Final Days as Student at MakerSquare

I am on my last day as a Student at MakerSquare, I have been accepted as a Fellow (more on that later) but I thought it might be a good time to do some reflecting. First thing that strikes me is how long it seemed at the start and how quickly the time went by. I swear days turned to minutes and weeks to hours. I am amazed at how much I learned in such a short period of time. It has been exponential!

I am also aware that the bonds I have developed need attention if I want them to last a lifetime. I am making it a priority to stay in contact with those I have grown close to. This is easily my weakest area so I hope I can stay on top of it. I will never forget the late nights coding and watching TNG. Even the frustrating moments and mini-conflicts that popped up only seemed to draw me closer to my fellow learners.

Even though I am staying on for a bit longer I am still very excited to see what happens to them next. It will give me a hint as to my own future, more things to look forward too, more struggles, more life! I love you all and can’t wait to see the great things that I am sure you will all do!

Maker Square Day 5

Test Driven Development
Write a failing test, then code to the test. Go from Red to Green to Refactor. Why test? It changes the way you think about code. Forces the MVP thought process. Once you have an error, write a test.
Types of Testing
Unit Test – normally focus on 1 single method or class. Unit testing uses faked data.
Integration Test – ensures different parts of system work together like creating a customer, logging in a customer etc.
End to End test – make sure it works in real world test most realistic form of test. Start to finish, whole system. Think about smarter, less tests.
Visual Test – does it look like what it should look like?


Maker Square Day 4

Video Lecture on Complexity Analysis. Space = memory. Time = when. How does time grow?

An algorithm is a plan that helps you solve problems.

To compare all numbers is n^2 is of quadratic time complexity.

Find largest by finding smallest? On

if sorted list, compare first and last is constant time. Gives an approximation of time, not an actual number. Note, highest order first. Think about it as LARGE(n).

Static analysis = analyse and reason through it with graphing.

Constant = array look up
O(log n) = binary search
linear O(n) = print array;
O(n^2) = find largest (nested for loops)
O(c^n) = guess password of (n) length

Binary Search?

var binarySearch = function(array, ele, start, end){
  var start = start || 0;
  var end = end || array.length-1;
  var midpoint = Math.floor((end + start) / 2);
  if (array[midpoint] > ele){
    return binarySearch(array, ele, start, midpoint-1);
  else {
     return binarySearch(array, ele, midpoint+1, end);

Protoypal Classes

Q: Can you think of a way to use prototype chains that might help? Removes extend loops, allows chaining of values and having them push out.

Talking about obj within constructor class is the same as talking about every instance. To create a function for making instances is a line in that function where you create a new instance object (object.create(car.methods)) an object as a prototype and some logic for augmenting the new object with properties that make it unique from other objects in the same class (obj.loc = loc).

Pseudo-classical Classes

new keyword = when new is used before a function it acts in a special mode called constructor mode. (var foo = func() {blah;}; var blah = new foo;) constructor mode sneaks in the this.object.create(car.prototype); and the return this; at the end of the function. Pseudo-class has two parts, the prototype properties to hold similarities  and the constructor function to hold the differences.

Open Source Lecture

Productivity Tip: Look at OctoTree for chrome and git access

To contribute to open source projects is a good thing! You don’t have to be a genius to help out. Look at the larger repos. Think about clarifying comments, adding tests, even making sure the style is consistent. These things are needed and appreciated.

Tips for success. Follow repo styles and conventions. Pay close attention to the commit message conventions. Changes should be a single commit. Well written merge comments will increase the chance of a successful pull request.

Data Structures

Quick review on scope and closure. Scope = set of rules to define value availability lexical scoping. Closure = if you instantiate an object the instantiated object has access to the original object.

Hash Tables

Very similar to an object. 2 components to a Hash table. The storage part and the hashing function.  The hashing function takes a key, and dresses it up so that its always the same dress for the same key. This hashed key equals the location in storage. We must watch for collisions, and distribute as evenly as possible to reduce collisions.


