WDI Day Twelve: Project Week 1, Part 3

This week has been utterly exhausting! I started the day off tackling Hangman and was pretty proud of the progress I made. I was pretty ambitious and wanted to finish everything today, however, that’s somewhat ridiculous since I already completed one of the other projects for project one. Nevertheless, I did manage to get most the of logic coded. The main problem I ran into was figuring out how to get the masked word to show up, letter by letter, based on what the user guessed.

I’m excited to figure out drawing the frames of the Hangman as well, and figuring out the logic for how many guesses the user has until it’s a game over. Although I wasn’t able to complete the project today, I’m hoping to make some progress either tomorrow night or Friday. Interestingly enough, even though the day was filled with a lot of frustration, I was pretty proud of the small wins I achieved on my own, even when they were when I figured out what was wrong in the code and didn’t necessarily have an answer just yet.

Tomorrow we’re presenting our projects, so I plan to present my flash card application, and plan to also show off the canvas drawing element that I just got started with for Hangman.

This afternoon was a lot of fun since we met with the Outcomes team and had a career coach run a workshop with us where we did a couple of exercises to help us write our brand statement for who we are all about when it comes to being an employee. We broke off into groups where one of us pretended to be the interviewer, the other was the interviewee, and the third was the scribe who wrote down any words and phrases that described the qualities of the interviewee based on his/her responses to the interviewer. It was a fun exercise and I really enjoyed hearing more about my classmates’ stories.

WDI Day Eleven: Project Week 1, Part 2

This morning consisted of several hours of pure frustration, as I couldn’t figure out one particular issue. In the future, I really need to learn how to let some issues go and revisit them later, since today I ended up realizing the problem I wanted to solve, wasn’t a problem at all. In fact what I initially set out to do, didn’t make much sense!

I wanted to work on event listeners for keypresses, so users could move to the front and back of cards with the enter and right-hand arrow key. Then I realized that the enter key was sufficient enough for when users are adding input, but that the right arrow key wasn’t intuitive enough. Instead, I made the entire cards clickable, so users could navigate that way.

I also learned how important it is to really plan out the logic behind your applications before you start coding. If I had thought through more of the main functionalities I wanted, I may not have run into as many issues as I did, where I had to readjust my code along the way. However, I suppose you can’t always plan out everything. Sometimes your coding will unfold organically.

WDI Day Ten: Project Week 1, Part 1

Today was the first day of our project week. This week, we’re all expected to get to GA bright and early and work away all day long on our first major project. Our task is to complete a familiar game with HTML and JS. We had the following games to choose from:

  • Tower of Hanoi
  • Trivia
  • Flash Cards
  • Simon
  • Hangman

I decided to go with flash cards, simply because creating a game on its own will be a challenge enough. I’m still struggling to figure out the logic when I start projects, and I’m hoping that will change over time.

Over the weekend I managed to complete most of the project’s functionality, so for the most part I worked on compiling the content for the cards, finding images for the front and back of the cards, and working out some of the styling issues. I kept running into issues with event listeners, since my game involves users guessing the answer to a card in an input, then clicking to view the back of the card, then clicking once more to see the next card. The game includes scoring, a timer, and the option to play again when the game is over.

WDI Day Nine: Scopes, Closures, & User Stories

We reviewed JavaScript scope, context, and closures. It was helpful running through a couple of scope exercises, to ensure we knew when variables were being read locally or globally in different functions. Context involved going over “this,” and what “this” is referring to. I felt like I was able to grasp most of the concepts, although one of our in-class exercises proved to be pretty difficult for me. I feel like whenever something involves math, it takes me a little while to figure out how to get it working properly. Hopefully that will improve with time.

In the afternoon we went over problem solving and user stories in group. We were also told what the requirements will be for our first project which will need to be completed by Thursday of next week. I’ve decided to tackle making a JavaScript flash card game. My goal is actually to finish it early so I can tackle another game like hang man. I’m probably being a little overly ambitious, but we shall see what I can do…

Resources

WDI Day Eight: ATM Lab

I’m definitely out of my comfort zone now when it comes to WDI, which is great – let the learning commence!

Today was another lab day, and it was definitely a struggle. Our assignment was to create an ATM where users could deposit and withdraw funds in a checking and savings account. If the account value was zero, a CSS class needed to be assigned to the ATM that highlighted the balance in red.

