Two weeks deep in Rails_

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After two weeks of jumping head first into Ruby on Rails, I am slowly starting to get a hold of it. At the beginning it felt like real chaos, so much information and literally EVERYTHING was new to me. No surprise, as I have absolutely no prior experience in backend programming, and in the front-end I am only sandboxing since half a year. So naturally, the start was a rough one.

The thing with Rails is, that you don’t have the big picture when you start, and that it’s  picture really is BIG, but you need to understand it in order to understand what Rails is doing at all. Following only the written lectures of my CareerFoundry course was not enough. Even though I was able to follow along, and get my exercises approved, I noticed that nothing was really getting into my head. It was like the information was creating a new instance, saved in short term memory, but not creating an entry in the database of my brain, so that I could access it later on (some geek talk here, sorry). I needed a different approach.  I needed to find a way to store data.

Literally.

What helps me most when learning are Video Tutorials.  I actually need someone to speak out loud to me, nice and slow, and when I do text lecture, in order to really follow along, I often need to read out loud as well. So I decided to start Mashrur Hossain’s popular Ruby on Rails course on Udemy.  At the same time, I use Kevin Skoglund’s 10+ hour video course “Ruby on Rails 5 Essential Training” on Lynda.com.

Thanks to both of these resources, I have the feeling that the information does actually get stored somewhere in the database of my brain now. If you hear 4 different resources speaking on how to create CRUD methods and views, or parameters, or models and controllers, or database migrations, and each one explains it to you from a slightly different angle, this just works wonders. What I like about Mashrur’s course, is that it is really step-by-step. Nothing gets generated or scaffolded, everything is written manually wherever possible. This way you really learn what is actually happening behind the scenes. I can highly recommended to any Rails or programming newbie.

Skoglund’s course is fantastic as an additional resource. I wouldn’t be able to use it alone, because it is quite advanced and very thorough, and maybe not providing the baby steps that I need, but if you want to know about Strong Parameters, or Associations, or Routing, and you don’t want to read through an eternal textbook guide, Kevin is your man. Well organized information, clearly explained.

I also use the “Evernote” app to quickly store information that I find somewhere and want to remember later. I realize now how important it is to find your own rhythm, know how it is you learn best and be organized with your material.

I have by now started at least 5 new Apps, and it really is the thing you need to be doing when starting Rails. I certainly don’t have the knowledge stored in a way that I could create a new app from scratch without following a guide, as there is so much to remember and quite a few different ways to do something, but I can feel some fertile ground is being laid in my database-brain-garden.

It takes time, I know, it would be weird if it didn’t. But it starts to be fun. And that’s what’s most important.

Eliane ♥

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The countdown has begun_

On the 4th of September I will start the intense 3-month Web Developer course – on CareerFoundry. All this started as an idea… and it has become reality so quickly! The German government pays for the fees in full (1500€) in order to help me get a job in tech. I will finish on November 28th. If all goes well, and if it is true what CF promises, I will be ready to take my first job in Web Dev after that! I am a lucky bastard!

Eliane ♥

Moving back to the Big Bad City_

Over the last couple of months, a decision has cristallized: In order to advance fast and be fully able to focus on my coding career, it seemed the smartest move to leave the fair island of Ireland and move to a rapidly evolving city: Berlin.

Even though I started studying online so I wouldn’t have to leave Ireland, I realized that for the moment, I have different needs. The housing situation as well as the job situation in Ireland is scarce. I am tired of renting rooms in private houses and never actually have my own place. I am tired of full time call center jobs. A change is necessary.

This decision is still mainly based on my development career. I am setting my goal to one year – after that I want to be fit for remote or freelancing jobs in web development, so I can continue to travel or go wherever I feel like going – for real.

My ferry leaves tomorrow!

My current progress: I am three quarters into my WordPress course at Skillcrush and I am currently enjoying to learn jQuery. Yesterday I also bought myself two new courses on Udemy:

Now my schedule is set. I am going to learn Rails! Yay!

Eliane ♥

var coding = “Awesome!”

I am just here because I want to say: CODING ROCKS!

I actually can’t believe this is really happening. Not even 2 months after deciding to start to learn HTML (and up until last friday I still had a full time job), here I am coding the s%*[ out of my editor.

I just created a function in javascript that assigns a random color to a circle and randomly shapes it to be a square when clicked. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the fact that I was able to find out how to do it all by myself without having done anything similar in JavaScript before – is a small miracle to me.

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I really have to send a huge thanks to Rob Percival, whose course “The complete Web Developer Course 2.0” on Udemy has helped me not only to understand loops, functions and statements in JavaScript, but he has given me the ability and confidence to built stuff on my own.

On a little sidenote: I am very happy with my decision to become a full-time coding student/autodidact. For the moment I am using 100% of my time to do what I love.

What else could be better? I am really, really grateful.

Eliane ♥

Galway, Git & Guinness

It is done. I quit my job, yesterday was my last day! Here I am, freedom!

