Author Archives: Mason Ellwood

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #11

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

Last week I was reading on wired that the next big blue collar job was going to be coding. I did not really know what to think of this. At first glance, programming lost its luster of being an untapped needed career, making me (a programmer) replaceable. This has always been the case but the recent boom of programmers is scary when entering a profession, competing against some of the smartest people in the industry.

On Wednesday I went to meet up with my weekly trivia team, and a new guy came who was a “full stack” developer. He used that term loosely because of the “what the heck does that entail” title that holds. But he kind of reaffirmed my fear of the article and agreed. Sure he said but this is no different than any other career now. It seems like everyone is fighting to stay ahead of the curve and automate as many processes as they can. Because technology has become such a cornerstone for many companies, automating and maintenance surly would follow. But because of this the need for “maintenance” increases especially within the dev community.

He agreed with the article, but development turning into the lusterless career path is not true. The need for developers is greater now that it has ever been. Being apart of the growing community of developers is a great place to be right now. And the need for “you” in a company setting is only going to become more prevalent.

Search Enumerables 

So picking up where we left off. Every method in Ruby must return a value. When we iterate or enumerate over a collection with #each, its return value is always the original constant. With this in mind, if we want to display the changed array values, dependent on what your method does, you may need to add an empty array ( new_array = [ ] ) to shovel ( << ) those values into.

There are many forms of #each, that can enact different outcomes. A few of the others are:

  • #select => When you invoke #select on a collection, the return value will be a new array containing all the elements of the collection that causes the block to pass a return value as true.
  • #detect/#find => #detect and #find can be used interchangeably. This will return only return the first element that makes the block true.  
  • #reject => #reject will return an array with the elements that return a false value

These listed above are all apart of the family of search enumerators whose purpose is to help you refine a collection to only matching elements.

A few that I use most often, I have found, is #each, #collect or #map (which are interchangeable), and each_with_index. A little more about enumerators can be found, and a quick reference that I have found very useful, is located here ( You will use these all the time, and I know how important this concept is. Locating and changing information based within your set of data is a key to programming. Essentially programming is the pushing and pulling of data and data manipulation. Being able to quickly and effectively iterate through data will increase your chances of landing a job, and becoming an officiant “blue collar worker” – as Wired so eloquently stated.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #11

Source: Web Design Ledger

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #8

My name is Mason Ellwood and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

In the simplest terms that I can think of. To me, programming workflow (if you look at it in a broad sense) is very similar to a game most of you have played once in your life.

I know it is probably not the same one you have played when you were a kid, but bare with me. So with this game, you have a beginning point. to. You have to navigate through the different options (or pipe placement) to reach the outcome you want, the purpose. With this you can can navigate to the same end point in a few different ways, but all reach the same conclusion. Or they will navigate away from the expected output to a defined end point, where you have to either start over, or travel to a different outcome. As a programmer you have to be able to envision all possible outcomes from a single start point and what conditions need to be met to retrieve the outcome you want to meet to proceed.

Conditionals are one of the foundations of programming. If “something” is met, then do “something” else, and travel through the possible outcomes to reach the user’s goal.

Ruby conditional’s control the flow of the program that you are building. This includes if, else, and elsif.

This workflow looks something like this:

  • If (condition to be met)

    • code to run if condition is met
  • else
    • code to run if condition is not met
  • end


You can also add an elsif statement, which creating more conditional statements that could possibly be met. You can add as many elsif statements as you would like.

The control flow structure is a language feature which disrupts the normal progression to the next statement and conditionally or unconditionally branches to another location in your source code. This is controlled through if, elsif, and else returning true or false.

So far with the school I feel I have made some real progress. The school has been very enjoyable so far and I am learning and grown as a programmer immensely. When I started, I thought this would be very similar to other web courses I have gone through, which I am very grateful that is not the case. The Flatiron School really pushes you to think, and allows the student to write many different options for an acceptable correct answer.

Each lesson is setup with its own test suite, that basically checks that the output of your methods are correct but leaves it up to you to figure out the best possible way to retrieve and display that value. I have a long way to go, but I am amazed by the progress I have made so far and really looking forward to the other sections I will be dealing with soon.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #8

Source: Web Design Ledger

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #6

My name is Mason Ellwood and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

Throughout my learning to program career, it seems like all I have and will be doing is learning and never actually be able to start my carrer. That seems like a stupid sentence, but a lot of the time it seems like the list of things I NEED to know does not stop. Every job listing you need to know 20 different abstract languages to even get your foot in the door, and I am constantly under qualified or lack enough experience to even land an interview. To put it frankly; that sucks. So where is the standard, what do I NEED to know, and what will actually be used on a daily basis; because if in my head I am constantly juggling 20 different language’s syntax on a daily basis, I may be over my head… I was discussing this with one of my good friends Paul Jackson who works in IT, and he helped me set everything straight. He said “If you master a language OOP (Object-oriented programming) concepts it will show in your work. Companies just want you to contribute in a certain way rather than to be an expert in all.”

As Eli eloquently touched on, most job postings come from a “pissed off IT manager” and a human resource person who both do not really know what they want. After the IT manager dumps tons of data on the human resource manager, he then writes a convoluted list of requirements that the developer needs to meet. When in actuality they only need you to do a few tasks, not all 20 “requirements” that are listed on the job posting. Thinking about the development world in this sense has better helped me personally prepare what I NEED to know to have a better chance at landing a developer job once I have completed the coursework for Flatiron Schools.

