Breathe. The breakneck weeks are coming to an end and the relative calm is near. For me at least. The past few weeks have seen a lot of new content, some exciting projects, and a great field trip to a terrific conference. But as lectures are nearing their end, I am finding a moment to step back to take a look at what has been accomplished in the past two months. And when I take that moment it's impossible not to be proud.

Looking back at week six, I don't think immediately of the time spent with test-driven development or constructors and prototype but what stands out is the cross-class assignment to build a web app game. The ask was big but the results were incredible. The teams put together some clever ideas and the time spent on the design, interaction, and animations was amazing. The Monday these assignments were due, we spent the first chunk of class demo-ing the games to the class and allowing everybody to talk about cool things they learned and accomplished during the project. This was a highlight of the course for me to see these projects and just how far the class has come in just a few short weeks. And I don't only mean the front-end class but the back-end class has been equally impressive with these cross-class assignments.

Week seven saw us dive into Angular. It's been relieving to see how well the class has taken to the different conceptual approach of a framework. Luckily, since Angular isn't my strongest skillset, a couple devs from Smashing Boxes, Rob and Kristine, came down to lead a guest lecture that covered a bunch of material. I'd be remiss not to shout out Zach as well from SB for building the in-class project. With so much material covered in that one lecture, we spent the next two days in class rebuilding the same project more slowly spending more time on individual concepts and adding in small additions to dive further into custom directives, asynchronous requests, and further Angular-related logic.

Week seven saw a nice mid-week break as the majority of the class attended All Things Open, a large conference here in Raleigh that hosted some great speakers, booths, and topics this year. I had a lot of fun hanging out with the class and some co-workers outside of the basement office and being able to be a little extra relaxed - taking a day away from working in Atom ourselves. Any events like this always remind me how many people I actually know in the community thanks to Meetup groups or previous jobs as seemingly every few moments I was bumping into somebody and catching up. I bumped into a couple people from an Ember Meetup and out chat resulted in these two alums coming to sit in on a lecture of mine the following week.

Week eight started with more time in Angular and a day worth of agile methodology, Trello, and writing user stories. This was my first time of actually pairing students up in class for a little project in class and I found it to be a lot of fun. The last half of the week was spent going over Ember and Firebase as we built Bistro dé Lectér, an ambiguously-worded website that could either be a 5-star French or cannabalistic establishment. The class and I had a lot of fun putting this together especially when we tied it up to Firebase and the students flooded the reservations page in real time with entries. I felt this was a terrific way to demonstrate how powerful Firebase can be.

And that brings me here, the Saturday before week nine sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by hipster beards and man-buns, feeling painfully out of place with my smooth chin and receding hairline. Next week will be spent covering a lot of professional topics such as job searching, applying to positions, building a portfolio, how to leverage Github and Codepen for your portfolio, and prep for final project pitches. I know final projects won't be a time for me to check out but the fact that this will be my last week of lecture is pretty exciting. In terms of coding, I intend on crash coursing everybody on Flexbox and Markdown. And for shiggles, I may even have them install Virtual Box to test out an old project or two in IE 10 or something. For once, I actually don't really know what I'll do and that uncertainly feels refreshing because again, I can breathe. So here's to week nine, final projects and the home stretch before graduation.


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