I started my journey at Lambda School with a fresh slate. A vast number of years washed away, but that is a story for another time. I was super excited to learn, as it had been a long time, I dived in headfirst. Taking on Yoga lessons for a teaching certification to keep my mind and body in the right shape.
Unit four, we started working on back-ends, something brand new for me. I had played around with some coding in middle school when MySpace was big, but again HTML and CSS. Now I was working with Java, utterly foreign to me. Relational tables, PostgreSQL. I had to learn a lot quick, especially given that I didn’t know the language.
I was quickly consumed by the possibilities with Java, only learning a little about NoSQL. MongoDB and Node came later for me. Java is complicated in the sense that it’s strongly typed; you have to be very careful with the order of your characters. Type coercion isn’t possible. It’s a very strict language.
Java was initially developed to make web content more dynamic. Essentially, a non-static page. Adding a possibility for changes to occur allows the web to be a much more exciting place.
When I first started working with Java, it was difficult for me because it didn’t fit into my mental model of how things worked. I didn’t know if I was working with it or it was working me. Things like scope made sense because that was something that applied to all languages. Concepts like static typing were brand new, though. I found my groove again with Java if-else statements, though. I like logic.
I ended Unit Four with a back-end project, eSchool in the School in the Cloud. I thought I found my flow, even playing around with the concept of time zones. It was kind of like flirting with a new language, French easier for me to read.
Node and MongoDB as a back-end made far more sense to me. I spent a solid 25 hours one weekend on the Udemy tutorial I found. It helped that I found the instructor’s accent cute. Plus, the mental model was way more my pace. The concept of middleware is fascinating, and Node is an extensive library with tons of options.
I still haven’t gotten a handle on sessions or cookies, but I’m working on that.
I think I want to learn Firebase though. The concepts I learned from both Java and MongoDB can in some ways apply. The beauty of programming, though, is you don’t have to choose.