Posts about Grand Circus News

Code Retreat: A Day to Practice Clean Code

October 14, 2015

One of the ideals we strive for and try to impart to our students at Grand Circus is clean code. Clean code is a broad topic deserving it’s own series of posts, but in brief, code is clean if it exhibits all of the following characteristics:

  • Passes all tests (you are writing tests right?)
  • Is as simple as it can be (KISS)
  • Does not repeat itself (It’s DRY)
  • Focused (functions and classes do one thing only)

Our Front-End Bootcamp practicing clean code at our coderetreat

That’s a lot, I know. As I said, clean code is a big topic. That’s why we spend a lot of time talking about refactoring code to a cleaner solution. Often your first pass at a solution is ‘sub-optimal’ which is a polite way of saying it smells. But that’s okay, writing code is like writing an essay. You make a first pass then you start editing (or refactoring in our case). Labs and projects are not always the best places to practice refactoring in a focused way because the stated goal is to get something working and having something that works is not always the same as having a solution that is clean. (more…)

A Day at the (Grand) Circus

September 14, 2015


8:41 AM: With the swipe of a badge, the front door opens, and I enter the main space.  Another morning at Grand Circus, another pot of coffee to brew.  I get everything going prior to the onslaught of under-caffeinated bootcamp students. Bootcampers from various classes slowly trickle in, ready to start a new day. Conversation is abuzz as co-workers, GC staff, and students all chit-chat about their full day ahead.

10:06 AM:  Students are settling into classes. Breakfast is digesting.  Keys are clacking. Everyone is busy at work, attending meetings, closing deals, and getting stuff done. I am settled into the cozy stoop corner, perched at the community table, or maybe holding down the front desk. Either way, equipped with my water bottle and headphones, I am working away on course material for our classes.


12:00 PM:  Everyone’s hungry, so that means it’s time for lunch. Learning can’t happen on an empty stomach after all. We break off into groups, and head our respective ways.  Some head off to Bucharest (a fool-proof choice), others get their healthy on at 7 Greens, and others head down to Campus Martius to see what delicious food truck options await. (more…)