SB Apprenticeship: Day 37

Cucumber tests!

Cucumber tests!

  • What did you learn yesterday?
  • What are you going to do today?
  • What do you expect to learn?

Yesterday I worked through a bunch of Cucumber tests. They’re kind of weird, sometimes the answer is dead simple, but other times it’s super complicated. It still takes me some time to figure out which is called for in each individual test, I spent like half an hour on the click one yesterday.

Simple, not so simple

Simple, not so simple

I’m also still not sure how complete the Cucumber tests are supposed to be. Is this like when we did Battleship at TIY, once all the tests are passing I’ll have a finished app? Brandon mentioned that I’ll need to have some Rspec tests in there too (that I’ll write myself), but I’m not sure what they’ll cover? I haven’t actually written any real code for this app yet, it’s all been installing gems and making tests pass. I guess it’ll all get clearer as I go, though.

Today I’m going to read more of the Cucumber book and then work on the bookstore app. I keep meaning to ask Kevin to explain scoring in bowling to me so I can work on the kata, but I always forget by the time I get home. I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything during my days, and that’s stressing me out. I think sometimes I have a hard time actually beginning projects — like, I have this feeling that if I just read this one more thing, or do that one more tutorial all of a sudden everything will fall into place and I’ll be the brilliant coder that everyone seems to think I can be. Unfortunately I don’t think that’s how it works, though. I don’t know. It’s really hard for me to get started, I never really feel like I have any idea what’s going on. Sometimes I ask too many questions about things that are actually easy and other times I feel like something’s got to be simple and waste hours trying to figure out a solution before asking someone. Yesterday I spent way too long trying to figure out how David knew to use ActionMailer in something, and when I finally asked it turned out that he had just installed a gem. Although honestly, I wouldn’t have even known that I needed ActionMailer if I hadn’t peeked at his code in the first place. Do you just learn this stuff as you go? Is there some intuition that I’m missing? I really like this job, and Brandon told me that I’m progressing at a good pace, but I feel like I’m behind and my stupid brain immediately goes to “you’re going to fail and they’ll never hire you and you’ll never get a job and you’re a miserable failure why do you even try anything new.” Which isn’t exactly useful in any sense. I’ve gotten better at shutting that off, but it’s hard when I’m sitting in front of my computer feeling stupid.

Sigh. I kind of feel like Rumsfeld’s 2002 beat poem:

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

I know there are things I don’t know, but what about all the things I don’t know that I don’t know yet?

I have no idea what I expect to learn today.

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