Flex boxing & Boot strapping

So this happened:

screen-shot-2018-12-06-at-9-35-10-pm-e1544220215933.png
yes, it’s animated

Whoo-hoo! And then two other exciting/interesting things happened as well –

  1. The biggest portion of the class was working with a PSD and coding it out responsively. After that, there were a few sections on working with flexbox. The flexbox stuff was great – more on that in a min – but it was weird that it didn’t come BEFORE the main project, so that you could include flexbox in replicating the PSD. Just as I was wrapping up the course, a message came in through Slack that they are revamping a big chunk of the course – specifically to spend time on flexbox BEFORE the big project, and apparently other changes as well. I haven’t logged in yet to the new course but am excited to see what’s there now and to learn MORE OF THE THINGS.
  2. In the last class of the above course, there was a one hour video with Laurence Bradford, talking about Bootstrap and how to use it. And I gotta say, it got me kind of pumped. I really liked how Laurence pointed out that this might be a helpful resource for non-designer dev types – that you get to prototype something rather quickly as you can spend less time on doing every little bit of css from scratch. Which I find appealing as I don’t think design is my strong suit – at least not with a totally empty canvas. If I can get a bit of a layout and what goes where I’d feel better about then trying to make it look pretty.

Basically there are a ton of things I want to do and not sure which to do first and how to keep my enthusiasm up.

Re: #1, in the flexbox portion of the class, you work with a pretty basic template that could be used as a starter point for a site, that looks decent and just gets it done. I want to use said template to fix my personal site, which is in a sorry non-responsive state and doesn’t say much of anything. I need to GET ON IT and stop overthinking what it says and just get it done and up.

Need to take round two of responsive class, very psyched to see what’s in there now. After the class, there is an assessment for phase two, which I am kind of chomping at the bit to take now, although it probably makes sense to do after class re-do.

Bootstrap! Would like to start playing with it for a re-do of a friend’s website – they did it in WordPress very quickly and are not happy with it. Think I could make some good improvements to it and learn bootstrap at the same time, and they will be happy to yaaaaay!

Once my personal site is done, and hopefully after I’ve finished said re-do of website and can talk about it on my personal page, I want to complete my profile on Upwork. There’s been some chatter in Slack about students with not very much experience finding work there – small projects – and I’d love to get in on that if I can because why not? Part of this issue, honestly, is getting a decent headshot of myself that isn’t weirdly pixely and also doesn’t clearly indicated that I’ve had to crop someone else out.  I hate looking at pictures of myself, although looking in the mirror is totally fine. As above, though, I just need to GET IT DONE as I don’t want it to be the thing that holds everything up.

And then onto additional phase two courses, yay! on WordPress and Ruby and other things.

Haven’t gotten to a dang meet-up yet, but have one in the calendar in about a week and a half, on I-can’t-even-remember-now but something cool.

Things I’ve Learned: 2 Monitors Are Better Than 1

Kudos to the folks in the general channel of Skillcrush’s Slack channel for having a thread about working with two monitors. At my day job I have two monitors, everyone does, and we’re mostly just doing boring Word/Excel/internet stuff. Switching between Chrome, photoshop, Atom and iTunes and others was really annoying and slowing me down on my (pretty small) MacBook Pro. Found an Acer monitor for less than $100 online, conferred with a friend on getting the right adapter, got them both, and it’s MUCH much better. Yay!

IMG_4790
Note as well sweet neon cactus sale purchase from Target.

Things are going more slowly than I would like, classwork-wise, although I also feel like I keep saying that. I was super excited for this Responsive class – still am – but am just slogging. I partly blame weather (winter, grey skies, less sun) and the holiday crazies. This time of year is really hard for me to stay motivated with so little sun (hence, neon cactuses and other light sources that I try to keep blaring into my face practically at all times.)

But I am 63% done – lesson 9 of 15 – of the Responsive class, and I have got to get back into the groove. Really hoping the dual monitor situation will help out a bit.

Have been thinking as well about what comes after this class. For the next project we are supposed to find a simple project that we get paid for, somewhere around $50 – $75. Not sure at all how I will approach that just yet. I think when this class is done I want to revisit my own website, start from scratch, and make it responsive.

Bummed that I have not yet made it to a meet-up. The next one I was planning to go to early next month was on the changes in ES6 for Javascript. Have realized that I have a conflict with an event with my kiddo, which comes first.  Hoping that they offer it again!

Friends don’t let friends code tired

And I’ve been lots of tired lately. Kind of bummed about my not-so-speedy progress, but progress is at least being made.

Finally wrapped up JavaScript class and all projects in it. Without a doubt I need to do more practice/study in it to feel like I have a handle on it. Heading to two JavaScript related meet-ups next month – I hope – the one I’d hoped to do this month got cancelled – to get more comfortable in it.

Went ahead started the responsive class while still wrapping up JavaScript as just super interested to jump in. First big project is to take a site we all coded in the HTML intro course and make it mobile-first and then also responsive. I think I’ve accomplished the mobile part, but first attempts at media queries for tablet and desktop were no so successful. Need to get back in to give it another whack, but, see above title.

I’ve also signed up for a course through Udemy on using Chrome Dev Tools. We for sure have talked about it in the Skillcrush classes, but I’m not sure I’m using it to it’s full potential (while googling for some info on the topic, I did watch a brief video about using Dev Tools to debug JavaScript which, hey, is good to know if I ever feel like I’ve gotten the hang of coding in that. )

Another reason I wanted to take a Dev Tools course is that it seems like the most often given piece of advice from the teachers of this class when folks ask a question is: Test it out in Dev Tools! Which I can appreciate, sure, but it also seems like just answering a question or two in a straightforward manner would be occasionally really helpful.

