@gSchool Week 6

This week was all about reviewing content taught during the first five weeks of gSchool. Students were given the opportunity to work solo, in pairs or in groups to run through previous topics covered in class. After ordering the topics based on level of comfort, we picked our top three weakest areas for extra study. Classroom focus thus far has included:

Developer Workflow
> Tracker Mechanics
> Git Discipline
> Good Commit messages, right-sized commits
> Heroku Deployments

Ruby
> Variables (local, instance)
> Objects (initializers)
> Classes (class and file naming)
> Methods (defining and calling, class/instance)
> Data Structures (hashes, arrays, each)
> Control Flow (if, while, explicit return)
> Constants

Testing
> Unit Testing Class/Methods (spec/lib)
> Acceptance Testing (Capybara/Sinatra)
> Ending Specs with expectations
> 4 Parts of a Test (Setup, Run Code, Expectations, Teardown)
> Knowing What to Test/How to Test it – using the simplest thing to drive out robust tests

Sinatra/HTTP
> 3 Kinds of Params
> Routes/HTML Forms/Links/HTTP Verbs
> ERB and locals
> Redirects vs. other Responses

HTML/CSS
> Valid HTML (doctype, html, head, body, title)
> CSS Basics (layout, fonts etc…)
> HTML Elements and Attributes

SQL and Sequel
> Command Line SQL (psql, created etc…()
> SQL Select, Insert, Update, Delete, Create Table
> Sequel Select, Insert, Update, Delete, Create Table
> Sequel Migrations

Developer Discipline
> Taking Baby Steps
> Really Reading Error Messages
> Running Specs, Git Status and Running App Locally Before Committing
> Breaking Down Problems w/Pseudo Code

Pairing
> Ping Pong/Driver Navigator
> Speaking Ideas Out Loud
> Fair Contributions
> Taking Breaks/Staying Energized

After weeks of structured learning, it felt fantastic to have the freedom to choose how and what to study. Much of my attention was focused on Ruby by way of a study website called codequizzes. For each coding problem, I would attempt to run my answer in the terminal from RubyMine. If the code wasn’t correct, I would work through variations to try and reinforce key learning points for that particular problem. I’ve bookmarked the site and intend to revisit it for ongoing code practice.

Habit would have had me study alone throughout the week (based on months of home study leading up to gSchool). Instead, I took advantage of the chance to study with several classmates. What a great group of people!

Also of interest, we are now officially one-quarter through gSchool. No way would my studies have gotten this far outside the framework of a bootcamp. Although these six weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion and confidence (not to be taken on by the faint-hearted), I value the time and learning that’s happened by way of the tremendous efforts put forth by our teachers and mentors. Galvanize (the company behind gSchool) has really raised the bar for web dev bootcamps.

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