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As some of you may already know, I was accepted into the Hacker School’s summer batch. It started on Monday, June 9th, just as I graduated from The City College of New York with B.S. in Comuter Science. Every week I will be blogging about my Hacker School experience and briefly talk about things I am currently working on.

This week I was mostly trying to adjust to a new envrionment, get to know everyone and brainstorm some ideas that I would like to work on. You can either work by yourself or pair up with someone. Personally, I feel more productive working alone but that can also be very exhausting and draining after a few hours. I will try to change that next week by pairing up more often. Besides, I could work alone from home or from a Starbucks, but there will not be another opportunity like this where I am surrounded by so many brilliant, smart and passionate people.

On Tuesday I started working on a cross-platform Jekyll blog editor. Jekyll is a static site generator used by GitHub to power the GitHub Pages. In fact, the blog you are reading right now is hosted for free on GitHub Pages. Each blog post is written in the Markdown language, which is basically a human-readable HTML. 

What is so special about this project and how is it different from the rest? Instead of writing your posts in Markdown and then refreshing the browser to see how your blog post looks with HTML and CSS, you are working the other way around — editing your rendered HTML blog post directly and contents of which are then converted back to Markdown when you save the post. The writing experience would be very much like Medium and ZenPen. To put it more concretely, imagine if you could edit the blog post you are reading right now directly, as it appears, then have a separate Publish button that would automatically push it to GitHub Pages without having to use Git commands manually. Awesome blogging experience overall.

As with almost anything that I build, the final product should be somewhat interesting, but it is not nearly as important as the learning process itself. While working on this project I will be diving deep into node-webkit in order to build a cross-platform desktop application for Windows, Linux and Mac. For the user interface I will be using React.js because I have already built something with Ember.js, Backbone.js and AngularJS frameworks. At Hacker School I would like to work on something that I haven’t worked before. JavaScript unit testing is another thing that I have been trying to get into for a long time, so this will be a great opportunity for that. I’ve made a vow not to use jQuery for this project, pure JavaScript just for the heck of it. I don’t think I have built any project in the past that does not use jQuery in some shape or form. There is already a working prototype for my Jekyll blog editor, although there is still a lot of work left to do. Hopefully I will have some screenshots to show later this week.

I am super excited to start the second week of Hacker School. Later this week I will be getting a Citi Bike membership so I could commute using a bicycle instead of a train. On average, it takes about the same amount of commute time. I just can’t stand taking a train anymore. To end this post on a positive note, I will be speaking at the Node.js Meetup this Wednesday. It will be my first time speaking at a Meetup event. I am both nervous and very excited. If you haven’t RSVP’ed yet please do so by this Monday.

Cheers.