Kate Preston

CodeClan Weeks 6-9: Java and Android

Wednesday, April 4 2018

For the past four weeks I’ve been immersed in all things Java. Compared to Ruby, the language we focused on in our first module, Java is strict and fairly verbose. At first it seemed to require a lot of extra gumpf than Ruby to achieve basically the same result. As we learned more, though, I started to appreciate the structures that Java enforces and the benefits they afforded. This became more pronounced as we moved from learning about how to take the concepts we learned in the first module and translate them into Java, to concepts and approaches that are specific to Java.

In our third week of the module we also got introduced to android. I missed the first day of this due to illness and when I returned it was like everyone was speaking an entirely different language: I don’t think I’d quite appreciated just how much we cover each day before that point. I thoroughly enjoyed android, even more so once I explored it further during my project. It was incredibly satisfying when I started to understand how the different elements that comprise android apps hang together and could use that knowledge to research and learn other features that we didn’t cover in class.

There’s also something undeniably cool about having an app on your phone that you built from scratch.

Having said all that, there were times that I really struggled during this module.

I firmly believe that bettering myself and taking the time to learn is just as important to my role as a parent as anything directly involving the care and management of the baby. Even if it wasn’t, I am a human being with needs that extend far beyond the “mother” part of my identity. Doing this course is allowing me to develop a career, to expand my understanding of the world and, most importantly, live a fulfilled life.

Throughout the Ruby module we often finished classes quite early and I was therefore able to complete my homework before leaving to pick my daughter up from nursery. During the Java module we began to finish later and I rarely had time to complete my homework at CodeClan. This meant starting work after Ada’s bedtime, feeding myself, sorting out the next day’s nursery bag and all the other adulting tasks that I used to ignore before having a baby but I guess I have to do now. My ability to think through problems is inversely proportional to my tiredness levels (like most people), so homeworks began taking longer, I was staying up later, and I wasn’t getting the rest I needed to approach the following day with a clear head.

It would be nice if I could now say that I found a perfect solution, an extra 7 hours in the day for example, and everything is back to being only fun. That’s not how life works, so instead I’m just working on reminding myself that a. this is so unbelievably right for me that it makes the hard parts worth it, and b. in the grand scheme of my life this is a very short period and I will miss it when it’s over.