HS Day 67: Getting back on track

It’s been a week since my last blog post, which is the first time I’ve missed posting here since day 3. I’d been feeling somewhat out of it since last week, though, and I’ve been having a hard time fighting off distraction and sleepiness – signs that I’m feeling a bit depressed.  With only two weeks and two days left of Hacker School, I really can’t afford to be spending time not cramming in the last bits of learning that I can. Last Thursday, I decided to abandon my own projects and work more on pair programming in an attempt to widen my horizons and stretch myself as a programmer, and the results so far have been excellent.

My first pair was with Aki, on his 3D Tetris program, helping with JavaScript refactoring and learning a lot about 3d programming in the process. I audited (“sat in on”) the graphics class at Lawrence, which went very fast but was excellent for at least getting a first look at the fundamentals for graphics programming. That’s my idea with the pair programming – even if I don’t end up learning everything there is to know about 3D Tetris like Aki will, I’ll have seen the fundamentals and can think on them and integrate them into my future work.

So, funny story – I paired on Monday morning with James on a Angular.js project. Angular is a web frontend framework which uses data binding to keep all three parts of its MVC in sync. At noon, I had a tech interview with a company in Colorado, and one of the first questions they ask me is, “have you worked with any web frameworks?”

I answered truthfully, “I’ve just started learning Angular.js, but I’m looking to expand that”

“What do you know about data binding?”

Good thing I’d learned about that 15 minutes prior!

One thing that always gets me during interviews is knowing the acronyms and names of stuff. If I can, I keep a Google window open so that I can look things up really fast when people ask me about them. I don’t think it’s dishonest in my case, since I actually do know the things that they’re talking about  – like data binding – I just don’t know that it’s actually called “data binding”. I remember that happened to me three or so times in a row when I was interviewing for an internship at Renewable Choice.

Them: “What’s CRUD?”

Me: “Um… I don’t know”

They look at me as though, what is this guy doing as a web dev if he doesn’t know what CRUD stands for. “Ah, it’s Create, Read…”

“Oh, Update and Delete, yeah. It’s used for…” etc etc. Acronyms are hard for me to memorize I guess? I always end up learning things from interviews, which isn’t how it’s supposed to be, I think.

Monday and Tuesday I ended up taking a 3 hour nap in the afternoon, which was pretty bad. I basically screwed up my sleep schedule Sunday night and got into a vicious cycle of not being able to fall asleep at night, because I slept during the day, because I couldn’t fall asleep at night. Greta suggested on Tuesday (today) that I go for a run in the afternoon, and I did – I ran about 2 miles at Prospect park, which was peaceful and relaxing. I stopped a bit early mainly because I haven’t gone running in  a long time and I didn’t want to hurt myself.

I’m still unable to fall asleep (It’s midnight right now) but I think I’ll be on a much better track than I have been, since I’m tired and I’ll probably fall asleep in an hour or so. Until then I’m keeping up to date on WCS Korea 🙂

From Brooklyn,


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