In The Beginning

Like any other first day, today was not without its surprises. As I drove to class, I had a silly grin on my face. It was something that I haven’t experienced in a long time. I simply cranked my stereo, sipped on my energy drink, and enjoyed the ride. I have been looking forward to this day for the last two months.

I rounded the corner from the parking garage and walked up to the door. I swung it open and looked inside. I could hardly believe what I saw. A big open space with high ceilings. Huge colorful art pieces that instantly grab your attention. As I forced myself to look away I spotted comfy couches, benches, tables and chairs filling the room. I can’t tell you how spoiled we are. As the rest of the class filed in behind me, I introduced myself and tried to remember names. We picked our seats, and pulled out our laptops. Bagels and coffee made sure that we got off to a good start.

As we got settled in we wen’t over some of the details. After the formal introductions were complete, we started the long, arduous task of adding the required software to our laptops. Luckily, Sumeet came with a plan. The class relies a lot on GitHub to backup and share the projects we will be working on. The same company has come up with a way to make sure teams have the same software loaded on their machines. They call it Boxen. It took a little massaging, but eventually we were ready to dive in.

Our first Ruby assignment had us pair programming right away. That’s where two developers work together on a project, but only use one computer. It’s an interesting way to work. It forces both developers to be involved and pay attention to what the other is doing. I have to admit that it works though. Both Cara, my awesome partner for this assignment, and I caught errors and typos that the other didn’t catch right away. As we sat on one of the plush couches, we made pretty good progress. Our instructor admitted that this first assignment was a bit of a stretch from what our prework had required, and he didn’t disappoint. Soon enough we ran into a problem. We knew what we wanted to do, but we didn’t know how to do it. We started looking through some notes, and quickly moved onto online forums and search engines. Unfortunately, this problem had us backed into a corner. We weren’t finding what we needed. Luckily, we had an entire room full of people to ask. As we described our problem to other students, we began hearing about options that we hadn’t even considered. It gave us enough to power through and get the job done.

As if all that wasn’t enough, today Silicon Prairie News announced that I am working with them to cover OCS. They are a technology blog that covers startups across the midwest. This is an opportunity to get as many people in our community aware of what we are doing this spring. For the initial post, I summarized some of the information from my blog so far. Specifically, the Questions post. Hopefully it helps get information out to those who have questions. I will continue to write a new post every-other week throughout the class, so keep an eye out and give them a read.

Even though today was short by Sumeet’s standards, I’m still wiped. There was so much excitement and energy today that I just got lost in the moment and needed to take a minute to catch my breath. I can’t help but think that I will be cranking my stereo and rocking out with a grin on my face on the way to class again tomorrow. Today was a great day.

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