So after all was said and done, I lied! I lied to myself and to all my dear and loyal followers! I really did mean to update more often. Life has a funny way of getting in the way of the most well-intentioned plans.
Although on the positive side, just because I haven’t posted in a bit doesn’t mean I’ve been idle! In the past few weeks, I’ve finished another mini-project on Codecademy which exposed me to a variety of new skills such as Bootstrap, had my step-father work on fixing up my laptop, downloaded Microsoft Visual Studio, and messed around with html5 Boilerplate.
As I write this, I’m realizing this is probably the point of the blog where I’ll officially lose anyone that doesn’t play around with web development themselves. Don’t worry though! I’ll still sprinkle in some real-life references and enough Sean-flavor to hopefully make it at least worth a read for all you non-tech folks.
Quick aside: That last paragraph reminded me of this thing I came across online once where a writer didn’t get their book published or something because they had too many hyphenated words. Is that a real thing? Is it a faux-pas to have a lot of hyphenated words? I don’t know the answer, but apparently if I ever want to have my book accepted by Amazon, I’ll probably have to remove some of them. Oh well, guess I’ll never be Amazon-material, cause I like my damn hyphens.
So here’s where I am with Codecademy. As I mentioned previously, the learning format essentially has you copy a set of instructions to recreate something. There’s some decent introduction to material throughout, but the majority of it is copy and pasting code that’s been spoon-fed to you (intentional unnecessary hyphen.) It’s pretty challenging to mess things up too bad, so you don’t get much practice trouble shooting or fixing things when you break them too much. That’s probably for the best in terms of exposing newbies to code without them getting overly frustrated.
But me personally? I enjoy messing things up, going rogue and seeing if I can fix it and get it working again. When I was studying math, I would often just go on these weird tangents (math reference in a math reference!) just for the fun of it and not really end up doing anything productive relative to the problem at hand. But I think those experiences and journeys down an unknown, unguided path helped me appreciate the unexpected adventures that can be found. Even if the joy was fleeting as I had to get back to solving systems of matrices the way my professors wanted, I liked those mini excursions of delving on my own.
I mention the math experiences because recognizing what I enjoyed back then has helped me figure out an approach to learning something new like coding now. I liked messing around with Scratch and creating that terrible dragon/cat animation. I like taking someone’s code for a basic website and modifying the hell out of it and seeing what ridiculous things I can come up with. I don’t know how much more Codecademy actually offers in terms of web design, but I think moving forward I’m going to dedicate a decent amount of time to messing up other peoples’ sites and seeing what I can learn from digging around in their code and trying to make it my own. So that’s the short term goal for a bit.
Other quick updates:
– My laptop was struggling with some sound issues, so it’s getting fixed up by my step-father (a passionate self-proclaimed tech geek.) That leaves me only with my desktop pc, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Went from like an 11 inch screen to using my tv as a monitor for my desktop, a solid 32 inches to see all my monstrosities on.
– Bootstrap is cool! And apparently very popular and powerful! I look forward to messing around with that more.
– Microsoft’s Visual Studio is massive and intimidating and confusing. More to come on that as I play around more.
-HTML5 Boilerplate is sweet, but it feels like cheating to use pre-made templates. Is that generally the way of things though? I’d legitimately love to hear peoples thoughts on that.
– Here is the project I finished up on Codecademy. This is a screenshot, I don’t know the best way to share the code. Like I said, most of the instructions to create this were spoon fed to me, but I was still proud of it! And my mom said she was proud too, so it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! (I would love to actually here people’s thoughts and opinions…) So without further ado, here’s what the Air BnB site looks like that Codecademy had us recreate. I’d really recommend the intro classes to anyone looking to get a basic idea of things. This was fun and relatively easy to recreate!
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