The Slough of Despond

Like any pilgrim on a journey, I’ve seen some inspiring vistas and trudged through some pretty mirky swamps during my time on the Codeclan course. One of my colleagues has identified a pattern to the week – Hopeful Monday gives way to Terrible Tuesday, which leads to a distinctly Jaded Wednesday.


My typical Tuesday afternoon.

But Wednesday sees a climb up from from the slough of despond when we realise that we can find our way out of backwaters and dead ends and start to climb again. Quietly Satisfied Thursday is when everything for that week pulls together an we have a drink in the evening and congratulate each other on making it through another leg of the journey. Friday is more freeform with a weekend assignment and all day to work on it, or not. Last week we had a wee spontaneous study session in the afternoon to talk through some of the stickier points of the weekend homework.

So it’s up and down, and each Friday has seen us gain some ground, a little elevation with a better view of the lie of the land.


A Codeclan tutor puts me back on track.

Yesterday the cohort ahead of us gave presentations of some group projects they had put together in a week. It was impressive stuff. There were groups of four and five given a choice of briefs, and they had a week to plan and implement a working web application. Using vanilla Javascript, html, css and whatever APIs they could come up with.

There were two astronaut dashboards, a Munro bagging app and a disease tracker that had a nice little timeline to show the worlwide prevalence of four diseases over the centuries. Most of the data for that one had been either invented or extrapolated from less than fulsome sources. But it worked and it had a nice design, so hats off to them.

The Munro bagging app has potential to be marketable, if they can refine the local weather data a little. What’s true for the nearest weather station is seldom true at 3,000 feet, so a little cheery sun symbol could be misleading. But with some refinement they could have a nice little earner.

Our cohort has been working on getting Ruby, the scripting language we’ve been learning, to talk to a database. This is where it gets even more interesting as it’s where real-world applications can start to be envisioned.

I had some existential musings on my way to work this morning, about classes of things. Yesterday we had to create some wizards and magical items and map who has which items.

So, an instance of a class of Wizard is a person who is a wizard, in the case of my work it’s Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. But an instance of a class of MagicalItem (MI) isn’t an individual item, but a kind of an item, because there are lots of wands, broomsticks and deluminators. There are wands, broomsticks and time turners in the abstract which are instances of a larger abstract class, MagicalItems, but they are used by the wizards, which are not abstracts but individual. There is only one Harry, one Hermione, one Ron.

So what do we call an actual MI that is used by a particular wizard? I call it a “tool” so that I can have a third catgeory in my database that can refer to both an individual Wizard and a kind of MI.

For the purposes of this exercise this is a many to many relationship, in that one wizard can have many MIs and many instances of an MI can belong to many wizards. But would that only be appropriate if it was one individual MI that was shared out between many wizards? Like a class broom for example.

I know it sounds a bit silly but it shows the principals behind the exercise are tricky to think through.

So, onwards and upwards into the tornado.


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