The Mentor & Mentee:
Devon Campbell: Knoxville, TN | Portfolio | Github | Twitter
Joe Turner: Leicester, London | Portfolio | Github | Twitter 

When we started Flaskcast, it was to show how mentoring works to our prospective students, but we realized that the variety of concepts covered provide strong educational value. Devon thought it would be a good idea to post the pilot on r/python — this led to over a thousand plays on our Vimeo channel! We’ve also gotten great feedback from both current and prospective students across all of our courses. Hot on the heels of the series’ popularity, we’ve released episodes 4 and 5. I’ll let Devon summarize what’s been covered so far!

 

Summary of Episodes 1-3:

In the pilot, we started implementing the dcc-admin app’s API in Flask RESTful. This app will be used for controlling and monitoring sensors in the KnoxMakers’ maker space, and having a robust API will give us a great deal of flexibility in how we can interface with that system. Episode 2 became what Joe and I refer to as a live debugging episode as we tried to get the app’s existing permission system working with the API. We had to end the episode before reaching the solution (our first cliffhanger!), but episode 3 saw us securing the API. We then began planning how to access the API with AJAX calls.

 

Preview of Episodes 4 & 5:
That brings us to today and the release of episodes 4 and 5! AJAX is the word of the day in episode 4. Starting out, we have already implemented a JavaScript templating framework (I picked Handlebars which worked beautifully.), and we have data coming into it via AJAX from the API. Foreseeing the complexity of this app, Joe suggests we look into JavaScript MVC frameworks to finish out the project. After a bit of research, we settle on Angular. In episode 5, we begin the task of bringing an Angular front-end to dcc-admin with some guidance from the excellent AngularJS + Flask Boilerplate App.

What are mentor sessions like?
The question comes up all the time from our prospective students, most recently when we participated in the Hour of Code movement. We’ve toyed around with the idea of recording mentoring sessions but have had difficulty coming up with an exact model. Luckily, Devon Campbell reached out to us with a brilliant idea to highlight the true value of mentorship. 

Meet the Mentor & Mentee!
Devon Campbell: Knoxville, TN | Portfolio | Github | Twitter
Joe Turner: Leicester, London | PortfolioGithub | Twitter 

Devon graduated from our Front-End course about 5 months ago and was featured in our first ever student profile! He wanted to advance his self-taught back-end skills by enrolling in our first ever Python course. We paired him up with our beloved Brit Joe Turner to reach his goals. It sounds like they’ve clicked immediately, even with the accent differences, ha!

Episode Summary
In the pilot episode, Devon & Joe begin by introducing each other and the project. They lay the groundwork for a new RESTful API to enhance the existing app. You’ll also hear a discussion of when to use jQuery vs JavaScript and an update on their side projects. For topic timestamps, read the video description on Vimeo. Enjoy!

Devon’s preview of episode 2:
In the next Flaskcast, we’ll modify the app to use the API to access data rather than pulling it directly from the database. Laugh as we struggle to make the app work properly in the most public way possible… on a podcast!

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