Solo Hackathon #1

So. I just finished my first solo hackathon. You can check it out here:

Some background on the hack, I made this for my brother. He needed a website to act as an online portfolio/resume, as well as a networking tool. He is an editor and photographer.

Features he had asked me to include were a simple blog, a way to integrate his videos, his instagram, and some photos. An online resume would work very well as a networking tool, as people can just look it up online. By tacking on other types of networks, it would be that much more of a powerful tool.

So now that’s done, my hourly breakdown went something like this:

  • 11pm to 3am: I worked on setting up the basics, adding bootstrap, simpleform, and set up the blog inputs.
  • 3am – 4am: Hooked up the blog inputs through the controller to get what I was looking for. Ran routes, etc.
  • 4am – 5am: Break.
  • 5am – 9am: Front page CSS, hooked up other pages with filler content.
  • 9am – 2pm: Nap. Or sleep, I guess.
  • 2pm – 6pm: Tons of experimentation with jquery, but had a hard time nailing it. Went back and forth, trying to hook up page transitions but eventually gave up.
  • 6pm – 8pm: Hooked up Instagram API to the site and learned a long lesson about figaro and how to set ENV tokens and keys to heroku.
  • 8pm – 11pm: More CSS work such as font choices, color schemes, adding a viewport for mobile views, grid work for the front page, background selections.

My primary take away from this experience was that not only could I get so much done in one run, but that I need to really hone in on some skillsets.

Things I need to work on:

  • jQuery: I need to learn how to install these within a rails app.
  • MVC: I know what the view does, understand that the model talks to the database, and the controller acts like the traffic guard. I think what is throwing me off is that we put the business logic in the controller, which uses information from the database. Eitherway, I need to pound in on that.
  • Keys and Tokens: This was actually something I picked up during this exercise. Although I learned how to push keys to heroku before without pushing it into Github, this whole experience forced me to relearn it and the process made things more clear.
  • Javascript: I should probably start learning as I don’t really know any to begin with.
  • API integration: I still have to find a way to pull from youtube as much of my brothers stuff is video based.
  • gem research: Still need to read up on gems that would be ideal to use for whatever.
  • Ruby: My ruby is okay, but I believe I’m writing things a bit off. It’s definitely not “confident”.

All in all, it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to my next run. I need to do more prep work for my next one, possibly what will be my own portfolio. Things I’d like to include in my next similar project is an already built text-editor, so I should probably look for that.

Here are some screen shots of what I the app looks so far, as I’m sure the site may look different depending on when someone views this blog.

On a final note, I think I watched like 18 episodes of LOST (rewatching it while I work on stuff). Anyway, it’ll probably be awhile before I can do something like this again, as there is still the team project to work on, but when I do I’ll be sure to blog about it.

I should also really hammer out the coding challenges again and try my best to completely understand it again.

Anyway, until next time…



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