WDI Day Thirty-Two: Project Week 2, Part 4

Today proved to be another day of frustration. I spent the majority of the day tackling the encoding/decoding issue with images. I managed to resolve one major issue, where the Google API was throwing errors when trying to encode the canvas with the Google static image map, so I was able to create a string for the encoded image. However, I ran into the problem of being able to submit that string to the database. I tried hiding an input field where I changed the value to the encoded string and also tried to create a new field with the new value on submit of the form, but still no luck.

I did manage to resolve an issue with the drawing tool so that users can create different strokes in different colors. I also made a few UI adjustments, yet overall, it was a day of frustration that involved a lot of error and not too many breakthroughs. Perhaps tomorrow will bring with it some better insight?

WDI Day Thirty-One: Project Week 2, Part 3

I’ve been working like crazy, and some issues are issues that I don’t know whether or not they can be resolved. Overall this web app project has me realizing how important the planning process is. You may have a great idea, but you might want to test out a couple of things before moving forward with it.

Our projects are due on Thursday morning, so I have one more full day and night to work on my app. At the moment, it’s functioning and I’ve styled it so it nearly looks the way I’d like it to. I’ve also deployed it to Heroku so everything looks like it will function alright in production. Tomorrow night I’ll work on creating a screencast of the app, so until then, I’ll have to try to get everything ready to launch.

Goals for tonight:

  • Possibly roll out a many-to-many relationship where users can create lists.
  • Look into submitting images to a database. I’ve been struggling with this issue and have decided to put it to the side for now. I’ll visit it later to see it I can roll it out. If so, it would make the user experience a lot more seamless.

Goals for tomorrow?

  • Look into using ActionMailer for email confirmations.

WDI Day Thirty: Project Week 2, Part 2

Today was the second day where we got to work on our project 2 all day. In the morning there was a mini lesson on APIs and Rails, but after that, it was nonstop coding. What’s pretty unfortunate is that I didn’t make much progress. I’ve run into a couple of pretty large and advanced problems that my instructors haven’t been able to help me with.

One issue is that I need to figure out how to capture a screenshot of a webpage and then submit it to the database on submit of a form. The other issue is making calls to the Google API in order to change the background image of a canvas element on the page.

When you don’t make any progress, it’s tough to stay motivated and try to keep pushing forward to see what happens. Hopefully things will look better tomorrow. All I can do is keep trying new things, and hope I’ll eventually get the right results.

WDI Day Twenty-Eight: Testing with RSpec, Many to Many Relationships, & CRUD

We briefly got an overview on setting up tests with RSpec. The syntax was a little strange to me, and I’m realizing I really need to dive back into older things we covered just to ensure I’ve got a good grasp of everything. I won’t have a chance to do that this weekend since I have to work like crazy on my second project, but once that’s done with, I’m looking forward to reviewing things we covered earlier.

Later we did a few exercises with many to many relationship models. I understand the concept, it’s just the actual use of this is something that will take some time for me struggling on the side with it.

Once the lessons were over with, I worked like crazy on my homework assignment. Here’s a screenshot of the welcome view:

coffeecheck-screenshot

I had a lot of fun putting it together, but I probably spent more time than necessary styling it. And now I’m off to start working on my second project, so¬†hopefully I”ll be off to a good start.

WDI Day Twenty-Seven: Rails Encryption

Another day of rails has been completed. We learned about encryption and how to create fake users with sessions and cookies. At the end of the day I mentioned a Ruby Gem to my instructor, Devise, that works with user authentication, and he decided to walk us through it quickly after class.

Then I spent the entire evening working on my homework, the CRUD Rails app for keeping track of your favorite coffee spots and coffee drinks. I got a little too into styling the app, and should have spent more time trying to figure out a few coding hurdles. Tomorrow my goal is to implement commenting for the app and also try to look into an API to roll into it. I know that’s probably too ambitious, so I’ll see what I can get up and running before calling it a day.

WDI Day Twenty-Six: Rails Lab & Routing and Associations

So much rails, my mind is just swimming in words like controller, model, and method. Today I woke up super early to get a head start on my lab and homework for the week. I managed to knock out a couple of the bonuses for our Game of Thrones web app, although I didn’t bother to cover everything since I wanted to devote some real time and attention to my homework for the week.

Here’s a screenshot of how I styled the lab app:

got-screenshot

I successfully managed to nest routes for the lab, but didn’t have time to tackle many to many associations with my models. I’m hoping to do that with my homework or second project.

In the afternoon we walked through nesting routes and the type of fixes that are necessary when we move routes from being un-nested to nested. Then it was back to a long day and evening of coding. I’m hoping to make some real progress with my coffee shop app.

WDI Day Twenty-Five: Rails Validations & Starting a Lab

Wow, what a blur of a day. I’ve been working on CRUD apps pretty much nonstop the past couple of days. I’m excited that I seem to be making some progress, and I always enjoy seeing actual projects getting pieced together. It’s the best way for me to really assess what I’ve accomplished.

We started the day off looking at rails validations, errors, and flash. Validations are ways to ensure that users don’t submit forms without filling out required fields. Flash are messages that let the user know what is happening (i.e. if they’ve created a new record). When it comes to errors, there are ways to handle the messages so that users don’t see the all-too-familiar rails red error views.

Later we started our lab which is a Game of Thrones-themed CRUD app. I had fun styling mine and finding images to use for the different characters and houses. I also stayed at GA pretty late getting the app up and running. Tomorrow I’ll have a chance to work on the bonuses and get started on the homework for the week – which is yet another CRUD app. And then at the end of the week, we’ll start our CRUD project. So much CRUD.

WDI Day Twenty-Four: More Rails

Today was another Ruby on Rails day, and I found myself feeling a bit of a low about my coding. Although I understood a chunk of what we covered with CRUD, I decided to start brainstorming ideas for my next project and found myself doubting myself. I wondered, would I actually be able to pull off a good project?

Other graduates of the program have told me that it’s perfectly normal to feel these highs and lows. Some days you feel like you’re really mastering everything while other days you have no idea what you’re doing. The trick is to power through those days when you’re feeling down about your coding, because soon enough you’ll feel good about it again.

WDI Day Twenty-Three: Intro to Rails

A few months ago I took a part-time course in Ruby on Rails. I liked how one of my classmates described the class like being taught Russian in Russian. It’s definitely difficult to wrap your mind around programming concepts when you haven’t had the experience or background. And today was a bit of a review for me, but at the same time, I realized how complex the concepts are and that it will definitely take a lot of repetition before I feel completely comfortable with it.

Today I took the opportunity to share a fake Rails error page that I put together while going through the frustration of working on my final project for that part-time course. My current class seemed to appreciate my sense of humor:

fake-rails-error

And after a day of Rails lectures, code-alongs, and trying to tackle a few tutorials, I feel like my head is spinning with words of controllers, models, and views. It’s making more sense, but it will take me a bit to feel more comfortable with the terminology and how to get started with setting up a rails app.