My last post about The Collab Lab was back in week 4. It has been an interesting past few weeks.
It seemed like for all of us week 4 and 5 were intense in areas outside of our collab lab commitment. Neither pair was able to satisfy their story or get our pull request merged by the end of the week. Many of the mentors had a company retreat.
I think it was around Saturday when I realized it wasn't going to happen. Past me (probably as recent as two years ago) would have freaked out and stressed about it. I was pleased with my mental response to what felt like falling short of expectations.
I thought, this is a great learning opportunity and this is what we're here for. Andrew wasn't going to call it off and cancel the project. I knew that much. I knew it would be handled in a professional and reasonable way. I knew we weren't "in trouble."
A common theme in what I've learned so far is that effective and frequent communication is just about the most important skill I'm building as a part of this cohort.
We all got stuck, then everything was really quiet.
It's important to communicate (and push code) when you're stuck. Git is an amazing tool that allows us to time travel through code. I'm finding that the more comfortable I get with Git, the more willing I am to try things without fear of messing it up.
I don't remember which of the mentors said this, but someone a few weeks back said, "branches are free." I put that advice into practice with this last story.
Things got messy and frantic with my code as I was trying to debug it and make it fit with my partner's work. I decided to go back to when we had everything working but not yet connected and made a fresh branch. It was much easier to think it through and get to a working solution.
The working solution was still messy and hacked together but then our mentor, Steve left an awesome code review.
I don't talk a lot about the programming and the React stuff that I'm learning, but I'm learning so much. I feel like I leveled up by refactoring the code with Steve's suggestions. How amazing it is to have access to someone who knows React.
I tweeted about it, a little bit (before the level up)
Nikema Prophet(she/her)@dev_nikemaNew awareness from my @_collab_lab experience: Learning is still happening when I’m doing something new that I’m not able to fully understand or recall. I followed a @freeCodeCamp tutorial to make a social app with React, Redux, and Firebase functions some months back.21:09 PM - 18 Jan 2020
Part of what was hard and time-consuming with this story is I had to learn new stuff and then turn around and implement what I'd just learned. I'm grateful that I know my learning style and I have access to great resources and knowledgable mentors.
This is absolutely my favorite way to learn. With context, for a reason, and with awesome people is great for intrinsic motivation.