Road to Code #31

Another update on learning to code.

Still working with Node. Now I’m learning about servers, and about using a JavaScript framework called Express for setting up servers, handling requests and sending responses.

The course is about front end web development, but I’m learning a lot about back end development (and general computing) in the process. This is one of those courses where every time you learn something, something you don’t know about is brought up, and you become a little more aware of just how much there is to learn.

The work continues.

Road to Code #30

Another update on learning to code.

I’ve entered the node.js sections of the course, which is a runtime library that uses Javascript for server scripting (back end) instead of just in the web browser (front end). Learning about file permissions, setting requirements, modules, and Node Package Manager (npm). Having used package managers on Linux over the years, some of this is pretty familiar.

Understanding of the material comes and goes. Sometimes it clicks instantly and I speed through the course. Other times it’s difficult, and progress slows down. It depends on the day, or even the hour.

The thing to do is to keep moving forward.

The work continues.

Road to Code #29

Another update on learning to code.

This week the course introduced the terminal, using text commands to navigate folders and create files. Not very difficult stuff, especially after using the Linux command line before. The terminal isn’t directly related to front end web development, but the course is about to introduce Node.js and some server related content, and terminal commands are important for that (I’ll find out how important in the server sections).

The work continues.

Road to Code #28

Another update on learning to code.

I finished up with AJAX and APIs this week (or at least the introduction to it). Learning all about JSON (a file format for easily sharing data), HTTP status codes (“404 not found”), query strings, using XHRs (the old method) or Fetch (the new method) to make HTTP requests, and more.

Alright. I’ve got about 30 more sections left in the course. What I’d like to do for the month of May is do about one section a day, and get most or all of the way done with the course. May has often been a good month for getting serious work done.

The work continues.

Road to Code #27

Another update on learning to code.

Still learning about AJAX and APIs. I can tell you that AJAX is how a web page will request more data (such as getting new tweets on Twitter, or new posts on Reddit) without refreshing the entire page. I can also tell you that APIs are a kind of software the talks to other software, and is especially useful for things like retrieving a stock price, temperature, or tweet without getting other data (such as the entire web page that data is sitting on).

I’m still wrapping my head around it. I’ll be finishing up with AJAX and APIs (and JSON) this week.

The work continues.

Road to Code #24

Another update on learning to code.

It looks like I’m out of the DOM sections for now. Earlier in the week I built a score-keeping app/widget (to use in something like a ping pong game), and now I’m learning about more complicated Javascript that activates at different times, or does a “callback” to earlier parts of the code.

Since this is week 24, this means I’ve been learning this for about 6 months now. It’s been hard, but I’ve persisted. Honestly looking back, I haven’t done the best job of writing about what I’ve been learning (I think one post was literally just me saying “This is hard.”). But I have learned a lot. With luck, I will finish up the bootcamp in the next few months, polish up my skills, and get a job in the field.

The work continues.

Road to Code #23

Another update on learning to code.

Still working with the DOM, learning about events.

I’m still continuing with the bootcamp. It’s been hard, considering I started this in the part of the year where it’s hardest for me to take on new projects, and I’ve never done any coding before (other than simple things with the command line).

I still don’t feel like I’ve learned how to code. The good news is that the most common joke I see from programmers goes “I’ve been a programmer for 10 years! I can’t wait to finally learn how to code!”

Maybe no one actually knows how to code, expect one guy, and we’re all copying off of them.

The work continues.

Road to Code #22

Another update on learning to code.

Still working with the DOM.

I’m approaching 6 months of learning to code. I’m still making progress on the web dev bootcamp, but I’m not going to be finished for a while. I don’t know if I need find strategies for faster progress in the coming weeks, or whether I need to just start doing simple freelance work now regardless of whether the bootcamp is done. Probably both.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said in at least one post that “I would like to be done with the bootcamp soon”… but obviously haven’t finished. This is hard stuff. If you’re thinking of taking a coding bootcamp, I’ll tell you that if you haven’t done any coding before, or if math wasn’t your strongest subject in school, a coding bootcamp will be tough (but still doable).

The work continues.