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
- Flash Cards
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.
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?
- 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
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.
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:
Some Fun Resources
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
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:
It’s amazing how it’s only been two days, and already we’ve covered quite a bit of ground. Although I was already familiar with Git, and have used CSS extensively as a web designer, today was still a day where I learned a few new tricks.
First off, there’s the text editor that I use quite a bit, Atom. I’ve never really looked into the keyboard shortcuts involved with it, and realized how there are so many ways that I can improve my workflow:
- ⌘ + , Open preferences
- ⌃ + g Go to line
- ⌘ + p Go to file
- ⌘ + r Go to symbol
- ⌘ + ⇧ + p Toggle Command Palette
- ⌘ + ⌥ + Left/Right Toggle Files/Tabs
- ⌘ + w Close Current Window/File if Saved
- ⌘ + s Save current file
- ⌘ + ] Tab Right
- ⌘ + [ Tab Left
- ⌘ + z Undo Change
- ⌘ + y Redo Change
With Git, I learned a little more about discarding changes made to the staging area – something that I’ve never really played around with much before.
With CSS, I learned a few new things about animations and selectors. First off, playing the FlukeOut game made me realize how many advanced selectors are out there that I haven’t had a chance to really implement in any of my previous work as a designer. And as far as animations go, I realize I have quite a bit of research to do to really feel comfortable with them.
And lastly, I discovered how fun and easy it is to build blogs with Jekyll.
All in all, it was a really busy and productive day. I can’t believe it’s only been two days – it feels like I’ve been coding away at WDI for weeks. It’s safe to say I’m pretty please with the curriculum thus far.