Week 10 - Individual technical challenges

The week

This week was pretty different to everything we have experienced at Makers so far. It was tech test week! It was challenging because we had no structure, and we were working solo on katas and exercises. The goal was to test our problem-solving abilities, trying to write the cleanest code possible.

On Monday we worked on a simplified database server, which would have two endpoints: set?somekey=somevalue to store data, and get?somekey to retrieve it. I chose Node and Express to solve the challenge. It was very fun to write the code responsible for creating the endpoints in our server, and the logic to respond according to the data received in the URL. I used Mocha and Chai to test my app.

On Tuesday we worked on a banking program, which would allow a user to make transactions and to see a complete statement. I used Ruby so that I could practice object-oriented design, and to refresh my knowledge of this language.

On Thursday we worked on the Gilded Rose kata, practising our refactoring skills in order to transform a very long piece of code with lots of nested if statements, to a clean and simple group of classes with small methods, following the single-responsibility principle. I used Ruby for this kata as well.

We finished the week by working on the Tic-Tac-Toe game. I chose JavaScript this time, but I didn’t manage to complete it.

What I learnt

I learnt to deal with not knowing everything. Facing a kata that will take an unknown amount of time to complete is tricky, and managing expectations and keeping motivation high is not easy every time. Breaking big problems into small and more achievable pieces can help us maintain our focus and motivation through a difficult block of code.

Also, during the week we had some practice interviews, and lessons on how to write our CV in the best way possible.


The worst part of this week was feeling more tired than usual. I’ve been dreaming about code every night! Dreaming about code for a couple of days is fun and exciting, since some of my dreams helped me solve bugs the day after, but at the end of the week I was exhausted.

I also struggled with the different routine we had this week. Not doing pair-programming nor working in groups was a significant difference. Makers was surprisingly quiet, and we were all focussed on our computers. It was nice to have some spare time to share our thoughts.

Next week we will start our final projects. So exciting! I can’t wait to start creating and learning. 🤓

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