Wk3 Web Dev Blueprint – I Did It!

By a hook and a crook, I made it happen. I completed both projects and uploaded them to my domain for test sites. It was a trial but I got it and I now know how to fix my own stuff. It was incredible.

This week was incredible. In all I hacked the President’s twitter feed to promote my magazine, then completed both websites and formulated a plan to create a resume site for my college aged son. Finally, I actually took the time to begin putting the marketplace on-line. It isn’t quite available yet but I’ve set up the structure and am in the process of adding products.

This has been an eventful week and I have much more to go. I’m currently working through the CSS Foundations course at Treehouse. Yes, although I’m finished with that section in Skillcrush I still have a lot left to learn about CSS. So, I’ve decided to spend the time to go through the CSS information on Treehouse. After the foundations there’s a course on CSS Layouts that I REALLY feel will benefit me.

Next week, I begin the JavaScript portion of the Web Developer Blueprint. I’m looking forward to it even though I now know less about CSS than I do JavaScript.

With all that said, I don’t know exactly what my goal is for this week other than to complete the CSS Foundation course in Treehouse and to set my store to live by the end of the week. Finally, another intention should include getting another issue of BNH ready for publication.

So much to do in a limited amount of time.

But, I’m doing the rain dance of a woman that kept a promise to herself and uploaded ‘something’. I also shared the links with AJ.

New Goal (or Same Goal Renewed Determination)

So, I’m talking to AJ yesterday and she says to me we should really take this accountability thing to the next level. Specifically, each week we should be setting intentions with deadlines. Each week we should be getting together to REALLY discuss our progress. You know, for moral support and even technical support where necessary.

And…after a nap, I agree. We were talking again about knowing that we need a presence to send prospects to. A portfolio of sorts. She’s had much more time to work on this but even still, her vision was clear from the beginning. Yet, she is not ready to put anything up or out. No judgment from me because I just came to the realization that I’ve got to get something up. I’m honing my vision as I go.

My take on it though, is mine doesn’t have to be perfect to begin. It just needs to be available. The rest will come. I learned that launching the magazine. I mean a portfolio is an evolving document. It isn’t a one off production. The best thing about this is I’m doing it myself. So, while I’m thinking this thing through I start telling her how I feel about my process and progress:

I’m taking the Skillcrush course but (after receiving an invoice) I revisited Treehouse as well. Turns out I’m working on 2 separate portfolios, one from each of those venues. Skillcrush gave me a resource to help me plan out the site’s content and structure. Treehouse will simply have me create a project. Treehouse is more about the process and steps. Skillcrush is more about gaining confidence by putting a few lines of code in a document and uploading it to the web for everyone to see. In Treehouse’s process the portfolio is responsive. The course is much longer but that’s OK. It is the first in a series directed at teaching me or anyone who’ll listen to be a web developer from the front end. I’m actually good with that. Skillcrush basically gives me the confidence with small projects of commonly used tags of sorts. It’s because of Skillcrush I’m really grasping the structure concept.

So, I used the worksheet to plan my portfolio. A line or two about myself, my ambition, and my skills. And a handful of examples I intend to present of my work go on that worksheet. When I finished the worksheet I took the time, after one of my sessions, in the effort to not get ahead, to practice. I actually code the structure of the entire document. Including the place holders, captions, and alt tags for the images to come. That was last week during the HTML portion of the blueprint.

This week I took a look at the CSS section. And while I did all the exercises and practiced with my projects I’m a little off. Then I return to my first portfolio project in Treehouse. Wow, to reinforce the CSS lessons I go right ahead and complete the tutorial.

Now that it’s complete I’ll go ahead and sub out the lorum ipsom for my own text. Their images for my own…and change the color scheme. Thanks to the worksheet I have a few properties I intend to include on the portfolio. They just aren’t ready yet.

But, I want to get my place on the web up and running. So, I decide out loud to simply get the code right–including the place holding images and the description or caption pages for six assets. Then…..drum roll please?…..I’ll comment them out to only show what IS ready to be seen.

Excited I tell you! Then I messed around and declared that as my intention for this week. To AJ. Yep! That is my intention for this week. I literally have until next Saturday afternoon to get this up and running. But you know what? I’m so close now that I will fix what I have and get it up on the web.

I’ve made a list of the images I need and will go back through to fix the navigation on the website. When I do that I’ll do a quick trouble shoot debug validation session then upload her to the web. Heck, I don’t necessarily have to send anyone to her right away. She just needs to be there. My little space in cyber space for professional developer me. I’ll share the link when it is up.

Week 2 Web Dev Blueprint

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks now that I’ve started the Skillcrush Web Developer Blueprint. I’m fully through the HTML and CSS sections. While working through it all I’ve discovered the differences with HTML5 & CSS3. I’m excited. I’ve been playing with the challenges and finding resources to help with the display thanks to AJ. She is so much further along on this journey than I am.

I like the Skillcrush format for several reasons.

First but not to be slighted is the cost. For what I’m receiving the price is an INCREDIBLE value. I say this because I am a self taught person. I literally can and have taught myself everything. My MBA was accomplished online and having been through a traditional graduate program before that I’m glad I went the route I did with my MBA. Further, I taught myself to KNIT from reading a book. So…yeah, I’d say I’m pretty good at the self learning thing.