Right after work I drove my car, myself and my stuff from Shannon to Galway, where I had booked accommodation on Airbnb for the next week. After that, I have no plans, but I am open to everything! Life, show me your magic! ♥

I arrived in Galway in the evening and it was raining heavily. I decided for a welcome pint in a local Galway pub, which is something I always do when I return to my favourite place in Europe. I went to the Salthouse, famous for crazy beer, and when I sat outside I started chatting with two young Irish guys who were both in tech (one stuying IT/Networking, the other one working as a software programmer). It was great to talk tech with them and I picked up a few new terms I had’t heard before. Then I checked into my Airbnb in Roscom near the sea.

The place is affordable, cosy and the host is very friendly. He even made me breakfast! And not only that – he also turns out to be a recent “Software Development” graduate from GMIT (one of Galway’s Universities). Now I see why it is a brilliant idea for me to hang around this city – because there are so many tech students around I will be able to learn from.

This morning during breakfast, I started chatting with Sean about programming languages. He repeated what the guy from the pub had told me yesterday – about this fancy thing (err… fullstack javascript framework) called “mean”: http://mean.io/

We then came to talk about Git and he confirmed to me how important it is to know how it works.  The conversation turned into a mini tutorial and he helped me to install Git on my computer, showed me how to push the files into the .git folder, how to upload them to Github after and also how to add the changes to the Repository. Yay Sean!

Git

Here is the freshly uploaded Repository of my website on Github: https://github.com/BohemianCodes/BohemianCodes.com

Eliane ♥

Starting the Freelancer path!

So, today, shit just got real.

Today I signed up for a 399$ course which will teach me over the next 3 months how to become a professional WordPress Developer and work as a freelancer. Class starts on Monday, June 5th!

This is my first real investment into my new career.

I also fast-forwarded my leap into freedom today: I handed in my notice to the call center job in Shannon – where I have been working for the last 8 months (with a 6 week break in India). I will leave on Friday June 9th.

That’s, like, in a week.

And no, I actually don’t have huge savings. And what I have, I just invested in this course – and in a new laptop.

Well… shit just got real.

I’m very happy! 🙂

#freedom ♥

 

 

P.s. how do you like my little logo idea in the header?

 

Reclaiming my freedom_

It’s something I have been counscious of for a while now: Me and Full Time Jobs, we are not a good match. I am really just forcing myself through the week, day after day, and compromising both health and precious time. Now that I am for real starting to learn actual web development, I realize that I need a lot of time, time, time. One hour coding per day is great, but it is not enough. I already struggle to keep up with studying on lynda.com, on udemy and freeCodeCamp, but additionally I really want to keep my projects going: My little “Hello World” website bohemiancodes.com, this blog, and my “Iarthar” project about Western Ireland which is still in dev mode and has not been looked at for a while.

But I am not writing here to merely complain. I had an idea. It came to me Thursday morning before work, and caused me to arrive half an hour late.

My wish was (and still is, of course) to have as much time of my days and weeks as possible to study and code, as well as to be in nature – because my time in nature nurtures my sense of freedom and happiness, without which  I could not do anything. I was considering taking a part time job somewhere in Ireland, but there are absolutely no part-time jobs available in the whole country. So I had to throw that idea off.

All I need is a desk, a bed and some food. And then it came to me: Why not go back to volunteering on workaway? Maybe someone could use my freshly learnt development skills and would give me a bed and some food in exchange?

I have a workaway.info profile since years, I think it costs 29€ p.a., but it is well worth it. It works like this: As a volunteer you offer your help for around 20-30 hours a week in exchange for a bed (monstly shared room, sometimes private room) and food, but it all depends on the host, the location, availability and so on. I have worked in Costa Rica and Mexico through workaway, and had great experiences!

Alright, let’s have a look. I hopped on the website, entered some keywords and the first profile that came up I wrote a message to – and got a prompt reply. The host owns a traveling business (international trekking) and lives in North-West Ireland. He’d offer me a bed and food in exchange for updating content and cleaning his wordpress.org traveling business blog.

Since that morning, I can breathe better. I don’t feel like I am suffocating anymore. The host said he is in touch with some other workawayers, but I seem perfect. We seem to have a similar way of life as well. It always is a good sign, when both sides have a good feeling about it immediately. It felt like I did not have to make a decision. It seems like the decision had already been taken. My part was just to accept.

It may seem crazy to some people. But life isn’t about security, or smart moves, or even having good plans. It is about being open to the infinity of possibilities, and just about having trust in life. I realized that I had lost some of my trust in life lately, and that is when you start worrying and making yourself miserable. Time to let go of that.

Now, it seems like a leap into the unknown cold waters of the wild is going to be happening in my life (not for the first time). I will give up my apparent security and steady (more or less) income, but will reclaim my freedom, and drive out into the north to study and code, code, code…. and I absolutely love Donegal.

That’s what I am changing my career for in the first place, anyway. That’s what this life is all about: freedom!

Eliane ♥