go gopher

The Golang gopher, because every blog post needs an image

When I was getting ready to go on leave, I asked some colleagues what languages and programming skills they recommend I study up on in my free time. The company that hired me was acquired one week after I started working there, and just before I left we were in the process of merging engineering teams and technologies. As the new products and systems development shift to other programming languages (ugh, Java), I won’t get to use Ruby on Rails as often.

One senior member of my team (with two small children) wisely rejected the notion of “free time” during maternity leave. Beyond that, I can’t for the life of me remember what anyone recommended. I’m pretty sure “who knows what tech we’ll be using, learn what you want” was the consensus.

So I’m using the rare programming time I have to focus in three areas:

  1. Code challenges in Ruby (I did about half of this year’s Advent of Code and sponsored a Code Fellows leaderboard for students and alumni)
  2. React, a JavaScript library for building user interfaces — mainly through Code Fellows new 501 level professionals course
  3. Golang, a compiled, statically typed language used for systems development (like Java, but not stupid Java)

I’ve wanted to learn React for awhile — it’s hot right now and a lot of places that would have used something like Backbone or Angular are switching to React. With my friend Emily teaching the class and my mom in town to help watch baby, the timing was as good as it gets. My work is looking at Go as a replacement for certain Java-based API endpoints. And code challenges are just mommy’s brain candy, so I do them in the language I’m most comfortable with (Ruby).

Here’s a little checklist of learning resources for my own reference (and yours, if any of this sounds interesting):

Code Challenges:

React:

Golang:

There, it feels good to have a list so when I have precious minutes to program I can just plow through it.

Why am I using my time away from work to do work-related things??

  1. I enjoy it.
  2. I’m building skills so I can do work I enjoy for my current job and future opportunities.
  3. I want to stay “fresh” (and not forget everything I trained for).

This little guy doesn’t mind as long as I get lots of snuggles in with him:

leo four ways

Bedtime and besos,

Mary