Zachary Lopez

First post!!!

Hey all, welcome to my blog. I’ll be writing about things that interest me, but in particular I will be focusing on programming.

As you can see on the About page, I am currently a student at Hack Reactor. Today is my “weekend” or rather, just the single day that we have off each week during the program. So far today, I have spent the morning setting up this site. It is super interesting how much helpful info and guides there are out in the world. Hopefully, this page will become that as well.

Hack Reactor Week 1

Hack Reactor has been everything that I expected and more. In this first, crazy intense week, we have had more lectures than I can recount, we worked on a ton of code, and I have never felt more energized. With 11 hours day, I expected to be exhausted, and to be truthful, I am tired, but not exhausted. This program is just way too mentally stimulating. The act of pair programming and the desire to finish each assignment and just plain get it to work is so so thrilling.

My favorite moments or learnings from the week:

  • Expectations
  • Hash Tables
  • The people


Throughout the first week, HR staff gave lectures about expectations. The gist being: this is really, really, really hard and you chose this. I found this to be awesome! I love that time was taken to ensure that we (HR and the student) are on the same page. This is great for HR, but also just makes sense to do in pretty much any context. As the main expectations lecture was being given by Marcus, I thought of all the times I led a department meeting and did much the same thing. This is a useful thing to remember to do.

Hash Tables

We did a big 4 day sprint on data structures. Of them all, Hash Tables were the most illuminating. My pair and I had to recode this data structure 3 different times to get it right. The lesson here being, ensure that the mental model or picture you have is correct before you start coding. Choices made during this design phase will impact just how easy or how difficult it is to implement various methods on your object.

The people

From the staff, to instructurs, to Hackers in Residence, the Seniors, to Cohort 22, and my Cohort 23, everyone is awesome. HR did just an amazing job bringing together people who are like-minded about code, collaboration, communication, etc, while also still super varied in background and story. It adds a lot of value to have so many interesting people all in one place. I am so excited each day to work with these folks.

On to the next week!

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