Alright let’s get into it, what is a Command Line Application! A Command Line Application, often referred to as a CLI (Command Line Interface) Application, are applications you interact with entirely through the terminal of shell. This includes no use of graphics or visual interface beyond what you see in the terminal. This birthed the software revolution!

“Write programs to handle text streams, because that is the universal interface”

– Douglas Mellroy, creator of UNIX Operating System

They are often times the most powerful interfaces you will interact with on a daily basis. This including GIT, Learn (the software Flatiron School is founded on), and Ruby’s CLI application interface. There are many more, but we will not talk about those.

So how do you use the CLI application logic with Ruby…. All files should follow a similar file structure with the top level directory being: bin, lib, config, spec, and something like app. You may also see .learn (specific to Flatiron Schools), .rspec, Gemfile, Rakefile, or program files like ttt.rb. If you are working in your terminal you can also use the bash command ls -lah which will show the list of files in your current directory, including hidden files (files starting in a period).

You can also use ls -a which displays all files including hidden files as well.

Inside the bin/ folder we generally want to place all the code that is relatable to running our actual program.

Inside the config/ folder you will place all the application environments. This includes all required files to initialize the environment of your program. These files connect to your database, and ensures your test suite has access to the files that contain the code it is testing.

Your lib/ folder is where a majority of your code lives. Within these files defines what your program can do.

Your spec/ folder is where test files go. These are written tests that makes sure your code behaves as expected.

Within the root directory of your Ruby program you may also file, if needed, your .rspec, .learn, GEMFILE, Gemfile.lock, Rakefile dependent on necessity.

Using Ruby’s CLI Application process, you are able to create dynamic programs that are able to capture user inputs to produces an interactive program. This follows a basic workflow:

  • Greet the user
  • Asks the user for input
  • Compares and stores the input
  • Do something with the input

As you can see by my beautiful artwork, running this program will first run files in bin/ and which are the instructions of how to execute. The file workflow sounds something like this.

  • Include the files need to execute (lib/hello-ruby-program.rb)
  • Greet user
  • Asks user for input
  • Captures that input using #gets
  • Uses user input to do something else, setting it to the value of name which is in the method of greeting
  • Sends that value to the lib/hello-ruby-program.rb
  • Execute method with user inputted value
  • Display return value to the terminal.

Using this logic allow users to input a value directly to the terminal, with a return value displayed to the user.

Calling the gets method captures the last thing the user typed into the terminal, which can be set to a variable. Calling gets freezes the program until user inputs some value.

Comment below if you need any further explanation on what was covered before, and I will do my best to elaborate.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #6

Source: Web Design Ledger

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #4

flatiron school

My name is Mason Ellwood and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

In the last post, I covered the definitions of a failing test and what data types Ruby, super fun stuff! Now that everything had a definition applied to it we are ready to get into arrays and interpolation! Heck yeah!

Arrays are used to store data as a collection. They do this by declaring literals or variable names separated by commas and wrapped in square brackets


Ex: this_is_an_array = [ “slot-one”, “slot-two”, “slot-three”, “slot-four”, “slot-five”, “slot-six”]



*A class is a kind of like a template for creating objects in Ruby.

*A bundle is simply a bundle of information and behaviors.

*And a string is an object

Within your array, each element within your array is associated with a number that represents their order, this is called an index and they begin their index at 0.


Ex: this_is_an_array = [ “slot-one”, “slot-two”, “slot-three”, “slot-four”, “slot-five”, “slot-six”]


In order to call an element in the array you just created you must call the name of the array the number in which you want to call.


Ex: this_is_an_array[0] => “slot-one”


To assign a new value to a current index of that array, you can call the array index of the number you want to re-assign and define it to a new variable.



Or you can place, put, or take away whatever you want anywhere within this array. You can do this with a variety of different methods. I will not be covering every instance that was covered in the lesson, but for an example you can use the shovel method which employs the shovel operator ( << ) which allows you to add items at the end of the array. Similar to the shovel method you can also use #push method to do the same thing.



Moving forward I am finally ready to cover methods. Basically with arrays and methods you can do just about anything in Ruby and are the staple of the language. So what is a method…. It defines something new your program can do. They teach your Ruby program about a new routine or behavior it can use. This is an incredible tool because to my understanding they are the meat of your program and allow the practice of DRY or don’t repeat yourself logic. By defining your method once you can then call the method as many times as you would like.



The code above may seem dumb…. But if i encapsulate the repetitive strings within a method I do not need to repeat myself over and over again, remember to work towards  DRY haha. So the above method I wrote def a_bunch_of_strings is the method signature, which defines the basic properties of the method including the name of the method which is a_bunch_of_strings. Everything inside of this is considered the body, and remember this must in end. Once a method is defined you can call is as many times as you would like by using the method name. Then through string interpolation we can then make it dynamic (to check out more on string interpolation please check out this link:



Up until this point, I have not had any real issues with the Flatiron Schools, in fact it has been really enjoyable. This next post I may jump ahead quite a bit, so bear with me. But everyone I have met within the school has been great. What I really like is that once I finally do reach out to customer support with questions about the current course work, they don’t just belatedly tell you what the solution is, which is great. They allow me to work through it myself while they nudge me in the right direction. This can get kind of confusing though because you are communication over instant messenger. Which can be difficult when trying to work through which piece of your code does not work.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #4

Source: Web Design Ledger