Ain't no rest for the wicked

Well, I haven't been blogging as much as I should, with this being my first blog post in a month.

Sorry about that. I've been busy.

I don't just mean that in a wishy-washy "oh, I didn't make time" kind of way. I literally have been extremely busy.

Part of that is the intense and, quite frankly, grueling schedule of MakerSquare. And part of it is that I'm also part of the Lessig2016.us campaign to get Larry elected President.

Now, when I enrolled in code camp, I didn't know Larry was running for President. The timing stinks. And I also thought they wouldn't need me. They kinda did, especially with messaging. So whenever I'm not coding for MakerSquare, like, lunch breaks, dinner breaks, and past 6:30 PM on Saturdays or on Sundays, I'm working on the campaign.

When MakerSquare is over, I'm taking a vacation before I start assisting for the Iowa caucus and NH primary. Someplace tranquil.

As for my daily schedule doing double duty as campaign crusader and javascript journeyman, it goes something like this:

I usually wake up about 6:45am, get showered, dressed, etc., then head out about 7:10, head to the supermarket to get the day's packed lunch, then head over to meet my carpool. Not including supermarket time, it's about an hour commute, one-way.

We usually get in about 8:15 AM where we prepare for projects, and class officially starts at 9am, where Mondays are self assessments (the closest we get to "tests") and every other day we have programming toy problems - difficult questions we have to write programs for in less than 35 minutes.

After that, we have lectures introducing the next concept we'll need for the sprint, and we break up into pair-programming. All sprints are pair-programming. At first I was frustrated by how slow pair programming seemed to be, but it's designed to make sure both partners know the material. Once you understand it's going to be slower, you can just accept the slow pace.

Slow pace programming doesn't mean "slow-pace" learning, however. If you're slightly ahead, you have to know the material enough to teach the concept to your pair before you continue. It also helps with interpersonal interaction - something Aspies like me often need a little remedial help at.

Now - we do get lunch and dinner breaks, workout breaks (workout is not mandatory but highly recommended)... but we don't get out until 8PM -- and it's encouraged that we stay past 8PM for optional lectures from guest speakers.

As for weekends? Well... we work Saturday. Traffic is a bit lighter so the commute is shorter, but we're here from 9am to 5:30pm - and we're encouraged to stay until at least 8 for socialization. Of course, I have to make excuses, but as far as excuses go, "I have to save America!" is a good one.

I've learned to value sleep, to maximize time, to keep to a very tight schedule, to get in my daily excercise, to eat better, and to deal with other people in a programming environment.

And, if I have time, I learn some programming too.

Brian Boyko

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Austin, Texas
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