First Impressions

Why Turing?

I chose Turing because it had the best reputation of all the coding schools. It lacked the profit-focused, churn and burn environment I'd seen at other schools and bootcamps. 

The school seems genuinely invested in the tech community as well as the education of new developers. 

First Week

We certainly hit the ground running during the first week of classes. The first two days were more "fluff" activities designed to help us get to know the others in our group. 

We helped put together furniture and explored Denver on a group scavenger hunt. 

But on Wednesday things got serious. 


We received our first big project, Mastermind, due Monday.

Mastermind is a REPL game where the computer creates a random 4-digit code made up of 4 colors: (B)lue, (G)reen, (R)ed and (Y)ellow. 

Once the secret code is created, the user attempts to crack the code by guessing. 


For the remainder of the week we focused on enumerables like .each, .map and .all?

It seems like .each is the king of all enumerables and the others are condensed versions of logic you could code using .each.  

Friday Fun Day (Sorta)

Fridays at Turing are a bit of a full-day retro.

We started with a "Gear up," in which the entire school sat in silence and read an article, White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies by Peggy McIntosh.

As you may have guessed from the title, the article focuses on gender bias and racism. The exercise was surprisingly emotional for me.

I recognize gender bias on a regular basis, but realized I rarely, if ever, stop to appreciate how much privilege I experience simply because of my race. 

The rest of the day was filled with a guest speaker, lightning talks by students and an informal retro with our group. 

Overall, a good start to a long journey. 

Wrapping Up Tealeaf

Turing Pre-Work

Five weeks ago, I got an email from Jeff Casimir about changes to Turing's pre-work. 

We had previously been asked to complete the Ruby Programming course on Pragmatic Studio. I was about a third of the way through when Jeff's email landed in my inbox. 

In addition to Pragmatic Studio, Turing had partnered with Tealeaf Academy and opened up 3 of its courses to my cohort:

  • Prep Course: Basics of the command line, git and GitHub and Ruby syntax
  • Ruby 1: Problem decomposition and simple Ruby programs
  • Ruby 2: OOP and more complex Ruby programs

My Tealeaf Experience

I learned the most in the Prep Course by far. It brought me up to speed on the command line, an area I was woefully lacking in. It also got me started on uploading my code to GitHub (I learned more than one lesson along the way). 

Overcoming Fear

When I told my friends I'd decided to attend a coding school, the immediate reaction was, "Oh, man, that's cool. I'm not smart enough to be a developer." Or, my favorite, "I'm awful with technology."

I'm attending a Ruby syntax is fairly straightforward and the documentation is A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Writing a program in Ruby is much less difficult than architecting a program in Ruby.

That's where Tealeaf shines. I teaches you all the programming concepts you won't get in most coding tutorials. Going into Turing, I've wondered how my coding school education will measure against colleagues with CS degrees.

Tealeaf has given me the confidence that while I won't spend a lot of time on learning what a finite-state machine is, I will be able to pull together the programming concepts required to become a competent developer. 

Impulse Control

The simple programs in Tealeaf have stretched my ability to think through a problem BEFORE I try to code it. 

It's incredibly tempting to jump in and start coding, only to find yourself stuck 30 minutes later staring at the computer screen hoping a solution will magically pop into your head.

The solution? I resist the temptation to jump straight in and instead write out objectives as comments in Atom. Then I map out all the steps in the program that I'll have to address. It takes 5-10 minutes and saves hours. 

Looking Forward

I don't fully understand OOP yet. It seems like everything in Ruby is an object, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to orient toward everything. Even so, I'm pretty sure 'll get the hang of it soon enough. 

I'm looking forward to starting Turing in a week, meeting everyone in my cohort and continuing on my path of learning Ruby.