Kevin SmithWeb Software Engineer

Hack Reactor: Day 1

I made it to SF on Wednesday with a couple of suitcases and my new MacBook Air, ready to kick off the 12 weeks of programmer development at Hack Reactor. Today was the first day of class, and I finally met all of the other fellow students I will be sharing this experience with. There are about 20 students in this April 2013 class of varying ages, but the majority are in their mid to late 20′s. Backgrounds range from finance, to front-end web development, to biology.

Most of the day today was spent going over policies and procedures (free breakfast every day!), along with the basic Git workflow for Hack Reactor projects. They really stressed the importance of committing your code in Git about every 10 lines you write, or every time you fix a bug or add functionality. These frequent commits will make it easy for our future co-workers to figure out what we did, along with the ability to roll back the code to very specific points of the development in case there are future bugs or conflicts.

We also went over pairing, which we will be doing for many of our learning sprints. This basically involves working with another student on the same computer that has two monitors, two keyboards, and two trackpads. Both monitors show the same screen, and only one person can be typing or controlling the pointer at any time. This forces one person to be driving (writing the code), while the other person navigates (tells them what to type). It will be interesting to see how pairing works out for the more complicated projects that are in our future.

Class went from 9am until just after 8pm today, which is the standard schedule. However, all of the instructors mentioned that many students will be staying later to finish up projects and have one-on-one sessions with the teachers. First day down!

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