I made a 5 question quiz!

I completed another challenge project in Treehouse’s JavaScript Basics course. This project was to make a simple quiz.

I used prompts to ask questions, if statements to check that their answers matched mine, and alerts to display the user’s current score.

I love that this was a small project — it was small enough that I could embellish it, and overachieve rather than underachieve.

I used the .toUpperCase() method to make sure that “juLy” was accepted as correct, just like “July” or “july” would be. And I used the || or operator to allow multiple answers to the whippet question, which I just had fun with.

I really enjoyed this little project and I hope you enjoy taking the quiz! See it on CodePen or GitHub.

I wrote a Mad Libs app!

As I wrote about last week, I made the switch from fCC to Treehouse, and I haven’t looked back. Today I want to share with you the first project I made as part of the JavaScript Basics course.

For this project I used prompts to pop up some alert boxes with a series of questions for the user to answer. Then I gathered that input and inserted it into a story in typical Mad Libs fashion. Then I designed the look of the app and placed the content of the Mad Libs story into a div.

With the knowledge Treehouse gave me, I felt really prepared to complete this project, and was pretty easy for me to do so. I love the confidence I feel, going in to a project knowing I am capable, rather than going into something having no idea what I’m doing. This key difference along is huge for me, and is what tells me that Treehouse is working for me.

Have a look at my project on CodePen and GitHub. I hope you have fun with it!

 

Forget fCC, I’m using Treehouse

If you read my last blog post, you understood my enthusiasm for jumping back into coding, after a busy 6 week project with my day job.

I opened up fCC immediately after publishing that post. I went to the next lesson where I had left of previously. I read it. I couldn’t understand what they were even asking me to do. And, they didn’t tell me how to do it either, but told me to “Read. Search. Ask.”

About 30 seconds in to my return to coding, I was bawling. All the frustration I’ve felt about coding and getting stuck and “Why won’t someone just TEACH me???” came flooding back. Must faster and stronger than I expected to be honest.

After a heartfelt phone call with my friend Heath (who has always been my go-to support person, for both IT and personal support), I realized that fCC just wasn’t working for me.

I realized that while fCC obviously has worked great for some people, it just doesn’t jibe with my learning style — and that’s okay.

This whole time I’ve felt that fCC was such an inefficient and round-about way to learn, because it’s so self-directed. I would spend hours googling how to solve something, reading forums, and trying my best to learn and understand. But the problem with reading forums is that many of the answers are given by well-intentioned newbies not much farther along than myself. And what I found was that after reading their input, assuming they knew what they were talking about, wrapping my head around it, and then implementing it into my code, only to get an error message and discover that they actually didn’t know what they were talking about… what a waste of time. I would end up feeling not only defeated and lied to (albeit innocently and unintentionally), but I also felt like I was wasting my precious time on misinformation.

I had been working 6 days a week and what little time I had to devote to learning to code was largely being wasted.

So, while crying on the phone with Heath, I still had enough of a glimmer of hope and confidence in my capability, to think that maybe all it takes for me to succeed is switching to a different style of learning. And so, I started a 7 day free trial of Treehouse.

And so far I love it. It’s exactly what I had thought and hoped fCC would be but wasn’t. I am soaring through the lessons and feeling not only confident but I’m actually learning the concepts solidly and I feel really confident in my foundation of knowledge now. For me, making the switch from fCC to Treehouse has made all the difference. Thank god.

With renewed hope,

Brianna

Now I have the time

After nearly a two month hiatus, I’m dusting off the old blog and jumping back into web development.

What have I been prioritizing these last two months? Finishing up the school year at preschool and then 6 solid weeks of Toddler Summer Camp (one of the best experiences I’ve ever had). Now I’m officially on summer vacation and finally have some time off. You should have seen how high I was jumping for joy Friday afternoon.

I spent the first few days of freedom sitting around and going to the grocery store for the first time in two weeks. But now I’m bored so I guess it’s time to start being productive again.

Goals for today include completing three fCC lessons (I’m easing myself back in) and figuring out where I am with this blog (check!)

With gladness,

Brianna

I made a random quote generator!

random lamb saying quotes

One of the challenges on free Code Camp was to make a random quote generator, using a free quote API. This challenge was tricky for me since I wasn’t at all familiar with using APIs (and I’m still not) but with a friend’s help, I pushed through and got it done.

This app also has an option to tweet the random quote, which meant using Twitter’s API as well. This was a cool part of the project because I liked how my code not only output a random tweet to the page and linked to someone’s twitter, but it then input the quote into a tweet, so it’s super easy for the person to tweet it.

Have a look on CodePen and GitHub.

Joining GitHub

As part of the initial free Code Camp setup, I made a GitHub account. But I haven’t done anything with it since. But now that I’m starting to do some projects, it’s appropriate to start actually using GitHub.

Totally unfamiliar with GitHub, I started watching a free online course from udacity.com, and while I’m finding it interesting, it’s really in-depth and round-about, and thus doesn’t feel nearly essentialist enough for me right now.

So, I went for the basic GitHub.com tutorial, as found here, and I finished it within 10 minutes. I feel pretty good-to-go now with Git. Thanks, anyway, Udacity. (Although low key I’m still going to finish that course because I was genuinely finding it interesting.)

Onward!

I finished Basic Javascript!

rocket science

Woo hoo!

This one was a doozy. I really struggled with the majority of this section, and had to find help online to do many of the lessons.

difficult but i got the skillz

One thing I really noticed with the structure of the lessons in this section was that they gave way less helpful info when introducing the concepts. fCC is really trying to make their coders independent and resourceful and that intention came through in this section.

