Code Clan Week 5 - Training the Dragons

So Ive made it to week 5!  Its an early start on Monday morning as Im staying and commuting from Stirling this week. After a 4:00am drive to Stirling and catching the 7:17am train to Edinburgh Haymarket I was back in the Code Clan office ready for another week.


This is individual project week and we were set 5 different briefs last Thursday and we had to choose one for a project. The idea is to cement the past 4 weeks tuition with a full stack application made from scratch. We were encouraged to pick a project that you could have some fun with and challenge yourself.  Each project brief had an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) of functions that it should do.  I wanted a project which I could make visual and have a clean neat front end. The choices were:

  • Best Pub application - a week thinking of beer but not getting any… next?
  • Olympic medal application - Im not vey sporty… next?
  • Record shop application -  Im not very musical... next?
  • Expense tracking application - possibly but it can be done in excel… next?
  • Animal shelter application - you get to train animals… cool!

So I decided on the Animal Shelter but with a twist.  My boys and myself enjoy the ‘How to Train your Dragon’ movies so how about a dragon shelter where homeless dragons could be adopted by vikings?


The Friday was an all day planning day, and we were encouraged not to code till at least Saturday.  I started with some blank A3 sheets and sketched out some ideas, then planned my database and tables and did some use case diagrams. I setup a new Trello board to capture my requirements and divided them into Must, Should, Would, Could, (MoSCoW).

I actually didn't get a chance to do any work on it over the weekend so at standup on the Monday morning  it was a bit unsettling to hear some people had met their MVP already.  Anyway I had 3 days to take my planning and build my application.


Monday was spent in Ruby and SQL, creating my database and adding my dragon table, my owners table and my adoption join table.  Each had their own object data created in a Ruby seed script.  Lots of Git Adds and Git Commits were the flavour to keep my project code safe.  This continued regularly through the week.


Tuesday I carried on and made my controllers and models and worked on the code to simulate the relationships.  I achieved my MVP at the end of the day and updated the traffic lights on my Trello board.


Wednesday was a brilliant day where I could add my CSS and  HTML along with some graphics to improve the look of my front end.  I downloaded lots of pictures of dragons and vikings from various how to train your dragon websites and finished up late afternoon with an application I was pleased with.


Thursday is presentation day and following standup I had the pleasure of going first!  My name begins with A and we were going alphabetically through the cohorts. Lucky me!


Macbook in hand I plugged in the HDMI cable and began my presentation.  Thankfully I could hear oohs and aaahs and my application was well received and had quite a few questions.  I gave a demo of my application, showed how I had setup my Trello board, showed pictures of my planning diagrams and did a brief code walk through.  Applause and that was me done and on to the next cohort.


Each cohort took it in turn to do a standup and present their application.  Everyone had developed their own unique application and wow, most of these people had no coding experience 5 weeks ago and now were presenting fully working application that could have real world uses!


Week 5 has been one of the best weeks, and it was brilliant to be able to code and focus on a full project for an entire week.  There were difficulties but the instructors and other cohorts were on hand to assist when I became stuck.


So a massive thanks to Code Clan and instructors.  And to my cohorts I am chuffed to bits to be part of such a brilliant group of people.


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