Mission: Complete! (Sort of)
So regrettably, it’s been about a month and a half since my last update. But that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle the past 5 weeks! Remember that remaining 4% of the Codecademy HTML/CSS course I hadn’t completed? Well it’s done. (And if you don’t remember, thanks for not completely internalizing all of my progress updates over the past 2 months.) Here’s a screen shot to prove it!
It doesn’t really seem as impressive when it’s just blandly listed as a “completed skill,” but it was a fun challenge to take on and I’m glad I finally committed to finishing it. For those who have never completed the course, the final project consists of creating a one page “resume.” You can make it pretty basic and still fulfill the necessary requirements of the course to complete it, but I tried to focus on the details and not only create a working HTML page, but also include my own elements and write the code in a clean way. One thing I remember from my one Comp Sci class back in undergrad was how much my professor harped on us about writing “good code.” He cared as much about the program you built being functional as much as he did the code being written well. I’m trying to build good habits now before I become ingrained using poor techniques that simply satisfy codecademy. Without further ado, here is my “resume!”
I chose 4 random colors and didn’t really shoot for anything all that aesthetically pleasing. Also, I’m what my mom kindly described as “color-deficient,” so I’ll almost never pick out a color scheme that will have you “ooh’ing and ah’ing.” So if you’ll kindly ignore the color scheme and refrain from tasteless color blind jokes, we can move on now!
It was fun to mess with borders and padding and margins, as well as playing with the float functions for the first time. I did my best to write the code without looking at Codecademy’s example. I looked at their finished product of their sample resume, and essentially tried to write the code that would recreate something similar. I actually enjoyed that process of seeing a finished product and trying to more or less duplicate it. It made me feel more accountable to create what I had in mind, and not skimp out where it was convenient.
My next project is actually visible in the screenshot from earlier in this post. I really enjoy Codecademy’s layout and format for learning this stuff, and I’ve already started their next HTML/CSS project. I should have more free time moving forward than I’d had the past few months, so I’m really looking forward to getting deeper into the good stuff and creating some neat pages!
Speaking of free time, one thing that’s kept me from progressing as quickly as I’d like is a newly rediscovered passion for reading, learning, and thinking about my thinking (meta-cognition, if you will.) I’ve always been incredibly impulsive and spontaneous and more likely to just do something than I ever was to think about it first. I think there are definitely pros and cons to this way of doing things, but I’m realizing as I get older that maybe it’s best to blend some of that self-diagnosed ESFP personality type with some more intuition and thinking.
This has led me down a path of reading new things I never would have picked up in the past. The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin has replaced some of the hours spent on reddit. My bike rides and car rides are spent listening to informative podcasts and Ted Talks instead of laboring through another one of Stephen A. Scott’s rants about his adoration for Kobe Bean Bryant. This particular Ted Talk by Josh Kaufman has encouraged me to commit at least 20 hours to learning programming. I can honestly say I feel better as a person spending my time listening to more educational and worthwhile material instead of some of the mindless crap I used to waste hours on. But I won’t get on my high horse too much, as I’m still generally up to date with the Reddit front page…
One last note here: The Art of Learning sort of threw me for a mental loop. As I mentioned before, I’d never really thought about the process of learning, at least as it applied to me specifically. As a teacher, I was forced to think about how the kids learned and how to best cater to that of course. But school always came relatively easy to me and I was able to “just learn it” when it came to knowing what I needed to do well in school. I didn’t think about how I learned things. I just kind of did it. Reading that book has really opened my mind as I progress through something I’m interested in learning. I don’t have to learn programming by any means, but it’s fun and enjoyable and now I’m thinking about how I’m learning in a new way. If nothing else, this young journey has already changed me in that way, and that’s definitely exciting.