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.

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.

Why You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Learning

As uncomfortable as it is, we need to get out there and learn from people. There are several resources readily available to anyone who wants to use them. Where I live, there’s a free newspaper that lists the local groups that get together. Meetup.com is a fantastic way to go to a number of tech or coding meetups. When you go to one of these meetings, there are people that see things from a different perspective and may offer some insight into how to learn more efficiently. Generally, they are helpful, polite, and friendly.
Through Meetup.com, I have recently attended a front end developers crash course from The Iron Yard in Greenville. Although fast-paced, I found it easy to follow. It was an experience that I would not have had on my own.
When I arrived (slightly late) I was ushered into an open seat and had to ask the person next to me for the internet password. The teacher from the Iron Yard had us download Atom as well as a folder from the Iron Yard‘s website. The goal of the class was to get the students to take a shabby looking website that was provided and add graphics, edit text, and make the website give a better user experience. The main languages used were CSS, HTML and JavaScript. Since I did not have any experience with these languages, I had to raise my hand several times to ask questions. There was always someone close by to answer and help facilitate the learning process.
Had it not been for the crash course, I would not have any experience with front end development. I’m grateful to the Iron Yard for holding these classes and contributing to my learning experience.

If you want to become a great learner, networker, and developer, get out there.  It doesn’t have to be every day, but make an attempt to interact with the community.  There are so many things you haven’t learned yet and people you haven’t met.  Possibly, you could become a mentor or help someone with a problem that you already know how to solve.

The instructor demonstrates HTML and CSS code