The Knights Who Say Nil

I need a shrubbery – one that looks nice and not too expensive.

If I’m going to finish the Intro to Ruby Skillcrush course and keep moving forward, apparently.

I am stuck. Stuck stuck stuck on two projects in the Intro class, and am at 93% completed – so close! – and so all the more frustrating. I’ve signed up and am taking the Udemy Intro to Ruby course to help get un-stuck. The course is great – review of some stuff from Skillcrush, but new stuff as well, and at a little bit less of a breakneck speed than Skillcrush prefers. I’ve taken to listening to it on my commute to and from work, which is helpful. It’s LONG though – 278 (!!!) lessons and I’ve completed 81 of them, or 29%. Am determined to finish, though, especially if it gets me through this stuck point.

Am in touch with some Skillcrush instructors on one issue – basically, we’ve built a gem using bundler, but I cannot figure out how to get the gem to actually RUN. It’s a handy gem, one that will spit out a random recipe from a certain website when you’re not sure what to cook. I want it to work! And there’s been a ton of back and forth via email and Slack on this one step (have just gotten another response while typing this post, actually.) It seems like to move forward with the task we need to share some code doing certain things, but at no point do we actually walk through getting it to run. What the heck.

I’m still really enjoying Ruby, though, in a way I for sure wasn’t at this point with JavaScript. All the more reason I want to be able to complete these challenges! But the knights who say nil are determined to thwart me …

The Loop

Am solidly now in Part 2 of Phase 2. Finished up the bootstrap site for my friend’s biz, and have gotten it up on a hosted git page. Did my counseling session; nice to have ticked both things off the list. Took an evening class on Git and Github and got introduced to GitPod, which was pretty cool.

Now cruising right along at 71% in my Intro to WordPress course. For sure, the prior experience I’ve had with it helps. It’s nice to be working on something that I already kind of get. All the PHP is new to me, though. Have done some good troubleshooting in our Slack channel with another student, which was great as we helped each other and didn’t just depend on a teacher.

We’ve been talking about and working on The Loop in WordPress. It’s a great lens through which to see my life these days.

While the job is my current job, not a web dev job :

  • study as my ass off at Skillcrush and other online and in-person training
  • learn tons of new things and make small but steady gains
  • try not to get discouraged
  • try not to pitch a fit at current job

Endwhile job equals web dev job ;

And then:

I mean, duh, I know it’s not that simple and just switching jobs/careers will make everything so 100% awesome that I will be spilling champagne everywhere. I also know that there will be a loop of looking for and getting a job. But it WILL be super nice to get out of this loop and feel like I am moving forward career-wise.

If anyone is down with recreating the above gif with me once I do get a new job, just let me know. šŸ™‚

C’mon part two of phase two

So, so close to being done with the first part of Skillcrush’s phase two. Phase two is where you choose a developer or design track. There’s required courses for both tracks, and after you’ve done them, you have a counseling session, and then can continue on with some specialization courses. Since I want to learn ALL THE THINGS, I have signed up for some specialization courses (WordPress, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, etc.)

To get to my career counseling session, I needed to get done a “client project,” which for me turned into re-vamping a friend’s website, using stuff I’ve learned in Bootstrap. Took longer than I thought (why am I surprised by this?!) but I am thisclose to getting it up on a hosted Github page.

I also made a mock-up of the site using a template from one of the many mock-ups found online. Have wanted to fiddle with one of these for some time, so nice to actually get a chance to do it:

FANCY

Once it’s up, I can have my counseling session – talk one on one with a Skillcrush instructor – and move on the 2nd part of phase two, the specialization courses.

(And shout-out to Ann, one of the Skillcrush teachers who answers questions on the Git/Github Slack channel, for helping to me to figure out git weirdness – apparently I’d managed to put git on my main users file. How I managed to do that, not quite sure ….)

Also shared a bit in the Fears Slack channel about how I am sometimes overwhelmed by thought of – will I ever feel ready/confident to job hunt? Assuming I actually look, will anyone actually hire me? How can I learn ALL THE THINGS first?