It’s like: I can’t turn on my computer, what do I do? Test it out in Dev Tools! …… no.

Working title

So, the journey into Codeacademy’s Intro to Javascript has been definitely fruitful. I think part of what made it so helpful are the small (but challenging!) projects that you complete at the end of each lesson, that ties in all the little bits that you’re learned throughout each section. BUT now realize that the reason I had access to said projects was because I was in a free trial period of their Pro plan. I gnawed through about 35% of the course and then the trial period ended.

I’ve gone back into Skillcrush and looked again at the project at the end of the course; it’s in four parts and now I’ve done three. I still hadn’t wrapped up those other lessons I couldn’t crack the code (it’s still funny!) on. It’s an exercise where we keep doing more and different things to the same code, which we copy and paste into their editor with each new piece. I’m trying to get it all up and running in JS Bin so that I don’t have to do the copy paste. With their layout, after I get the solution code, I have to scroll up and down to compare their code with what I’ve written and it makes me nuts, basically.

But of course this new bin is fighting me and giving me some long-ass weird error message in the console.

I’m chatting in Slack with an instructor about it now, actually. It’s even weirder because she says that she can run the code without any errors, so what the hell.

I had my second “career counseling” session on Zoom with a teacher who is near Montreal. That was helpful, she’s funny and clearly knows her stuff, and we had a nice chat. A goal she wants to me to work on is getting my ass to a meet-up, which is totally legit. I had looked into a bunch over the summer but never went and it was nice to be reminded to actually DO the thing. I’ve signed up for one about making a virtual pet with JavaScript – which sounds amazing – towards the end of November. I’d *like* to go two meet-ups a month, we’ll see. Seems like there’s lots on JavaScript and I figure the more practice, the better.

I think what I want to do next is finish up the unfinished work in Skillcrush on JavaScript, and move on to the next class. Later I think I will pay for a month or two of Codeacademy to fully finish their JavaScript class, take the Sass course, and noodle around a bit.

Codeacademy Intro to JavaScript

So I’ve taken a detour from Skillcrush’s Intro to JavaScript to take the Codeacademy version. It’s interesting to see the different ways the material is approached/presented, and I’m definitely learning things in the Codeacademy class that I didn’t learn in Skillcrush. Curious how I would feel about the Codeacademy course if I hadn’t already done the Skillcrush one. I feel like the Codeacademy class is more difficult, but not sure why I think that really and if actually true.

For sure it’s been helpful to have a second go at the material and I think/hope it will make me feel more confident/like I know what I’m doing. At the very least get me to finish the assignments at the end of the Skillcrush course so I can move onto the next class, which is Responsive Design, which I’m psyched to learn.

Codeacademy also has an Intro to Sass class that I want to come back too, as that’s something I want to learn.

Because I am so SASSY. (Not really, actually).

console.log(‘whut’)

So, technically, I’m 84% done the Intro to JavaScript class. I say technically because I can’t crack the code (OMG I’M HILARIOUS) on the last two exercises, and I’ve skipped ahead to see what the bonus project is, and have set up those HTML and CSS files (provided by Skillcrush) in JS Bin.

Right now it feels like I’m learning these bits and pieces of JavaScript, but am unclear about how to put them together and in what order. It’s like someone is teaching writing, and the student has learned: This is a declarative sentence. A question ends in a question mark – ? Sometimes you need to use semi-colons; sometimes not. Occasionally, something might have an exclamation!

But it’s like – what does that all MEAN? and which one goes where?

So have spent a good bit of time comparing my working code to the solution code, thinking that the LOOK like they match but apparently not because mine’s not working, and playing “where the fuck is the difference?” Like so:

theirs
I’m not going to tell you what I did wrong here, because it was so dumb I couldn’t even believe it.

The course has linked to a bunch of books and online sources to keep learning about JavaScript. One is called Eloquent JavaScript, which has this sentence in the introduction: “Because computers are dumb, pedantic beasts, programming is fundamentally tedious and frustrating.” HA.

Wish me luck on finishing the last couple of exercises, so I can do the bonus project without feeling sneaky. The exercises include working with some jQuery code, and include asking a prompt, swapping images, telling the code to wait, fading in an answer, making an object shake, and other fun stuff.

 

document.GetElementById(“javaScriptFun”)

Chugging along in the Intro to Javascript course. Am just about to start section #15 out of the 22. Everything still feels very clunky and weird to me in JavaScript, but I am trusting the Skillcrush peeps who keep assuring me that soon it will all become clear (or at least, clearer).

Had a lesson about debugging, and Skillcrush shared this article – Teaching Novice Programmers How to Debug Their Code over at code:union by Jesse Farmer. It’s a really interesting article despite the somewhat-uninteresting title.  The article’s point being that debugging is a skill that all programmers need, and so teaching of that skill is something that should be emphasized and intentionally done.

The idea that debugging means you didn’t do a good job in the first place definitely strikes a chord in me. “[Students] often feel that [debugging] time is wasted or that it’s a kind of punishment for them not being smart enough to write the correct code the first time through. “If I knew what I was doing,” they think to themselves, “I wouldn’t have to spend so much time debugging.”  ”

The article also notes: “Teaching [students] how to debug their own code effectively is the single most valuable skill we could teach — it’s the skill that makes acquiring all other programming skills easier.”

Anything that is going to make acquiring other programming skills easier is something that I want to know how to do, so bring it on, buggy code!

Coming up, we start learning about jQuery. I’m stoked.