last part of what we learned this week is Mongo, which is the database. The coolest part of the Mongo database, to me, is that you can instantiate the database from within your application! You don’t even need to build it out before you start adding stuff to it.

Apparently this stack is the most difficult we’ll learn. I’m not doubting that just yet, but this week felt easier than anything we did in Python. My guess is that because we’ve never learned a stack at all prior to Python, there are a lot of contextual and syntactical things that made it feel more difficult. MEAN isn’t necessarily easier to me, but I think having the familiarity with how a language actually works is what makes it feel that way. To be honest, I’m really just waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is the first time I’ve finished up the day’s assignments before leaving school for the whole week, and that’s not natural…

The class of three!
The class of three!

The week wrapped up awesome with the first graduating class from the Chicago dojo! It was only three people, but exciting nonetheless. One guy is already working on launching an app! After the “ceremony”, we all went to the Green Door and grabbed a couple beers. It was nice to hang out with a lot more people than just my cohort, since we’re usually separated when we’re at the doj.

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At some point during the week B looked up tickets to the B1G Championship game and discovered that tickets could be found for $15, and the drive to Indianapolis is only three hours. Annnnd since I love college football, and he went to Penn State, who was playing the championship game, we decided to make the journey. Despite the fact that we forgot there is a time difference between Chicago and Indy, landing us at the game past half-time, we had a blast. Truly a bucket list item for me, so I’m glad it went down. All in all, it was a successful ending to a fairly successful week. It even included a stop at Three Floyds Brewing on both the out and back trips, and lord knows I love a good craft beer. Paint me happy.

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