Betwixt Code and Music

The Weeks After Code School

November 30, 2015

or How to stay focused

Since returning to my home near Dallas, I have been working hard to stay busy. This is fairly easy to do with four children in the house! A glimpse into my post-code school adventure follows…

Back in June I attended a meetup called “Social Coding” (my very first meetup!). It meets at nod (noddfw dot com) - the North Dallas coworking space on Preston Road. There I met Chirag, who runs the place. Turns out, not only is he a fellow drummer, but his first drum teacher was my best friend Chris from middle school/high school. Small world! After that, my schedule became too full to attend. I was in Austin for code school and coming home each weekend for maximum family time. I got back over there the Friday before Thanksgiving and met even more cool people. I am excited to help out on the project that they are doing!

I also spent a day working at The Iron Yard-Dallas with campus director Caitlin. She is working out of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, a coworking space in the West End area of downtown Dallas, while they are getting a bigger campus area organized. Working with her was extremely helpful. I was having writer’s block about getting a cover letter written. My versions kept sounding like I copied it off of Google, despite my best efforts. Travis from the The Iron Yard-Austin campus also gave me some helpful hints. These people are brilliant and go out of their way to help out.

The next day I attended a coffee club meetup in the heart of downtown Dallas. Being downtown two days in a row is enough to make you feel like a grownup! I met several cool people at this meet up that work for the city, work for themselves, work for other code schools, build robots, make startup businesses welcome in downtown - it was a good time. I will attend again.

The week of Thanksgiving came at a good time. I was able to hang out with the kiddos and give them my full attention. I also managed to keep my GitHub streak alive, but just barely! It helped that a couple of coding sessions spilled over past midnight - that counts as two days! I know that stimulus of the coding streak is a bit superficial, but, hey, anything helps!


Mathew children in downtown Dallas - November 2015

We did manage to get away to downtown Dallas as a family. Melissa and I were lamenting that we had never gone downtown much to just hang out. Our remedy - take the train downtown and just wander around. It was a fun experience. Downtown Dallas is really nice!

I have applied to several jobs and have even more in the backlog for further research. In the meantime, I am learning some Angular.js and updating some old projects. I also made a repository on GitHub with as many of our class’s whiteboarding examples as I could find in my notes. This is a good resource of things we did at the whiteboard in front of other humans. I am also going to be updating my drumr app (narrator: “he didn’t”) from my final project to reflect many of the features that I wanted to include but were outside of the scope of my two-week timeframe in early November.

I have learned so many new things recently, and my list of people and places to find help continues to grow. Things are looking good for a life-long learner like me. It has been a good month!

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.