From Zero to Django Hero

Django, education, Learning, Python, software engineering, Teaching, Women in Tech
django girls regalia

Unicorn Colors

In November, I participated in my first Django Girls event.  At the time, I was learning Ruby on Rails.  I remember being astounded by the differences between Rails’ and Django’s design patterns.  Although I didn’t get to write much Python that day, I was hooked.  In four hours I was able to write and deploy my first Django blog.  I decided to write my capstone project for Ada Developers Academy using Django and React.

Since then, I have become more involved in the coding community.  I received the PyLadies scholarship to PyCon.  At the last monthly PuPPy event, I gave my first lightning talk about my experience at PyCon this year.  I have become friends with the fantastic founder of She’s Coding (Nathalie Steinmetz) and have volunteered at the Tech Women Rising and WIT Regatta.

As my five month internship at Tableau winds down, I have been realizing that I’ve been doing and learning a lot this past year.  So far, I have moved across the country, graduated from Ada Developers Academy, learned Python and Ruby, dabbled in AWS, started my career in tech, and run my first marathon.  That isn’t even all of it.

When I heard that there would be another Django Girls event.  I decided that it was time for me to give back.  I promptly told Nathalie from She’s Coding that I was interested in volunteering.

I’m here today and I was able to help a woman named Georgia on her coding journey.  With my assistance, she was able to complete her first blog in Django.  Congratulations, Georgia!  We started with some Python shell calculations and learned about data structures. It’s great that I have been able to come full circle and help someone else learn Django.

Learning and teaching Django

Learning and teaching Django

Learning Frameworks

Learning

The past couple of weeks have been staggeringly busy for me.  I’ve been working on my group project (which is a store selling imaginary magical items.) . It was just in time for halloween.  Spooky.  I’ve gained a Python mentor, become closer with my Ada mentor, and been attending various meetups.  I find that the Puget Sound Python group is extremely fun and often have meetings near where I live.

In school, we’ve been continuing Rails and implementing OAuth.  This week was spent studying APIs and next week we will build one.

Today, I am at the Code Fellows working on my first Python framework, Django.  I’ve been playing with the idea of doing my capstone project in Flask.  The similarities between Rails and Django are astounding.  I appreciate my coursework and how the MVC was explained.  It has definitely helped to understand Django.  I finished my project about fifteen minutes ago.  She’s Coding set up this event and it is accessible to everyone.  The person sitting next to me has no coding experience and several other people are transitioning into different coding languages.  This event is for everyone mostly because of the plethora of helpful staff in every corner of the room.  I appreciate them answering questions and solving problems (even if it’s only that I forgot to save the document in my editor.) We deployed our blogs on Python Anywhere.

On another note, interviews are coming.  I’ve been trying to whiteboard like a mad person.  I have to thank my friend Sarah for inviting me to whiteboard with her.  It helped a lot.  I’m definitely a bit nervous about that.

 

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.