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CodeCombat in Y Combinator

Originally posted on the CodeCombat blog.

What a crazy weekend! We launched our beta on Friday morning by posting to a few subreddits hoping to pick up a few more interested users who could play through our levels as we started to release new ones with the level editor we just finished. But we were not prepared for how many people would come check it out. We stayed #1 on all three subreddits for over a day, amassing 1466 points, 384 comments, and far too many players for our real-time multiplayer server to handle (forcing us to shut off the multiplayer and all server code synchronization). And that’s all before we were crushed the next day by what appeared to our beleaguered Scott as all of Brazil, or at least every Brazilian on Facebook. (Olá!)

With all the chaos trying to keep the server up and the bugs down, we slept little and prepared for the next day’s Startup School even less. We had been tapped for on-stage Y Combinator office hours with Paul Graham and Sam Altman. We watched a video of previous on-stage YC office hours and concluded that “office hours” really meant “eight minutes of two of the smartest startup guys in the world demolishing your idea in front of 1700 entrepreneurs and a live video stream”.

Fortunately for us, they liked our startup and were much nicer than we expected. In fact, as we were walking off stage thinking, “Hey, that went well—maybe we’ll get an interview!”—then Paul whispered something to Sam, who nodded, and they called us back.

Big goals

On Python Bake

This blog's purpose is to track my journey in learning to code in Python. I am not a programmer. My background is in the liberal arts and law and now I work for the government in a non-technical position. So why would I learn how to code? Well, basically I have an idea for a web-based application that I would like to bootstrap to success. Since I don't really have any programmer friends, and my bank account is not filled with freshly minted coins, I decided to build the application myself.

I chose Python because I read that of the programming languages out there it may be an easier one to learn for a complete beginner and because it seems to have a large support structure. My ultimate goal is to learn DJANGO and use that framework to build my app, but before I jump in, I thought I should learn Python basics. To make this happen, I have been dabbling with two courses:

Udacity's Introduction to Computer Science

Al Sweigart's Invent with Python

So far the progress has been slow, in part because I am working full time, but also because I am battling procrastination and lack of drive on days when I am tired from work. Now mind you that I come home from work by 5 pm usually and do not go to sleep until about 10:30 pm. It is difficult to understand how those 5.5 hours are filled with unproductive behavior, but somehow it appears that I am a natural procrastinator and have no problems using that time up. So you can say that really this blog will also serve as a way for me to overcome my own shortfalls during this journey.

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