freeCodeCamp Nashville December Meetup Recap

freecodecamp nashville

After taking a hiatus from our meetup for a month due to family obligations, Dave and I were back at it again this month for the freeCodeCamp Nashville meetup. This month we pulled together a group of technical recruiters for some Q&A. The premise behind this time together was that recruiters can be a valuable asset to people in the tech scene through their relationships with companies as well as their knowledge of how to best get past some common barriers. However, recruiters seems to get a bad wrap in general due to some bad apples in the industry. Those people who are required by a company or boss to get X number of calls or contacts in per day per position. I know I’ve personally received emails about positions that I know I’m not qualified for and anybody who took a few seconds to scan my LinkedIn profile would know as well.
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freeCodeCamp Nashville October Meetup Recap

freeCodeCamp nashville

This past Saturday we had our monthly freeCodeCamp Nashville meetup at Nashville Software School. As always it was good times. We were supposed to have a guest speaker but they couldn’t make it at the last minute so our very own superstar and freeCodeCamp Nashville Co-Organizer Dave Harned stepped in and crushed it. He presented a Crash Course on NodeJS. You can find the repo here and excuse the work in progress readme. Like most things, it’s not perfect. Feel free to open a Pull Request and shore up those docs! I’m going to walk through what Dave presented on Saturday so you can see what you missed out on and come to the next one ;-). Honestly, so you can benefit from what I think is a well put together intro that’ll have you up, running, and playing around in no time.
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freeCodeCamp Nashville June Meetup Recap

dave & seth @ music city code

We had our June meetup today and it was good. A small group but we solved some problems together and we talked shop some. Specifically, Leland brought up the scope of the projects. How it’s easy to go off on tangents and hours later be so far away from what you initially started working on. We shared some tips on how to stay focused and keep within the scope of the project. Especially since a lot of the time, we’ll learn things after we complete a project that just makes it even easier to implement what we truly wanted to do. So sometimes it’s more frustrating to succeed in going the extra mile trudging through the dirt only to realize that you didn’t know about the free shuttle that could’ve gotten you there much quicker and easier.

We put our heads together and helped Andy with a checkbox problem he was having. We were calling checked (MDN, W3Schools) to return true or false and it was throwing an error complaining about not being able to be called on null.

We discussed the job landscape at length as Phillip is on the prowl hard but doesn’t have that 1-3 years professional experience it seems like all Jr. Developer roles are looking for these days. Which we all agreed is a Catch-22 that just doesn’t make sense. Networking is a big key to getting the first job in this industry it seems. Having a Sr. Developer who can vouch for your skills is typically needed for a company to take the leap and risk it. HackerRank came up in the discussion as well as the usefulness of some recruiters to open doors when the resume is lacking.

We found out about CHINGU from Matt. An interesting project that looks to throw people who are self-learning web development into cohorts of like-minded people to level themselves up in a quicker fashion. I was able to find the “Welcome” doc they send to new cohorts and it’s an interesting framework. I’d be interested to see how one actually is executed but don’t think I want to take part in one at this point in time. I have enough going on. It’s a solid option for others though to look at how they can speed up their progress.

I shared some of the resources that we came into contact with this weekend with Music City Code. Specifically, Technologist Federation of Nashville aka TechFed. They’ve got an awesome thing going on. I highly encourage everyone to sign up with them on their site. If you’re looking to get more involved with the Nashville tech scene then volunteer at tech events. The networking is invaluable. Also, the Complete Developer Podcast are a couple, cool dudes. They run a weekly podcast as well as a bi-monthly (that means twice a month right?) developer meetup. Subscribe and go check out their meetup.

We’re looking forward to bigger things for freeCodeCamp Nashville. We’ve got a bigger meeting space in the works. Also, possibly some sponsorships that’ll allow us to do more and maintain a small budget. We received a lot of positive feedback from Music City Code attendees who stopped by the table. We also found out that Nashville Software School shares freeCodeCamp as a resource for people wanting to learn more about coding.

Finally, a huge CONGRATS to our very own Organizer Dave who landed his first dev gig this weekend! Yet another one showing the people can make the transition to web development without a CS degree and without attending a boot camp. Persistence and hard work do pay off.

freeCodeCamp Nashville May Meetup Recap

man in tie presenting

So today Dave Harned and I hosted the monthly freeCodeCamp Nashville Meetup. There were 8 of us there and it was good to see new and “old” faces. I think we’re starting to build more of a core group that will consistently attend the meetup. With that, we’ve started exploring some other options for larger meetup locations. The library is nice but the wifi is awfully slow and that’s a pretty big downside considering what we’re meeting for.

Dave and I presented on RESTful APIs and general REST info. You can view the slides here and to get a feel for what it was like, the image above is what Dave looked like presenting. So after that, we chatted for a bit about many things.

IDE’s were brought up. Specifically, WebStorm (which you can get for free with a .edu email address), Brackets, and Visual Studio Code were discussed. As were the limitations of CodePen and using Cloud9 instead and some of a Cloud9 setup.

In the discussion of local dev environments, Dave brought up MAMP and how he was dabbling in some WordPress when he was using it.

Other resources that were mentioned were: Eli the Computer Guy and The Coding Train on YouTube. An algorithms course on Coursera was mentioned but not the specific one. We were talking about Stanford though so I think this is the right one.

We also worked through the freeCodeCamp Truncate a string challenge together. I didn’t think to save it at the time but we used Dave’s computer so hopefully, he has the solution locally on his machine still. If so I’ll update with it.

UPDATE here’s the code:

function truncateString(str, num) {
  if (str.length <= num) {
    return str;
  } else if (num <=3) {
    return str.slice(0, num) + "...";
  } else {
    return str.slice(0, num - 3) + "...";

truncateString("A-tisket a-tasket A green and yellow basket", 11);

We had a good time and there were a few extended conversations after we officially ended which I liked. I’m not a Sr. Dev and can’t mentor people too much, yet. However, I really do enjoy seeing people connect with each other and the community we’re slowly building around the central theme of people new to coding utilizing freeCodeCamp to learn.