The first day was no disappointment. In fact my classmates were impressive enough that I felt just a bit of impostor syndrome. One thing that makes it especially interesting is that half the students in the school were just starting as I was, and half the students are in a cohort that is about half way through the program. That other cohort was shockingly capable! One of the first things we did was pair off with advanced students so they could demo their projects to us.
The first guy I paired with had the same name as me, and like me had spent time in China, first as and English teacher and then at a tech start-up. That was a pretty big coincidence! His app was written in Meteor and it was a collaborative teaching platform a little bit like a minimal bleeding edge version of Skillshare.
The second student showed me an app with a deeper level of facebook integration than I realized was possible. Basically it was for students doing interview-type homework assignments. It lets them send questions to their friends in a facebook message, and then yanks the responses out via the FB API and puts them in the app! I'm not too sure how many students doing that kind of report will be using facebook to contact their interviewees, but the technology was interesting.
Next we broke into pairs from our own class and worked through some assignments, cloning the look of various websites. The worked on today was pretty basic for me (HTML/CSS), and yet I ended up learning something I didn't know about git and a couple of things I hadn't realized about CSS. It was pretty good. My partner knew some Sublime Text shortcuts I didn't and I showed her some she hadn't seen. We were both able to make faster progress working together than we would have separately, even if we hadn't had help from the instructors.
After coding most the day (with breaks for lunch and dinner) we had a lecture from one of most senior Twitter developers, which was pretty cool. I didn't get home until 9:30, and I'm pretty exhausted.
I've decided to return to my old strategy of using the Anki SRS to help me with my studies. Though I'm not quite the SRS fan I used to be, I have to admit that seeing Derek Siver's enthusiastic writeup on that system I've known and loved (and contributed to!) inspired me a bit. With the time limits I have, I'm going to have to be judicious about what items to add to my study decks. Due to what my upper classmates have said, I think I'll focus my SRS efforts on Backbone.js related material.