MakerSquare Week 3: Enter APIs

It’s difficult to believe that the ending of this week means that we are a quarter of the way through MakerSquare. So far my approach of just putting my head down, and working as hard as I can on whatever is in front of me is serving me well. (In fact, one of the projects we worked on this week provided me with the best animated gif I’ve ever seen to accurately describe me):

animated gif. rabbit with cartoon classes typing on a keyboard.
Self portrait

For today, I mostly want to reflect on something that came up a lot this week — vulnerability. In chatting with a wonderful friend of mine (who was actually my inspiration to take this leap and invest in a ‘bootcamp’ style education), she was gracious enough to re-share the link to the blog she kept while she was doing her program a couple years ago. It helped me to read through the spectrum of her experience from the perspective of someone who (at the time) was right in the middle of week 3. The post that stood out to me the most was centered around this concept of vulnerability. Specifically, as it related to sharing — yes, literally linking to and sharing her blog — on social media.

I have grappled with this feeling a lot, and commiserated over discussed it with several other MKS30 peers. At what point are we relevant enough, knowledgable enough? When will we have enough to contribute? When will what we have to say be ‘meaningful?’ I’m particularly thinking about this right now as someone who spent hours this week getting my hands dirty in APIs, Backbone and Mithril. Right now, today, what do I have to say about any of those things that would be useful to whoever is reading this?

These are valid questions. But they shouldn’t prevent us from trying.

Right now, my hope in keeping this blog is primarily that it serves as a snapshot of my experience at MakerSquare, and secondarily that anyone searching for insight and considering investing in this kind of education finds it a useful window into the experience. As I move closer to the end of the program (and beyond), my goal is to transition this blog to be more technically focused.

In general, I’d say that this adequately characterizes the overall vibe of this week:

animated gif. tired bulldog refusing to move and being dragged off by owner.
“The Spirit of the Cohort”

Not every week is going to feel super energized, and it’s unreasonable to expect that all of the material will click immediately. This is still an everyday challenge for me, and familiarizing with Backbone felt like the boss level this week. Working with Mithril was definitely friendlier and more accessible in comparison.

No matter what comes up in the curriculum, my goals remains to just keep hacking away at what they give us.

crazy friday night party, y’all 🎈🎉#mks30

A photo posted by Amberley (@amberleyjohanna) on

On a separate note, I think the highlight of the week was getting to give a presentation on web accessibility. (Blog post to come! [Edit 5/21/2016]: Added post!) What better place to introduce web accessibility than at a bootcamp training new developers and engineers? 😉 Everyone is required to give a presentation, and the audience is comprised of our peers, as well as the senior cohort. It’s an interesting break in the day, where we get a short intro to something outside of the day-to-day grind. (Past topics so far have included things like web typography, music production, color theory, how to throw a clay pot, and many more).

Next week’s short term goals:

  • Write a week 4 recap post next week.
  • Write 1 more technically-oriented post next week. Maybe (probably) that web accessibility post 🙂
  • Link to blog. Link to this blog on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.