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Life As A Bootcamp Dev - Week 7: Long Term

shawnhuangfernandes profile image shawnhuangfernandes Updated on ・4 min read

This Week

The COVID crisis has affected King County (where I live) pretty significantly, and as a result, dampened my ability to network and interact with others. I consider myself lucky, because I personally haven't experienced any hardship further than not being able to go out to restaurants, which is very minimal.

Here's my illustration of this week:

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Overall: It was more or less was productive. Being forced to be in my house for multiple days did make me feel little bit crazy. Here's a quick synopsis of what I did. Items I will be talking about in further detail are bolded.

Presence:

  • Sent out 10 job applications
  • Worked with my mentee at ADA on one of her new projects

Networking:

  • Sent messages to over 20 recruiters to get information on positions and/or companies, and surprisingly heard back from a couple!
  • Sent messages to around 10 software engineers working in positions I applied for, and some of them even got back to me!

Learning:

  • I started reading Cracking The Coding Interview once again to get a handle on data structures that weren't covered during my bootcamp
  • I completed 9 algorithms (I'm starting to go into LinkedLists, and some of the algorithms were taking me over an hour to figure out!)
  • I really dived into Github, React, and Rails as I collaborated on Personae and Play It Forward with my two teams.

Working On Personae - Setting Up A Rails Backend API

Before I dive into what I did, a quick snapshot of what Personae is.

Personae is a text annotation tool that allows organizations to collect feedback on projects and pull out meaningful data from them using machine learning.

I suggested our team use Trello to split up our deliverables. After our kickoff meeting on Monday, I ended up taking responsibility to build the server of our web application!

My plan was to build a Rails API that could serve data to be consumed by the frontend.

The general flow of how this happened was:

  • Used rails scaffolding command to generate a rails project setup with PostgreSQL database
  • Double checked gems/libraries needed (bcrypt, cors etc.)
  • Checked config files (ensuring CORS was enabled)
  • Generated resources for Models.
  • Setup relationships using Rails conventions in each model
  • Build some very simple serializers to clear up some of the JSON that'd normally come back from my API endpoints
  • Setup the routes for the API endpoints using the nested API::V1 convention
  • Migrated everything to create the schema so any created instances of the models would live in the database
  • Tested for expected behavior using the rails console
  • Populated seedfile with some data to show the team before our Friday check-in

I hadn't done much Rails in a while, and it was a good exercise to get back into the flow with the backend. I coordinated with Christian (the frontend person) to make sure the JSON I was planning on sending was structured properly for the client to receive!

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When we connected at the end of the week, I presented the backend data as JSON, Christian presented the frontend view he had build, and the PM took notes and updated us on the work he was doing meeting with potential clients. Very cool stuff! We'll be connecting next week to set up the next sprint!

Working on Play It Forward

Play It Forward has been a blast to work on. Just as a recap on its purpose:

Play It Forward is a web application where nonprofits and volunteers can connect with one another through events, and volunteers are incentivized to engage through added elements of a game.

This week I was working on some rough front end views just to understand how we will be working with a new CSS library called Tailwind. I wanted to wrap up 2 basic views:

  • Nonprofits List Page
  • About Page

Jen (my collaborator on this project) spent the week trying to refactor one of my components into Typescript and also integrate the backend she built using GraphQL.

For some reason I can't seem to attach images, so I'll share those at a later time!

For next week, Jen and I will be swapping roles, and I will be learning GraphQL and Typescript, and she will be using my views as a reference to build our login/signup page using Tailwind. I'm excited to see how she does as well as learning a new web service methodology (as opposed to REST).

Preparing for The Long Haul

I'm beginning to think that this job hunt will be especially difficult considering some factors:

  • Recruiters being less responsive considering COVID
  • Reduced hiring capabilities due to the state of the economy
  • Less opportunities to meet with people to work on things

Considering that previous grads averaged a 3 month job acquisition in a normal economy, I'm mentally preparing myself to be ghosted more frequently for the next couple months!

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My Simplified Game Plan For The Long Haul

Seeing as networking will be pretty much done remotely, and my online presence is pretty much based on my ability to network at this point, Here's my short laundry list of things to do for next week:

  • Send out 10 applications for "Junior Software Developer" roles
  • Message/Follow Up with at least 15 recruiters or software devs
  • Continue working on Personae
  • Continue working on Play It Forward
  • Do 10 algorithms
  • Do 1 whiteboard practice problem
  • Cover a couple chapters from Cracking The Coding Interview
  • Draw something, or just do something NOT tech related.

This will be tough for sure, but I was once told that people who work hard tend to be luckier than those who don't, so I guess I'll just do my best to be lucky :).

Good luck with your own endeavors,
Shawn

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