Makers Academy: The final countdown

We finally found ourself in our last week at Makers. This meant that we were half way through rushing to make our final projects presentable. However as we had to present them we had to take time out to prepare ourselves to demonstrate them. All the groups helped each out with feedback on our practises. This was actually the first time I had heard in detail what the others had managed to get up too. One project was a local advertising iPhone app. Next was a health tracker dashboard and the last a multimedia teaching aid to learn to code.


In this second week our team felt much more effective. This was probably due to a firm groundwork being laid down as well as our ever increasing affinity with git and regular testing.


The first large coding part I dealt with was incorporating icons on our homepage. These were to show off all the technologies we had mastered over the course. It was an impressive list. We had previously used the foundation icon set elsewhere on the site but there were not icons for Ruby etc. After a search that looked like it might prove fruitless we found font-Mfizz. This is an extension for Font Awesome to include a large amount of “Vector Icons for Technology and Software Geeks”. These took us a while to incorporate but this was mostly due our lack of understanding of the rails asset pipeline. Such issues like when to precompile are still a mystery to me but this article offers some insight.

The other solid progress this week was microservices. This week I finally managed to make a working microservice system. Both microservices are written with Sinatra. The first serves up a users github CV and the second a users vitals on stack overflow. These were really satisfying to get working after finally managing to find the time to make it happen. There are several nice things about these services. One is the simplicity of the code and the fact that just a few tests will cover the entire service. Second is that a users page can load quickly with extra information being adding as it becomes available. When developing these I wanted to create them in different languages. I managed to start both a node.js and python service but didn’t have the time to fully integrate them. 

To see these in action check out my profile page on our final project.

Just because it is the last week that is no reason to neglect the interesting links. This week they are all JavaScript. 

  1. 10 Useful libraries for JavaScript developers
  2. A tidy repository of JQuery plugins
  3. You might not need Jquery
  4. A list of JS micro libraries