Learning Path plan/idea

So I have a plan, but I can’t accomplish this plan on my own. I’ve been looking at in-class short-term developer schools like dev bootcamp, hack reactor, Epicodus, and schools alike. I haven’t been just looking, I’ve read just about every quora.com post on every school in the U.S. and I’ve concluding some similarities between them all.

They all put extremely motivated, dedicated individuals in the same place in a pair programming environment and teach very similar coursework. The only major difference between them is they have different teachers in a different building. My proposition is to find a candidate that has a similar schedule as me, and is looking to follow the same curriculum Epicodus uses for the first 3-4 weeks. This curriculum teaches Programming basics like TDD, OOD, and working with API’s. It also goes into HTML/CSS basics, JavaScript ,  and jQuery. The curriculum can be found at www.learnhowtoprogram.com

His school, like many of the others, goes on to teach Ruby, Rails, Backbone||Ember, and git. I’ve requested more curriculum from him in these areas of study, and even If he is not willing to provide resources, I am confident there are a multitude of great resources available in terms of beginner curriculum in those areas of study.

Here is my summarized plan in steps:

-Find a dedicated individual with a similar schedule and like mind to do 20-40hrs/wks of remote pair programming along side a google hangouts or Skype session.

Week 1-4 : follow the same curriculum Epicodus students go through, provided on www.learnhowtoprogram.com/

Week 5-8 : If Michael at Epicodus provides additional course curriculum, we will follow that,(update: Michael has stated he plans to update his course work fairly often so that individuals like me who want to learn, can do so. |http://qr.ae/IimuX|), Otherwise we will go through various popular resources like Chris Pines learn to program, http://ruby.railstutorial.org/ by Michael Hartl, RailsCasts, and a couple popular books on Rails. I will layout a curriculum that is 20% reading 80% actual coding(together remotely).

– week 9-12ish : each of us will have our own project we want to build, something challenging, but not over the top, takes a team of developers and a whole year to complete type of challenging. We will work on each others projects together, switching back and forth, each day.

If working together in a remote environment consistently on a mutual schedule under the provided curriculum sounds like an awesome idea to you, then I ask, Please contact me. I will be going through a sort of application process to make sure we are both a good match for each other. I’ll be checking to make sure you and I can get along, you can commit to the time, and that you are passionate about learning the discussed web technologies.

Contact me @ danny.sperry@gmail.com


Waiting till the 27th for my interview with both dev bootcamp and hack reactor. The more I think about it the more I want to get into hack reactor. I just have this urge to learn node.js, my mentor is a rails advocate and is all about rails, but something inside me tells me node.js is got it’s own special place in the future. Plus HR teaches a little bit about RoR.

Project Euler has been pretty good. I’m stuck on number 12 right now. The coding part isn’t hard on PE, its getting a efficient algorithm coded that really messes with you. For example, the third problem wanted the factorials of 600,851,475,143. My original calculation would have completed that in 3 years(not kidding). I refactored the code to:

remainder = self
answer = []
(2..(Math.sqrt(remainder))).to_a.reverse.each do |x|
if remainder % x == 0 && x.prime?
answer << x
remainder /= x

This completed the calculation in 0.2s, That right there showed me that what I was doing was something big towards my future in programming. This is the first time I felt like the non-sense people talk about learning during CS degrees does come in handy once the basics are learned. Algorithms are no joke people! :D.

On the ASL side of things, This week I learned the words father, grandfather, mother, grandmother, daughter, son, church, earth, sky, aunt, uncle, eat, milk, love, and sorry. plus A-Z.

Also, I checked my typing speed and it is 90 AWPM. My typing speed with coding is sad though. only 30 AWPM :/. So in the weeks to come I’m working on Project Euler algorithms with Ruby, and I’m just engraving JavaScript basics like common array and string methods, as well as syntax so that I can have a leg up in my HR interview in a couple weeks.

Also, dannysperry.com is mostly finished with a few bugs and my quiz is updated with new questions a little more functionality.

I’ll keep ya’ll posted

keeping myself fresh

So aside from learning new things, which I feel is essential to continuous improvement. I’ve decided to set a goal in terms of staying fresh as well. I’ll be solving one-two project euler problems a day, and learn one-two knew sign words a day. That should really only take 20-60 minutes a day and then the rest of my time I can spend learning more about MiniTest, Rails, Rails gems, and other web dev specific technologies. 


