Picking Projects (Hackbright Academy – Week 4)

I’ve been “dressing up” during the week (um, wearing collared shirts and sometimes cardigans), so on the weekends, I like to wrap myself in the ridiculous softness of free t-shirts. I’m totally fine being a walking advertisement! Thanks to Twilio for hosting, feeding, and teaching us!! It’s so cool to be welcomed by awesome companies and meet with engineers who want to be involved in our learning.By Mica Love Swyers (Hackbright Academy – fall 2013 class)

Like all cool tech companies, Twilio hooked us up with sweet schwag! I’ve been “dressing up” during the week (so, um, wearing collared shirts and sometimes cardigans), so on the weekends, I like to wrap myself in the ridiculous softness of free t-shirts. I’m totally fine being a walking advertisement!

Thanks to Twilio for hosting, feeding, and teaching us!! It’s so cool to be welcomed by awesome companies and meet with engineers who want to be involved in our learning.

Speaking of learning, I learned a valuable lesson this week: programming requires a lot more sleep than grad school does.

In the second half of HB, we all work on individual projects that we shop to prospective employers at an end-of-program career day. This has been unbelievably and irrationally stressful for me. As a consummate quitter of things, I’m afraid of picking a project that I could easily end up hating/quitting. It felt like that point in the semester when you realized the topic you chose for your 25-page paper actually sucks….but with higher stakes.

I lost a surprising amount of sleep over this. At night, I’d try to fall asleep, but my mind would be racing with potential projects that I would have to jot down in my phone, lest I wake up and forget my own nighttime brilliance. Come morning, I would read my horribly confusing, mostly incoherent notes and say them out loud, only to realize that they were, in fact, really stupid or impossible to implement.

I’m not alone in this project-induced agony. From what I could tell, we’re all freaking out about picking projects. Should we make web apps? Web apps that integrate something else?? WHAT IS SOMETHING ELSE!??! We all want to make something that will maximize our chances of getting a job offer (or two…or five) at the end of Hackbright. Not to mention that the previous classes have produced some really fantastic, impressive projects that seem so far beyond the scope of what we are capable of. It’s nerve-wracking, a bit.

Bottom line: I don’t want to show up at Career Day with some ganky shit that looks like I glued some popsicle sticks together while my classmates are showing off fancy web applications that solve the world’s problems in an elegant way.

Read Mica’s full blog post here.