2016 was a year full of politics, saying goodbye to heroes, and personal growth. Going into the new year, it was time to stop dipping my toe in and go for it. Time is fleeting and it’s time to carpe that diem. While I was in NC for the holidays, I was able to spend a couple days with my co-founder Dave for a Pathfinder hackathon. We’ve been working on it for a while and are excited to release the beta in the next few months. I’d spent years of self-teaching through free or inexpensive resources. The final leap was here, I decided to enroll into The Firehose Project coding bootcamp.

# My Foobar solution to get accepted into The Firehose Project
puts "How many items do you want to see?"
items = gets.to_i
foobar_pattern = []
items.times do |item|
  item = item + 1
  if item % 3 == 0 && item % 5 == 0
    foobar_pattern << ("Foobar")
  elsif item % 3 == 0
    foobar_pattern << ("Foo")
  elsif item % 5 == 0
    foobar_pattern << ("Bar")
    foobar_pattern << ("#{item}")
puts foobar_pattern

Why The Firehose Project

The Firehose Project hit the sweet spot of accessibility and quality. I work remotely as a web designer full-time and move about every 4 months for my wife’s job contracts. Quitting my job and staying in one location for 6 or more months wouldn’t work for me. Going $40-$60k more in debt for grad school wasn’t happening either. After attending Epicurrence this past March, talking to lots of developers there and talking to Dave a theme started to emerge: Webapps, Ruby and Javascript. The Firehose Project’s programming focused on those languages, algorithms and a final complex group project using AGILE development. I decided to give it a shot. After completing the 2 week intro course to get accepted I was sold. Getting personalized feedback on coding challenges with elegant refactor advice felt incredible. The timing was good enough so I decided to jump.


Glacial lakes feel glacial.

1 week in

Rails new

During the first week of the course I built a web app using Ruby on Rails. It’s for a random quote generator that also takes user input. This was a great review of the Model View Controller format of Rails and how to navigate, create and modify routes, controllers and views. rake routes all the things. One lesson I picked up last week was maintaining 2 different databases in my local development and production heroku environments. Another was learning about how HTTP requests are handled + how to generate the appropriate assets to GET, POST, or use the def resources action to allow you to Create, Remove, Update, and Detroy data. Using this CRUD framework made managing the database of quotes in this app much easier.

Muir Words, my first web app

When I visited the Muir Woods National Monument a couple years ago it became one of my favorite places. When I started reading his writings I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to create a website to catalog his writings online but never followed through with it. When I saw the first FHP app was a quote generator it seemed a fitting start. One day I’ll try to flesh it out to that catalog level. (Also I couldn’t help myself from throwing a quick logo together so I could mess with styling an svg.)

Check it out live, and feel free to add your favorite John Muir quote if you don’t see it listed!

Moving forward

After years of telling myself I could do it but didn’t have the money it feels weird to finally be here. Like drinking an excitement and anxiety smoothie. After years of talk, I have to prove it. With the second week ramping up I’m confident with the decision to jump. I’ll do my best to catalog the journey every week. Cheers to working hard and designing the life you want.