Makers Square Day 3

I don’t know about you but sleep has not been a close and personal friend of mine. Its a love/hate relationship at best tending towards the latter, or is it ladder? I must be tired. It was on Day 3 (dun, dun, dunnnn) that I noticed that I had forgotten to sleep much *cough* is that an owl? *harumph* I am fine, as I was saying an owl has three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy. Wait, I had a segue I was supposed to say, something about night owls…

To The Notes!!!

Best Practices

I have to preface this with a caveat. I really liked this lecture. It made me feel as though I could contribute if only because I enjoy clarity over cleverness. I usually stand in awe of cleverness, but strive for clarity. If that makes sense. Well on to the actual notes.

Save often! Use the auto-save feature of whatever IDE you are in. If it does not have one complain. Only commit to git when working.

Frameworks, when, where, why? (sometimes what?) – It’s a roll your own (smoking reference in this day and age?) vs others. If you really must I would say roll your own, but REALLY look for another solution or you are wasting your time. Let others solve the problems that have already been identified by the community, for now. (A Jedi must have patience)


Keep parts together that are related. Avoid bad closure. use input var/let for dependencies, avoid mutating. avoid global. avoid side effects.


Keep unrelated things, unrelated. It sounds obvious but I have found it easy to want to ‘normalize‘ everything. This is the wrong use of normalize, hence the quotes and italics but you will hear it used this way in the real world. They really mean avoid mutating. I see decoupling as breaking the functions down to as small as possible. For the MASH fans out there:

I do one thing at a time, I do it well, and then I move on.
                                                                   –Charles Emerson Winchester III


Hide the guts. Show the usage. It really can be that simple. Think _.each(array, thingToDo); vs

function(collection, iterator) {
    for (var i=0; i < collection.length; i++)
     iterator(collection[i], i, collection);
  } else {
    for (var key in collection) {
       iterator(collection[key], key, collection);


Self describing code is better than comments, but comments are better than clever. Follow the company style. Aim for short, compact code. MVP first.

Embrace Failure!

Failure is inevitable, it also indicates you are doing something interesting. Simply put, what is the formula for success? Fail until you succeed.

Common Pitfalls

Failure to read instructions. Read them. Then re-read them. Then.. yeah. Think about the intention.


Use 2 spaces instead of tab. White space is your friend. Be consistent. Keep blocks aligned. Avoid redundancy. Keep blocks aligned. Did I mention to avoid redundancy? No? Well do it.

‘use strict’

It was a great day!

Maker Square Day 2

Here is the rough schedule for the day:

  • closures
  • underscore pt1
  • lunch
  • underscore pt1
  • this keyword
  • underscore pt 2
  • group meeting
  • dinner
  • lecture

I am being deliberately vague here. Somethings you have to pay to get the info, ya dig? I list it to illustrate that the days are fairly full right off the bat making me think they will ditch some of the “welcome to…”, “benefits” and “how to kick ass” type lectures in favor of even more JavaScript stuff.

Let’s see if my notes improved:

A closure is a function that has on going access to the variables of the context it was created in, even after outer function calls it was created in have returned.

assign Saga() to global var
 new Saga = function() {
 sagas.push(function(){ blah; }

Okay so not much better really but at least it had a basic definition of a closure. Here is a better example:

function init() {
// name is a local variable created by init
var name = "Mozilla";
// displayName() is the inner function, a closure
function displayName() {
alert(name); // use var declared in the parent function } displayName(); }; init();

Then we examined some underscore functions and the whats going on behind them.
_.extend = function(obj) {
_.each(arguments, function(passedObj){
_.each(passedObj, function(value,key) {
obj[key] = value;
return obj;

In Human:

for an object(s)
iterate over the arguments (objects)
iterate over each passed object
assign object[key] to the passed value

_.defaults = function(obj) {
  _.each(arguments, function(passedObj){
_.each(passedObj, function(key, value){
      if(obj[key] === undefined) {
obj[key] = value;
return obj;

In Human:

for an object(s)
iterate over objects arguments
if element does not exist in obj, add to obj

Interesting topic popped up about the !! convention. It forces coercian of the result to boolean.

Interview Question: How do you access a function inside of a return function? ()()… That is a bad note.. avoid this section.

