Learn all of the things!

This morning I learned regular expressions.  Around 2 hrs into the exercises a had a sudden moment, looking at some expression that consisted of a line of seemingly random characters.  There were letters, numbers, slashes, brackets, braces, and parentheses making friends with one another, and I could READ it. I knew what it said! Two hours beforehand, I would have been utterly lost. It would have looked like gibberish.  Now, it makes sense; this is a remarkable thing, to me. How rewarding!  Check out this tutorial; I thought it was great.

I’ve experienced this wonder on so many levels, lately.  Every day I learn something new; today, regular expressions and the basics of SQL.  Two days ago, it was Python classes.  I can’t believe that I’m learning so much so quickly.  It’s a heady feeling, and I love waking up in the morning wanting more.

This evening, we started a new Hackbright tradition: a Mentor Mixer.  Each mentee was paired with a mentor who is a developer in the area; David matched us each with someone who he and Christian thought we would pair well with, taking into account where we live, what we’re interested in doing, and what companies we’re interested in.  We’ll touch base fairly regularly with these mentors throughout the rest of the program.

Socially awkward as I am, I viewed this with trepidation and excitement. Who would be my mentor?  What kind of things do they work on? Would I be able to hold a conversation with my mentor and not feel like an idiot?  The answers, in order, are: A really nice and approachable guy named Chris, a travel search site I already use on a pretty much daily basis, and YES.  Well, I only mildly felt like an idiot, but that’s a pretty good day, for me.  I’m already really excited about what I’m learning, but getting to talk about it with people who already do what I want to do just energized me all the more.  This is an amazing positive feedback loop I’m experiencing!

In a turn for the entirely unphilosophical, check out this game I made with Sara yesterday!  We were supplied the game engine (though we tweaked it in a couple of places) and the core, and we created the guts of the game.  To play it, enter the following in Terminal or whatever windows users have that’s equivalent:

python engine.py maps.txt

We spent around a day and a half on it, cramming as many cool plot devices and game elements as possible.  This was an interesting exercise for me, as I’m usually concerned about getting things right and making them perfect. Instead, we just had to do what we could in the time we had, and we ultimately decided to try as many things as we could in order to get used to doing them.  I’m proud of what we did, though I would like to someday clean it up and expand it.  Look at me, 2 weeks in and accruing technical debt like a pro!

I am so excited about where everything is going.

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