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Whenever new students arrive with their own laptops, I get to discover unexpected and impressive ways for a Mac to not work right. With the new students, and especially with environment issues, I take the approach of "bring me your problems and I will make them go away", pointless hurdles just get in the way of their learning. So, last week was full of figuring out and fixing Ruby installs, homebrew, bash configuration and so forth. #NoDevEnvLeftBehind I was figuring out why Seeing Is Believing wasn't working on a student's vim, and I noticed the syntax highlighting was off...

Ruby's SUPPORT_JOKE easter eggs!

Discovering the easter egg I was skimming through Ruby Under A Microscope , which mentioned the YARV instructions are compiled in iseq_compile_each in compile.c . I was already aware of the Rubinius instructions , so I thought I'd try to see how they differed ( here is how I eventually extracted them). While looking through the method, I ran across a compiler macro called SUPPORT_JOKE ...Why, what's this?! Lets explore! Get Ruby Source Code First, we'll need Ruby's source code: $ curl "http://cache.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/ruby-2.2.0.tar.gz" > ruby-2.2.0.tar.gz $ gunzip ruby-...

Seven Months Later

It’s been a wild seven months here at Turing. Today’s my last day of my final module, and so I’m here to share seven of the most important lessons I’ve learned: Software development is hard. There is nothing easy about it, regardless of how easy others might make it look. Programming is a challenge of logic, creativity, discipline, and communication. There will always be more to learn. There will never be finished code. It’s okay to be uncomfortable with this; it’s better to embrace it. Put in the hard work first, then get creative. One of the most...

What We've Got Here Is An Error To Communicate

What if error messages were compelling to read? Ben Orenstein joined us this month to experience the joys and terrors of teaching. One of the things he observed is that newbies tend to skim error messages rather than slowing down to read them and understanding the information they are trying to communicate. I realized that I do this a lot, even still. I've gotten very good at glancing at the structure of the text on the screen and knowing what the error is and where to look for the information I need to fix it. But sometimes it's still hard to find that one piece of info I need from...

Making the Switch into a Tech Career

Whether you are making a big career decision for the first time or in a mid-career pivot, it can be very overwhelming to undergo such a big change. The technology industry is vast and there are many paths to take. The first step is to acknowledge your current state and be objective as to how committed you are to making this life-changing decision. Ask yourself these questions: Do I enjoy telling other people about my current work? Am I proud of the work I do? Do I feel like I make useful contributions to the world? Do I respect my supervisor? Am I rewarded and noticed when I work hard? Am I...

What Are We Looking For? A Pastry Chef

Allie was not supposed to be good at programming. Her parents didn't go to college, so she never did. She worked at restaurants to pay the bills. "I was never attached to the idea of college", she says now. She found computers interesting, but never gave them a try. For her, those were things that her brother used for playing games. She was a good student. Still, she found school boring and full of busy work. After graduating from high school, she moved out of Rockford, Illinois. Rockford —she knew— was not a great place to live. She arrived to Colorado a couple of...

The Pivot - EmployMe

We're starting a new experiment on the Turing blog: students retrospecting and explaining some of the projects they complete. The first posts will be from our 1406 cohort reflecting on their The Pivot projects. The Pivot was a three-week project comprising the first half of our third class (weeks 15-18) of the program. Teams of four were tasked with adopting a codebase from a different team of developers built for the Dinner Dash project in class two. Over the three weeks the teams had to bend and push the codebase into a multi-tenant platform with a totally different business model...

7 Questions Part 1: How Intense Is It?

There have been several articles about developer training programs over the past few months in everything from small online tech papers to the Wall Street Journal . Two years ago, the vibe of articles about our little industry were "wow, this new thing is so exciting!" Lately they're a lot more skeptical, focusing on whether programs deliver on the promises they make and how programs stack up against one another. Erin Carson wrote an article for TechRepublic titled "How to pick a coding camp: 7 questions to ask" . The questions and commentary are interesting, and I...

On Mansplaining

Last night we hosted our third Community Night at Turing . Community Nights are a way for us to create a safe space for people interested in or totally new to programming. Anyone from the community is welcome to come. Each meeting one of our instructors teaches a workshop that shows off some of the fun in programming. Our first class I taught an intro to Ruby, the second Josh helped attendees get started with Arduinos, and last night Rachel taught an intro to jQuery. But last night didn't go to plan. When you open your doors to anyone you risk having people that don't know how we...

How Posses Work

In our past programs we've used a 1-to-1 mentoring program where each student was matched with an outside professional developer who volunteers their time. When 1-to-1 works, it's amazing . We've had several students form such great relationships with their mentor that they go to work with them after the program. Our mentors are amazing and give students so much of their time and expertise. But 1-to-1 breaks down too easily. A student gets bogged down in their work and they lose touch. A mentor goes to a conference or has deadlines, and the student feels abandoned. That sucks for...
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