Then there was a lecture on something about macs or something. I only just listened to this at the edges. I use linux so not much benefit, I took notes but I will never use them, so I am not typing them.

There was a cool GIT section though.
git remote -v //shows remotes
git remote add <username><username>/<repo>.git
git branch -v show //shows branch
git checkout -b pairs //create and go to pairs branch
git checkout master
git push <username> branch:newBranch

Push to two repos in one command:
$ git remote -v
origin me@original:something.git (fetch)
origin me@original:something.git (push)
//add 'pairs' remote
git remote add pairs me@original:something.git
//add url
git remote set-url --add --push both git://somewhere/something.git
$ git push pairs


A new four letter word. In 4 steps.

  1. Debugger paused on this.
  2. Scan outward for function {}.
  3. once function containing this is found look at the where stack
  4. inspect syntax of how the function was called to see which run pattern is being is being used.

Run Patterns

  • Global Reference
    • Why?
      • Needs a value
    • What?
      • In a browser its window
    • example
      • this (not enclosed in any function)
  • Free Function Invocation
    • Why?
      • Needs a value…
    • What?
      • global object
    • example
      • functionName()
  • ABC (.apply, .bind, .call)
    • Why?
      • to manually pass in a this binding, like passing in an argument when invoking a function/method
    • What?
      • the first argument to .apply, .bind or .call
    • example
      • or obj.methodName(target)
  • Method Invocation
    • Why?
      • to execute the method in the context of the object they’re found in
    • What?
      • Object on the left of the call time dot
    • example
      • target.methodName();
  • Construction Mode
    • Why?
      • Allow a constructor to operate on the instance it is creating
    • What?
      • A new object created for that invocation
    • example
      • new functionName()

90% Rule

Inside a function, the keyword ‘this’ will be bound to the object that was left of the dot where that function was called.

The last lecture I took notes on was about some things to do and ways to think that can help you at Maker Square.

Set up a blog. Okay I was a little late on that but as they say blah blah late blah blah never.

There will be people here who work harder, learn faster, code stronger and think better than you…. learn to deal with that. (trust the program)

Have a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset. (trust the program)

This sparked a note for me to tell Muhammad about Richard Feynman, the ultimate in growth mindset.

Judge yourself by the core curriculum, not by others. They said this a few times. (trust the program)

Work hard, be strong and ask for help! (trust the program)

What does a professional developer look like?


Coders Block!

Learn the workflow, its important!



Maker Square Day 1

I was pretty nervous starting out. School? Not for a long time now, and even back then I was pretty shitty at it. What would be the difference now? Would I do it? Could I do it? My mind was not on my side, throwing doubts in front of me at every step. So I did what any person I admire has done and said to myself “Do the work”.

I have to admit my notes of the first lecture make no sense to me. Random words of JavaScript, some !!!!s and a whole lotta nuttin.

For Example:

1   -> func(targetClass)

-> document.body.classList
if contains ClassList
add to array
call recurse
results = []
node = document.body
if (node.classlist contains className
push -> results

for ( node.children.length)
results = results.concat(node.children[i]
return results

({   }).a_prop = { x: 5 }

What the heck is that!?!? I call it insane.js, coming to a github near you…

Maybe I would do better with the second lecture given by Muhammad?

read wiki

Do all toy problems. (sweet toys!)

That almost seems worse! I do slightly better on the next. I can verify this by being able clearly state what I learned. Review underscore/lodash implementation. Intro to Time Complexity. Look at pluck and reduce.

Alright, getting better! The next topic was about Paired Programming and how it was an Agile technique where there is the driver, mostly typing, and the Navigator, mostly syntax/logic. I think with the educational model they focus more on the driver being a bit of a noob and the navigator being more comfortable. In practice it is much more cooperative than that. They mentioned Data Structures very briefly. Then they touched on whats it is like to be a junior (code, code, code, sleep, workout, code) and what it might be like to be a senior (code, code, code, code, code, jobs, code, code). I am pretty sure they said much more but… I learned that we had to do 5 min presentations and I got excited about that.

Can’t wait for more!