On the Project Euler side of things. Problem 3 was a doosy for me today. My original algorithm would have taken my computer over 3 years to compute the answer. An hour later I got the timing down to 22 hours :/. And finally, thanks to the realization that I only need to iterate though a range of 2 – sqrt(num) did I get algorithm down to .02 seconds

I didn’t get into app academy

So I didn’t get into app academy. I was a little bummed, but obviously that was the school for me. I know I will get into the school that best suits me. I set up a skype interview with dev bootcamp for august 27th and am waiting to hear back from hack reactor. Also I found a school in Portland that looks promising. The more I look into each of those three schools the more I can’t figure out which I like more. Before I was least pleased with hack reactor because it doesn’t really teach ruby, although, the more I think about it, I want to learn node.js and ruby in the long run, and I think they teach a lil ruby, that I’m not sure about. Either way I’m coming to realize the language is far less important the the experience and the way they teach you to learn new tech quickly. 

In the last week I learned a ton about array and string manipulation, a lil about regexp’s, and also I got much better understanding of OOP. 

Between now and aug 27th I need to pick up some extra curricular activities other than just coding all day, I’ve come to realize my coding dedication has turned me into quite the bore. Portland’s Code School wants a video of me being awesome. Recently the awesome things I do are being a dad and learn code. 

So today I decided to start teaching my daughter ASL slowly and teach myself more quickly. Today I learned the alphabet and the words “milk”, “food”, “tired”, “mom”, “dad”, “grandma”, and “grandpa”,

This learning a new actual language is really teaching me a lot about learning tech languages. You need to repeat repeat repeat. Also learn a little and use it a lot, then learn a little and use it a lot. 

So in the next few weeks I’m going to be doing Project Euler a lot and learn ASL. If you want to follow me on their, here is my friend code: 81917382509532_114d498db359e661e8976f908d59984b

Until next time fellows, keep learning, be interesting, and love our craft.

Danny Sperry

Code School Prep Work

Last you heard I had a job interview and the first of two coding challenges at app academy. 

It’s been a little over a week now, and since then I haven’t heard back from Varsity Tutors… a little bummed, not super surprised. That is really far in the back of my head though. The main thing I’ve been shooting for is getting into App Academy. They are the cheapest option and they have a very successful outline(plus you can sleep at the building if you really had to)

I did my second coding challenge. I studied the recommended readings for about a day and a half, like the first time. and decided to just jump into it since I did so exceptional last time. This time you have 4 problems to answer in an hour. So you still have the same average time limit. I couldn’t have done worse. I finished 1.5 questions in the hour and commented what I wanted to do with the rest of the second question before submitting. I have this deep sense I’m going to get into one of these immersive programs, call it intuition, God, or what ever you want. But this has given me peace with my whole situation. So I was bummed that I did Terrible(note the capital “t”), but not discouraged. I figured well, it isn’t over until they say I’m not accepted, and they haven’t said that yet, plus! I have dev bootcamp and hack reactor to apply to if app academy says nay. 

The next day I got an email from Kush letting me know that they are still interested in following up with me, they just wanted me to finish some of the same readings and homework their accepted students are required to complete. 

That curriculum is on GitHub here.

Now that that is submitted I am waiting to here back from them. But in terms of learning. That prep work really showed me a lot. I truly enjoyed learning from multiple sources in such a short period of time. You get more out of things when you get to look at it from multiple angles. 

Until next time friends. Thanks for following, or subscribing. Whatever wordpress uses 😀 

Code Bootcamps

I feel good about this coming week. I’ve submitted my application for App Academy, Hack Reactor, and Dev Bootcamp. Finished the first coding challenge with App Academy. And also had an interview for a developer position with Varsity Tutors. 

I applied to the other two schools this weekend and had the interview and coding challenge on friday. I’ve been refreshing my gmail window(even though I think it just automatically loads new emails to the inbox with ajax) constantly to hear good news.

Even if I get the junior developer position, I really want to go to App Academy or Dev Bootcamp. Preferably the latter.

Saw a fellow aspiring developer with a similar update

I recently was reading another future devs blog and she had posted her codeacademy.com badges in an image. I have to many to mock up into an image. Well I could copy and paste it in sections. 

I’m going to do it in link form, check out my progress with both code school and code academy

Also, not sure If I’ve posted these, but my portfolio site and javascript quiz are done enough for now