36: Capstone Checkin: Max Allen

"Feel free to overcommunicate"

This is the last of the Capstone Checkin Interviews and I have to admit I've been dragging my feet on this one because we talked about a very upsetting period in my own bootcamp journey. No names are mentioned but basically I had strong disagreements with a teammate during our Capstone project and it ended in me leaving the group. While I couldn't get that teammate to talk it out with me on this podcast, Max was part of that group and was kind enough to talk through the experience with me. It's hopefully a rare experience but it is good to reflect on what happens when software engineers passionately disagree about how to work together. Some of the hardest things about coding have nothing to do with code.

  • See Max's past Checkins here.

  • How does it feel to graduate from Fullstack? Relief. Moving from structured environment to more control. 

  • Take us through your Capstone. What is Advance Wars Online? Remake of the classic game Advance Wars using Phaser and Firebase.

  • What is Firebase? It's a realtime cloud backend that does a lot of work for you instead of having to set up sockets for yourself.

  • 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? It was easy to pick up. Not sure, need to spend more time on it to decide.

  • Difficulties in the group. What happened? Disagreements when deciding on the project to do. Communication about lack of motivation/excitement about the project. 

  • Real talk about why our group broke down so badly that we had to split up (I asked to transfer out of the group)

  • We HAVE to err on the side of overcommunication.

  • What was the experience of presenting on Demo Day? The feedback could've been better (feedback on feedback!) But Max has had a lot of learned behavior from prior experience.

  • How to give a good technical presentation.

  • Thinking back to other team presentations on demo day, which of them stood out and why? CoordinEAT, Recipe-Me

  • Taking a look back at Senior Phase as a whole, what have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know before? I actually can build a useful app at the end of senior phase!

  • Turning to the Job Hunt: What is Career Prep at Fullstack like? Useful for getting used to the tech interview process, less useful for more experienced people

  • Do you feel ready to call yourself a software engineer? No, it's like you have a driver's license!

  • Any recent updates on your professional ambitions? Still interested in the "full stack" of things

  • What If I Open Sourced all of Fullstack/Gracehopper - do you still need a bootcamp? It might work, but there are a ton of alternatives out there if you want to do that. The instructors (shoutout to Gabe) provide a lot of value when you're stuck and also showing best practices.

  • Any recent updates on your professional ambitions? Nope - still looking at a larger company where there is more structure, compared to a startup where you have more responsibility.

  • Post bootcamp cliff: Learning plans, double down on algo questions. Doing more TDD.

  • The economics of Test Driven Development (TDD).

  • What are you thinking of building right now? Thinking about learning React Native and Solidity! A lot to learn.

  • Musings about whether to go into blockchain coding

  • Consensys Academy

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