What did you learn today?

Deployment! It’s a scary thought to throw your code into the wild. Will my server explode? Will my code run? And how do I set up my environment variables? Wait, what are environment variables anyway? These are some of the many questions I had today. Lecture didn’t do much to address my questions, and we learned by doing as we tried to launch or shortly-express app using Microsoft’s Azure.

After debugging node and npm on my pair’s machine and after stepping through Microsoft Azure’s registration process, my pair and I successfully deployed our very first app!

Our code is sourced from one of my GitHub repos, and the code is automatically pushed to a remote server. We had little idea of what we are doing and what needed to do to actually get the app deployed, but it was quite satisfying once the app went live.

The rest of the evening was spent learning about Grunt.js and how to automate tasks, such as linting, concatenating, and minifying (or uglifying) files using many of the npm grunt packages. We learned more about the build process and talked through what we will need to do tomorrow to serve up minified files in a production environment. Our other task is to gut Bookshelf from the shortly-express app and incorporate MongoDB as our database store. I have experience working with MongoDB thanks to a Data Wrangling course and my work at Udacity. I’m hoping that knowledge comes in handy tomorrow.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?

I need to work on more toy problems between now and graduation. Two toy problems have stumped me this week, and I need to make sure that I’m technically competent.

I’m super excited to learn more about the field of software engineering, and I’d love to find a mentor. My teaching abilities and strategies grew exponentially when I worked closely with a mentor through Teach For America’s summer institute program and a BTSA coach when I taught high school mathematics at Life Academy. I’d love to find a strong mentor and think carefully more about the type of work and contributions I want to make.

Anything you want to do differently tomorrow?

I made the summer corn soup! I had a little bit of it tonight, and it tasted sensational: tarragon, spinach, corn, fingerling potatoes and more! I’m definitely bringing my lunch tomorrow.

Oddly enough, I’ve also managed to find a lot of time to catch up on readings and online learnings. I caught up on my newsletters in my Udacity email account, and I managed to take JavaScript Testing and Responsive Images from Udacity’s Front-End Nanodegree Courses. The Responsive Images course made use of Grunt.js, which came in handy today. I’d call that “just-in-time” learning.

To tie up loose ends on learning, I need to put some time into MIT’s Analytics Edge course, which I started before HackReactor. The course is in the middle of Kaggle competition, which I have yet to start. The competition wraps up on Sunday so I need to put in an hour or two over the next few days. Let’s do it. Besides, the rest of the course covers linear and integer programming. Math!