Week 2: Dictionaries and Markov chain generators

Time flies when you’re having fun, and Moon marveled that she couldn’t believe that we’re almost 20% done with our program. I like to think that my glass is 80% full, and I’m looking forward to emerging from my chrysalis as a coder.

My Moleskine keeps escaping my laptop bag so I can’t consult my notes to recap the shenanigans of last week in granular details. Here’s to working on my memory recall function:

  • Our homework from last weekend included setting up our Github accounts. We learned how to create local repositories, commit, push, and fork! I paired with Lydia and got distracted by the Octodexpage and its adorable iterations of octocat. It was an uphill battle manipulating lists, files, and directories, but we survived. I love the challenges of pair programming — knowing when to stop for direction, when to brazenly code on, and when to take breaks.

    SurveyMonkey hosts Girl Geek Dinner #27

    Lydia, Nicole, Moon, Erica, and Michelle love greenery!

  • Tuesday, I paired with Louise, a fellow East Bay dog lover. We bonded on day one over our adorably neurotic mutts. Working with a new partner daily really keeps you on your toes. We powered through lists, dictionaries, strings, and even referenced an ASCII table. The inside jokes will never cease…including “strip before splitting”!
  • Our first real challenge came Wednesday with our exercise involving Markov chain generators. Christian gave us 2 days to complete this task, and it was no small feat. My comrade for this assignment was Sonya, and we dove into a foreign land of dictionaries, tuples, bigrams, prefixes and suffixes. It was difficult not to feel discouraged, but we did our best to muddle through to the light at the end of the tunnel.
A view from my corner

Playing with Markov chain generators, and keeping food sources near.

  • Half-time included a fun drive down 101 to SurveyMonkey’s Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner. The adorable snacks included candied apples and tiny tarts. After a day of wrangling Markov, we also gleefully enjoyed the open bar. The speakers were articulate, engaging, and we nabbed seats amongst a few Hackbright summer alum. I have been stealthily widening my Twitter berth and had a brief chin wag with Jamie who is now a product manager at Cisco. It is so inspiring and refreshing to meet women who can relate to us and give us hope of surviving.
  • Fridays are becoming blissfully relaxing compared to the majority of our week. We got to play with JavaScript, which to my newly minted Python-goggles, looks completely incomprehensible with all those curly braces. I paired with Erica for the JavaScript exercises, and thankfully we discovered some overlap in our knowledge database regarding functions, variables, and conditional loops. Fantastic news about Erica — she won 2nd place at the Life is A Game Hackathon! Congratulations to her and her team, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.
Everyone's favorite Balloonicorn

Erica hangs out with Balloony.

Life has been moving at lightning speed ever since starting the journey at Hackbright. Week 2 was tough but didn’t break all of us. There was hair-pulling, tears, frustration and angst, but the most important part is that we’re learning and getting stronger with each day and task that we achieve. I think the majority of women are perfectionists who place ghastly amounts of pressure on themselves to overachieve. Pair programming has given me tremendous insight on the diversity of thought processes and work ethics. I think a reality television show or web-i-sodes of our experience at Hackbright would be brilliant. David, can you have your new marketing intern look into that please?

This entry was published on October 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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