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I completed the UARTS Web Design Professional Certificate Program

After a year of attending classes back to back, I finally finished the UARTS Web Design Professional Certificate Program.  After several starts and stops, once I got really into the Philadelphia coding community via Girl Develop It, becoming active in the #CodeNewbie online community and meeting new and seasoned developers at local MeetUps, I knew I had to finish to see where this skill could take me.  I’m currently in tech, as a systems administrator. Learning to code is a skill that has been quite helpful in my current job, albeit indirectly.  The problem solving skills in coding are some of the same skills I use in my daily life and learning to code allows me to understand more about scripting, dig deeper into how web servers tick and being aware of how the LAMP(Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)  stack really works.

My last class was the capstone and the final project really tested the limits of what I learned and pushed me to step out and teach myself a new skill, WordPress theme development. I learned HTML and CSS over the course of the program, took a WordPress workshop (taught by a UARTS CE grad) and took a PHP course this spring. What I didn’t know was that I could parlay that into a custom theme starting with just a HTML and CSS file.  I hit road blocks, but I was able to call upon a code friend to get me through it.  Michael Kappeler, a developer and former co worker came to my aid and gave me a better understanding of how it all worked together. Explaining the hierarchy, the loop, template tags and creating functions, he showed me the why’s not just the how’s.  After talking to him, the light bulb went on and I was off and running to finish my project and pass the course with an A.

UARTS has helped folks I know change their careers and transition into a career as a developer.  Giving people the tools needed to make the leap has been what has helped me stay focused on my goal of transitioning into a developer.  I’m working on how to bridge my current career into development, using systems administration and programming together can be the 1, 2 punch I need to land that first job.

As I work on my resume and build my site personal site, I’m still learning more about theme creation and PHP. After a few more themes under my belt,  I’ll get back to JavaScript and move into Node.js.  There is so much to learn and that’s what keeps me coming back for more.  I have a few months until the certificate ceremony, where I’ll actually receive my ‘piece of paper’ and be christened a University of the Arts alum with all of its rights and privileges. Until then, I have the #100daysofCode challenge that keeps me up on my skills daily.

 

 

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100 Days of Code Challenge Day 30

I haven’t been blogging much or updating the log.md file on the repo. I’ve been LEARNING!

Photo of Explore Pennant

This week has been filled with Java homework, chapters to read, terms to review, MeetUps to attend, code to code, podcast to listen to and so much more.

Since I last posted, I’ve been coding in Java, JavaScript, HTML/CSS(Bootstrap) and took a look at PHP. I’ve read about classes, methods, boolean relational operators, De Morgan’s Laws, algorithms, DOM and dynamic content. I’ve listened to podcasts about Woman programmers in the 60’s and  SVG images. I also attended two MeetUps, one for GDI Philly and one for Full Stack JavaScript. Being around other coders was invigorating and such a learning experience. It’s difficult learning a new skill in a vacuum. Having a community from which to draw inspiration, help when you need it and insight from is what I appreciate most about learning to code and using social media as a conduit.

Here’s a fun fact: the woman that Saron interviewed on Episode 125, replied to a tweet about a blog post I did on women in code. It was the SAME day I’d listened to the podcast. So, when she replied to me, the name was so familiar. I went back to the podcast and low and behold, it WAS her. We exchanged a few tweets as she spoke about the report my blog referenced. She suggested I read her book and reach out to her for encouragement  whenever I needed it! What a super cool coincidence.

marylgorden

Next Up!

I’m taking this blog post to catch you all up on what I’ve done since day 21.

Day 22 •  FCC Tribute page finished!!!

Day 23 • Started FCC bootstrap portfolio… work in progress

Day 24 • Still working on FCC bootstrap portfolio page. Also, Java readings for class.

Day 25 • Homework assignment- Java Celsius to Fahrenheit app for class

Day 26 • I paid for Codecademy Pro and did a few projects: Continent & Cities app, Loan calc app & OOP lesson.

Day 27 • I did the Java Codecademy calculator APP project.

Day 28 •  I went to a JavaScript MeetUp and  we learned about JavaScript ‘use strict’ & had a  DOM code challenge. I was sufficiently challenged.

Day 29 • I had Java reading on Theory from my textbooks & I Started droid project.

Day 30 • Today was the Codecademy Droid project.  I struggled a bit yesterday when I added the main method before the instructions asked me to. Today, did a rip and replace, working on it in NetBeans to keep the formatting pretty. At the end, it worked.

All and all, a super busy week. My next course (PHP/MySQL) starts Thursday, so I’ll probably keep my posts to once a week for the remainder of the challenge.  Here’s to a great semester!

 

Here are some of the resources I used this week:

Introduction to Java Programming

Free Code Camp Personal Portfolio

Coding Tutorials 360 on YouTube

PHP and MySQL Web Development Book

Learn Programming in Java on YouTube

Java Constructors

#100DaysofCode

#CodeNewbie

 

 

100 Days of Code Challenge Day 21

So.MUCH.TO.DO.SO.Little.TIME

Homework, pages and pages of readings.Videos to watch, Learning Bootstrap… The past 48 hours have been A LOT!

