09/13/13

Desperately Seeking Noob Status

noob-nerd

At the start of my learning to program adventure, my mentor referred to me as a noob in an email exchange. I made the mistake of correcting his spelling, assuming he must have meant newb, as in newbie, one "new" to a particular practice or profession. I even sent him an urban dictionary link as added support and humorous reference material.

His response:

Wow. Just wow. You just solidified your "noob" status majorly. First off only dumb marketing people use the term "newb" and then go on to actually quote something from Urban Dictionary. Seriously, you are quoting "Urban Dictionary"? It's so lame I won't even click on the link. You're "noob" status just hit a whole new level. I'm not even sure there is a term for it. And by the way, if you were a gamer (which obviously you are not), you would be referred to as "n00b". That's right double zero style. This is fucking unbelievable.

Huh. So apparently I was already way behind in this whole programming thing and I hadn't even started? Hello Humble.

I learned a lot from my mentor over the next several months, his bark being infinitely more worse than his bite, and came to the quick realization that once-a-week-instruction, with some practice in the evenings after my day job, was not going to cut it. I needed to find a way to do this full time, because I was hooked and desperately seeking noob status - for real.

Enter the opportunity with JumpstartLab. I applied, I stalked the founder, and I was a mild train wreck at the interview, which all combined, magically resulted in my acceptance (because apparently they don't read your writing sample). And so began my noob life. In week one, or rather week zero, they started us off with an initiation in improv, Ruby in 100 minutes and a tidal wave of tutorials to prep us for the deep end of the ocean, which is weird, because I was pretty sure I was already in the deep end of the ocean when I quit my career (marketing of course) of 10 years so I could learn to code.

A small handful of highlights from the week:
+ string manipulation
+ using ERB for templating
+ reading data from CSV files
+ rotating arrays
+ zipping hashes
+ middleman blog creation
+ installing and using gems
+ setting up programming environment
+ conditional branching and looping

And while I would love to expound on all of the above, or even provide the full list of topics covered in week zero, there is just no fucking way. I am buried. Or to keep with the ocean metaphor, drowning. I never expected this noob life to be easy, but right now, I am just hoping I can actually keep swimming for the next six months.