Rob B
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Talking about code out loud

Photo by Roman Synkevych 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

Talking about code out loud

Making meaningful connections with the right people

Rob B's photo
Rob B
·Nov 14, 2022·

4 min read

Week two started with an industry practice known as ‘standup’. In comparison to the anxiety I felt when I introduced myself to my cohort a couple of weeks ago, I felt at home speaking in front of fewer people in the breakout session. I would like to think that my experience as a podcast lead is the reason for that. Shameless plug incoming. I started a podcast last year to help me connect with developers all over the world. It’s called Codewords and it’s designed to help junior developers like you and me gain some industry insights. Ok, where was I? Ah yes, normal service has resumed. Back to the breakout session. I volunteered to go first and provided a summary of my progress. It’s split into three sections. The first part is all about the small victories and highlighting what worked well. The second and third sections relate to bugs we’ve encountered and what we did to overcome them.

So, what worked well and what did I enjoy? It has to be the repetition of using GitHub from the Command Line because it really highlighted to me a massive gap in my learning. I’ve used GitHub before but I would drag and drop files to update my project directories. That’s no longer the case. Now I know how to initialise Git in my given directory and how to amend things. The analogy of sending a parcel by snail mail lives rent free in my head. ‘Git add .’ places the items in the parcel that we want delivered, aka changes to our code. ‘Git commit -m “our succinct message” is the label we place on the box, aka letting other contributors know what we’ve done. Lastly, and I had to go back and look at the analogy on the slides, is ‘Git push’ which is what we do when we’re ready to post a parcel, aka submit all changes.

Another thing I really liked was talking out loud with other people about their code. It felt really nice to be able to help people identify bugs in their code. For example, I was able to help people see unintentional blank spaces in their code and instances of bad syntax. I’ve had plenty of practice before now identifying syntax errors in my own code. Now it’s the first thing I check if I have bugs.

I don’t doubt that this will change but right now I don’t have much to report in the way of bugs and overcoming them. We’re still in the foundation stage of the bootcamp and thankfully I’ve not had too many issues to deal with. When I was setting up my working environment I had an issue installing Homebrew but that was resolved by manually downloading the CLI tools as I mentioned last week. At the weekend I bought a new Mac and I repeated the setup process without a single error. The same goes for the installation of VS Code. There was a minor fix needed for Live Server. I really like seeing my work update in real time. However, this didn’t happen off the bat on my new Mac and I didn’t understand why. I Googled it and paid a visit to Stack Overflow. I read articles telling me to amend the JSON file for the extension but that didn’t work. I was denied editing permissions which sent me down another rabbit hole of trying to find out how to do that. Then I had a light bulb moment. It came back to me. All I had to do was set Live Server to autosave and the problem was solved. My updates were appearing in real time again, just how I like it.

Switching topics now, one of the things I wanted to do when I signed up for the Command Shift bootcamp, was to immerse myself in learning and the opportunities that come with it. So far, I’d say I’m doing that. I’m coding everyday, I’ve signed up for the Manchester Codes virtual showcase hosted by the May 2022 cohort, and I took part in a LinkedIn webinar for people building their tech profiles. I didn’t have any hesitation about using my existing profile as a base for my pending career change, until I did. I’ve been open with my current employer about what I want to do and in fairness to them they have been very understanding. However, I realised that I had a choice and I didn’t have to share everything with them. I think it’s better for my career if my new profile is built in a way that highlights my personality and skills, while also making meaningful connections with the right people in the right industry.

 
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