Second? I absolutely LOVE being online. I’m an old woman but had this internet thing been around when I was my son’s age? Things would have been VERY different for me. I literally flourish online. The Skillcrush program has these interactive sessions called Circle Chats for their students. There was one just last week.

During the Circle Chats other students in my session of the blueprint came on at the same time. And. We. Chatted. It was amazing. So many ideas being thrown around. So many resources shared. It was incredible. Introverted me was actually mistaken for a ‘social butterfly’ thanks to my ability to share the resources AJ found.

The third (and really cool) thing I got out of the Circle Chat was that I’m not alone and I have truly been learning on my own. I’m gaining more confidence during this process. I mean there’s nothing like knowing you know what you know. It was so cool speaking with so many women and men that are as passionate about learning to code as I am. It really opened my eyes to more possibilities. I’m feeling empowered.

The Skillcrush platform makes the entire blueprint available to students at the same time. Yet, the instructors continue to remind you of where you should be by sending daily emails with instructions and assignments. I’ve been making a concerted effort to not jump ahead in the training. My intention is to stick to the three month schedule. So, each day I complete the current day’s lesson then use whatever is left of my allotted time to review the resources the program provides. Additionally, I spend time on resources I’ve personally identified or resources recommended by AJ. I’m learning.

During the last circle chat, one of my fellow blueprinters admitted he was literally 5 weeks ahead. My head was swimming. In a past life, competitive me would be mainlining training videos to get ahead of that one class mate. However, grown up me, realizes this race is more of a marathon. I have to trudge along at my own pace. I learned as a soldier the pace setter CAN’T fall out. I’m a pace setter.

I’m still in the beginning stages of the Blueprint. But from what I’ve seen if this were a review…I’d recommend it.

Until next time.

W1 D3 Web Dev Blueprint

Today I learned more about HTML. The structural stuff. Pretty cool. I really enjoy these tutorials because the content is presented in small easily understood chunks and there are challenges along the way. I was speaking with my accountability partner, AJ, this morning. I’ve recommitted to my timetable to step away from my current role and into my ‘next thing’. This refresher is going a long way to preparing me for the transition.

Why I Decided to Learn to Code

OK, right now I’m not satisfied with my current employment situation. I haven’t been for a while and I recently realized I’ve been in my current position over 2 years. Generally, 2 years is when I’m ready to move on to my next ‘thing’. Anyway, I’ve been parked here for as long as I should be. But when I began the job search I realized I didn’t really want to do anything I’ve done before.

To figure out my next move I decided to approach things from a different angle. I asked myself what I do during my free time. Somewhere in my head there is this still small voice reminding me if I do something I enjoy it wouldn’t feel like work. In my free time, I’m on the internet. In fact I generally use any excuse to be on the internet. My husband finds my internet usage especially annoying…unless HE needs me to find something.

I’m also, in my free time, a self help junkie and a life long learner. So, I go to the internet and begin a job search only to find the majority of available jobs in my area are tech positions. All types of web developer, programmer, and web designer positions are available. But I’m not willing to go back to school. I just finished an MBA late last year.

My research revealed, web development is a ‘creative’ pursuit and I’ve been a creative my entire life. I thought I might be on to something. So I look back into my arsenal of experiences and find I already know HTML. I learned it in 2002. I’m not so well versed in CSS or JavaScript but that’s OK because I was told by John Saddington that I can learn that on my own. So I begin taking tutorials to find I might just know enough already to find a job in tech. At least that’s what the recruiter told me as she asked me to come in for an interview for a position I had not yet applied for.

The prospect of employers coming to me is extremely inviting. So, I’m officially on this journey to become a front end developer to compliment my iOS development skills. In short I decided to learn to code because I like it and the employment prospects are strong.

This Year’s Challenge Started November 1

The challenge seems to be totally different this year. It began on November 1st and I’m already overwhelmed. There is a ton of content to go through from the videos much less the implementation. I’m not really sure how to make that happen in only 30 minutes per day. It seems to me I’ll need longer because I have to watch the videos in order to take 30 minutes to implement the lessons. SMH.

It was a crazy weekend for me. I spent it out of town with the intention of helping my husband’s mother move to another state. So, I sort of missed the opening webinar for this year’s challenge. By the time I sat down to watch it I realized I’d missed the majority of it. Plus, the rest of the information was not put online until a day later. As much as I want to put my head in the game I’m not there yet.

I tried watching the replay of the webinar later the next day but I fell asleep. I was tired from the day’s activity and emotion. After fighting through the webinar replay I took a look at the Module 1 information and got overwhelmed. It turns out that portions of the webinar are also dispersed as segments of the week one content. Needless to say, I just couldn’t. I left it alone.

I got home yesterday and decided to begin watching the videos in order to take action. We’ll see. I’m taking a day or so to get back into my routine here at home then I will dive deep into the challenge.

Last year a good 3 weeks into the Challenge I began the Digital Publishing Blueprint with a goal of getting my first magazine published within the six weeks Ed Dale promised it could happen. I eventually dropped the implementation of the challenge with the intention of returning to it after I completed or at least submitted my app to Apple for approval. The product was a graphic book. I still have the information. I may complete it one day. But not before this challenge ends.

Turns out this year exactly 2 days after the Challenge began I started a Web Developer Blueprint. That is literally taking priority for me. I’m hoping to apply that same 30 minutes a day EVERYDAY approach to that blueprint. We’ll see what happens.

In any case, this, my accountability blog, is where I’ll record my progress and observations.