Betwixt Code and Music

Final Push

November 10, 2015

or Finishing the Marathon

Our cohort at The Iron Yard-Austin started in late August on the same day that all public schools in Texas have the first day of school. For the previous two and a half months I had been preparing to head in a different direction. It had been over 15 years since I had seriously set out to study code. The last time I had formally been trained on the finer aspects of programming was in the 12th grade in the mid-1990s. Needless to say, I was a tiny bit rusty.


Humbly borrowed from Ramotion on dribbble

However, after reviewing different sites available online (yay for open source goodness!), my thinking began to transform. It became easier to use the syntax of JavaScript and understand the various built-in methods. My shortcut and TextExpander game began to flourish. For instance, I found myself typing console.log(); constantly, so typing ;cl on my laptop now produces the same result and places the cursor between the parens. Many minutes have been saved the last few months due to little helpful shortcuts like this.

Since I knew I was headed to The Iron Yard in late August, I made plans to head to Austin in July to see the previous cohort’s Demo Day. After watching the presentations by all front-end and back-end students, I took notes about what I thought was effective. Also, ideas began to swim around my brain about an app that I could make by the end of my time at in Austin. Though many ideas were conceived for final projects (with help from my bride), I knew that I had to stick to the assignments at The Iron Yard to learn the proper path to front-end enlightenment. Believe me, there was plenty to do with what our instructor threw at us each day without the added nagging of final project thoughts.

The final three weeks of the course are slotted to be final project and some polish and clean up of old projects/assignments. This included planning for the final push and making sure that all ducks were in a row before coding. I took this seriously and didn’t write any JavaScript until making sure that my user stories, wireframes, and data models were clearly instantiated in my mind. After going through a hackathon with all three classes (front-end, back-end, UI design) and doing a group project with all 16 members of the front-end class, planning for the project is certainly the most important aspect.

So…today is the day that we present our completed projects (well, this version, at least) to the staff here at The Iron Yard-Austin. They convene and let us know if we get the thumbs-up to confidently tread into Demo Day. My app is working well and looks pretty good overall. Hopefully things go well for everyone in all of our classes!

Michael D. Mathew.

Written by Mike Mathew who lives and works in Dallas building useful things. Sometimes he posts on Mastodon. Mike also wears many hats at Presto Assistant where he is a co-founder, owner, and product engineer.