Much has happened since my last post in January. Here’s an update.

Tl;DR Completed a coding bootcamp, moved to Alaska, launched a side project, redesigned my website, moved to california, officiated a wedding, got a puppy and a cat.

The Firehose Project

I left off in week 2 of a coding bootcamp. Between then and the end of June I graduated from The Firehose Project accelerated program. Over that time I completed the app I was working on in my last post, Brewster, plus a slew of other apps. The program focused on full-stack development with Ruby on Rails and Javascript. I’ll do a separate post reviewing my experience in the program but in short it was positive and challenging. You can also read an interview of my experience over on Switchup. I think my favorite part was getting assigned an AGILE team with 4 other developers and Project Manager to build out a 2 player Chess Application. Here are the apps I was able to complete while in the program:

  • Muir Words: Quote Generator, Rails
  • Brewster: Rate Breweries in Seattle. Rails, Mapbox API, s3
  • DevStream: Teach and Take Streaming Video Courses. Rails, jQueryUI, s3
  • ToDo App: MVC ToDo, Rails, jQuery
  • Grammable: Upload and comment on Photos. Rails, Test Driven Development w/ Rspec
  • Chess - The Corresponding Squares: 2 player real-time chess game play. Agile Team, Rails, Test Driven Development w/ Rspec, Javascript, jQueryUI, Pusher

Moved to Alaska

After being in Seattle from Sept. - March Susan took a contract in Anchorage for April to July. We were hoping to extend through September but such is life that didn’t work out. Alaska is unlike any place we’ve been. Northern Lights, Glaciers, 2 months without seeing the night sky or a star, and most of the state isn’t on the road system. With the stress of completing the bootcamp, 24 hours of daylight, and a slew of visitors my stress levels teetered at maximum capacity. But the experiences we had there were surreal and worth it. I’ll have more photos in my 2017 Year in Review.

Exit Glacier
Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park
Denali National Park
Denali National Park
Bear Cub
Bear cub in Katmai National Park

Launched a Side Project

David Hyatt, Adam Gibbs and myself have been working together on a hiking app for fun for some time. After Adam returned from working the Hilary Campaign and saw David’s twitter troll app he suggested we turn it into actionable fundraising in response to Trump’s twitter usage. We ported most of the backend, user account creation and automatic email functionality from our hiking app and over a month long sprint built

Donald Donates allows people to sign up to donate money to progressive organizations every time @realDonaldTrump tweets (with a monthly cap). As of this blog post we have been able to raise $36,544.33 for organizations on the platform since our late April launch. We have plans to revamp the site and push a more polished version 2 over the next year and are excited to see where it goes.


Revamped my Website

After completing the coding bootcamp I wanted to redesign my website to showcase the apps I’ve built and switch from a design to development centric focus. I’ve really enjoyed using Jekyll for quick updates, git deployment, free GitHub pages hosting, and markdown so this version is also on Jekyll. A few of the main changes besides the look and content were moving from Typekit to System Fonts. System font-stacks have come a long way and I enjoy the performance boost to my pages. Since I’m using a static site and system fonts for speed I had to have some fun with Rellax.js for the homepage scrolling effects.

Website evolution: v1, v2, v3, v4 v5 screenshot

Moved from Alaska to California

Alaska is very far away. For perspective if you drive directly from Seattle to Anchorage it takes 43 hours, the same amount of time as driving from Seattle to Raleigh, NC. So even with our minimal no-furniture lifestyle, it took a month to move down with some detours along the way. Have to carve out time to enjoy summer. Here are some pictures of the journey to our current home base in the Bay Area of California. We spent most nights in our tent and got plenty of blisters from the hikes along the way.

Backpacking campsite in Assiniboine Provincial Park, BC. So happy to see stars after 2 months without them.
Glacier National Park, MT
Glacier National Park, MT
Grand Teton National Park, WY
Grand Teton National Park, WY

After 3 days in our apartment summer events fired all at once. We went back for 2 weddings and I had 2 bachelor parties with some job interviews sprinkled in between. I gained a life experience by officiating my wonderful friends wedding in Asheville. All in all it was a good hectic month back in NC.

Expanded the Family

While I was back home for events we adopted a black polydactyl cat from the Silicon Valley Pet Project Rescue named Lionel. A week after returning we picked up a Belgian Shepherd puppy named Finn. After over a year without pets these two fur buddies have brought much light back into our lives. The routine of training a puppy has even opened up more time for development projects in the morning before work. I’m excited to see them grow up together.

Finn the Puppy
Lionel the Cat

Back at It

Now it’s October, we’ve finally settled into California. Training a puppy and beefing up on Javascript are my new daily life. Dave, Adam and I have the makings of a web/software development studio are are developing new products alongside Donald Donates maintenance. I’m also beginning the developer job hunt. You can follow the journey on Twitter. More to code, more to come.