Well, that happened. 6 grueling hours later, the Phase 2 Assessment is over. You know it was a complete shit show when we started with 3 hours and the teachers kept extending the time to allow us to finish all of the sections. We even had to stop about 2/3 of the way through it to eat lunch. We came back and worked on it some more, but there was definitely an overall feeling of frustration, failure, and fear coming from the team.

The very first section was all about AJAX, which immediately dropped my heart into my stomach. I looked at it a bit, but decided to skip ahead to a section I felt more. Part two was JavaScript, which I love, so I breezed through that pretty quickly. (Side bar: Do you remember when I used to talk about how much I hated JavaScript? It wasn’t that long ago. Crazy.) Part three was Sinatra, which I’m also comfortable with, so getting through it wasn’t too much of an issue. I had some issues with the associations, but felt like I had a good handle on how they should work, and so went back to the beginning to stumble through AJAX. I wrote down everything I could remember, adjusted the link so it sent the request without reloading the page, but couldn’t get it to post to the page without reloading. At this point, we were finally out of time and I walked away.

My confidence had bottomed out at this point, and I felt like I would definitely be repeating the Phase. It wasn’t until I talked with several other people on my team that I realized none of us had done well on the AJAX section. Some people didn’t even attempt it, while others spent so much time on it that they didn’t get to work on the other sections very much. All in all, it was a poorly constructed exam that tested us on some information we weren’t fully prepared for. I’m hoping the teachers will take this into account. Otherwise, half my team (including me) will be repeating Phase 2 this Monday.

After the exam, we were free to do what we wanted. I spent the rest of the day making my site look better, setting it up with an additional API that emails users once they set up an account or complete a quiz. I’m pretty confident with how it’s all coming together, but I still need to add CSS and AJAX.

Algorithm Night was all about data trees, which I have very little understanding of. They have some similarities to linked lists in that they can only go one direction, but instead of a node having its own value and the value of its child, the node has the value of two children. Depending on the type of tree, the nodes may automatically reorganize themselves based on their numeric value. There are also new rules to follow when dealing with trees, since you may need to go backwards. Since you can’t actually do that, you have to keep track of the previous nodes as you pass them, then ‘go back’ by naming the previous node as the new node. It’s kind of weird and I’m not sure of all the rules, but it was really enjoyable to talk about.

Once again I stayed late at DBC, mainly just adding bits and pieces to my final project. I have a pretty sweet graph that updates with the scores as they go through the tests, so I’m excited to show that off.

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