Leaving the Nest

  • Jun 07, 2012

So far since I have been here, I have been in the main room, safely within range of people I can ask to help me. I am still pretty shaky in my understanding of all of this new material so I thought it was necessary for me to be near help at all times, carefully toeing along through my work. This week, however, I found my usual spot taken by the time I arrived in the morning, so I had to brave the great unkown--the extra room next door. Surely, this was the domain of advanced programmers, people who could work independently and only ask for advice when they wanted to have a conversation about lofty topics, not when they needed help with fundamental tasks as I often do.

Despite my preconceived notions, I managed to gain a bit of independence and see that I, too, could handle most of my work alone all day. I think I just needed a little extra push to get going, a chance circumstance, in this case. Once I was in the framework of setting out to do independent work, I realized that it wasn't actually too difficult. I just needed to have the experience of getting things accomplished on my own to see that I could do it.

This week, I found I can be much more efficient when I am alone with my thoughts and have time to think through everything before attempting to tackle an issue. I had the chance to take plenty of notes about everything I was doing, from my thought process, to the steps I took to reach my goal, to the detailed results of each of the different routes I chose. I found that even though this took a little more time than simply running through different tasks, it was a very valuable excercise because it allowed me to have a map of everything that worked and didn't work.

I could go through what I had written if I needed to think about exactly where and when I had changed something, be it my code or my approach to a problem. Another benefit to slowing down and recording everything I was learning is that it stuck with much more firmly than hearing someone explain it and attempting to commit it to memory. I am far more comfortable navigating through each page of code than I was just a week ago. I have a much greater understanding of the model-view-controller paradigm, as well.

Learning all of this new information has been invaluable to my ability to work within the Community. Everything isn't nearly as mysterious or aribitrary to me anymore, which means that I've been able to convert my sketches into partials somewhat on my own. This is a feat I certainly could not do before I started to work on my own and trust my own brain power to help me reach a goal. This week, I made many sketches and redesigned the QuickView page for the tagged search results. Along the way, I learned much more about using stylesheets and javascript, as well as helping them communicate with Ruby. I am in the middle of re-designing the tag cloud, which I will hopefully have finished tomorrow.



  • markatch

    markatch said:

    <p>Your writing style is amusing; I like it. Glad you're feeling more comfortable!</p>

    Posted on Jun 07, 2012
  • jordana

    jordana said:

    <p>I agree that you've had a lot to learn all at once. However, the coding is all technicalities, which - although you are gradually gaining independence in that respect - is why you've got me and Kyle. The brainstorming side of how users are corralled into tagging things is your biggest endeavor! I look forward to getting your ideas on that issue.</p>

    Posted on Jun 08, 2012
  • caitlin

    caitlin said:

    <p>One thing to think about in the "corralling" domain is that things that get publically shared tend to increase the quality. We had a user earlier this week who reposted some existing worlds. In part, that's a bug. But one of the interestings things about it (to me anyway) was that they get retitled and tagged...in a different language but (if google translate isn't lying to me) with valid tags. So, we get some free info during share that my guess is that people will do well. Maybe we should also think about exposing the way that remixes get tagged on the website.</p>

    Posted on Jun 08, 2012

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