I finally sat down tonight to attempt the Free Code Camp Tribute Page project. I just sat and stared at the pen. I forgot how to use bootstrap! What!!! My brain just.STOPPED.

Java • HTML • CSS • JavaScript • Bootstrap • jQuery

As a new dev, I just felt the cacophony of a bunch of technologies that haven’t taken hold in my brain sat me down for a moment. I had to breathe, concentrate on the task and RTFM. After re-watching the FCC assignment video, reading up on the Bootstrap web site, watching a YouTube Video, it came together, bit by bit.  I did the site first in HTML then copied it to CodePen. I’m not done, but I got a lot of the elements down and I think I could finish it tomorrow.

I also read more in Java, took my 1st chapter quiz in the college CMS (20 out of 20).  What a day! I learned so much and it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

100 Days of Code Challenge Day 19

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TipCalc

I approached  my Tipcal app today and got it working. My light bulb moment finally came! Things were clearer and I figured out what I needed to research. I’m marking today off as a WIN!

There are a few other things I want to add to the app:

  • Add bootstrap or make responsive on mobile
  • Media Query to remove slider div on mobile
  • Create favicon
  • Add comments to code
  • Create my own 404 page

A clearer head prevailed.

 

Contributing to Open Source

Today, in the CodeNewbie twitter chat, we talked about contributing to open source There were so many great questions posed.  The answers were even more revealing about what we thing about when we hear the words open source.

 

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For me, it’s fear of the unknown, imposter syndrome and being in over my head. I found out, I wasn’t alone. Many of us new coder have to deal with what we think we know verses what we have to offer.  What I discovered was that I do have something to offer and there are projects for me out there, I just need to know where to look. A great thing happened, call it serendipity,  @CodeForPhilly was on the chat and commented on one of my answers.

 

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I’ve wanted to join A Code for Philly MeetUp for sometime, but they are always on Tuesday evening. That’s when I teach a class at a local gym, so I haven’t had the opportunity to go. It’s been on my list to find out about some of the great things they’re doing right here in my back yard and tonight drove it home. I signed up for the Code for Philly site and I can’t wait to see where I can make a contribution to projects that affect my city.

Docker MeetUp

All in all, a very productive evening. I also went to a MeetUp in Wilmington, DE with Docker Wilmington. Learned a bit about Docker, had a great meal, networked, and came home with some super swag! Today was WIN-WIN-WIN! This tech girl is TIRED! Until tomorrow…
#100daysofCode
#CodeNewbie

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100 Days of Code Challenge Day 18

Today’s coding was in the form of short programs in the 1st chapter of my textbook from my Java 1 class and Codeacademy. I didn’t push them to Github and I’m trying to decide if that’s even a good idea. I don’t plan on paying for the option to keep some of my repos private, so I’ll keep weighing the options. As for my Java class, I spent a bit of time reading over the history of computer programming from Assembly Language, Fortran and Algol to JavaScript, Swift and Ruby. It was really eye opening to see where programming came from the various problems it tries to solve. I’m sure there will be a quiz on this somewhere down the line.

In Codeacademy, it wants me to upgrade to Pro, so in the Learn Java dashboard, most of the activities are inaccessible. However, there are several links to external resources, most are from the Java Documentation. It’s very well written and understandable. I guess if I’d never seen any of this in action, I’d have no idea what they were talking about. However, it really nailed a lot of points home for me like data types and flow control statements.  There are some topics that I’ll need to revisit, like access to classes, but the information that was suggested by Codeacademy was most helpful.

Here’s to another day of coding. I really think I’m going to nail this challenge and keep on going and going! There is so much to learn and I’m enjoying it, even the mistakes.

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#100daysofCode
#CodeNewbie

100 Days of Code Challenge Day 17

Today I was able to gain access to my course materials for the Java class I’m taking at a local college and they were plentiful. I started reading over them to get an idea of what’s expected this semester. It looks like a lot will be required, but there is a lot of material to cover and hopefully exercises to reinforce it. I’m hopeful and excited all at the same time.  Since there was no coding that I could do without having read the first chapter, I’ve taken to Codeacademy (as was suggested in the course CMS) to get some experience on Java.
Java on Codeacademy

I emailed the materials to my Kindle so I can read them during my commute. I’m going to keep at Codeacademy and my Java in 21 days book until I reach a real assignment. There is plenty of reading that’s required. I hope the amount of doing matches up.

 

 

100 Days of Code Challenge Day 16

I spent today reading up on Java and creating a few applications from the Java 8 in 21 days book. Once was on converting Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa. The other was investments losses and gains. That was the end of chapter challenge and I have to figure that one out on my own. After reviewing the solution, it just proved there are many ways to solve a problem programmatically.

In the text, today was an overview of operators, precedence, primitive types, comparison operators and variables. Most was very similar to JavaScript, but there was a section on number literals and I’d never seen a letter appended to the end of a number before. This was done to specify a literal of float. You had to add the letter F to it.

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Mistakes, obviously, show us what needs improving. Without mistakes, how would we know what we had to work on? – Peter McWilliams

I’m still working on making sense of classes and objects. I think, with practice and a lot more mistakes, it will start to come together. I’m very hopeful.
#100daysofCode
#CodeNewbie