Chronicles of a Gorilla thrown into the unknown

Evolution over the past year

It’s already July 2014. At work today, we were reminded at our morning meeting that we are fast reaching the end of the 3rd quarter of the year. Time really flies. 

So to do a very brief recap of the start of 2013 to now.

1. Applied for DBC, got in. Hooray!

2. Went to DBC, asked what the hell I got myself into. Kidding. 

3. 9 weeks of intense studying.

4. Came out with basic knowledge of the web, Ruby, JS, HTML, CSS and RoR

5. Got a job that needed me to code in Java and work in a linux environment and a new MVC framework, was tough but pulled through and glad I got a chance to learn Java. The boss wasn’t kidding when he said it was going to be a tough journey but it was worth every minute of it. 

6. 6 months into job, got moved into a Scala and another MVC framework. Again was tough but finally reached a point where I’m comfortable enough to start being able to get a breather and really enjoy the coding process.

Often times I still think about how lucky I am to have been able to switch careers and land a job with an environment that really believes in personal growth of  everyone in the company. I’m enjoying the ride and look forward to what else the future might bring. 

The End and Start of a New Beginning

We graduated, we have 9 weeks under our belts, we have the battle scars to show for it. DBC was exciting, crazy, emotional, intense, exhilarating, unexpected, surprising, a roller coaster ride and amazing all rolled into one. What can I say, the education you get here will surpass any form of formal education you’ve ever gotten hands down.

I will miss the Sealions, I hope that in some shape or form, we will keep in touch and see each other over the years. Proud to have been part of this cohort and proud to begin my journey in the tech world. 

Projects ahoy

1 more day till we present our projects on Thursday. I’m really excited about what we have and it’s shaping up really nicely. The other final projects are looking pretty damn awesome too and it’ll be insightful to get a brief walkthrough their code. 

I am having a lot of fun on the project, to the point that sometimes I wonder if I’m having too much fun but I’m really enjoying it. Some moments are tougher than others but I like the feeling of pushing through and trying to get things to work. Even if they don’t, you know you tried and you always learn something from it. It might not be related to coding per se but you take away something; like your approach was too dogged and entrenched in one idea or you misunderstood what the problem was or maybe just that you need to do more reading to understand what the heck you are dealing with.

There is so much left out there to learn. When I first started DBC, I felt kind of lost in the woods and just hacked around randomly. Now that we’ve come to the end of DBC, I feel like I’ve learnt so much and along with that, how to be a better learner. Being lost in the woods isn’t so bad, it’s good because you are there with no bias and no ideas of what you should and shouldn’t do and you make educated guesses and just start trying all possibilities. Which might actually lead you to finding a solution you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. 

If there is any regret, I have but one ever since coming to DBC. That I didn’t find out the awesomeness that is Taco Tuesdays. I tried them for the first time for lunch today and ended up going back for dinner, that is how good they were.

sadists and masochists

I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone who attends DBC has a streak of masochism in them. And all the instructors have a streak of sadism in them. Maybe we all have a streak of interest in bondage and dominance but I shall keep my blog PG. I jest.

Today was mock interview day. I frankly didn’t know what to make of it before we did it. On one hand I hate high pressure situations but on the other hand I like it after I’m out of it. It’s like short window of time, everything is going against you, GO. This is the masochism I’m talking about. It was a great and very helpful experience, I learned a lot and got a lot of great advice from the mentors.

The time when I’m at DBC and normal time seem to be two different entities. Every time I look up at the clock, I think ‘holy shit it’s already 5??’ or sometimes ‘holy shit it’s already 11pm?? WAIT no 1am?!’ When you misread 11pm to be 1, then you know it’s really time to go home.

I decided to go home at a decent time for phase 3 because I felt like I needed more time to recharge and I’m glad I’m sticking to it. 

Was talking to Basti about plans post-DBC and it feels almost surreal. I feel like in 2 weeks we are going to be shoved back out into the real world and we have to leave the DBC bubble behind. I’m excited about what the future holds and the possibilities DBC has helped open up, it’s been really intense but I’m also so damn thankful that I was able to have this experience.

you’ve won! and lost! and everything in between

I had a great time today working with Justin, Mary and Omar. The best part was at the end of night, we finally got tic tac toe to work on dual browsers. That was really effing cool. To borrow Omar’s words, Mary is the Javascript guru. We are planning to polish it up even more and it’ll be a great learning experience to see the code being tightened up even more.

