A number of you have been asking what a “normal day” looks like for me as a student here at the Iron Yard. I thought I’d take a few minutes and give you somewhat of an overview of a “normal day.”
Let’s begin by defining what “normal” means in this case. The day I am describing would fit the bill for Monday through Thursday. Friday is a full day of homework, other than that it follows a fairly similar track.
The Night Before
I feel like I should start before the morning comes, because the success of my days at the Iron Yard starts the night before.
I don’t have a whole lot of a social life right now. Not because I couldn’t but more because I choose to focus on learning Ruby on Rails. I try to stretch my social life muscle on the weekend.
One of the benefits of not having much of a social life is that I can go to bed early. I try to be in bed by 9 or 9:30… I can still function if I get less sleep, just not as well.
The Morning of the Day
My alarm starts ringing around 5:18. I rarely get up on the first ring, choosing instead to lay there and allow my brain to wake up just a little bit.
A quick shower, clean the room up a bit and then I’m in my car. I take two lefts, three rights, two lefts, another right, another left, another right, another left and then I park my car.
About a seven minute hike and I’m swiping my key card to get into the Atlanta Tech Village.
Most mornings I come in and make coffee. Some mornings its Earl Gray tea. Still other mornings it’s a Coke Zero. Whatever it takes to get a bit of caffeine in my system.
Then I eat my breakfast. Instant oatmeal and if they have one a banana.
From 6:20 till 9:00
If I haven’t finished my homework from the day before I work on that for a while. Regardless of whether or not I’ve completed it, it gets turned in at 9:00.
Most mornings (so far) I’ve had a bit of homework to complete or refactor (make better).
Once homework is pretty much wrapped up I go ahead and hit the internet for a bit to give my brain a bit of a break.
Once I’m done stalking my friends back home on Facebook and checking out some tech news it’s time to do this… by this I mean write a blog post. I try to get the post out before classes start, but some days it doesn’t happen till later.
From 9:00 till 12:00
Shelby calls our class to order at 9:00. Class usually starts with a bunch of folks sharing their homework and all of us looking over how they accomplished whatever it is we were supposed to have completed.
We generally look at completed homework for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half… Then there is a break sometime around 10:20 or so…
Generally after break, but occasionally before, we start into some new “stuff.”
Yesterday that meant we started building a simple web app using the Sinatra framework. We added a few pages and a bit of functionality.
This learning of new stuff usually lasts right up till 12:00, which is when class officially ends for the day. Once we get our homework, we are through for the day. At least through the class part of the day.
From 12:00 till …
After grabbing a bit of lunch, (Cup of Noodles might be the best lunch invention yet) we jump right into our homework.
Homework usually happens here at the ATV. There are “hot desks” that any ATV member can use, so we take advantage of those desks as well as the super fast internet here.
If we have a problem that we can’t figure out on our own there is a bunch of other students that are in the same boat that we are… or we can talk to our teacher.
Homework hours officially end around 5:00 in the afternoon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the homework is done. If my homework isn’t done when the end of homework hours rolls around I usually stick around till 7:00 or so and keep working on it.
There are two reasons I stay till 7:00 or so if my homework isn’t done. The main one is actually the traffic. I have to drive back to where I’m staying and if I try to do that when all the rest of Atlanta calls an end to their work day… well, it takes about 4 times longer.
From Arriving Home Till Bed Time
Once I get home my day is almost done.
At some point I eat some supper.
If it’s still kind of early I might work on a personal project for a little while. If I still have a fair bit of homework to do I might work on that for a little while. If I’m feeling tired in the brain but not so much in the body I might go for a run/jog/walk.
At some point I go to bed… and then wake up the next morning…
If my day was pseudo code it would look something like this.
A Final Word of Warning
I feel like I should mention that my day is not the same as everyone else’s days. There are a few “early birds” who show up about the same time I do… there are also a few “night owls” who would rather complete everything the night before and then sleep a bit later in the morning.
All that to say, take my day with a grain of salt. Your mileage will vary if you attend the Iron Yard. The end result of learning to do awesome things with code is not based solely on how you choose to structure your days.
And with that we finish. I’ve got a few more things that I need to do before class starts…