N00b News- A Git Cheatsheet for First-time Coders

By Jason Land


Make new repo on Github.com or Bitbucket.com, and a new project folder on your computer. Inside the folder type:

git init
git status
git add name_of_files_to_commit
git commit -m "description of this commit"

git remote add origin git_repo_url
git push -u origin master

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over some of the command line concepts yesterday,

…so I thought I’d post a blog about the basics just to cement them in my head, and provide a link to pass around to my classmates. This will work for both OSX, Mac, Linux and the sites Github.com or Bitbucket.com.

The first thing to do is to navigate to the folder you want to build your project in on the command line. If you’re in the main user folder on OSX, you’d see something like this (it looks slightly different on Windows, but the commands I’ll be using are the same:


I’m going to put my new project in my Sites folders, and that command looks like this (press enter after you type it):

cd Sites

Once you’re where you want to create a new project, make a new directory, and navigate into it.

mkdir my_new_project
cd my_new_project

Even though you haven’t written any code, at this point you should initialize the folder as a git tracked project.

git init

We’re going to leave the command line briefly and open your browser to Github.com. Login to your account (or register one if you’re really starting from scratch), and create a new repo. Give it any name you like (it doesn’t have to match your folder name) and click “Create repository”


Make some empty files in your folder in your text editor (like index.html, style.css, app.js) and save them. On the command we’ll check out which files are new by typing in:

git status

It’s a good idea to track from the very beginning, so we’ll add these to our staging area (files being readied for a commit):

git add index.html style.css app.js

If you type in git status again, you’ll see the added files have changed to green.


Time to commit! One simple command for this:

git commit -m "description of the commit you're making"

The -m is necessary after git commit so Git knows to add your message in quotes to your repo. Now we need to get our Repo location from your Github/Bitbucket account. Both of those websites show this to you when you create a new repo, it looks like this:


Copy both of those lines and paste them into your command line. Once you do that, refresh the page on Github, and you should see it now shows you’ve uploaded the files:


Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave… With a box of SCRAPS!

By Mark Srethabhakti

If you haven’t yet seen Marvel’s Iron Man, the 2008 adaptation of Elon Musk’s life as a mechanized superhero, this scene features the incomparable Jeff Bridges as tech CEO Obadiah Stane approaching a flustered engineer, who struggles to explain to him that the technology required to build what he has asked for does not exist yet. Bridges calmly attempts to assure the engineer of its feasibility citing the fact that a working prototype exists in front of their very eyes, but upon further protests that the project is impossible, Bridges erupts in the above phrase. The engineer can only apologize for not being genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark, the titular “Iron Man.”

When I first started this class, I felt like that engineer. Every project that was assigned came with a list of ridiculous requirements, and my initial reaction would always be something along the lines of, “well this is clearly impossible.” I said that to myself every time, even though I knew that our instructors,Cameron and Sean probably made the mock up version in approximately 5 minutes (presumably in a cave with a box of scraps… or Bootstrap). Obviously, the technology exists, there’s proof of it right there in the example, but there was always that initial thought of “what if they’re training us wrong as a joke and the mock up’s just a photoshopped picture!” Even after I completed each project, proving that Jeff Bridges was absolutely right, I still didn’t feel like Tony Stark. My code seemed like crude workarounds and I was always left wondering what elegant solution Cameron “Tony Stark” Wilby or Sean “Iron Man” Cahall would have used.

Fast forward, to week 9 and, dare I say it, I think I’m finally starting to feel less like the Jeff Bridges’ punching bag engineer (fun fact: same actor as Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”) and more like Tony Stark. Not so much snarky genius Robert Downey Jr. playing himself Tony Stark (I wish…), but the Tony Stark that was inside the cave, building his first suit out of a box of scraps surrounded by terrorists and with shrapnel in his chest. When faced with an insanely difficult situation, Tony doesn’t resign himself to an ignominious death in the desert, he buckles down and gets to work. He literally creates impossible technology, and while his first version of the Iron Man armor isn’t the sleek, refined technology that headlined the latest Avengers films, it was functional and ended up saving his life. That’s why the movie is called “Marvel’s Iron Man”, not “Marvel’s Chief Stark Industries Engineer William Ginter Riva.”

This week I decided that my final project would work better with the increasingly popular MEAN stack instead of the ASP.NET Entity Framework and SQL server, which would be all well and good if I didn’t have to learn three of the four frameworks/tools in that stack. Certainly a challenging task, but I am now confident that I have the tools and knowledge to figure this out. My last two days have been spent like my first two days: copying code from the internet to see what works, racking up points on Team Treehouse and trying to keep my mindset optimistic and fun, but this time I have a different perspective: You can think about how impossible something is, or you can instead use that time to work the problem instead. It doesn’t matter how ugly and crude your solution is, if it works, it works. And finally, even without a mock up or example project as proof that your project is even possible, you have to just shut up and get to work until you build your Iron Man suit and blast your way out of the terrorist compound!

My First Day at Origin Code Academy

By Jason Land

I remember from grade school that first days are usually an intoxicating mix of excitement and anxiety. I’d have thought that being 30 would put me past that, but my lack of sleep last night proved me wrong.

I’m known to lag in the morning so I wanted to start a routine early on (this becomes a recurring theme with advice from teachers and students in the other cohort). I woke up, checked my bicycle’s tires, showered, cooked a filling breakfast and pedaled off.

the route from my home to Origin Code Academy
Upside- it’s all downhill in the morning. Downside- it’s all uphill at 5pm

After parting with the largest check I’ve ever written (though still a bargain in my opinion), I met all of my classmates. There’s 25 of us so it’s bigger than a cohort normally is. What’s cool is how diverse everyone’s backgrounds are, though most share a lack of a technical background. As we went around introducing ourselves, I heard car salesman, aerospace engineer, chemist, interior designer, casino floor worker, electrical engineer, and a few retail/servers come up. We played two truths and a lie to break the ice, which is a favorite one of mine. Here are the three things I mentioned:

  1. I’ve been able to grow a mustache since I was 12.
  2. I guessed on my SATs and got a 1300 out of 1600
  3. It took me 30 hours to be born.

I’ll probably talk more about my class mates as the course goes on.

The other trait everyone shared was hope and faith that Origin Code Academy will help them change their lives. Since our instructor Cameron Willby mentioned that changing lives is his favorite part of working at Origin, I’d say our faith should be well founded.

Cameron focused today’s instruction on getting us to be in a frictionless work environment: teaching us Scrum, setting up time tracking to do burn-down charts, helping us get Sublime Text, Node, Git, and Slack in place. I’ve lucked out a bit and had all of those installed, so I helped some students get theirs setup too. I’ve been enjoying that for the same reason I started this blog: teaching is the best way to learn something.

Speaking of which, I got picked to deliver the first lightning talk. My topic: Scrum methodology.


Day One

By Ryan Wilson

It is 1:28 P.M. and I am more than half way through my first day of Software Development bootcamp. I have a great feeling about how things are going. I will admit I have a lot of anxiety about getting through the bootcamp and showing my best work. I feel as though there is so much that I need to learn and this is simply the first day. Two students from another cohort came in this morning to share some of their experiences with us. I found their words very encouraging. They told us that they had very little experience with software development, but they are now in week 10 of their training and feeling like they have come so far. They mentioned that if they could do this, they felt anyone could. It was so nice to hear such encouraging words on such an uncertain day. I just completed the majority of the work assignments for today and I am feeling good about that. Tomorrow a leaderboard will populate which will rank all of the students in the class based on a number of different variables. I can not wait to see where I stand!

5 Tips for Incoming Cohorts or: What I wished I had known on my first day of class

By Mark Srethabhakti

With my group project completed and presented and the new cohort starting today, I thought I would take some time to welcome the new class and share some survival tips!

