Fluxus Frequency

How I Hacked The Mainframe

Looking Ahead to the Last Two Months of gSchool

We’re coming into the home stretch at gSchool. With only 56 days left, I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned so far, and trying to sort out what I want to make of the time I have left.

Goals - Where I’ve Been

My biggest goals for gSchool have been to become a great developer, and to build a solid foundation for continued learning.

I’ve worked hard to get good at pure Ruby, focusing on writing clean, DRY, test-driven code. I’ve prioritized learning how to do Rails “the right way”, and to understand its intricacies. I’ve also prioritized JavaScript as a second area of expertise, learning to use it in the DOM, in the context of client-side frameworks, and dabbled in a little bit of Node.js.

So far, I’ve been meeting all of these goals. I really enjoy working with these technologies, and am feeling more comfortable with them every day.

Goals - Where I’m Going

During January and February, I want to continue to hone my skills with Ruby and JavaScript. Now that I understand the basis of these languages, I’m working on using the best idioms and designs for each.

I’ll keep doing a lot of reading. I’ve just completed Crafting Rails 4 Applications, and I’m still reading Multitenancy With Rails, and I’m excited about starting Design Patterns in Ruby this weekend.

Pure computer science topics have started to interest me lately. I’m hoping that Ruby Design Patterns will help me understand patterns like Factories, Facades, and Observers. I’ll also continue to look at algorithms. One of my current projects is implementing a linked list in JavaScript. In the future, I’ll explore Binary Trees, the A* algorithm, and perhaps the MD5 algorithm.


For me, the easiest way to break up the coming time is to think of it in terms of the projects we’ll complete. We’re just starting Feed Engine. After that, it’s the Service Oriented Architecture project, then the personal mastery project. Every project in gSchool thus far has built on the last. I’m looking forward to growing through each of these remaining experiences.

How I Will Succeed

There is little blocking me from succeess, in my mind. As long as I can keep my energy level up, I’ll be able to grok everything left on the docket: what it takes to build killer Rails apps, consuming APIs, feeds, and SOAs. Hopefully, I’ll pick up a few other tricks along the way. Given the good rest I got over the holidays, I feel refreshed and ready to keep working hard for the last two months, so I feel confident.

The parts of my personality that will best serve me are my stubbornness/tenacity, curiousity and resourcefulness. I find it hard to give up on problems, so I follow through on them. I’m always finding new things to learn about, and I’m good at finding ways to learn more about the things I’m interested in.

Finally, I’ve been really interested in productivity lately. Some of my strategies to “work smarter, not harder” are:

  • Avoid distractions
  • Use a todo list
  • Clarify my goals at the start of each day
  • Stay true to the pomodore timer

With the combination of my love for learning and my productivity, I know I’ll succeed in the last couple of months as a gSchool student, and will also continue to be a valuable programmer and a life-long learner.