JavaScript Frameworks Everywhere

JavaScript, Learning

I can’t believe I have been at Ada Developers Academy for over four months.  Time is really flying by and I’m astounded daily by how much I have learned.  Today is the day that I’ll find out which companies I’ll be interviewing with for possible internships.  The past two months, everyone at Ada has been working their mental muscles by practicing whiteboarding and interview questions.  I’m so proud of these hard-working people and I know our efforts will be rewarded in the near-ish future.  The opportunity for interviewing with Ada’s phenomenal sponsors is an opportunity that I’ve been waiting for since I stepped my timid foot in the door.

This week at Ada, we have been getting into Backbone, the JavaScript framework.   I’ve been told that Backbone is used by Trello and Hulu.  We’ve learned about underscore templates, collection events, structuring data, and models.  Like with other frameworks, the abstraction is a bit confusing at first.  Our larger project is working with APIs, making calls, and viewing data in the browser.

In my limited spare time, I have been taking a JavaScript and React course for developers from Udemy.   The impetus to take this Udemy course happened through Twitter when Cassidy Williams was offering a deal on the course she had just written.  This course takes a different approach to teaching JavaScript from my classroom experience.  The Udemy course, so far, has been concentrating on JavaScript in the browser which makes it more interesting.  Since I’ve only had three weeks of JavaScript courses, I know that I could benefit from all the help that is offered.

Later this afternoon, I’ll attend an event from She Codes Now (Seattle).  Here I’ll get an intro to React (which will help with the Udemy course) and eat some pizza.  Pizza is key.

Last week was the Thanksgiving holiday and I spent a lot of time with my mentors.  I have two of them.  There is an industry mentor from the Puget Sound Python Programming group and a previous graduate from Ada Developers Academy.  Both of them have been instrumental in shaping my future as a software engineer.

 

Diving in to JavaScript

JavaScript, Learning

This week begins the deluge of JavaScript.  Looking back on the week, I can see how far I’ve come.  Although this is my first experience coding in JavaScript, I found it to be easier than I was anticipating.  I can thank my wonderful teachers at Ada Developers Academy for that.  They have given me a great foundation to build upon.  Recognizing patterns in languages that I’ve never learned is becoming easier and easier every day.

The week started with some JavaScript syntax.  It progressed into explaining the nuances of ES6 and how it has helped the language by seemingly making it more semantic and object-oriented.  I find that calling ‘this’ in JavaScript is not second nature to me yet, but I hope that It will be soon.  Our class was given the task of doing a project that we had done several months prior with Ruby.  Tasks that previously seemed daunting now looked more than manageable.

Now that we were comfortable coding in Javascript just a bit, they introduced JavaScript in the browser and then the library of jQuery.  Again, here we are standing on the shoulders of giants.  We have these fantastic tools at our fingertips.  I can’t wait until we start learning JavaScript frameworks.

Front End Web Development Week

Learning

For the past week, I’ve been having fun with HTML and CSS.  The week started off slowly with lectures on HTML.  HTML is a straightforward, semantic language.  If you remember to close the tags, you will survive.  CSS on the other hand…  well, I was having difficulties at first.  After working with Ruby for a while, I forgot that there are artistic options when it comes to coding.

The developer’s tools app for chrome and using the “inspect” option on webpages gave insight into the mind of developers.  I was able to see in real time how to change my code so that it adhered the aesthetics that I was striving for.

A fun project that we did in class is called “Meowspace.”  We were given a HTML file and had to style it as close as possible to a wireframe.  A wireframe is a schematic diagram.  Although I didn’t know about it at the time, flexbox for CSS would have made my project a whole lot easier.  For our weekend homework, we had to come up with a personal static site.  Because of this project, I learned that many filters can be placed on pictures and that you can change the shape of boxes in CSS.

Although it was fun to learn HTML and CSS, I’m excited to announce that I’ve started learning Rails!  Many people have told me that frameworks such as rails will teach me to be a coding wizard of sorts.  Right now, I’m in over my head, but I trust that my interest in the subject and my awesome teachers will lead me and the class to victory.

Scholarly Developments

Learning

I’ve been a bit apprehensive when it comes to writing this announcement.  There are some great things on the horizon for me, but I still feel as though it may be a dream.   I have been accepted into the Ada Developers Academy.  There, I said it.  Does that make it any more real to me?

In February, I submitted my application for cohort 8 of the program.  It’s a selective program, but I was optimistic.  The essays that I had written were read and reread until I was satisfied that they were perfect.  Then I got invited for the code challenge of phase II and interview in phase III.  My confidence was slowly growing.  I found that my biggest obstacle in most things was my overwhelming doubt.  By completing the challenges, teaching myself to learn, and utilizing my resources, I could accomplish almost anything.  I told a few close friends at work that being accepted into the Ada Developers Academy was a possibility and kept my plans to myself for the most part.

Finally, I got the notification that I had been accepted.  I bought the mandatory Apple Macbook and am learning to use it day by day. I’ve got to move to the other coast of the country in a month and I couldn’t be happier.