I do feel that a lot more could have been explained, or elaborated on, or perhaps just reworded, to make it clearer what we were supposed to do. A few times when I googled what to do, it was actually much easier than I had thought based on the wording of the lesson.

Anyway, there was a LOT of cool stuff in Basic Javascript. Too diverse to mention it all and give even an accurate summary of the section. So I’ll just list a few favorites:

  • I like If/Else If statements
  • I like bracket notation and indexes
  • I like functions
  • I like the strict equality operator (because it feels silly to type === and have it actually mean something)
  • I like for loops (even though they were some of the most difficult lessons!)
  • And I really like inverting regular expressions (like using \S to find all the non-whitespace characters in a string)

I really feel accomplished after finishing this section. Partly because it was a big section and took a long time. Mostly because it was hard and I did it anyway.

Pushed through resistance and completed jQuery

flowers

I felt some resistance to starting this section. Partly because I didn’t understand what the first lesson was called (“Learn how Script Tags and Document Ready Work”) and par– actually, no, that was the entire reason.

jQuery is getting into stuff that I’ve only messed around with in the past. So the majority of it was new to me. And newness is scary, thus resistance, etc.

But this section was pretty easy and had some really cool things in it. Things like selecting all the buttons on the page and making them bounce up and down. On an actual website, these features are more annoying than anything else, and I instantly was reminded of those obnoxious ads on the sides of websites I go to to watch Pretty Little Liars.

But these little parlor tricks made the section fun nevertheless.

You can also change the CSS of an element by using jQuery, which is much more likely to be useful in the real world.

jQuery was a pretty short section to soon it was time for my first challenge in Basic Front End Development Projects. I was so excited and ready for this!!

The first project is to make a tribute page. It was pretty simple since I have been using HTML and CSS for years and that’s basically all this was.

The next project is to build a personal portfolio webpage. I already have this website, so I have chosen to skip this project for now. But I do have revamping plans for this site, so at some point I’ll finish the challenge naturally.

Next up is Javascript, and I think I can handle it!

 

 

Other people’s definition of success

girl

For awhile I’ve felt that I don’t resonate with the typical definition of success. It doesn’t make my heart feel anything when I hear it described. In fact, some of the material excess described makes me feel uneasy when I hear people fantasize about it.

I don’t need to be rich.

From a young age I’ve always been able to distinguish a need from a want. I know that when it comes down to it, we need very little to survive and even to thrive. I also understand that our material desires stem from an emotional lack somewhere, and I have the foresight to know that a new handbag will only be a temporary fix at best.

pennies
I’m good with my pennies, thanks

Anyway, I bring this up because I was reading an article in my Medium Daily Digest called “5 Things I Had to Give Up to be Successful“. The first thing the writer says he gave up is Other people’s definition of success.

He talks about the standard agreed-upon version of success that society has, which is especially propagated during college. But “by this definition, I was a complete failure.” And boy can I relate to that.

He goes on to say,

“At some point, I realized that I had to give up other people’s definition of success. This is one of the most difficult things to give up because it is so deeply embedded in our cultural narratives that it becomes the standard by which we measure our lives.”

This issue of defining your self-worth by how “successful” you are plagued my 20’s. And really, it wasn’t until I sold out and “got a real job” that I finally felt the shame dissipate. But I wasn’t happy. Isn’t it possible to live a life filled with an abundance of happiness and also a complete lack of shame? Cause that’s what I’m looking for.

I also totally resonated with his point that “Even as entrepreneurs we have collectively agreed that fame and fortune are the markers of success,” because I know I’ve felt shame when comparing myself to my other freelancer friends who are out there hustling in their own way.

i now go beyond other peoples' fears and limitations
We have these “Power Thought Cards” by Louise L. Hay in our staff bathroom, and this one was up today. Perfect.

So what do I actually want?

The answer to this could easily be 100 more blog posts, but in short: I want enough money to live the same frugal and minimal lifestyle I live now, with enough extra that if I wanted to splurge, I could. I want enough extra money that I can invest for retirement. And I want enough extra money so I can travel. But that’s it.

And aside from money, what do I want? I want a family. I want to get married and have children and I want to nurture that family. And I also want to maintain independence and work on my own projects and goals. I want to continue to progress. I want to prioritize family and friends and in-person experiences over digital ones. I want to prioritize my health.

cute little fam

And that’s it in a nutshell.

 

 

What goes on at an fCC meetup

Today I went to my first freeCodeCamp meetup, and it was great! We met at our local collaborative working space, and sat in the conference room. The Colab had tea and coffee available for us so that was a nice perk, too. It was stormy out today, and with the windows open we had a pleasant breeze and background rain to listen to.

We chatted a bit about why each of us is interested in learning to code, and about the various benefits for future job potential. Then we did a couple pomodoros of individual work on freeCodeCamp. I started the Javascript section and got a bunch done! I haven’t worked using pomodoros in awhile, and it was nice to be that focused.

On breaks, we shares updates about which sections we had just been working on, and asked for help if we needed it. We were all at different points in the course, so some stuff we talked about I could relate to as I’d already done it, and other stuff was a glimpse at the upcoming sections for me. It was cool to see each others’ progress and just to know that there are other people in my town who are doing the same course as me. It definitely motivated me to keep going!

And on that note, off I go!

keepinitreal
The Colab keepin’ it real