Greetings!

I'm a Ruby on Rails developer finishing up a six-month intensive web development program in Denver called gSchool, run by Jeff Casimir and Jumpstart Lab. I am eager to match my talents with a company in Boston.

In particular, I'm looking for a team that invests in the growth of its employees and contributes to open source. As a junior developer, it's also important to me that I find a collaborative environment that encourages pair-programming, and follows test-driven and iterative product development.

Mentoring and Legacy Code Apr 12

This week I kicked off mentoring with Brian Rose. Brian currently works for Factory Labs as the Director of Application Development, but will be helping Pivotal Labs open its Denver office in a month or so. That will be sweet because I will likely see him at Galvanize more frequently. Brian and I met earlier this week and got to know each other a bit better. He has an interesting background and a lot of programming experience for only being 27 years old. So far, I have not tapped into Brian for all that much for assistance with the Son of Store Engine project, but will likely be doing that...

Don't Make Me Think Apr 1

Steve Krugs’s Don’t Make Me Think may be ancient in tech-years, but so far it seems to be quite relevant to today’s technology interfaces/experiences. He touches on some principles of human behavior and design that are applicable to different contexts across time. I find the anthropological side of web design quite fascinating. Krug does a good job of making non-computer/website analogies to explain how humans would interact on web-pages. For example, he correlates shopping mall and street sign experiences with the norms that people expect (and either do or don’t get) on the web. In a mall...

Rails, Triple Pairing, Milk Stouts Mar 29

This e-commerce project is my first real experience with Rails. I have found navigating the growing file structure of our application to be one of the consistently slow parts of my work flow. Once I get used to the function/purpose/responsibility of all of these app files, I will be able to spend less time figuring out where I need to be in my app structure and more time developing solutions to the problems at hand. That being said, I feel like I am getting the hang of it.

My current group is great. We have been experimenting with a triple pairing process and with doing pairing pretty much...

Ridin' Rails & Becoming a Devloper Mar 22

After six weeks of the course we had a focus week that helped lock in some of the gears of Ruby basics that were kind of ‘slipping’ (i.e. kind of catching but not enough to really keep up to speed) while I worked through the first couple of projects. Now that we had this review, If feel more competent as a developer and like I will really be able to do and learn more from the rest of the course. I am energized and ready for the next four months at gSchool and for moving into the professional world as a developer. Of course, as always, there is lot more to learn!

I am excited about starting...

Combining HTML & CSS Mar 18

John Duckett’s HTML & CSS has been a wonderful introduction to these two aspects of web design. Moving forward, I see the book being a great reference. This past week I utilized a couple of things to make my blog a bit sexier, including adding a logo, background texture (image), drop shadows and rounded corners of the article summary boxes. Below are some before and after screen shots with the corresponding html/css that made it happen.

CSS and Blog before Background Image:

body {
                    font-family: "Lustria", "Helvetica Neue", "HelveticaNeue", Helvetica, sans-serif;
                    font-size: 14px;
                    line...

Emerging Mar 15

This week was the most fun I have had so far in the class. It was fun and extremely helpful in helping me emerge from some confusion or lack of understanding that I had about various basic Ruby concepts. I and six other people spent the week with Katrina hammering out a few different programs that helped us practice unit testing and other skills like iterating through arrays and hashes. These concepts are basic not because they are ‘easy’ but insofar as they are fundamental to almost all programs that I (we) will write. It’s concepts like these that I was gaining an understanding of throughout...

Design: HTML & CSS Mar 11

Prior to reading the first chapters of Jon Duckett’s HTML & CSS I knew how to create a link to something external to the site that I was creating. However, was not clear on how to create a link to a new page on the same site. Duckett explains the difference between an absolute URL and a relative URL, both of which are used to create links from one page to another or one webiste to another. The basic difference is that absolute URLs are used when linking to another website and they begin with the domain name for that site and can be followed by the path to a spcific page. Relative URLs, on...

TrafficSpy Retrospective Mar 8

Introducing…THE WEB(…and DATABASES)!! The Traffic Spy was a challenging project because it brought to the table what seemed like a lot of new concepts, two of the biggies being, the web and databases. I now have a better idea of how developing for both of these things works, but there is still much to be learned, and I am sure there always will be. Once again, I must say that the lifelong learning aspect of programming is very appealing to me. My project partner and I decided to pair at the beginning of the project to get the wheels rolling. Subsequently, he took the reins on the database...

One Month, Five to Go Mar 1

One month into gSchool and I am feeling pretty good. Considering that I started with no background in coding I feel that I have definitely made some good progress. However, despite feeling a little more confident with the basics of Ruby, it is still a bit hard to envision myself doing this professionally in only 5 months. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still the goal and I will get there, but right now, when put on the spot writing code, whether its a daily warm up or working with a partner on a project I often feel nervous and slow. Sometimes I even feel like “Damn, maybe I should have just...

Sales Engine Retrospective Feb 22

The Sales Engine project was a good learning experience. Kareem Grant, my pair, was a great partner. He was very dedicated and worked long hours to accomplish the goal of not only finishing the base expectations but also working through some of the extensions. Additionally, he showed effort in making sure that I was understanding our approach to tackling the project specs at different points in the process. Having never pair-programmed before, I found myself adjusting my ‘prime work hours’ to fit those of my pair. That is, I normally work best in the early morning and throughout the day...

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