Home Stretch

Enigma was a hard enough project. I was still not very comfortable turning my ideas into code. The whole week leading up to evaluations was stressful. Knowing I had to get passing grades for Enigma, Sales engine, and my final assessment just compounded my stress. I mean, 2.5-weeks to complete 2 big projects and be assessed… dude I’ve only been programming for 4 weeks!

Enigma was due on the following Monday. Most people in the class weren’t finished on Sunday night, and some were finished but still had a bunch of refactoring left. Thankfully we were given another day and I completely finished my project 15-min before my evaluation! Cutting it kinda close if you ask me. After a pat on the back we were christened with our next super fun seemingly impossible project, Sales Engine.

Honestly Sales Engine is no joke. For the newly minted developer it’s a monster of a project. Just reading the project spec may intimidate the best of us! Sales Engine is a data reporting tool. The data is merchant transactions, and it is plentiful. Six massive CSV files have to be parsed, over 12 classes have to been built, hundreds of methods have to be created, object relationships and responsibilities have to be established, and most difficult of all “Business Intelligence.” Biz intel includes calculating merchant revenue for successful transactions, determining most profitable merchant(s), determining the customer(s) that spends the most money at a specific merchant, determining what day the merchant was most profitable and on and on it goes until you get dizzy and want to vomit!

My first time tackling Sales Engine was a blur. I hardly understood how to complete the first section, Relationships. My partner was much better than me and took the reigns on pretty much the whole project. I didn’t want to hold her back because their was a time restraint and not passing sales engine meant we could potentially work on extensions(you really don’t want to know) over our break or just not advance to module 2.

The last week of the module I took my first final assessment. I failed, pretty epically in fact! The challenge was to implement an extension to a fairly simple Scrabble program. My accessor wasn’t really giving me too many clues and by the time I got comfortable with where I was heading we ran out of time. Can’t hate, I knew I had the skill to solve the problem I just approached it wrong. Turing gives you another opportunity to take the final assessment and if you don’t pass the second time you have an option to re-take the whole module.

After the first assessment I got to thinking. Am I ready to move on to module 2? Do I feel comfortable with my Ruby skills? What is the minimum? If I pass the assessment the second time do I deserve to move on to Module 2 when I can’t even complete half of Sales Engine by myself? Did I come here to just barely squeeze through the cracks and graduate as an average bottom of my class programmer? I thought about all this for the next few days leading up to my second assessment and decided regardless what happens I’m going to retake module 1. I felt very confident that if I retake the module I would improve tremendously and struggle less throughout the rest of the program. Interestingly I wasn’t the only one in my cohort who felt this way, 5 classmates chose to retake the module. That’s 25% of the class!

I told Jeff I’m contemplating re-taking the module and he asked me wether I even wanted to take the assessment again. I said Yes. I somehow had an A-Ha moment that last week and started to better grasp Enumerables, and I felt like if I’m going to re-take the whole module I prefer it to be by choice. I ended up passing with flying colors the second time around and felt good about myself. I knew I wasn’t completely hopeless. With a clear head I packed my bags that weekend for a week long surf trip to Nicaragua.

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