At the end of the day, I managed to complete the lab along with the bonus assignments. My biggest issue was being able to make the code cleaner. I was able to get the functionality down right, it was just a matter of writing shorter code. I guess that’s something for me to aspire to?

Overall, I’m pretty proud that I was able to get something to work. Makes you feel like a bit of a magician when your javaScript is functional.

Takeaways:

  • Console.log is really useful in figuring out how the browser is reading variables
  • Figuring out when a user is clicking a button within a specific div
  • Pseudo coding well in the beginning can really help you out later
  • Struggling with an exercise until you figure it out can help solidify some of the overall javaScript concepts

WDI Day Seven: DOM, Debugging, and another Panel

Today proved to be a lot more challenging since it involved more hands-on work. The day started off with a DOM exercise, followed by more javaScript review that included reviewing key events, timing functions, and different error messages.

The big takeaway was, when in doubt, console.log it! Or Google it…

In the afternoon we met with the Outcomes team who had a panel of GA graduates talk to us about their experience in the program. It sounds like there is definitely a struggle in the program – a lot of frustration when you’re beginning to learn complex problems – but ultimately, if you keep at it, things will click and make sense to you.

WDI Day Six: DOM, Events, and Callbacks

I haven’t felt like I’ve been the strongest when it comes to JavaScript, so I was really excited to dive into more code today. We reviewed a few concepts I was familiar with, like working with the DOM (or Document Object Model), events, and callback functions.

Although the lecture didn’t consist of too much new information for me, the hands-on assignments were what really helped. Having to struggle to figure out how to create different functionalities proved to be really useful. One task I tackled included creating a JavaScript stop watch. Sometimes the struggle of getting something to work can be a real headache, but at the same time, once it’s actually functioning properly, it can give you a real sense of relief and accomplishment.

Helpful Resources

WDI Day Five: PseudoCoding and Intro to JS

Finally, the day I was waiting for arrived – working with JavaScript! Although today was also more of a review for me, I did find myself realizing I definitely need to do some extra work in my free time this weekend just to make sure I’m at the level I want to be at with JavaScript.

In the morning we did a few exercises involving PseudoCoding, which I realized is a pretty difficult concept to wrap my mind around. I’ll have to make sure I practice writing pseudo code and will check with my instructors to make sure I’m doing that properly.

We also got to play around with a fun and addictive game, Cookie Clicker:

cookie-clicker

Once we dug into JavaScript, we reviewed data types, conditionals, and ended the day with objects and functions. One of our homework assignments definitely looks like it will be a lot of fun to fiddle around with – it’s a choose your own adventure where the prompt boxes will change based on user input. I’m excited to get started, and hope I don’t run into too many issues. Getting started with JavaScript for any assignment is usually a little tough for me. I’m hoping that will change fairly soon.

Some Fun Resources

WDI Day Four: Portfolio Website Lab

Today was our first lab day. We started off with a lesson in Git, and then off we went to work on building a site for our portfolio. I’ll admit, I’m at a bit of an advantage when it comes to working with layout. Since I’ve had extensive experience in web design, I happily tackle styling whenever it comes up. I managed to style the basics for my overall portfolio site during the day, and started thinking about how I’d like to rollout JavaScript as a later functionality.

Things to add later:

  • Tabbed browsing for portfolio sections (web, application, and illustration)
  • Sorting filters
  • Transitions for the anchor links
  • Additional scrolling animations
  • Making the site mobile-friendly

Overall, I felt like I accomplished a fair amount, however I’m more excited about starting JavaScript tomorrow since today was yet another review day for me.

WDI Day Three: CSS and the Tech World

Today was yet another review day for me, yet I still had several fun takeaways, not to mention that they had a panel that spoke to us about the tech industry in the DC area. It was great hearing about useful Ruby Meetups like the ones in Silver Spring and Arlington. Also, I liked hearing about how it’s useful to take your previous, unrelated work experience and find a way to spin those skills into something that’s a great asset to your work as a web developer. The book, “The Passionate Programmer,” was also recommended which is something I’ve heard about before and now will definitely read.

With our CSS lesson, I learned a lot more about flexbox which is something I need to fiddle with more. Previously, I had heard of it but had never used it, simply because my work usually involved making sure older browsers could support my CSS styles. Flexbox is a fun way to create clean layouts and center elements. The lesson also reminded me that box sizing is a great thing to use since it makes it so I don’t have to worry about all the math and calculations involved with padding and margins.

Some helpful resources related to the CSS work included: