Using A Learning Path on Lynda.com

As a developer in training, I sometimes question if I’m learning enough, am I focusing on the right concepts, what else should  I be learning? I’m question myself a lot right now. Should I focus more on CSS or practice my JavaScript?

I learn better with a goal in mind something tangible that culminates at the end. I started looking for a learning path that I could follow and get some time behind a keyboard, with a more structured plan.

Lynda.com Learning Path

In steps Lynda.com’s Learning Path: Becoming a Front-End Web Developer. I started watching a great overview video by Ray Villalobos. This really opened my eyes to what I should be focusing on and gave me a very clear path on what I should be learning and why.

With such a thought out and well detailed learning path, I can direct my learning in a much more wise and efficient manner. I’ll be sure to post my progress and keep you posted on what I learn.

Happy Coding! and remember… Code Everyday!

You can try Lynda.com for free for 10 days and plans vary from 19.99 a month to over 29.99 a month, depending on the plan.

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TA’ing my first Girl Develop It course

Image of Skin on Macbook

I’ve been a member of the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Develop It for over a year and I’ve taken quite a few great classes over that time. Intro to Python, Intro to jQuery, Responsive Web Design 101, JavaScript for Beginners and Intro to Git & Github. With all this learning paired with the Web Design Professional program I’m currently in, I thought it was time for me to test out what I really know about HTML and CSS.

I contacted one of the chapter co-leaders and asked if I could volunteer as a teaching assistant (TA) at the Build Your Own Website: Intro to HTML & CSS course. She was more than happy have me help and welcomed me aboard. The days leading up to the course, I’d reviewed the slide deck and worked through the code examples to build my web page. I didn’t want to be caught off guard with a question about something that was in the slide deck that I was unfamiliar with. This was my opportunity to brush up on floats and positioning!

The course was over the weekend and it covered a lot of the basics of HTML & CSS; from the history of HTML to the tools used to create a website; from tags and attributes to CSS rules and positioning; by the end of the class, attendees were able to code out their own web page.

As a TA, my job was to float around, check on progress and answer questions that anyone had about the content or the assignments. As hands raised or inquisitive looks appeared on faces, I addressed each one as best I could. Listening was one of the skills that got the most work. Understanding the questions that were presented to me and then being able to communicate effectively on how to resolve the issue was very rewarding. Even on those questions I didn’t quite have an answer for (vendor prefixes and text-decoration-color), I researched the answers and was able to show (using Codepen) how and why something worked the way it did.

Grid of student images

GDI students hard at work

I got a chance to speak to most of the attendees throughout the course and share a little bit about how I’ve learned what I’ve learned thus far. The ‘wow’ moments when a student was able to ‘get it’ or when a student saw Codepen for the first time to telling another student where I got a particular sticker from that was on my MacBook, I got to share a little bit of me with each interaction.

I can’t wait for the next time I can TA a course. I really enjoyed it and I hope I was able to help make someone’s learning a little bit easier. It was just as helpful for me as well.

Gitk error: Unknown color name lime

I’m prepping for a Girl Develop IT workshop on Tuesday called Intro to Git and Github. The newbie that I am, I’m trying to prep as much as I can in advance of the class. The instructor sent out an email with a ‘to-do’ list on how to prepare.

  • Laptop (√)
  • Git installed (√)
  • XCODE installed (√)
  • Signed up for Github (√)
  • Reviewed commands (√)

Now I’m ready. She also sent over a link to the slidedeck, so I started working through it. Since I know nothing about git, I wanted to at least know some of the verbiage and understand a little more about what it actually does. There was a command that threw a very strange error, gitk:

limeerror.png

There is a file referenced in the error called gitk. It’s looks like a conf file for the gitk utility. After looking around, there doesn’t appear to be a ‘lime’ in OS X 10.9.5. I’m running Git 2.10.0.  There are a few posts that reference the same issue, but a I’m not familiar with a few of the commands.  When in doubt: Google it.

wish: A simple windowing shell used to process Tcl commands. Returns a % prompt.

info patchlevel: Returns the version of Tcl you have installed. I’m running version 8.5.9.

The post mentions running $ brew cast install tcl. I don’t have brew installed and up to a moment ago, I had no idea what it was. Homebrew is a package manager for OS X. If you visit the install page, it wants you to do a curl in /usr/bin/ruby and I don’t have ruby installed. Also, this is why it pays to RTFM.  this isn’t supported on my version of OS X 10.1o and higher is recommend.

There are posts about installing brew on 10.9, but since this a work machine and it’s very old, I’ll defer this to the mac admins.

In the meantime, to get gitk to work, I made a copy of gitk before editing it. To replace all occurrences of lime with #99FF00, from vi:

:%s/lime/#99ff00/g

6 occurrences were found and replaced. I saved the file and ran gitk without error.

On to the rest of the slide deck before the workshop!