Stevan Popovic'

GA WDI: Week Three & Four

June 1st, 2018

Week three was another fast-paced week of learning, with content including test, JQuery, animation, audio and much more. In week four we had our first project week; an opportunity to consolidate what we’ve done so far and build the first of 3 projects that will make up our portfolio for post-GA job search.

Tests

We spent a day learning about writing tests and test-driven development. So far, this has been the hardest for me to get my head around. Whilst I get why it makes sense to write tests first, in order to ensure that what we build works the way we intend it to, the syntax and logic to actually write tests I found very complex.

The Project

Our first project brief was to design and code a game that runs in the browser. The focus here was on independent work. Our instructors offered help initially on the feasibility of our ideas but the emphasis was to code and problem-solve on our own.

Over the week, I built the below grid-based capital city quiz game called Gap Year Ninja.

gif demonstration of game

It was a really enjoyable project to build and I was very happy with the result. Following the advice of the cohort before us, I managed to get to MVP quickly and spend a significant amount of time refactoring and adding bonus features. For more insight into the whole build process, or to see the source code, you can view the project on Github.

The Solution Maze

During the project build, I noticed a pattern in my thinking. Often, when problem-solving, I would explore one or two or three different possible solutions before settling on what I decided was the optimal solution. Sometimes you have to explore different methods and patterns before understanding what a clean solution looks like. This can be a frustrating process as you feel like your wasted time in the meantime. I suppose with experience it will be easier to identify the best method forward from the outset.

the solution maze sketch

Finishing our first project was hugely satisfying. It was a reminder that this course isn’t purely academic. We are learning skills that enable us to build things in the real world. And it was extra satisfying to have people play my game!


You can see the other posts from this series here: