I’ve been here from Toronto since Sunday and this joint absolutely rocks and it’s cool to be Common in Chicago (Had to toss that in for big C). In 5 days Code Academy has taught me how to be an expert in all things Ruby and Rails (notice I didn’t say Ruby “on”)… Well, ok, the geek noids out there are probably saying whatever and ready to go ape shit on the keyboard, locking themselves into their code monkey cage and preparing to blast me out into the hack universe of “You don’t know jack shitville”. Although, I’d prefer they chill out, relax, work on getting laid for the first time, and hopefully know I am just yanking their nerd chains – they’d be right.  I know squat after a week and I won’t be an expert when I am done.  I am cool with that. It has been one week, and I am definitely not an expert – hell I am not even a beginner, but I have to say the Code Academy crew is awesome and the learning insofar has been fun.

I am fortunate and crazy enough to be doing both the Development and the Design class at Code Academy.  Jeff Cohen teaches development and he is well –  awesome, and the dude loves hockey (more on hockey in a minute).  He is a very patient teacher who knows his stuff and he is able to break things down very easily and explain them in a fun manner and there is no dumb question in his world.  Carolyn Chandler is a smart cookie who leads our design class and she is a design heavyweight who is well respected in that community.

In her class, we get to sketch, think lean methodology, and learn to think about design while listening to some awesome music from time to time on Pandora (Arivn (Pron: Irvin) Dang tees up some trippy beats).  For example… that damn door in our class!  I wanted to pull it the first few times and I found out I wasn’t alone, only to find out the design is messed.  And the bathroom  – well what gives with the paper towel being hidden (almost) under the mirror?  One of my sketches portrays this irritant I have…  anyhoo (yes, anyhoo you coding urban mutants) I need to take a break but here are some pics to chew on.  I am going to chew on some pie (Pizza. ended up being a sub which was good) with my design mentor Jake Downs. Thanks Jake! Oh speaking of mentors – a big shout out to Don Bora of Eight Bit Studios . Don is my development mentor who took me to Burger Bar for lunch this afternoon. Thanks Don!  If you like burgers you should run to this place.  It is a hungry man’s dream right here in Chicago.

The Dyson Hand Dryer under the Public Washroom long water and soap dispense.  My drawing… really sucks…. but!

'Dyson Mockup: Public Washroom' 'Dyson Air Dryer in under the sink in a public washroom'

We all need a dispenser sensor man in our life!

'Dispenser Sensor Man' 'Design change for a Dispenser Machine'

My Design brain is kicking in… Maybe Don Norman would be proud! Or not…

'Public Washroom Paper Redesign' 'Paper Towel redesign'

Then wildly and unexpectedly I got invited to watch the Blackhawks last night and even more crazy was the fact I landed in the dressing room, out on the bench area (although the bench was removed in preparation for the upcoming basketball game. They move fast at the Madhouse) and I walked out on the ice. Let’s just say we all get to be lucky once and a while, and I have that good fortune here.  The blackhawks have amazing and very loud fans with an amazing scoring jingle.  Here are a couple pics.

'OHL Hockey Ring' 'OHL Hockey Ring' 'NHL Blackhawks' 'NHL Blackhawks'

This Dude walks by me with a hat on and lo and behold it was Kaner stopping to sign a jersey and he was off. The man looked busy so I had little desire to bother him.

'Patrick Kane Jersey' 'Patrick Kane Jersey'

It’s been a fun week in Chi town alright! My blogging will have to taper off as Code Academy ramps up!

Peace out,