On Tinkering, Day Dreaming, and Persevering

hack-reactor precourse-work

Over the last week or so, I’ve been moving at a fairly rapid pace through Hack Reactor’s precourse material. What I’m finding though, is that I’m spending a far greater amount of time learning related technologies and terminology (seem my last post) than I am actually solving the problems and reading through the material. I found this quite frustrating at first, but I’ve come to realize that this indirect learning is becoming more an more valuable. For one thing, its allowing me to accelerate my learning via transfer and adaptation.

I have also found that while all of the reading, tutorials, etc… I did before beginning the precourse work is a helpful foundation, actually USING all of these tools is allowing me learn much more efficiently. This should come as no surprise, given that Bloom’s Hierarchy yadda yadda. As a result, I’ve decided to try to apply what I’m learning as much as possible outside of the precourse work. For example, I’ve switched from hosting my blog on WordPress.com, to using Jekyll and hosting through GitHub. This will force me to practice using the command line, writing HTML, CSS and Markdown, and using Git.

Now, all of that being said, I have still been spending quite a bit of time on the actual precourse work. I read through HR’s presentation on closures and scoping rules and thought that I understood it pretty well. However, when I then moved on to the second part of rewriting the library, I found these concepts to be quite a bit more difficult in practice. Fortunately, this forced me to actually use the Chrome Developer’s tools. Even once I started using the debugger, I still got stuck on one of the functions for quite awhile. But then, on my walk home*…EPIPHANY! Once I stopped fussy over the code in my computer and just thought about it while daydreaming, I realized I just needed to include an object in my code. Der.

Got home, ate a snack, and popped open the laptop to put my theory to practice. And then IT STILL DIDN’T WORK. Fortunately (or not!), I can’t let a good puzzle go unsolved, so I chose to keep at it and just have leftovers for dinner. I’m happy to say my perseverence paid off and I got the code working in time to watch one of my Wednesday night television. I originally thought I’d give myself a break today as a reward…but here I am, already itching to move on to the next problem. I guess that’s a good sign!

*I walk about a mile and a half home everyday after work

Written on May 7, 2015