Code Academy Week 1 – The Beginning

This is kind of verbose. I expect day by day accounts to meld into weekly accounts eventually.


Monday was mostly an overview of the Chicago Startup ecosystem and resources specifically for Code Academy students. We went over the rules and expectations for Code Academy and 1871 in particular, and we even met with Kevin Willer, the President and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. After a short break, we went straight into an explanation of what computing was (input -> processing -> output) and then some HTML exercises. I sat next to Sheena Gygax, and we fiddled around with the terminal and HTML, via Jeff’s exercises. Finally, we had a Q&A session with four of the Code Academy alumni, including Robert Milner, who mentioned Sinatra. Great! I love Sinatra. Shot him an email later. Afterward, I met up with Mark Lawrence of SpotHero, a local Chicago startup focusing on solving Chicago’s shitty parking. It was very awesome; Mark is a generous soul, and very supportive of the Chicago startup community. Also, Rattlesnakes.


Stopped in after my internship at Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund to work on Unix for the Beginning Mage. I was originally going to do the “homework” and do TryRuby, but it was way boring.


Went over some basic Ruby and had it output to the command line. Worked on DRYing the “My Favorite Landmarks” output up. Used a function. The homework question was to ask how we could DRY up display_landmark(“Sears Tower”), since we called it on so many landmarks. I had a few ideas (okay, one – an array) but didn’t implement any. I was totally distracted by my phone the whole time, though I did get to sit next to and meet Dan Cardella and go to lunch with him and John at Chipotle. Awesome – the class is full of entrepreneurs!


There was a Book Club where Neal went through the first chapter of Rails. I stayed and helped Ilana edit the student profile handbook. Then we made a trip to Moe’s to meet a bunch of mentors and CA students. Finished the day with a playtest of Octodad: World of Kelp, and finally got to meet Philip Tibitotsky in person.


Here’s when it started to get fun. We started doing stuff with ruby. Mostly array manipulation, but it was amusing nonetheless. I paired with Laura Stude today. I got the warm fuzzies from being able to help out, but I hope I wasn’t condescending. I was late again. I really need to get out of the apartment 10 minutes before the bus says it’s going to arrive. Otherwise I will end up 20-30 minutes late, and later classes won’t be so forgiving. Went to 8th Light University with Danny Cardella. The talk was on Fountain Codes, which was actually almost understandable. I met Ryan Verner and Eric Meyer, my mentor, and then walked and talked with Eric MacAdie back to the Loop. I also shot Chris Courtney, AKA @designhawg, an email about an “MVP” which ended up sounding like a massive undertaking. This, the video project, the company dating site, and the million other ideas are threatening to take over all of my time. I need to cut back, and I haven’t even started anything. As a side note, I think I will refer to him as the Renegade Mentor, henceforth. Ideas I’ve seriously considered in the last week:

  • Date My Company
  • Collaborative Audio/Video
  • Video comparison
  • Sinatra personal challenge
  • Javascript

Alright, buddy. You can choose not to sleep, socialize, and eat…wait, no you can’t. Pick one. You also have to learn Rails. Build build build. Thoughts in audio: