I awoke to rain. I love it but it’s picture day at Ascend so I was a little worried. My hair is curly and loves to poof up in the rain and humidity. I was much lighter today knowing I didn’t have to present but still feeling sympathy for those who did. I got dressed and headed to the Max early with Andrew. I decided to treat myself to a Spella chai so I kissed Andrew goodbye and took the train a few stops further. Once I had my drink in hand I walked my way to the Mozilla offices. It didn’t rain at all! Thank you, sky.

I got there at my usual time even with my detour and longer walk. Lukas was there so got the computers out early. I was really glad because I had the code change I wanted to make for my next Air Mozilla bug. I made the change, pushed it up and submitted a pull request. Peter, the mentor, said it was the correct change but he wanted it formatted a little differently and he wanted it commented. He also wanted me to make a test for it in Nose Tests. Ok! That would be interesting. Tests are cool and of course useful. I made the other changes and then started working on the test. First I would need to know where that bit of code was being tested so I inserted a “raise Exception” near it and ran the test suite. That showed me right where I needed to be. But it was time for the next presentations so that would have to wait.

We all got settled for presentations but there were again some technical difficulties. Poor Richard! Becky was first up so she was talking and trying to lessen her stress while waiting. Unfortunately we had technical issues that were beyond fixable at that moment and it took so long to determine this for sure that it was about time for lunch. Lukas had us fill out an end of class survey as food was being set up. Today lunch was pizza from Sizzle Pie! Katt is so wonderful and got us vegans our favorite pizza. It had pesto, mushrooms, olives and soy curls. Yum! There was plenty so I had two large pieces.

In the mean time Richard figured out a work around for the talks. They wouldn’t be live streamed and he would have to mesh the sound with the video over the weekend and post them up when they were done. Becky got back up there and gave the most beautiful talk. Many of us were crying. The rest of the talks were amazing. I just can’t believe how much everyone has grown in such a short time. I think I was most proud of Sophie. She was incredibly quiet for the majority of the project and I was pretty sure she didn’t want to give a talk more than anyone. She did it and did it well. So proud!

We were done with the stressful part! The rest of the day was spent working on blog post and goofing around. I tried to look at the test I needed to write but I couldn’t concentrate. I was merging people’s pull requests that passed Travis and merged one from David. Well, he put some html and Javascript in there that appeared to be commented out but was active! He and I were pretty surprised. That made for a fun ascendproject.org home page until he could fix it and send another PR. Lesson learned!

It was time for our dreaded last check out. Some of us, me included, didn’t say much of anything because we didn’t want to cry. Others said how they felt and of course I cried anyway. It was a check out full of tears and laughter for sure. I know this first group of Ascenders will be like no other to follow. We are the first and there is just something really special about that. Lukas even teased us and said, “Some day you all are going to have new little brothers and sisters. Don’t be mean to them. I still love you and you will always be my first’s.” It was really funny and very sweet.

Now it was time for our official graduation where we would do the handshake and get our certificates. We also got to pack up and take our beautiful laptops. I was only partly joking when I said I’d rather leave mine and have to come back each day. We all talked and hugged a bit more and then I left. Just like always and it didn’t feel like my last day. I think on Monday I will feel that last day.

I don’t think I really need to sum up my time at Ascend since I have a TMI daily blog of it and my video kind of sums it up but I hope that anyone reading can see what an amazing opportunity we all were given. Sometimes when something seems too good to be true, it’s not.

These are some amazing people right here! From left, Dino, me, Kronda, Lukas and Katt.

Thank you for reading about my coding adventure. If you would like to follow my full blog you can find me at http://lisa.hewus.com or on Twitter @bugZPDX