  1. The “Parking structure that’s down the street” in the FAQ is Horton Plaza’s Fruits and Vegetable parking structureIf you are planning on paying for monthly parking enter in through the G street entrance on either 2nd or 3rd street, grab a ticket and after class head to the parking office by entering the garage from 4th street where the cars come in and turning left or by navigating to the 3rd floor of the vegetable side of the garage. They will waive that day’s fee when you sign up. Monthly parking card holders must enter through the 2nd or 3rd street entrances from G street by scanning their card as they enter before they reach the ticket dispenser. Don’t keep taking tickets after you get the card and then go ask them about what you should do with all of the tickets you took over the course of a week. They don’t like that.
  2. Never take G street out of downtown at rush hourI made the mistake of leaving at 5 PM exactly a few times. Never again. G street might as well be a parking lot between the hours of 4:45 and 5:45 PM. If you are trying to reach any of the freeways, there is a shortcut out through the monthly parking entrance through the 3rd floor of the vegetable side that is sometimes available that will put you out on 1st street that you can take all the way to Broadway. From there you can go down Broadway until 11th street for the 163-N and 5-N or 17th street for the 5-S. If you must leave through the G street exits, go straight instead of turning onto G street and turn onto Market from which you can reach the aforementioned cross streets.
  3. Required prework is requiredI joined the summer cohort really late so I had about 5 days to get at least 1,000 points on Treehouse. It was a pain to get through, but  15 hours of videos over the weekend were absolutely vital to surviving the first weeks of class. The required prework is very much required, and if this particular course wasn’t emphasized, I am going to highly recommend that everyone take the HTML/CSS course on Treehouse”How to build a Website – with Nick Pettit”. This particular class is a good introduction to HTML and CSS, the two languages that will form the basic skeleton of all of your projects. Also, if you complete all of the Workspaces exactly as Nick does it, you can pull them up from the video and copy different things that you would like to add to your first assignments. Treehouse is invaluable for working examples of code snippets that you can use with video walkthroughs on what each part of the code actually does so I would really make the most out of the subscription.
  4. Class is not like Treehouse…at all… Google is your friendI think that one of the reasons that Origin requires Treehouse prework is that the classes themselves are nothing like them. If you come into class expecting live versions of Treehouse videos with an instructor in the room, you are going to have a bad time. If you come into class without having done the requisite prework, you are going to have a VERY bad time. Projects will come at you hard and fast and while there are code demos, there will be no full walkthroughs. Thankfully, everything you are about to do has already been done by people with more experience and you can access that information through the power of Google! Type in the name of the technology you are working with (i.e. HTML, Javascript, C# etc.) and what it is you are trying to do or the name of the error message you received and hopefully you will find some tutorials, or stack overflow postings of people who did the exact thing you wanted to do or encountered the same bug. You will leave this class a Grandmaster in Google-Fu.
  5. Everything is “Fun”This course is hard. And why wouldn’t it be? In 3 months we will be joining the ranks of an intensely technical field that people go to college and get 4-year degrees to enter. It’s easy to get caught up in the swirling maelstrom of deadlines and projects and forget that this is a class, and learning is supposed to be fun. You’re not building something that has to go live tomorrow with millions of users. You don’t have 8 different bosses breathing down your neck. Take that pressure off of yourself, and play with the code. Break it, see how it breaks, put it back together and see what amazing things you can build. You’re here to learn, so try to approach each new problem and bug as a challenge to be overcome with a smile, rather than a task that must be grudgingly completed .

It was great meeting the few of you that came to our group project presentation on Friday! If you guys need any help or have any questions, we are just around the corner. Good luck, and have fun!

Never too late to start: 8 weeks at Origin Code Academy

By Mark Srethabhakti

Greetings and salutations! Today marks the end of the 8th week here at Origin Code Academy’s 2016 Summer cohort (Go Fighting Ducklings!). On my very first day, Origin CEO Jeff Winkler walked into the classroom and in between many great tips, recommended that everyone start a blog to document our experiences. Like most great pieces of advice I get, I filed that away under “things that would be cool to do, but I clearly don’t have the time for right now.” That’s not to say I have all of the time in the world right now. Quite the contrary in fact, as heading into the final project, all of the training wheels coming off. It’s a little too late to document my entire journey through Origin, but I figure now is as good a time as any to start reflecting on my time here so far.

First things first, a little background. I am currently a certified Ballroom and Latin dance instructor teaching group and private lessons after I leave the academy most nights and some weekends. My girlfriend actually saw Jeff on TV (on … MSNBC? CNBC? one of the BC’s) being interviewed about his crazy notion to start a code school to get people jobs in San Diego, and when she told me about it, the idea got filed away in the same place Jeff’s blog advice would later go. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later, about 2 weeks before the summer cohort was due to start, that I decided that I might as well see if I can get in. By some stroke of luck, I made it through the admissions process and had a few days to complete as much prework as I possibly could.

When I first started the class, I had taken exactly one C++ coding class approximately 9 years ago in college, and that, combined with the 1,000 points on Team Treehouse that I managed to accumulate the weekend before the first day encompassed my entire coding education. Yesterday, my classmates and I put together a full-stack web application that does pretty much what we intended it to do… minus a few things that we had to drop to make the deadline. If you had told me 3 months ago that I would be doing this right now, I would have laughed in your face. My time here so far has been an exciting string of new challenges every day, and while there have been many frustrating, hairpullingly difficult tasks, I can’t wait to solve the next seemingly impossible problem. It’s been a grueling 8 weeks here at Origin Code Academy, and all I can say right now is “Bring it on!”

Broken Code

By Fabian Martinez

Get comfortable with having your code broken…that is one thing that I am coming good with coping with…a lot of people say failure but I don’t think of it that way (“being a developer you have to get good with dealing with failure every day…”)…the reason is because failure only happens when you stop…developers we don’t stop we keep going till it works…so again we have to get comfortable with breaks because it is only temporary…one of my class mates said that he felt like the scene of hamburger hill when they were climbing the muddy mountain and I think that is an awesome saying because when you do reach the top it is going to be a fantastic feeling …so let’s climb that mountain and make some great code!