Lighthouse W3D5: A humbling test experience

Friday the 13th started out rough. After a short review session, we had our second assessment in the morning. I was feeling decent going in, and hit a snag on the fifth rspec test. I kept getting ‘undefined method for Nil:nilclass errors”. After struggling with it for a while, I skipped to the next one. And also got stuck. And on the one after that.

I remember it was more than an hour into the test and I was still stuck. I looked back at the mark allocation and realized I was currently at a low 30~40%. Things just weren’t clicking. It felt as if I had completely lost my sense of logic!

How I felt after the test
How I felt during the test

It was at this point I realized there was a very real possibility I was going to fail. After I accepted this fact, I felt a bit calmer and decided to just do what I could. I skipped all the rspec tests and went to the SQL questions (which I should have listened to Don’s advice and started with). The SQL questions were so straight forward!

Having gotten the SQL questions, I decided to go back to the dreaded #5. I wrote out all the scenarios tested to see if I could figure out the logic that way. Finally, after more fiddling around, it worked! My logic was back! It was as if breaking through #5 cleared the road because I was able to get through all the rest of the tests and bonuses without any big snags.

After the test, I mentioned to others how hard I found it. Some people were surprised that I got all the tests to pass because I kept saying it was difficult. I still feel like I got a lucky break!

The funny thing is, after comparing my code for #5 to someone else’s, they mentioned “nice refactoring”. But I hadn’t refactored! In fact, that is probably why I was stuck on it for so long. Instead of using a multiline if-else statement, I was in the mindset that all the logic was to be set up in a single conditional statement. (And I couldn’t deduce what that needed to be…) Sometimes, you over think and end up doing things the hard way.

I was so glad that the Lighthouse staff baked us cupcakes and ordered pizza for lunch! Comfort food was very much needed. Thank you!

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