29 September 2014

Hackbright Day 1

Today was the first day of Hackbright and like everyone else who is blogging their way though it, I felt the need to recap.

My first accomplishment of the day was making it to the office on time and without getting lost. GO ME!! We had breakfast provided, which was nice, and then settled in with a getting-to-know-you type of game, where I didn't really get to know anyone. I just know that most people either don't like Jason Mraz or are willing to admit their fondness for his music, but not too many people consider it their guilty pleasure. We then heard from some of the instructors about what the program was like, two alumni about their experiences, and then learned about pair programming via a skit and then a short talk.

3 Things I Didn't Know About Pair Programming:

  1. You're supposed to switch after every 2-3 LINES of code, or at least every 5 minutes
  2. You're supposed to talk your way through it
  3. You're not supposed to just put one person at the keyboard with the other person "navigating"

Thing I Didn't Know About Pair Programming, But Largely Suspected:

  1. I'm not particularly good at it.

It's okay, though. I have plenty of time to get better and I think that having other people who think differently than me is helpful. I hope. And I hope that I didn't make the first day useless for my pair programming partner.

We then went to lunch, came back for our first pair programming exercise in blockly, heard a lecture on the command line, and then had our second pair programming exercise, this time about the command line. This was a tutorial by Zed Shaw, as part of an appendix of Learn Python the Hard Way. This is the first time I had ever used "pushd" and "popd". Those are not useful commands. AT ALL. It's okay, though, because I asked one of the TAs about it and she also said that she's never used them.

My biggest complaint of the day is that they're not using emacs, but rather a text editor called sublime. In fact, emacs wasn't even installed on the computer in the lab. Maybe I'm just a crusty old astronomer (I did do extensive parts of my thesis using supermongo, after all), but gahh.

And now it's time to talk about impostor syndrome. My interview process was different than most of the other students. They kept telling everyone, "don't worry, we chose you because you're awesome and we know you", but I'm terrified that they don't actually know me and that my alternative path to Hackbright was based on networking and not actually because I'm going to do well. Everyone seems really motivated and capable and I'm back in my first year of grad school wondering how the hell I even got in. People talk about coursera classes they've taken and different things they've done and I've spent the past month procrastinating on finishing up the pre-work and moving across the country. Everyone said I needed a mental break after my thesis so I didn't implode, and they were totally, completely right. But I wonder if I took that break at the expense of being prepared. I guess we'll see.

Also, I participated in a Hackathon last weekend, but I think I'll wait to recap that for a later post.

No comments: