Projects, projects, projects!

Wow.  Time is flying.  I just started my 7th week of bootcamp and it’s been a wild ride so far.  The constant vacillation between “I got this! Yeah!!” to the all too common “wtf is going on….” seem to happen daily.  Despite the occasional shocks to the ego, I’m really enjoying everything. 

To sit and think about where I was a few months ago compared to now is truly incredible.  Words and phrases that seemed so foreign and incomprehensible are now a part of my daily vocabulary.  “How can you use JQuery to make this quicker?”  and “You’ve got to make sure that variable is within the global scope” are not only something I’d say now, but something that makes total sense.  It’s a neat feeling to reflect on the progress. 

But that’s all the time for reflection I’ll allow myself for right now!  6 weeks left of the grind and then the inevitable job hunt.  I’m actually excited for the impending search this time.  I know what I’m doing is something I enjoy.  Compared to my previous searches where I was looking for employment as a means to pay rent and play frisbee, this one is shaping up to be a lot more enjoyable.

At this point in class, we’ve had to work on two independent projects.  I wrote a bit about my last project in the last post.  I created a single page web app where two people can play a game of Bingo. Check it out here if you like!  I was pretty proud of how this came out.  This was the first larger scale thing I created on my own.  Every aspect of it was mine:  I designed what I wanted it to look like, developed logical algorithms to check if a player had won, and created a fully functioning game.

Is it beautiful and glamorous? Hell no.  In fact, I actually grew to completely despise my project right before I handed it in.  I think that was more a product of staring at something for so long and knowing every inch of it.  That included knowing all of its flaws, and there are certainly a few that I’ll go into.  I look forward to going back and cleaning up some of the issues/sloppy code, but I plan on leaving it currently for two main reasons. 1. I need to focus on the current curriculum and 2. I kind of want to check it out again after I finish the course and shock myself by how much better I am now.

Onto the flaws! (Or as we called them in the educational setting, areas for improvement 🙂 )  The color scheme bothers me.  Some people have said they liked it.  It was literally the last thing I updated the Sunday night before I had to submit the project.  I had a very basic black and white wire-frame lay out of the page working before I added much color to it.  I chose a color palette last minute with the help of my mom and more or less just assigned colors from the palette to random objects on the page and hoped it came together.

Another thing that bothers me is the way the numbers display in the list of all balls that have come up.  Specifically, if a single digit number comes up.  Double digit numbers are centered in the ball, but single digits are pushed a bit to the left. My guess, without looking back right now, is that I messed with the margins a bit too much instead of just doing margin:auto.  I’ll dig into that.   

One thing I’m actually proud of is the use of flex-box.  For those that don’t know what this means, it essentially makes it so that the website will respond to the size of the window it’s being displayed in.  This is nice so that things can be viewed on phones or in different sized browser windows and still have an enjoyable experience.  All said and done, I’m quite happy with how Bingo came out!

That’s my Bingo game in a nutshell!  Let’s talk about Sean’s sweet movie info app! Check it out here!   Despite the lack of a catchy name(or even a decent one) I’ve heard some solid feedback on this project . I went with a more basic color scheme on this one: Grayscale.  And it’s glorious!  Well at the very least it’s fine, and I detest it infinitely less than the Bingo color scheme.    

I think the movie app is kind of cool and relatively useful app.  It’s provides a service that I wasn’t sure if it was being provided elsewhere (it is by the way, better than mine.  bastards!)  What my app does is essentially lets users enter a movie title, select a few parameters for info they can get back, and then displays that info on the page.  One of the neatest features is that it tells you where that movie is available to stream. 

This focus of this project was using several API’s to obtain some data and then make that data or info tell a story,  Extremely loose project parameters and I actually struggled greatly to come up with a concept initially.  The scope of resources available was almost overwhelming, especially with no real limitations on what we could do.  I really liked the freedom we had, but was also surprisingly intimidated at the prospect of picking ONE thing.  I didn’t want to pick “the wrong” project and get stuck with something crappy that I hated. 

So I spent most of the first day and a half of the project just looking at different API’s and thinking about what I wanted to do.  I originally wanted to do an “Entertainment Review” type app where the user would pick either a video game, board game, or movie and then review the user choice and suggest similar options.  I couldn’t get the video game API to work and the board game API was in a format that the instructors recommend we didn’t use.

Welp, that left me with movies.  And I was going to make the best damned movie app I could!  Again, I feel a good bit of pride towards this project.  Is it perfect or anything I’d expect people to actually use in its’ current state?  Of course not.  But it’s all mine.  I designed it, developed it, tested it, created it, etc.  Every line of code is mine.  This thing exists because I created it.  And I believe there’s something truly rewarding in that.  (As an aside, if I’m this amped about creating a little movie site, how am I going to feel when I eventually create another human?!)

I”ll talk briefly about some of the flaws that I want to go back and clean up eventually and then wrap up this long post.  For starters, I want users to be able to click enter and have it act the same as clicking the “Search” button.  I’m sure that’s an easy fix, but something I didn’t realize I wanted until after multiple people recommended it.  I also need more padding between the movie plot and the background where it’s displayed.  The text runs right up against the border and looks kind of funny.  Lastly, if you search for a title and there’s more than one movie with that title, it just returns one and often is not the right one.  This is one of the problems that I think isn’t an extremely quick fix like the others, but definitely something I’d like to tackle if I clean this project up. 

Well there you have it!  I’m officially more than halfway done with the class and apparently I”m well on my way to becoming a web developer.  That’s the wildest part to me.  As part of our preparation for the real world post bootcamp, we had to update our resumes.  Under my name, I put “Full stack web developer.”  It’s pretty crazy to have written that and not have it be a total lie.  In just over 5 weeks, I will be hirable as a web developer.  Crazy!  Also, please feel free to hire me!

This was a really long post, but I hadn’t updated in a while and wanted to share my projects!  So thanks for reading and until next time!

Sean

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