This is by no means a new fear never expressed before; imposter syndrome comes up not infrequently in the channels in Skillcrush. Still pretty paralyzing while you’re in it, though. And really, all I can do is keep on keeping on. Here I go!

Progress

Have made some progress and am feeling good about it. Felt quite stuck with where I was in the Responsive Web Design class on Skillcrush, but went back into and moved forward quite a bit. This is the re-do of the class with flexbox incorporated, and not just as an add-on at the end. It’s been great (and of course frustrating as I am still learning) to build another site. The last version of the class had a website called Unplugged, about music. After messing with it for such a long time, I was SO sick of looking at it, and truly not looking forward to seeing the images/code again. But, huzzah, they have now changed it to a website for a corporate retreat place called Unplugged. Did a little happy dance when I realized it was going to be different.

Want to finish the three remaining projects in the Bootstrap class I’m taking online at Udemy (I finished the second but didn’t blog about it), hoping I can bang the next one out tomorrow.

I built a website for a friend ages ago on Wix. She has some exciting stuff coming up – a new online course in writing memoir! – and she’d gotten a promo video from the company to share. I went into her account to upload it, and while I was there basically did quite a bit of change, all in a couple of hours. This time around I knew to think about making the font size actually legible, and to take a keen look at the mobile version to make sure it looked good.

She’s pleased; I’m pleased.

I want to code the site from scratch at some point, but that hasn’t happened yet! https://www.emilyrappblack.com/

Watched a super cool video today about variable fonts, about which I know very very little, but this makes me want to learn more! It also for sure makes me want to learn about animation.

Hey there, 2019

Goodness, can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted! Yay for 2019!!

I am unbelievable lucky in having a day job that gives two weeks off (for everyone) over xmas and new year’s. This is awesome in many ways, not the least of which is that you’re not the only one NOT working, so there’s less of that feeling of – omg, when I get back, I am going to have SO much to catch up.

Usually during this break, there’s holiday craziness and associated holiday travel. This year was no exception, and all the learning-to-code work that I thought I was going to get in over the break – well, HAHAHAHAHA.

BUT I have two days left and I am digging in.

Took a stab at doing the bootstrap version of my friend’s business site, and realized while I get it all in theory, I was not sure how to actually begin. I’ve signed up for a Udemy course on Bootstrap, “Bootstrap 4 From Scratch with 5 Projects,” by Brad Traversy of Traversy Media. (In addition to authoring a bunch of courses on Udemy, Traversy Media has a YouTube channel, which looks like it has a ton of helpful videos).

The course basically drills you through all the things that Bootstap can do, broken up in 4 different categories – Utilities, CSS Components, Grid & Flexbox, and JavaScript Widgets, broken down into various items – basic typography, sizing, navbar, alerts & progress, cards, etc. When I’m done I’ll have great reference code of all the classes etc. I’m about halfway through the CSS Components category.

The course has felt a little tedious with all the drilling, but I know it will be very helpful to me to learn and to get it into my brain. I can see how this course might not work for someone who doesn’t already have an html/css background and doesn’t really understand where all the classes etc. are leading to. But I’m really glad to have found it, and on sale, too!

We’re using Visual Studio Code for the text editor, which is great as I haven’t used it before. In working with the re-do of the “Coding Responsive Websites” course over on Skillcrush, I’ve been working with Brackets, just to try and test all the text editors out. More on the Responsive class in a future post …

I’m also psyched that there are 5 projects of different kinds and complexity. I may start the first one just to give myself a break from all the drilling ….

Another piece that will be in one of the projects in working a bit with SASS, which I want to know/learn more about it. Apparently one of the things we will do with SASS is to change the default color scheme of primary, danger, warning, info, etc. This is great in that I am getting SO sick of looking these colors:

can’tĀ waitĀ toĀ changeĀ theseĀ dudesĀ ….

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.Ā  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.Ā  Hoping that they offer it again!