I find myself hunkered down at the Orland International Airport waiting for my flight to return back to D.C. to spend Christmas day at home. Like most moments when I am on my computer writing blogs, I just submitted some code and hopped onto Github to see my progress. Low and behold, I found that today marks my halfway point for my 365-day coding streak. When I started this streak, I was not aware that my halfway point would land exactly on Christmas Day. I was extremely proud to see myself hit six months of straight coding as well.
My work gave me three weeks off for the holidays, so my traveling has not been limited to Orlando, Florida. Over the past several weeks I will hit over 5 different states. As you can imagine, it was particularly hard to keep my coding streak going during this massive trip. Here are the places I traveled over the break.
I only point out my travel plans because I want you all to know how hard it is to keep this up :). Over the past several weeks I have had a work training trip on big data, my bachelor party, a family vacation to Disney World, and visiting my Fiancé's’ family. Each day starts off with pushing code, and I have been very diligent with it. Some satisfaction I have gotten from this is seeing other people do the same. Some of my friends that are fresh out of school are also doing coding streaks to make themselves more appealing to the workforce, which is very smart. I cannot say how great that makes me feel to know that my work has made an impression on them and is an example that they could follow to be more successful.
Since I last updated on my coding progress, a lot has happened. I have taken on a personal project at work that has been quite fun. It is written in RoR due to easiness :). I find that if someone needs an MVP to showcase to anyone, RoR is the best way to do it. I recently started enjoying rails for its templating feature. All that you need to know is what controller you need to generate then all the necessary pages are created for them. No need to go through your project and write every line of code. Its as simple as:
rails g controller carts show
The project I am working on for work is called CodeBlue. The app rewards people based on how many pull requests they submit through Github. My company has an internal rewards system that can be used to purchase items once you accrue enough points. Its a pretty sweet system, but it does not currently give points based on how much our coders code. This is something I want to fix. Hopefully it gets picked up by management. The concept is simple really, its just a Github call that counts your users PR's. I got the idea from 24pullrequests. Also 24pullrequests makes their code available on Github, so the construction of the code for the call was very easy, all I had to do was create the foundational code. Check it out here.
I also did a slew of Bucky's Python tutorials before I left on vacation in preparation. In this way, if I was in a pinch, I would just push a bit of code that I worked on earlier in order to keep the streak going.
I also have been running through a favorite tutorial of mine. This tutorial creates an e-commerce store. It is shared by Sitepoint and it walks a coder through the entire process of setting up a storefront and creating features likes, basic log in, carts, and purchasing processes with RoR. I have used a lot of knowledge from this tutorial on the CodeBlue project.
One of the biggest problems that I faced during this iteration of coding was switching from RVM to rBenv. Basically RVM is the ruby compiler we used at school and it was requiring a ton of updates over time that was slowing up my coding process. I also found that certain gems (Nokogiri) was always screwing up my bundling efforts, so I ended up changing compilers to rBenv. Since its installation, my experience writing code has been great, although the initial installation was tough. Like a Noob, I imploded RVM in order to install rBenv, which was not needed. In my mind, I had to delete RVM entirely to load a new compiler. When I did that all my apps that I had made through RVM broke and have been broken ever since, whoops. If I were to do it again, I would not implode RVM and just load up rBenv and switch paths. I did learn a lot about path destinations and bash_profiles through this experience though, that is always very helpful. And as many of you know, the best way to learn about something is to break it and put it back together again.
I was really stoked to spend some time in Denver again and see some old friends from school. One of my closest friends is working on a pet project of his own and invited me to work on it as well. As you know, one of my overall goals for this streak was to successfully contribute to open source projects, so I can now check that off my list. I think in the next couple of months, I will take some time to go though his repo and add some necessary features. You can check out the project here.
Over the next couple of months, I will also be working on replicating my moviestore storefront in Java. I have not had enough time to do this yet, but I think the next time I talk to you all about the streak, I should have a lot these projects done and will have moved on to bigger and better things!