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!
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.
And I’ve been lots of tired lately. Kind of bummed about my not-so-speedy progress, but progress is at least being made.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Finally have been introduced to the DOM and what it is – and am amused to know that it has such an un-interesting actual name.
THE DOM to me sounds like something out of The Godfather, or perhaps 50 Shades of Grey.
Until them, back into THE DOM (said as dramatically as possible).