15 May 2023

Halfway through Code Clan

I'm on week 9 of 16 on the Professional Software Development course at Code Clan Edinburgh. We have just finished a group project building a React app in Javascript using APIs, with an Express server and MongoDB at the backend. It’s beginning to dawn on me that I might actually know what I’m doing.

After completing the Python module with a solo project that was meant to be a chip shop website (but, functionally, was closer to a data harvesting website), I am surprised to be assured that this is fine. A many-to-many relational database where ordering multiple food items involves more than one new row on a third table is, it turns out, quite tricky to do after only four weeks of coding and the instructors are happy that I know how to use restful routes, that my forms do at least gather some information and the pages are accessible. My presentation, titled ‘A Lesson in Hubris’ also indicates that at least I know where I went wrong. The maxim ‘Progress, not perfection’ is written in large letters in the main foyer.

And this is probably as good a microcosm of Code Clan for me as anything. The lessons about how to approach work, how to be organised, being kind to yourself (having a young family and being on the spectrum means I have less spare time and impaired executive functions, and so I should factor this in to my response to not achieving everything I set out to); these are as big a part of the programme as learning code.

Obviously, I am also learning code. The instructors and class are divided over which language is better out of Python and JavaScript: some people prefer Python’s comparative solidity over the flexibility of JavaScript, whereas others (myself included) prefer the latter for precisely the same qualities. Possibly the speed with which we cover JavaScript is also a factor: having learned one language we go through the basics of another in a few days, meaning we’re going at least three times as fast as before. We’re introduced to APIs and scour the net for weird ones. It’s dizzying and exciting. I’ve never been so thrilled by the appearance of a bullet pointed list.

Another cohort has started the Software Development course, and we see them go through what we did with both empathy and a sense of distance. As they reel from the concept of a dictionary in a list in another dictionary we think ‘Oh you sweet summer child. I was once like you.’

Read Andrew's first blog from the early weeks of the course here.

Andrew Blair, CodeClan Student

Andrew Blair

Thank you to Be-IT for helping to sponsor me through this course. Your generosity is very much appreciated.

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