33: Capstone Checkin: Rasprit Kaur

"This is my base"

I sat down with Raz a week into her new role as a Fellow at Grace Hopper. This interview has two parts: first we recap her novel (pun intended) Capstone app called Parallel Stories, and then we cover initial impressions turning from student to teacher and how she's grown since we first met her on Episode 9. The bootcamp is getting busier and busier so we actually had to record this in a fairly noisy elevator hallway, but I've done my best to edit out the worst of it!

  • See Raz's past Checkins here.

  • Take us through your Capstone. What is Parallel Stories? A "github for stories" - A collaboration platform for people writing stories that can branch off.

  • Discussing the ideation process of Parallel Stories.

  • Riskiest Technical Challenge? The data-viz required for the nesting stories. Firebase's max is 32 levels. Needed to flatten/normalize like a linked list. Doing the MVP took a week but increased confidence that they would be able to do this.

  • What was the stack behind Parallel Stories? Firebase, MUI, Quill, React HTML parser

  • There were quite a few new items in the stack that were not taught during junior phase. What’s the story behind these decisions? Material UI made everything look beautiful! Spread around the cohort like a disease! Used Firebase for auth, database, and hosting. 

  • A theme I am investigating this round is how many teams dropped Redux+Node+Express+SQL for Firebase. What were the challenges in learning a totally new backend, and what were the tradeoffs you discovered? The knowledge from knowing Node/Express/SQL helped to learn Firebase.

  • What If I Open Sourced all of Fullstack/Gracehopper - do you still need a bootcamp? Yes! I tried self teaching (with FreeCodeCamp) and it didnt work. It's the accountability of instructors and peers. And being able to file a help ticket to get unstuck is helpful!

  • Thinking back to other team presentations on demo day, which of them stood out and why? The games were interesting, and the VR project (V-Art). Word-Up was a beautiful education tool that particularly inspired me!

  • Taking a look back at Senior Phase as a whole, what have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know before? I can deal with a lot of stress! Even during Junior Phase, feeling not as smart as group members. Only until Capstone did I feel like I could do this, and things were working as I wanted them to, picking up things like Cloud Functions on my own. This is my base. Why do you care how someone else is doing?

  • "Trust the Process" - from Sophia (from Episode 25!)

  • What's it like being a Fellow? Being able to see things from a completely different perspective! Don't worry, relax.

  • Unforeseen Issues? Pair programming communication issues, and some students are totally shy and don't ask for help when they are stuck. Giving advice for things that I never had a problem with.

  • Whats the non teaching part of the Fellowship like? Doing Admissions interviews - if they can't code, you still teach them! And Engineering - working on LearnDot - moving from Angular to React. In order to do that I have to use Fullstack's early Angular workshops!

  • React vs Angular digression :)

  • Comparing the bootcamp's constantly updating curriculum to the stagnating curriculum during her CS courses in University

  • Discussing the Fellowship with her Mentor.

  • Teaching to Learn.

  • Any recent updates on your professional ambitions? Don't want to work at a scrappy startup (based on past experience) - would love to add new features at a more established company.

  • What are you thinking of building right now? An AI-driven "What are you in the mood for" Netflix/show recommendation app.

  • React Native Trauma

  • Are Progressive Web Apps a Google plot?

  • "If you do end up doing a bootcamp, you have to trust the process."


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