Slept way too late last night and felt the effects of it the whole day. It worse now after 7 weeks, not as easy to bounce back from one night of lack of sleep. Note to self: Sleep by midnight or your concentration will be shot the next day.

Contemplated eating my 5 day old green curry that was sitting in the fridge. Then I remembered how in college I thought 5 day old fried beef and brocolli was fine to eat because 1. even though it was sitting outside, it was winter time so it’s the same as being in the fridge 2. it’s salted. How either of the 2 points made sense is beyond me but at that point in time, apparently it did. I also remember that day we were hit with the worst blizzard ever and I was dry heaving as I was walking to the ER and I had to take the long way because the other entrance was snowed in. Long story short, I decided to buy food and spare myself the risk of going to the ER again.

So glad it’s the weekend. I plan to sleep a lot. TGIF. 

Drop by Drop

There is a Japanese saying that I like, ”雨垂れ石を穿つ”

It literally means drops of rain can drill through a stone. Basically it says through small efforts and persistence, you will get results. I am tired but I will chip away and keep at it.

I wish I went through the Hartl tutorial 10 times before I came but I didn’t and I’m here now so I can only do my best. 

Things have been slow going but unlike phase 2, I am making a conscious effort not to stress and to soak up what I can. 

The big blob - you
The cute neatly packaged blob - Ruby on Rails
My take away from Jesse’s short lecture today: RoR is nice but if you half-ass your way around it, it will eat you alive.
To steal a quote from K.T. our yoga instructor, “What lives there??”
Beware the bowels of RoR. 

The big blob - you

The cute neatly packaged blob - Ruby on Rails

My take away from Jesse’s short lecture today: RoR is nice but if you half-ass your way around it, it will eat you alive.

To steal a quote from K.T. our yoga instructor, “What lives there??”

Beware the bowels of RoR. 

Give me back my hour

I know it doesn’t make sense but whenever daylight savings time kicks in, I feel like an hour has been taken away. I woke up feeling disoriented because my clock and my laptop’s time didn’t sync up and it took me a few seconds to figure out why. grrr.

I’m doing what people normally do on Saturdays

For the first time today, I felt like I was doing what the masses normally do on a Saturday. Sleep in, wake up and putz around on the laptop, realize 2 hours have passed and I still haven’t eaten, grab lunch and walked around downtown before coming home. 

Even though I gave myself the first half of the day off, I caught myself subconsciously thinking about code. I was also thinking about how I should go about prepping for Phase 3. Basically, I was thinking about code when I said I’d take a break. I’ll take it as a good sign. 

I’m already thinking about how I’m going to fill my days after DBC is over. I was worried that there wouldn’t be something specific that I’d be interested in diving deeper in after everything is set and done and I do have a couple of things I’d like to learn more about and I’m excited to get the time to sit down and slowly sponge it all up. 

Phase 1 and 2 have come and gone. Before we know it, phase 3 is going to start and end just as quickly. I have ambivalent feelings about the end of DBC. On one hand, I welcome a reprieve from the intense pressure-cooker environment but on the other, I will not get to be in an environment that makes us learn faster than we ever thought we could and I won’t get to hang out with my fellow boots. I suppose this sentimentality will be out the window once we hit the ground sprinting come Monday and we won’t have any capacity left to think but only to learnlearnlearn cos we are going to be on the gogogo.

I’m looking forward to sleeping in again tomorrow. Sleeping in has become such a luxury since we started at DBC, it’s so nice not having to wake up to an alarm. 

Still like it quiet

Decided to try and be more sociable and hit up a pub with the rest of the DBC gang. And it reminded me why I stopped going and that I still can’t enjoy the atmosphere. I’m home now and much prefer the sound of my whirring laptop and just the overall stillness of the place. I especially wasn’t feeling it since today was such a high pressure day and after I was done with the assessments, it just drained the life out of me. All I wanted to do all day was to eat.

We are moving into phase 3 and they didn’t give us any prep work but just instructions to get well-rested. 2 people will repeat but on their own choice and I’m happy that they made the decision that is best for them, we’ll still share the same space so it’s good we’ll still see them around.

Kind of brain dead right now. I’m actually happy doing mindless things like laundry and taking out the trash. After a hard day, it’s good to just go through the motions without needing to think.

I’m determined to really relax this weekend because god knows we won’t be able to for the next 3 weeks coming up.