Day One

It is the first day of our first mastery project. My partner is about the same skill level as I am, which is a little scary, but I bet I will learn a lot. We started with creating a UML diagram and a workflow diagram. We spent a lot of time on them, but I don’t know if they will be very useful because this is the first time we really have used diagrams. By the end of the day, we both felt more confused and a bit discouraged by our progress. I am sure we will be all right, but the unknown is a little intimidating. I am getting the sneaking suspicion I will not have time for ice cream night this week. Every day this week will be a work day, so we should have plenty of time in class, and work some outside class. Ready to take it head on tomorrow!

Day Two

Oh, yeah, there is not enough time in the day. Forget what I said yesterday about that. If you are looking for a career where your work day flies by, chose software development. Three hours seems like three minutes; especially if you are under a time deadline. We worked very hard until almost midnight tonight, and are nowhere near the place we want to be. I feel like no one else is having the same issues we are, but maybe it’s just me (they have to be, right?). We are working perfectly together; we just get stuck on the same things. So if we are stuck…we are stuck. That is the challenge with being on the same skill level. But, I think I would rather have it this way than with someone that always had all the answers (yes, which will happen, it’s life). We have had some great conquering moments, and others periods that make us want to scream. Instructors will tell you at the beginning of the apprenticeship that highs and lows occur by the hour, and they are not exaggerating one bit. This has been spot-on for mastery week. It has been an absolute emotional roller coaster. I am ready to see what Wednesday brings, right after I sleep like a rock.

Day Three

Hump day, middle of the road, half way there…..if only that were true. I really do not know if I have ever worked so hard (academically) on anything in my life. I am mentally drained by the end of the day, dealing with stupid errors (that we created of course), trying to trace them back to seemingly nowhere. Sometimes it feels as if I am physically in a infinite loop, repeating the same errors over and over, and it is all because I called something the wrong name, or left off the ‘!’ in an if statement. If you do not understand that yet, you will. If you do not dream about code during mastery, there is something wrong. I cannot turn my brain off at night, continually thinking about what it could have been, could be, should be… I am probably dreaming the solutions to my issues but cannot remember. We are presenting our progress tomorrow to Victor. Yea, not feeling very confident, but we have worked so hard! It is really hard not to compare your work to others, but I think it is inevitable. Although I am a bit disappointed by our progress, I am not disappointed by what I have learned in the last three days. In actuality that is what should matter anyway, right? I came here to learn, not to compare myself to others. Everyone came in with a different skill level, so of course we won’t work at the same pace. Plus, our whole class gets along so well, no one is maliciously acting as if they are better. This is coming from within me, my competitive side comes out, and I want to be the smartest, but that just can’t happen every time.

Day Four

Yep, I had some good insight; I was nowhere near getting ice cream today. Today we did the first “client” presentation of the Mastery project. We did not have a good feeling going into it at all. One feature broke right before presenting, which was so disappointing for us. Victor assured us that we were not behind like we thought we were. That was so nice to hear! We have worked so hard all week; working until almost midnight every night. Tonight we stopped around 9:30 though because we actually finished three of the four menu options, and are really close with the fourth. We were just exhausted, and needed rest. We both felt awesome about how much we have accomplished today. The emotional roller coaster is unquestionably in full force. One minute we feel like we know nothing, the next we are rock stars. Then, we are exhausted!

Day Five

So today went pretty well, we are just so tired. We brushed up some issues, broke it again, fixed it, and broke it….repeat. But we fixed it in the end! Oh man it was so frustrating! It seems like the things that hold us up the most are simple syntax errors, not things we have to contemplate about logic. A word of advice, know where you should declare things! Also, we are definitely waiting too long to ask for help. If it is taking you longer than thirty minutes on a single issue, ask! We had a long night but cut it off around 9:00 so we could get some good rest. We have been working so hard, we are absolutely exhausted. We were a bit giddy, and laughing at the dumbest things. Even though we are stressed to the max we still have fun. I’m not really sure how I am able to write this right now I am so tired. Time for a good night’s sleep. Back at it tomorrow! And probably Sunday!

The Weekend

So…. we rocked it this weekend (hey, look, the rock star side of the roller coaster). We did have another major issue on Saturday, but we worked through it. Sunday we were able to really polish it up, and we have all options functioning. It was funny how the one thing we were most worried about took us the least amount of time, go figure. I have learned so much from this project it is unreal! I am so glad that I had a partner that was basically on my same skill level. We worked through everything together, tried each other’s ideas, and learned from each other every single day. We are so much better at debugging now too; this is a priceless tool that will cut your “fixing” time in half (p.s. learn the call stack trick immediately). We still have a few things to work on, but we have a decent product to present on Monday. All week long we were in panic mode, we felt so behind compared to the others in class. We never felt that confident about our project, but I am so confident about what I have learned this week! I am coming out of the first mastery with a much larger understanding of so many things I can’t even list them. They really know how to teach at the Guild!