Codeacademy JS and Geek Girl Tech Con SD

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Javascript is a high-level programming language. It works really well with user-based interactions, and is relatively straightforward, as observed throughout this course.

This also happens to be my first time using codeacademy, which I must say has been an overall pleasant experience. I had to break up the learning for this course over at least 1.5 weeks as I was on the move travelling on trains, planes and different regions in the U.S most of the time.

Considering my background in Java and Python, I find Javascript unlike any of them. Instead of “print”, we are advised to use “console.log”. The general concepts are similar though - the use of methods, functions, classes and objects, and the differences between “&&” and “   ”.

Unfortunately, codeacademy cannot be done offline. I can imagine how much easier it would have been had I been able to program without the internet whilst on a mountain. Nonetheless, all is well and done.

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I’m looking forward to exploring Ember.js. At the moment, I’ll be focusing more on Rails and Ruby, since I’ve had minimal experience with them. A previous database subject in school has allowed me to familiarize with CRUD, but there’s much trepidation in working on Rails using Windows!

Will also be formally installing Discourse on Ubuntu as seen here -> To be updated in future (25/06/2015) ->

-> Update (1/07/2015): Managed to set up my local environment with these easy-to-follow instructions. However, it seems that we’ll be using laptops provided by Redbubble, so off to install Discourse on a Mac now!

On another note, I attended my first code/tech-related conference! So I’ve been eye-ing Geek Girl Tech Cons since my study abroad in Philadelphia. Initially had hoped to go for the Boston GGTC but it was held way too close to the examination period. Thankfully, I happened to be travelling along the West Coast during the San Diego version of the Tech Con. So here’s how it went:

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Where: The University of San Diego

When: 8.00am - 5.30pm

What: A day filled with workshops and networking

Overall experience: Great. It definitely pumped me up and I learnt more about Rails, Jupyter (Python) and inspiring Tech Women. However, I also realized that most of the companies were local to San Diego, and my experience would have been enhanced had it been local to Melbourne where I can continue to attend meetups.

The volunteers warmly welcomed us in the morning. Managed to snap some formal headshots and fun social photos at the booths out front. Along with a handbook of the overall program outline and a goody bag, I made my way to the Opening Keynote speech. It was rather awe-inspiring to see the volunteers and executive committee introduce themselves, some who’ve been there for many years worrking in the Geek Girl committee. The family-like atmosphere was heartening, and their words of encouragement had psyched all participants for the day ahead.

Many workshops were held concurrently, so I had to make the decision on which was more important. Here’s what I did:

  • Engaged with the booths

I won a Falcon Keyboard from one of the booths! You know one of those “tweet and stand a chance to win our product!” things? That’s right!

  • Google Analytics (BEG)

It would have been better had I actually used Google Analytics before. Nonetheless, the instructor explained how one could use Google Analytics for business or personal blogs. It was useful to hear a breakdown and summary of the power of analytics.

  • Lunch!

We had a hearty lunch at an open space of the University of San Diego where the conference was held at.

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Lunch also came with a spectacular view of the San Diego harbourfront.

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  • Python and Jupyter (BEG)

My biggest takeaway would be how Python is useful for data visualization. As someone who has seen the power of MatLab, to know that Python has similar potential was intriguing. I’ve heard that Python is commonly used to program games as well! Amazing.

  • Ruby on Rails (BEG/INT)

We were shown how to create a website using Rails. No wonder Ruby is used so commonly to create applications and websites! It’s just so high-level and easy-to-use. Last I tried Rails, I almost destroyed the teammelbourne blog. This workshop gave me the courage to try it again. Time for another Rails home-Installfest on Windows!

And that is all. 4 days to RGSoC and more to come!

Signing off, Sarah

Written on June 25, 2015