Don’t Copy Paste

When working on projects, it’s fairly easy to find a solution when you get stuck. Maybe you want to add this cool effect using CSS but have no idea how to implement it. Maybe you want a specific layout and don’t know how to order your HTML file. Or maybe you don’t know how to write a specific algorithm that you need in javascript.

When stuck, your answer is just a google search away, and chances are, especially if you’re a beginner and just starting out, people will have already asked the specific question that you need to be answered. Stack Overflow, Reddit, the countless of programming blogs out there, you’ll eventually be able to find what you’re looking for. But when you do, DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THE CODE when you don’t understand it.

Sure you get a solution to something you’ve been stuck on for the past week. You may be cranky and tired and just over everything so finally knowing how to do it can be a gift straight from heaven. But, no matter how you feel, you can’t copy paste it.

Copying and pasting while not understanding the code can only lead you on a road to failure. Sure, it’ll work, but you won’t learn anything from it, debugging will be a nightmare, and you won’t be able to create it on your own and next time you run into the same problem you’ll have to google it again.

There’s nothing wrong with copying someone’s code, but whenever you do so, make sure you understand the ins and outs of it. Experiment. What would happen should ‘x’ change? Will doing ‘y’ a different way provide the same result?

The only way to profit and learn when copying someone else’s code is when you understand exactly what’s happening.

Don’t Learn jQuery or Bootstrap

At least not yet. If you’re new to programming like I am, you shouldn’t be learning jQuery before getting a decent understanding of javascript. Don’t bother with Bootstrap until you know CSS. So many people are learning these libraries/frameworks way too early. You need to know how to crawl before you walk and walk before you run, lay the foundations before building the house. The largest disservice you can do to yourself is not understanding what libraries or frameworks like jQuery and Bootstrap are doing behind the hood.

I’m not debating the importance and whether or not someone is required to or should use these during their projects, use whatever tools you want to aid you, but only when you understand what each of them does. It’s never good to be completely dependent on them because there will be a time where a different framework or pure JS or CSS is needed. Learn how to do a basic grid layout with HTML and CSS, learn how to manipulate the DOM without resorting to jQuery.

Will it be slower sometimes? Heck yeah. jQuery makes some things so much simpler. Sure a lot of basic jQuery can easily be replicated with pure JS but as you get more advanced, there’s more to understand. Instead of breaking out Bootstrap, take your time to learn what it’s actually doing. You’ll only benefit in the future. Like I said, not all projects will require you to use them, sometimes using them would be counterproductive. Therefore, do yourself a favor and learn to crawl before you run.

Narrowing Focus

I’ve been trying to learn too many things at once. This was my main problem in the past. I would focus on one language like javascript, then decide that I wanted to learn python, and kept going back and forth without going past the beginner stages in either one. Although this time I’ve kept to one language, I’ve been putting too much focus on the wrong areas.

For example, I decided not to do Hack Design anymore. It just wasn’t working for me. At the end of the day, I don’t want to become some master front end developer, so why work on things that don’t help my end goals. Yeah, I want to be proficient, but I don’t need to know every last detail about why you should choose one thing over another. I just need basic knowledge and then I’m good to go.

I’ve also realized the importance of focusing on one large goal at a time. I have so many different things in my life that I want to accomplish, and sometimes I need to remind myself to take a step back and realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I don’t need to learn everything and become a master all at once. The smaller things that I kind of want to do take away from my focus on the larger things that I want to accomplish. Focusing on one or two things allows me to be the most productive.

Since cutting back on some of the things I half heartedly wanted to accomplish, I have gotten so much farther in my main areas or goals. I’m excited to see the full results the changes in my routine bring me.

Hack Design & Tribute Page

Okay, so shoot me. It’s been a while since I’ve updated and I am ashamed to say that a lot of that time has not been spent programming. I did however manage to get some work done.

 

While teaching myself how to program again, I wanted to improve my sorely lacking design skills. I ended up finding a website, Hack Design dedicated to improving programmers front-end abilities. The website is divided into twelve sections, introduction to design,screenshot_1_16_13_2_08_pm typography, user experience, user interface, graphic design principles, mobile, interaction design, front-end design, product design, advanced user interface, advanced user experience, and context and next steps. Each section has multiple subsections with various articles, and each week your supposed to complete a subsection (i.e. read all the articles in the subsection). So far, I’m a fan. Some articles I’ve read are a little advanced, and go over my head, but overall I believe that it has already improved my design ability. I’ll update more the farther I get into the program.

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 8.19.51 PM.png

Although I didn’t do a whole lot of programming in my break, I did end up finishing the first project on freecodecamp, a Tribute Page. I decided to make a tribute dedicated to The Doctor on Doctor Who. It did take me a bit to get back into the swing of things, especially considering I decided to add some javascript and I didn’t complete the javascript section on freecodecamp just yet. Overall, I think it turned out fairly well. It is slightly responsive, but I think I want to work more on how it looks on mobile, considering I hardly put any focus on media queries.

 

Feel free to check it out on codepen, and I would love any feedback you guys could give me.

Link

 

Some Background Information

If you’ve somehow discovered my blog, welcome. I am a 19 year old woman who has always wanted to know how to program. Instead of sitting and dreaming about my future, I decided to make that dream into a reality.

I have dabbled in programming before. I learned from codecademyfreecodecamp, and a few udemy courses. However, I eventually fell off the wagon and haven’t so much as looked at a scrap of code in well over a year. Coming back, I realized that I remember absolutely nothing! So I’m here today to start the journey off right and daily document the trials that I go through, both the good and the bad, and the pretty and the ugly. Join me on my adventure as I complete my quest.