How to Study Hard

Today I’m writing from the Cleveland Game Dev Meetup. This month we’re meeting in the Mayfield Public Library.  Strangely, both times I have come to a Meetup, my GPS has tried to tell me the destination doesn’t exist.

I’m listening to someone explain how Construct 2 is a great platform, and comparing it to Pulse. I wanted to ask someone his opinion of Ableton as a music DAW. But I’m not really getting any code written! I have to admit, I haven’t really touched the Unity tutorial I started last Meetup, and it has been a month. Now that I’m done with my code bootcamp, WCCI, it feels weird to not be working hard on anything in the evening after my day job. I really need to pick up some side project.

You’re right, I did not finish Identiflora yet. I was originally going to work through it as a .NET project, but now I’m not sure if that is the best idea. (Did I say this already? I feel like a broken record.) So in lieu of really “working on the big passion project”, I am working on some smaller things.

I still feel like I should be learning on CodeEval, but it is admittedly pretty dry. So I am excited that I just found Codingame – it is like CodeEval, full of problems to solve using your coding skills, but these are couched like games. It’s really a fun concept, even if it’s still hard work. Speaking of “hard work disguised as a game” I am also enjoying Human Resource Machine by Tomorrow Corporation, the same game company that made World of Goo. In Human Resource Machine you program (using a pseudo coding language) people to take certain integers and drop them into certain boxes – yeah you are really doing the same loops and if/thens that you would be learning in CodeEval, but giving it game trappings makes it fun!

I guess not everything can be made easier and into a game. I really enjoy listening to J. Vernon McGee. He is gone now, but his radio program is now a podcast, and it takes you through the whole Bible, verse by verse, over the course of five years. I once heard him say (and I think he was quoting but I don’t recall whom, sorry),  that if you are having a hard time with a Bible passage, because it is dry and hard to understand, you have to moisten it with the sweat of your brow. Hard work is hard work! But it leads to deeper insights.

That goes for coding too.


The End of the Beginning

We Can Code IT is officially over, except for the part that isn’t: The career fair, and the actual receiving of the certificate.

So the job search has begun. In addition to preparing for the career fair, where you can do a large amount of job searching at the same time.

I had my first interview today. It was hard, and I learned a lot through it:

  • You will be asked questions that you can’t answer off the top of your head.  This is OK. They want to see you work through the problem.
  • If a recruiter tells you the kind of typical questions, be prepared to answer them. My recruiter was spot on with the questions that were asked. Additional searches online for typical interview questions was also helpful.
  • The interviewer is on your side. They are not trying to make you fail. Even if you are fumbling around and not knowing something, they want to watch you figure it out, instead of freeze up and die.

For what it’s worth, no amount of reading stuff online is really the same as sitting in front of an interviewer.  Neither is any amount of reading stuff online the same as actually coding and solving problems. So make sure to keep your skills sharp, and do a power pose before the interview!


We Can {Code} It!

So Friday was my last day at work. Monday, February 29, 2016, I officially begin a three month stint at We Can {Code} It with 15 others in a brand new cohort. Friday, even though I was planning on it for a month, was nothing but tears. Everyone in the office asked if I am excited, and sure, I’m excited, but I’m also scared! I just jumped out of a perfectly good airplane…