Taking advantage of transfers

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When I was deciding which online bootcamp to sign up for one of the major things I was looking for was something that let me interact with people more knowledgeable than me on a regular basis but also let me go at my own pace.

Before signing up with Skillcrush I quadruple checked to make sure I was understanding the terms correctly.  Initially I was confused because emails with assignments are sent every weekday but the courses are advertised as lifetime access.  After looking closer I learned that you can always go in and access the material, but what you lose by going off track is the ability to stay with the your group for things like office hours and google group postings.

I was bummed about this because I am working full time and also want the freedom to be be able to explore other topics using resources like YouTube, books, Udemy, etc.  I knew the chances of me making it through 9 months without departing from the schedule was pretty slim.  Thankfully Skillcrush also had this part covered.  I learned that Skillcrush allows you to transfer to a different class up to three times, so you have the opportunity to reset your pace and move to another group.  Very cool!  This final piece of information is what made me sign up.

Today I took advantage of my first transfer.  The process to request was pretty painless.  Just following a few simple steps outlined here: https://skillcrush.com/transfer-policy/.  I AM curious though about whether I get more than three transfers since I purchased the bootcamp + an extra course.  The Bootcamp contains three blueprints and it looks like folks who just buy one blueprint or one course get three transfers, so I am wondering if the policy is actually three transfers per class and not three transfers per student?  If anyone knows about that let me know!

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Web Development Guide 2017 by Globby Vision

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Globby Vision’s 23 minute video “Web Development Guide 2017” is super helpful for visually organizing all the programming language buzzwords you have going on in your head as well as getting the latest update about how these languages are trending for 2017.

It starts off with basic web development, then Front End and Back End, and ends with Dev Ops.  Definitely a video I’ll be re-watching throughout the new year.

Fun Skillcrush Responsive Design Activity

As discussed in a previous post I am currently making my way through the second course of my online WordPress bootcamp (Skillcrush), Responsive Web Development.  After learning enough of the basics in the first course to launch a static site (melindagordon.online), I knew that I’d have to finally tackle responsive design next and I was (a bit still am but less so) pretty intimidated.  In the first week Skillcrush introduced a simple exercise that made the topic a lot more approachable for me, and I want to share that with you.

The Skillcrush explanation in a nutshell is that the current approach is to design a site “mobile first.”  Basically create a site specifically for the smallest screen your users will have.  Then, use “break points” representing a jump in screen size like mobile to tablet, tablet to laptop, and laptop to desktop.  You modify your design as needed for the new screen type, translate it to CSS, and then stick it at the end of your existing CSS for mobile.  Set that segment of your CSS to kick in only when the user’s screen size hits a specified break point.  Rinse and repeat.

If you want to know what I am talking about just minimize your browser window so it looks the size of your smartphone, then stretch it out and watch things happen (assuming you are looking at a responsive site of course).

Anyway so to make their point clear they had us to do an activity where we divided the web page into different colored blocks and then change the blocks to a different set of colors for each of the major breaking points.  Very simple but also very cool for a newbie to get to see.  Here is my example:

Mobile

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Tablet:

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Laptop:

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See how the “site” goes from one column, to two columns, to three?  This is something I had seen many times before with actual websites but stripping out the content and just looking at the colors made it seem a lot less scary – hope it does for you too!

Code Newbie Podcast Goal

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As I neared completing all of the available episodes of the Learn to Code with Me podcast I started to become concerned about what I would listen to when I was all caught up.  There are still new Learn to Code with Me episodes being created, but not at the rate that I was consuming them.  Thankfully this happened:

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Laurence had a guest on her show named Saron Yitbarek who apparently has a podcast of her own.  I crossed my fingers that I would like it and really lucked out.  I LOVE the code newbie podcast.  I love it so much in fact that I had barely finished a couple episodes before booking a ticket to the Codeland conference in New York in April.  It is the first Code Newbie conference (you can still make plans to go!) and I could not be more excited.

So I just finished by 50th episode of the Code Newbie podcast.  As of today there are 118 episodes with a new one published every Monday.  My goal is to be completely caught up by the time I show up to the Codeland conference in April.  That’s a lot of podcasting!  Wish me luck 🙂

P.S. One of the best things about the Code Newbie podcast is the way Saron ends every episode with “Shoutouts.”  Both Saron and her guest name a few cool resources they love.  Saron publishes the shoutouts in the episode show notes along with any other resources that came up during the course of the episode.  These resources are always so cool and interesting that my OTHER goal is to eventually go through each one and test them all out for myself, while also doing some research to find out what those guests are up to today (while posting about it here of course!).  Stay tuned!

Skillcrush Responsive Web Development Challenge

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Skillcrush gave us a PSD (a design in photoshop) that we had to translate to HTML and CSS.  I had to look through the posts on the Google group to find out how to do the ampersand and the “on matters…” lines properly but I feel pretty proud about doing everything else without help.  Getting through this challenge was definitely a tough one but totally worthwhile and fun now that it is over 🙂

Wondering what I am up to?  See Skillcrush 206 – Responsive Web Development.

General Assembly: Intro to JavaScript

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I spent the majority of my Saturday this weekend at an Introduction to JavaScript workshop at the General Assembly campus in Seattle.  Taken from the General Assembly website: “General Assembly is a pioneer in education and career transformation, specializing in today’s most in-demand skills. The leading source for training, staffing, and career transitions, we foster a flourishing community of professionals pursuing careers they love.”

This was my first time at General Assembly Seattle.  It is in the heart of downtown, in a older marble hallway style downtown building with a security guard, very different from the nearby hipster Galvanize space.  However, once you actually get up to the third floor and you are in the General Assembly offices…pretty much the same.  Basically a hybrid of startup and community college.

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The workshop I attended was 6 hours, from 10 am – 2 pm, with a 30 minute break for lunch.  The workshop costs $120 but I bought it around Black Friday/Cyber Monday for 50% off.  I have done a few intro JS courses online and attended a free 1 hour Intro to JS course at Galvanize but this is the first in person course I have paid for.  My goal was to use it as a barometer for what I had learned so far and hopefully cement some of my previous learning.

How did it go?  Well I pretty much lucked out.  It seems that often these things are led by a student at the school or recent graduate, which has its benefits, but we happened to have an instructor with both a formal computer science and math education plus a full career as a programmer/manager of programmers at Microsoft.  The best part of the workshop was the incredibly in depth answers he was able to give us no matter what question we asked.  It was awesome!  I am going to poke around for opportunities that are similar to office hours with experienced programmers because I thought it was a really valuable experience.  I would definitely have paid just to sit in a classroom with that guy for 6 hours and ask general questions.

If you are curious about what we covered here are the buzz words for you:

  • Flowcharts
  • Pseudo-code
  • History and future of JavaScript
  • Data Types
  • Variables
  • Operators
  • Conditionals
  • Functions
  • Arrays
  • Loops
  • Objects

Find that list intimidating?  I did too.  Take any intro to JavaScript you can find online (even a YouTube video) and you’ll get an overview of each of those words.  Do that enough times and it isn’t scary anymore 🙂

Watch This! CSS-Only Christmas Lights

I love this video!  It is soooo hard to find a YouTube video these days that is a straight to the point, no-time-wasted-yet-still-clear walk through of something and this one by The Net Ninja totally delivers.  I am a subscriber of The Net Ninja but I haven’t watched too much of his stuff yet.  After this video I definitely will!

Check out his first video in a CSS Tips & Tricks series for a fun 15 minute demo of making a string of flashing Christmas lights using just HTML and CSS.