From Two-Bys to 8 Bits

My journey from home remodeling to programming

to whom it may concern:

I have decided to use a different platform to track my progress going forward, I’ll leave the new address here:


Here’s Tom With The Weather

What a week, or a couple of weeks, I don’t remember. What I know is that we, as a class, developed 4 tangible products in 4.5 days after 4 weeks of class. They’re pretty slick if I don’t say so myself. I had a brief moment of fulfillment, programming wise, meeting with my teammates to discuss the future of our application. It was like I was back to creating a product, collaborating and trying to make the result what we envisioned. Then came Monday. The plans I had to work on our project were completely upended by the need to learn the ins and outs of Javascript. I would compare it, thus far, to reading Atlas Shrugged. Everyone tells me it is good, I am sure it’s interesting, but getting into is like starting a fire with two wet sticks.

I have taken for granted just how eloquent Ruby is. I know there is a cost, whether it be memory, load times or some other object that is perceived as an inconvenience. JS just doesn’t have the flow,.. maybe I’ll get there. We have met with people from Flywheel & Lemonly which has been an interesting perspective into different aspects of development and the products that support it. I am excited to see a full stack development operation. We had an assignment to rebuild a site in css and html off of an image file. It may be the most versatile language in the world for assembling websites but it is the least predictable thus far. If I want something on the right side of the layout, I am going to float it left,……. makes sense to me! Once I completely develop my system, which I have named CSS Tetris, I’ll like it a lot better. Regardless of the feelings I have from day to day regarding language idiosyncrasies or small amounts of pent up energy from working through frustrating problems the challenges are wicked fun and the people make it enjoyable. });

Explaining DST to a One Year Old

I am really enjoying Code School. There is always a challenge, everyday, and just when you think you have tried everything and you are almost ready to surrender to the powers of nil class, something clicks .. you fix it, and then you’re back on your way. One thing I love about code is that I know the result desired is achievable. As a class we are getting to know all the methods for building and delivery, and there is a predictable outcome we can achieve. There is a when, but it is not known until the git push is sent and you’re on to the next challenge. Week two was interesting because a rhythm has been developed between all of us at OCS. There is always a feeling of excitement met with brief moments of exhaustion. The exhaustion may just be me. I have never stayed up playing tic-tac-toe with myself til midnight figuring out all moves a player could make to confuse an AI until the second week of code school.

My wife thinks I have joined a cult. She’s very understanding,.. seriously. In just under three weeks I have quit a construction job, slashed my beer consumption, started doing yoga and meditation, have started to prefer a Macbook for perusing over a PC I built a year ago, and she just reminded me I am blogging. Despite all the changes there is no lack of confidence that when the last day of Code School rolls around I will be better off then when I started. Given the proper tools, methods and time nearly anything is possible. I say nearly because the one-way discussion about day-light-savings time to my daughter was impossible. My feelings Sunday night were probably similar to Andy’s experience explaining his integer to roman numeral conversion to me before my first cup of my ever increasing daily coffee regimen. Or Cara explaining the best methods for tic-tac-toe victory to me Friday evening. Attentive, present and conscious there come brief moments where words just stop registering. They are rare and never have I heard a classmate say they are overwhelmed. The curriculum thus far has been an informative with process explanation, a few projects to get used to it and a day to let it set in. We are always building on what we last learned which has been awesome. Rereading this paragraph,.. I may have joined a cult.

Sumeet had a field trip planned for us this week that was very intriguing. We went to Grain & Mortar, a design, market and branding company down at the Mastercraft building. It was exciting to see people who loved and took pride in their product. Their space is about perfect for the current size of their company, but given their focus on quality and the cohesiveness of their team I am afraid their cafeteria may soon be desks & monitors. They do have one coder running a Windows platform which was nice to see. OCS has an open house scheduled for tomorrow(Fri. 3/14) where people can meet and greet some staff and students that are in the class. We should be able to show you a few things that we have done over the course of the past few weeks. Our current project is creating a blog website with a feature set we design and create. Due Monday. I’ll elaborate on my model once I get it working.  This week has been a lot of fun. We have had a chance to build a teamwork aspect outside of our pair coding exercises(puzzle club what what). I must also say that there are more reports of people losing their once serene dreams to Ruby, Sinatra, and SQL. While I can definitely sympathize,.. the 2:30am “Oh I know how to fix that now” has yet to get me out of bed. On that note,.. hope to see you tomorrow.


I am writing this introduction a week into Omaha Code School. A belief I held was that writing anything before getting in to the process would be anxious and very speculative. While not inherently negative, it was just not a piece I could bring myself to write. Prior to Omaha Code School I was in the Home Improvement business for about 6 years. It allowed me to use problem solving and help create things that I could see were improving the projects I was working on. The hope is that I can carry these skills of working with people and building projects into my current endeavor which is Omaha Code School. There are several things I did not accurately predict. One is the cohesiveness that a group of strangers can obtain after being forced to work together for five days. I say forced but really should say allowed. Everyone I have worked with on projects this first week have been very studious and excited about the assignments. There has been a time in each project where we hit progress=0, but no one has wavered in trying to push through the problem. Contrary to my initial belief we did not start the class with HelloWorld.rb.

The ease of the transition into Omaha Code School for me actually goes back to when I was an extremely young kid. My mom kept accounting records on a c64 with a backup on a tape drive. The only thing I knew at that time is once a month a magazine came and she could copy the code into the machine and I would have a new game to play. Since that point in time I have always been toying, tinkering and enjoying technology. After that c64 we went to x86 and I have hardly pushed a button on a mac until Omaha Code School. When Sumeet said it was a requirement I was a bit disheartened. My first thought was to try to find a laptop that would cooperate with some hackintosh modification. An hour into this process is when I had a realization about myself and how I have always done things. I really like my way. I don’t know exactly why I prefer to do things in my own way, there are most likely better ways to do things or more information I should be looking for to reach objectives. I bought a used macbook and entered this phase of my life with the idea that I will not box myself in, I will be open to doing things someone else’s way, learn from the process, and then make a decision about the new best way to do things.

The first week of Omaha Code School has been extremely interesting. I was that last person finished on laptop setup day. Though it was a tedious task I do believe that Boxen was the easiest way to get everyone on the same page. From there it was off to start working in Ruby. In the prework and still at this moment I have a hard time getting used to everything Ruby does for me. My last code experience was a Programming class in High School(2000ish) that was C and Basic, the first year they switched from COBOL. Now I am all like variable.each HA ITERATION LOOP! That really sums up the first week for me. Meeting awesome new people and trying to make sure I use the language efficiently. I’ll let you know my thoughts on my first Yoga session another time.