Study Tips from the Road

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Hi there! I haven’t blogged here in a while, so I thought I’d give a quick update on how my program is going. I’ve made decent progress in the month since my last update.

All told, here’s what’s left. Basically I have three major project/assessments and AngularJS left.

  • * Rails: 1 lab & 1 final project
  • * JS: 5 labs
  • * Rails + JS: 3 labs & 1 final project building on top of the Rails final project
  • * AngularJS: 55 lessons/labs left & 1 final project

Of course I always wish that I were further along, but I think that I can definitely see the end 😀 . And considering that I was traveling for half of April, it’s not too shabby! Having the flexibility to travel was one of the reasons that I chose to study with an online program, although I admit that I had my doubts about actually getting anything done on the road.

Here’s what’s helped me stay on track with studying while visiting New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles:

  • * In general, have everything you need to work ready to go in your bag: for me, that’s my computer, music/headphones, coffee mug, notebook and my cellphone to use as a hotspot. Having those things on me at all times made it easy to bang out a couple of labs during travel downtime.
  • * It’s worth the space to pack your best headphones. My Sony MDR-7506 over ear headphones are large, and take up precious real estate in my backpack, but packing them was a great choice. I was able to block out lots of the annoying sounds of travel (babies, airplane hums, sorority girl banter…). Invaluable. Also, I don’t know exactly when this happened, but I guess since I wear them so much when I’m coding, putting the headphones on puts me in the mood to work. Pavlovian response I suppose.
  • * Study what you can in the hotel, but try to get out and about. Look for unusual spots to study: bars, park benches, train stations, Shake Shack 🙂 . Work that hotspot, or pre-load relevant content onto your phone before you head out (podcasts, videos, books).
  • * In New York I made it a point to stop by and study in my bootcamp’s physical location. It was something akin to visiting the motherland, LOL. Very inspiring and definitely motivation for me to work harder.


  • * Try not to feel too guilty about balancing fun / studying. If possible, pre-plan your hours for working vs. touristing. I tried to spend the morning and late evening studying, which became my “routine” after a couple of days.

I don’t have any more trips planned until a wedding in late May, so hopefully the next time that I post I’ll be sharing my Rails app. Just gotta commit to a project idea first…

Meetups: Code for San Francisco

Event: Weekly Civic Hack Night

Interested in helping San Francisco? You have found the right place!  Join neighbors, government employees, designers, coders, students and more! Our weekly hack night is focused on civic tech and making government services better in San Francisco. We hack/build and learn together every Wednesday evening.


6:00pm doors open, socialize and eat dinner

6:30pm welcome remarks, (often) a presentation, and project pitches

7:00pm start hacking or stay for new member orientation

8:00pm more hacking

9:00pm keep on hacking

10:00pm doors close and lights out

Group: Code for San Francisco

All you need is your brain, your passion, and your openness when you come to Code for San Francisco’s weekly Hack Night. We welcome all interested people, including residents, activitsts, business folk, designers, and developers. No need for tech experience of any kind!

Code for San Francisco is a Code for America “brigade” or local chapter focused on improving San Francisco. You’ll be surrounded by folks who are interested in working together to change The City for the better. We fix government services, create insightful visualizations from opened data, and engage people who may have been excluded from the economic boom in the Bay Area.  Come by to join an existing project (we need ALL types of skills – not just coders), to pitch your own project, or simply to experience the global movement to change the areas in which we live for the better.

Location: Code for America

Experience: I’m pretty introverted, so it takes a lot of energy and hyping myself up in order to get me to attend a meetup, even if I’m going with a friend. One of the hardest things for me is the fact that 99% of the people who I meet at these events… I will never see them again, ever. It’s just fact. I can think of one time that I saw a meetup person again, and that was because I contacted her about a class I was taking.

This Code for San Francisco hack night has a few really great things going for it. First off, this event happens often enough (every Wednesday) that there are “regulars.” But even better, the people there are bonded by a common goal – making San Francisco better by using their skills. There’s a pretty diverse set of projects to choose from, and you are also encouraged to pitch your own ideas. So you’re actually doing/creating something, not just drinking and talking at a “networking” event.

The vibe was very inclusive, and contrary to the name of the organization, no you don’t have to know how to code in order to come and participate. You can be a designer, or a PR person, or an event planner. You just have to care. <— (I suppose that this might actually disqualify quite a few people) Dinner was available and the beer was free-flowing so it all felt very casual. Turnout was good, with about ~50 people?


The night that I visited with my roommate, there was a special guest from Microsoft who gave a talk on privacy. Her passion on the subject matter came through and it ended up being a surprisingly engaging presentation.


After our new member orientation, we were encouraged to check out their website and find a project to join. I’m not sure which to choose, but I’m definitely going to go back to this event. It was a really positive experience.

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