I’ve had a very productive Fall learning about Web Development

I’ve been a very busy girl this fall. Immersing myself into all things web development has all but consumed me. I’ve gained a few pounds, missed several workouts and my meal prep is all but non-existent. However, don’t pity me, be happy for me! I’ve been getting busy, learning so much about so much, I don’t know where to start.

I guess starting at the beginning of the semester is a good place.

This fall, I took a Usability and User Experience class. We learned theory of UX, lo-fi and hi-fi prototyping, colors, story boards, icon design, user testing, onboarding, style guides and so much more. Our final project was an app rebranding for a bike share company.

The instructor, Michael Estok, was a joy to learn from. He works full-time as a freelance UX designer in the Philadelphia area. I took this class because the one I wanted to take wasn’t being offered, and I’m very glad I did.  He made UX approachable, fun, social and less of a mystery. I’m not the design-y type, but he encouraged and pushed us all into making some pretty cool projects.

App loading screen

Loading Screen

Here is my final project.  I passed the class!

Also on my schedule this fall was classes with GDI. I’m a member of Girl Develop It Philly and I TA’d my first class this fall. I also took a few classes with them. I took Intro to Git & Github and HTML/ CSS 202: Flexbox Layouts.  I met some nice ladies and was introduced to Github! How DOPE is that!

I also gave my 1st talk!!! I attended BarCamp Philly and threw my hat in the ring to give a talk. Thanks Michael for bringing it up just 2 days before. I faced a room full of people who came to hear me (ME!!). My topic was called, ” If you sit at a screen all day, what is your self-care regimen?”. If I was going to say anything, it was going to be something that is familiar to me.  I was nervous, chatty, but the group was fun and very engaged. after 45 minutes, I survived! We came up with a great list of things we could all do to raise our wellness IQ (see below). At the end, we stretched.  The sounds and groans of stiff bodies warmed my heart! They listened and even learned a thing or 2.

 

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Self-Care Regimen

While this was going on,  I also signed up for Coursera’s Full Stack Web Development Specialization online. With a 6 course program at $79 per course, I needed to make sure I did some coding while I waited for my next CS class to come along.  I liked that it was project based. I had to turn in something each and every week along with reviewing the code of 3 or more other students in the course with me.  I took the HTML, CSS and JavaScript course first. It was interesting. I  made a few simple projects and even learned a few things. The most recent class was Front-End Web UI Frameworks and Tools. Before this class, I’d never used Bootstrap! Where has it been all my life. I’ve heard the term used and I never ‘got it’! I am truly a convert. What a quick and easy way to get a site up and running FAST & RESPONSIVE!

HTML, CSS and JavaScript Certificate

Front-End Web UI Frameworks and Tools Certificate

I’m taking a week off to decompress. The next course is Front-End JavaScript Frameworks: AngularJS.  Let’s see what unfolds.

During the week off, I’ll be clicking around JavaScript30, knocking out some of those projects, or at the very least, looking at some really cool code. Also, checking out this course on Udemy, JavaScript: Understanding the Weird Parts.  Yeah, right.. week off!

*Update*

I found out the course I really wanted to take next semester isn’t available. I just signed up for a class at the local community college to take Java I.  I’m considering getting my Masters in Computer Science, but since I was a business major, I have quite a few prerequisites to make up.

  • 1 year of Java
  • 1 year of Calculus
  • Data Structures
  • and many more

Classes I need to take before the Masters in Computer Science

I’ll putz around the next year or so and decide what’s next. In the meantime, I have so much learning to do. Let’s see what unfolds.

Here are some links we covered in UX

 

 

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Deciding how to bone up on JavaScript before next semester

I’m going to start by saying, there are not enough hours in a day to do EVERYTHING I love to do. That being said, I have to carve out time to bone up on JavaScript ahead of the next class in the Web Design Professional Certificate program I’m enrolled in. I know my skill set is woefully lacking in JavaScript and addressing it now is my goal, ahead of classes starting in the fall.

If I lived in San Francisco, I’m sure I’d be taking the coding bootcamp at HackReactor, pretty darn sure! As I’m reading their blog, I came upon a post about preparing for their code challenge during the first part of their admissions process.

You’ll want to know what an object, function, and array are, and you should be able to create a basic version of each one. CodeAcademy and many other sites provide sandboxes to write code and see what it does.

Now here is something I can sink your teeth into and use as hard metrics in determining if I’m ready for JavaScript. As luck would have it, I’m making my way through the JavaScript Track on CodeAcademy and I just picked up the Eloquent JavaScript book mentioned in the post.

Finishing the JavaScript track on CodeAcademy (25% complete), along with taking the JS 101: JavaScript for Beginners class with Girl Develop It and getting a few PluralSight and Lynda.com videos in this summer may be just what I need to learn more about it.

Lynda.com Online Courses

Learning Tracks at Lynda.com