Jean-Nicholas Hould On Data Science

Learning How to Be a Starter

I landed two days ago in Chicago. For the next three months, I’ll be attending Starter League, an intensive program to learn Ruby and Rails. My first days here in Chicago have been pretty crazy. I have been hopping from meetup to meetup, meeting great people, and getting free food and my fair share of startup swag.

Software Craftsman Chicago

For my first night in town, I went out with my roommate Kori to a meet up called Software Craftsman Night Out at Hopleaf, a really nice beer bar in the north of the city (huge beer selection). At this meetup, I had the chance to meet the guys from DevMynd, a software consultancy firm where Kori works as an apprentice. Brad, Dayton, and all the crew were awesome. We talked about the different alternatives to Starter League and what it’s like to be a programmer these days.

8th Light Offices

Friday, I headed to 8th Light’s office downtown around noon. Every Friday, they host the 8th Light University, a one hour talk about an interesting programming topic followed by a socializing/coding/guitar-playing afternoon. This week the talk was by Josh Cheek. He presented different tools to get more feedback when coding. The event was pretty sweet and I’m planning on going there as often as possible.

Meeting the Starter League Crew

I spent Saturday afternoon with Joe, Sam, Vybe and Mike who are also participating in Starter League. We explored the city and stopped for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Sam told us how he landed his job at Crowdfunder, running Facebook ads for himself, an ingenious way to stand out from the pack. At night, we headed to Blokes & Birds, a bar in Lakeview where a bunch of Starters agreed to meet. There I met my future classmates. Everybody seems pumped to be here in Chicago, and I’m excited to be here with them, learning to program. Learning how to be a Starter.