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Weeknotes - 07 Makers

Over the hump!

I'm more than half way through the Makers course. A career as a software developer is on the horizon, and learnings from the course are becoming clearer.

Testing with Ash Winter

Ash came to Makers to give a talk about software testing. He had helpful tips on integrating testers into a tech team, and behaviours valued in great testers.

Ash mentioned the cost of testing systems - or rather, the value of testing systems - which is largely decided by how risk-adverse a product or company is. Makes sense - I'd like any medical software being used on me to be robustly tested. Software with a blend of manual, automated, random, and deterministic tests, gives developers more confidence in their software's performance, even at scale - however, there are always blind spots

💡 software testing minimises risk, it is not a guarantee of future-proof, bug-proof software.

Three Questions a Tester Should Ask

Objective: Test a pen.

  • What do you mean by pen?
  • Why do you think you need a pen?
  • What other testing have you done?

Ash mentioned this also works for bricks, this resulted in ads for bricks in my Twitter feed.

Great Behaviours

  • Openness! Give advice and be readily available, so as not to miss opportunities for human or live feedback
  • Be honest about what you do and don't understand, be personable and a part of the team
  • Get familiar with the domain or with people who know it, even (especially?) those outside of the tech team

Meeting the Careers Team

The cohort had our first meeting with the careers team this week. It's hard to imagine 12 weeks of coding makes you employable, but companies who are hiring Makers are investing in our attitude, aptitude, skills and behaviours - not our technical experience alone!
The meet was perfectly timed to set us up for next weeks two-week agile project work, practising process, proactivity, and asking questions.

Makers has a review process before students move into the careers pool and start looking for work as a junior developer. The reviewer looks for the ability to explain your code as a means of demonstrating a skill, to articulate your process, and to demonstrate your approach to problems above your skill level.

Next-level Makers show their proactivity within the programming community by attending meetups and hackathons, too.


This weeks project was a single page web app written purely in vanilla JavaScript, tests and all - a fairly unusual and fun project! For the weekend challenge we followed a similar spec to create a news app that works with an API to truncate news headlines. I took a process workshop solving the middle character kata in JavaScript which I did to challenge myself and I was surprised at how fluently I was writing JS - I guess I learned something!


👏 Shoutout to Alex for offering to review some of my code!

🏃 What's enough design upfront? Just enough to get you started

💡 'local storage' can refer to the browser session, server-side session, the local browser, a database

🚀 Cool interview with Margaret Hamilton in the Guardian

Top comments (2)

martingaston profile image
Martin Gaston

Thanks for taking the time to write up your experience with Makers! It's a really interesting read.

I went through a bootcamp this time last year and found it a wonderful but intense experience - I'm getting flashbacks from reading this 😂

ruthmoog profile image

Thanks Martin! I've really enjoyed reading about other people's bootcamp experiences