Sarah Katz


Sometimes You Have To Learn Something New

This week I started my final major project at Fullstack Academy. Known as “Capstone”, this is the group project that we will be presenting live on Facebook on Demo Day (check out Fullstack Academy on Facebook for more information on that in a few weeks) and at our hiring day in mid-December. It’s an opportunity to showcase our skills and interests to friends, family, and potential future employees.

I went into this knowing that I wanted to stick with a web app and not work on mobile, and I told my group as much. Well, I was overruled (which is just the nature of group projects — you can’t win every battle), and we’re doing a mobile app. We’re using CRNA (create-react-native-app), which means that I had to learn React Native and Expo all in the course of a few days.

My group teammates assured me that learning React Native wouldn’t be too bad. It turns out … they were right. I’m very comfortable with React, and React Native is really not that different.

Expo, on the other hand … that was not as fun. I’m an Android user and we’re doing an iOS app (again, just the nature of group projects … it was easier for the Android users to get iOS devices than for the iOS users to get Android devices), so I had to borrow an iPad from someone to use in the development process. Then I had to upgrade the iPad (which hadn’t been used in a while) to iOS 11, something which took quite a while (and the owner of the iPad isn’t thrilled about). Once I finally had the latest iOS and had downloaded Expo … I discovered that Expo hates me.

Okay, fine, Expo doesn’t hate me. It’s an app, it can’t really hate people. But it did keep crashing on me, and it took me quite a while to resolve the issue (at least I think I resolved the issue — saving pictures from the camera in my redux store instead of locally seems to have stopped the crashing). Once I resolved the issue, I still had a bit of coding to do to finish the feature I was working on.

So far we’re only a week into this three week project, and I’ve already learned a lot. Not just about React Native and Expo, but also about how I respond to the idea of something new. I’ve learned that even if I’m nervous about it, I should try new things. Even if I never use React Native again, it’s a skill that I have now, and I’m glad that my teammates “forced” me to give it a try.

We’ve got about 2 weeks left of working on this project, so stay tuned for more updates on what I’ve learned and how it’s going!

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