Running total hack time: 34

Topics: Team Treehouse, Ruby on Rails, git, github
Resources: Team Treehouse, Ruby on Rails, omg so much StackOverflow, Erin Call, Emily Strickland

Over the last few days, I’ve been diving headfirst into Ruby on Rails. And what a dive it’s been. My friend described Ruby on Rails as like an iceberg. The code you see is only the tip, with this massive, inscrutable architecture underlying it all. I have to say, I’m finding the description apt.

My learning right now is simultaneously working through the Team Treehouse Ruby on Rails tutorial and also (attempting) to contribute to the green-mercury project to relaunch the Code Scouts member network. It should be really amazing once all is said and done, but for right now, I’m mostly just trying to keep my head above water. Erin Call, the technical lead on the project, has been really awesome, sending me little tidbits to bang on, and then letting me debug them when my eensy little pull request broke other stuff. As a result, Iet’s just say I’m having to get a lot more familiar with version control and the git commands that go along with it.
I can’t honestly say I have much idea what I’m doing at this point, but the longer I stare at the code, and the more I fiddle with it, the more familiar it becomes. It’s a concept I’ve found helpful about tech in general. It’s a much different kind of learning.
For example, when I was in school and learning other things, I felt like while I was learning I would understand 75-95% of what was going on in classes. I would do some readings, or ask some questions, and do a few assignments and voila, I was up to speed. Tech hasn’t been like that at all. At first, I thought I was just bad at it, and that was why I couldn’t understand what was going on around me. For a long time, I actively told people how “bad” I was at technical things, and that I was just “one of those people” that technology never works for.
Luckily, I had a friend, a CS major, who was really patient and really invested in sharing the things he was learning. So, he found ways to describe the concepts with metaphors and without language in a way that was comprehensible. I still only understood maybe 15-20%, though. But I listened to him, to be polite and show an interest in his life. Eventually, though, I started to realize I was understanding maybe 25% of what he said. Then 30%. And I realized that, unlike other subjects I was taught how to learn, tech just requires constant exposure. You are literally learning not just one, but multiple languages. Not just languages, but an entirely new framework and infrastructure. The more you immerse yourself, the faster and more thoroughly you understand.

I’m up to maybe 35-40% understanding at this point, I would say. My comprehension still lags behind, but I can occasionally ask pertinent questions, and I’m beginning to be able to have a tiny little bit of a frame of reference. I’m beginning to understand who in my life is the best person to bother about certain topics, and that not everyone has the knack for making things comprehensible to beginners. That has been such a huge leap forward in my ability to learn, and my ability to overcome my impostor syndrome And that is probably the most crucial thing necessary for me to see this through.