MV* or What I’ve been learning

This is week ten of a twelve-week web development immersive and just about everyday feels like I am learning to drink from a firehose, except that by week eight I became numb to the sensation of failure and recognized that almost everyone in class had been knocked off their pedestal of confidence at least a dozen times … except that one guy in the corner who we suspected was smart, but are now certain is a CS mole.  Everyone has proven to have strengths and weaknesses that balance out the group in interesting ways and as we learn new technologies there is a continual emotional cycle of learning. Personally, I cannot believe how much I have learned, yet how much there is to learn — the success and sense of accomplishment is worth every frustration. I know, as a developer, the changes will never stop coming and I will always be learning new technology — always looking for ways to improve — and that thrills me because I need to be in an environment that offers advancement and ever-changing dynamics.

This week alone we covered Backbone.js, AngularJS, and ReactJS.  Plus, I began fiddling with the Angular2 tutorial because why not … it’s something else to learn!  Yes, that is a lot. No we didn’t dive deep into syntax and subtleties, but that’s what these bootcamps are all about: learning to learn. The subtleties come with time. We used each one to create a single-page application (SPA) during lecture labs.  The exercises included creating a list of concerts and venues, with the ability to search venue, artist or both (Backbone), a riff off Cards Against Humanity (Angular), and a PostNote page (React). I really enjoyed each of these for their modularity.  While our projects were incredibly simple, it is easy to see where scaling up with such frameworks (and the view model of React) is valuable for all parties. These technologies build upon JavaScript — Angular2 uses TypeScript, but can be written in JS and Dart — to make a powerful language even more useful and accessible. 

A key point of why development is so fascinating and integral to our society and economy lies in taking what exists and improving it. Or creating something an entirely new solution because sometimes the wheel can just be better from a different perspective. Innovation changes how we perceive and interact with the world.  It is true, not all innovation is needed and some becomes an exercise in futility and frustration (recognizing the line between innovation and futile is valuable), but the work and thoughtfulness of the exercise is wherein lies the success. The success is found in returning to the projects and working to make your little corner of the world more interesting, accessible, and enjoyable.

I have two more weeks of this bootcamp and much of that time will be devoted to projects, which means coding, which means learning. I don’t know where I’ll land when it is over, but I will have so many new skills, the confidence to try new technologies, and tinker with what I know & don’t know until it becomes second nature. Mostly, I look forward to looking back in five years and seeing what I’ve made and learned and guided into the world.

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