Get Some PI: A Beginner's Guide to Integrating Hardware

Do you remember that feeling when you created your first web page? When you could finally call your mom and tell her to visit your-awesome-project.com ? After months of writing code finally you felt like you had accomplished something real that you could share with the world. Integrating hardware into your web applications takes that feeling one step further allowing your web applications to interact with not just cyberspace, but the physical world around you. This may seem like an impossible task. I mean, we're just students, how could we possibly have the skills to do this? Keep reading...

Programming Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown.

Why is programming greatness important? In a previously lost interview from 1995, Steve Jobs explained the difference between the best software developers and average ones: In most businesses, the difference between average and good is at best 2 to 1, right? Like, if you go to New York and you get the best cab driver in the city, you might get there 30% faster than with an average taxicab driver. A 2 to 1 gain would be pretty big. The difference between the best worker on computer hard-ware and the average may be 2 to 1, if you're lucky. With automobiles, maybe 2 to 1. But in software, it...

The Sum is Greater Than the Parts

We practice a lot of pair programming here are Turing, both in big projects and also small exercises. To be honest, I'm not always super excited about it. I find working with humans to be challenging. We all think and approach problems differently, we have different questions and come up with different answers, we deal with stress in different ways,we have different lives and schedules, etc. All of these factors can make pair programming exhausting and frustrating and awkward, and group projects are no different. Which is why I was really looking forward to "the personal project...

Do You Even Vim?

When I was eight, I remember hearing my father battle one of his friends about the status of the Atlanta Braves pitching bullpen. "Greg Maddux is the best control pitcher i've seen in decades!" "That's ridiculous! Glavine's gonna have statues made in his image! Half the kids in Georgia will be named 'Tom' in five years!" At the time, my main concern was how many Transformers I could sneak in my school backpack without getting caught, but I remember listening to the intensity of the conversation thinking, "Why are they arguing so much over something...

A Beginner's Attempt at Understanding the Ruby Black Box: Tokenization

As a new programmer, I write code and it works. I really don't know how or why it works. It just does. Code, and Ruby in particular, can become a black box. I put Ruby code in and magical things happen on my computer. I can't help but think "How is this working? Why am I able to do the things I am doing? How do I make sense of this?" Unfortunately, self-doubt is never far behind. It's followed by, "There's too much here. I can't make sense of this. It's too advanced and I am not nearly smart or experienced enough." Luckily, at some point the need to...

The Turing Bar

I had always heard about work culture, but never experienced much of it. Even when I was working in a job I loved, like managing a LAN center or working for a residential solar company, I always felt weighed down from 'working'. The thought that we, as employees, were forming our own "culture" seemed laughable. No matter how fun the environment or how loose the bosses, putting in hard work always came with an emotional price. Now, having spent seven intense months surrounded by Turing people, working day in and day out to become the best developers we can be, I've come...

Lightning Talks: June 24, 2015

Check out a sampling of lightning talks from the last week: Exploring the MEAN Stack by Tom Leskin (1502 cohort) At Turing, students are taught to become diverse developers who are able to think logically and can use any programming language as a tool to solve a problem. In my Module 3 Lightning Talk, I chose to explore the MEAN Stack. The MEAN Stack is made up of four frameworks: MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS and Node.js. It uses a single language across the entire stack and has been said to increase productivity. I realize that I may not be programming in Ruby and Rails after Turing, so I...

Learning How to Learn: The Novice Developer's Tool Belt

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, even maybe one million ways to attempt to learn how to code. And they aren’t all great. Most beginners’ track tutorials entail hand-holdy instructions, nifty in-browser interpreters and a swift sense of accomplishment, but rarely do they breed a developer’s mindset. On the other hand, intermediate-level walkthroughs and Stackoverflow threads often assume too much contextual knowledge for a beginner to follow. A giant chasm of confusion exists between finishing your first Ruby tutorial and deploying your first app to production. I know this...

Lori Culberson: Redefining What It Means to Win

One thing that can come as a shock to our incoming students is the expectation that they’ll work on developing their public speaking and presentation skills while they’re here. We want people to graduate from Turing with a level of comfort pitching and presenting ideas - whether it’s at a conference, with a client, or in a staff meeting. To practice this, students prepare and present five-minute lightning talks on Fridays, and sometimes to a larger audience on Community Nights. The topics students choose range from DDoS to Computer-Aided Dispatch Systems to Strategies for...

Whole-Self Fridays

Earlier this week I wrote some thoughts on software quality and the evolution of the industry based on Justin Searls' "Sometimes a Controller is Just a Controller" at Self.Conference . Today, I'd like to continue with thoughts based off Nancy Lyons ' "There's No Such Thing as Work/Life Balance" session. I found a version of her deck as a PDF here . I took three pages of notes during the session, but one idea really stuck with me. I thought a lot about what Nancy called "bringing your whole self to work." She explained that at Clockwork , they want...
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