The end of the beginning

June 15, 2009 at 11:21 pm (Scala) (, , , )

Today was the big day, when the craftsmen at 8th Light all got together to review my apprenticeship challenges (the presentation a couple Fridays ago, a more technical blog post I’ve written, and my Scala Tic-Tac-Toe. This morning I paired with Doug for a bit to work on a continuous build server for a client (CruiseControl.NET). It wasn’t a lot of fun: just some XML configuration and battling through ~3 layers of virtual Windows machines.

After lunch, the guys got together downstairs while I sweated it out with Caleb, Matt, and Andrew upstairs. Then each craftsman talked to me, one on one, giving me feedback on my challenges. I guess I did pretty well, judging from the feedback, but I did get a lot of great pointers, especially on presentations and writing. I tend to make bigger jumps than I should when explaining things, both in the written and spoken word. There were certainly other things (mostly positive, actually), but those are the things that I see as needing the most immediate attention.

But at the end of the day, Micah offered me a position as software craftsman at 8th Light, and of course I immediately accepted. I’m very excited to get started on client work tomorrow with Micah and Doug, on the project I’ve worked on a little bit during my apprenticeship. I’m going to be taking on more work and expected to contribute at least as much to the team as I take from it (my words, not theirs), and I’m going to rise to the challenge.

This morning, 8th Light and Obtiva had a big spread in the Chicago Tribune about the Craftsmanship Swap, starring Jim Suchy and Jake Scruggs. I got lucky the day the photographer was in the office, when I happened to be pairing with Jim on some Rails code, so I got my picture in the paper (and online.

The day’s last big hurrah was when I somehow finagled my way onto Github Rebase #23 for my tictactoe-scala project. It’s pretty sweet to be featured as a new project, but as I’m just getting into Scala, I wouldn’t take code I’ve written as gospel. Look to Dean Wampler for that.

This apprenticeship has been an amazing experience. I’ve written unbeatable Tic-Tac-Toe problems in Java and Scala, given a presentation on Scheme, learned test-driven development from the ground up and lots of object-oriented design patterns, touched on some functional programming, committed code to the JRuby project, and worked as part of an incredible team for twelve weeks. I shouldn’t ask for more, but I will. My formal apprenticeship may be at an end, but I’ve got a lot of learning left to do. I’m planning to take a short hiatus from blogging, but I’ll post my continued adventures in the near future.

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