Learning to Hack – Part 2: Review of Week 1

Kerry Mui is a student participating in the March cohort of the Web Development Immersive program. This article was originally posted on his blog. It is Part Two of his series documenting the Bitmaker Labs experience.

Wow, this week flew by.

I can say I’m fully immersed in a challenging, new world. Here are the things that I learned this week.

1) Always Be Producing

I was challenged mentally all week. The learning curve got steep quickly. We started with reviewing Ruby basics and ended by building a basic customer-relationship management (CRM) system. The only way to get better at any craft, be it athletics, design, writing, music, or programming: painful practice. You learn the pitfalls and build your muscle memory; whereas, learning by lectures or reading books just doesn’t cut it.

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2) **Daily Schedule is Well-Designed

Our daily schedule involves:

  • Code drills from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. on Tuesday & Thursday
  • Class from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. daily
  • Lunch. Then, assignments due the next morning.
  • Instructors are available for help from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Occasional social events in the evening
    BL reminds me of the better parts of business school. BL’s classes are interactive because our cohort size is manageable (35 students) and great instructors are available to support on problems you’re working on in the afternoon.

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3) **Ask For Help Early

The learning curve got steep quickly as I mentioned earlier. Thankfully, I was able to get great whiteboard review sessions with the instructors. Additionally, my classmates are a great resource since quite a few have programming experience in other languages and are enthusiastic working through problems together (their backgrounds and interests deserve a post in itself).

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4) **Many Highs & Lows

I’ve gone from distressed because of difficulty understanding a concept for an assignment due, to utter bliss (hours later) when my code works by applying that concept. I expect this to continue.

Curriculum covered: Git, Github, ruby fundamentals, object-oriented programming.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="351"] A CRM system I built.[/caption]

By Kerry Mui (@kmui)