I can’t really decide if today was awesome or devastating. It actually went really well, but at the end of the day I received some feedback by email that pretty much turned everything to shit. More on that later. First, the good stuff.

This morning started with our Friday check-in. This was all of DBC divided into little groups, allowing each of us to share what we’ve been dealing with for the last week. If you’ve been reading this blog, you pretty much know what I spent my two minutes on. This program is a constant roller coaster of comprehension and emotion. Some days I feel like I completely understand something and can’t wait to dig even deeper, other days I wonder if I didn’t make some terrible mistake in starting this journey.

The morning lecture was on good Git work-flow when working on a team. This was especially relevant to today, since we would be working in teams of 4 on the day’s big challenge: building a flashcard game. We went over how to merge files, how to deal with merge conflicts, how to divide up work properly in order to prevent overlap, etc. Then, we were sent off to work.

My team spent a lot of time white boarding, planning, figuring out what features our game should have, etc. Once we had the first couple of steps mapped out, we paired up and began creating our respective features. My pair and I had to create ‘the ability to ask a question’, which seems pretty simple from a coding standpoint, but we managed to make it infinitely more difficult by making sure everything was created using the MVC architecture conventions. We had a Class that interacted with the user, one that sent the messages and translated the user input, and one that worked with the data. It was great, but it also meant we had to map out every step in great detail, which added time. Once we got it working, we merged our work with the code from the other pair on our team, who had been working on creating a menu. Once we had everything matched up, The program would ask the player what topic they wanted to study. Depending on the answer, a coding question based in Ruby, SQL, or JavaScript would pop up on the screen.

Lunch, then back to it. We tried to split up some more work for each team to do, but figuring out how to end the game required the ability to check a user’s answers, so we decided to sit down together and work on how to process answers, then end the game. It took us the rest of the day to get it working to the point that it knew if an answer was right and could go to the next question. If an answer was wrong, it let us try a total of 5 times before it just gave us the answer, then moved on. We decided to stop before creating a game ending, but were all very happy with what we had accomplished.

After lunch but before the end of the night, we had two more meetings to attend. The first was a review of the mock assessment challenge. You can read my blog from yesterday to find out how I felt about the assessment, and to be honest, this meeting didn’t do much for me, since I already knew what I had messed up on. It was just a confirmation that I did more work than I needed to, and could have been more efficient with my use of the time.

The second meeting was a feedback roundup, much like last week. We’re asked to provide feedback to DBC every week, but this meeting allowed us to give feedback directly to our teachers (anonymously) and discuss any topics that might be coming up a lot. My feedback was similar to last week: make the lectures relate directly to the day’s challenges, before we actually do the challenge. Often times, the lectures would come after we’d already completed a particular challenge on the same topic, so the lecture seemed pointless. This week was much better, though. Only once or twice did I feel like the two weren’t matching up.

At the end of the night, I still hadn’t received feedback for my mock assessment. I was told I would receive an email, and if they needed to talk to me, they would find me on Monday. I honestly thought that even though I had to write my own tests (since I was having trouble with the rSpec file), I had done a good chunk of the challenges and would be alright. Unfortunately, they had a lot of feedback for me and they want to see me on Monday. I know it’s a mock assessment and it doesn’t affect my continued involvement at DBC, but it does mean I’m missing something. This is especially frightening because we’re only 4 days away from the real assessment. What if my best isn’t good enough? God, that’s a scary thought.

I was so frustrated and upset that I decided to go through the feedback email and write notes about what I want to talk about on Monday. Looking at my code, it’s in good working order and is full of comments and notes as well, but I really want to go into this chat with a good explanation for why I wrote certain programs a particular way. Even as I write this, I’m frustrated because now I have to wait all weekend for a chat that isn’t even a big deal to my teachers. To me, it’s the difference between feeling confident about my place in this program, and wondering if I need to start preparing myself to repeat this phase.

Until Monday, I’m Edwin Unger, and I’m still a web developer in training.