More HTML and CSS Progress

2/1/17

Still working through the free lessons over at Codecademy. Most of it is still review as well. Although new topics are starting to become more common. Tonight, some of the topics that were new to me were:

  • linking to Google Fonts- it was my first time learning that Google has a repository of free fonts that developers can link to. I think that’s pretty cool! It allows devs to use a font that would still be displayed even when it’s not installed on the end-user’s device. I’ll link to it at the bottom.
  • the word “leading” in reference to adjusting line height. I have long known how to adjust line height but the lesson taught me exactly where the adjustment takes place. That was my first exposure to the terminology.
  • kerning in ref to letter spacing. Same kind of thing as leading. Although I had hear of the term kerning I didn’t know the meaning of it until I went through the lesson tonight.
  • using a number for font weight. This was new to me. I know it’s very basic but I had always used “normal” and “bold.” So this is cool. It opens up a new door for me.
  • text-transform. This was totally new to me. I didn’t know that it was possible to transform text between upper and lower via CSS.
  • min and max width and height. Another new one for me. I think the lesson I went through tonight it preparing for a future Responsive Web Design course. I learned about establishing minimum and maximum width and height. Cool stuff!

Also, I dived a little deeper into the “em” measurement. The lesson did an ok job at explaining it but I was still confused. With a search I found a page that explained it quite well. I’ll link it at the bottom.

In my last entry I closed with two links to coding videos that I liked. This time I have one article and one very helpful webpage to link to:

  • This article helped me understand the “em” measurement.
  • If you haven’t heard of Google Fonts you should check it out!

HTML and CSS Progress

1/26/17

Since my last entry I’ve been perusing CodeSchool.com and Codecademy.com. I’ve been taking advantage of the free lessons they offer. I’m still brushing up on HTML and CSS basics. I am already familiar with a majority of the material in the lessons. As far as HTML goes, I feel comfortable coding on my own. I still have to look up specific syntax or an exact element name sometimes though. The only new material that stands out in my mind is a CSS3 value to control opacity, called rgba(). The “A” stands for Alpha. I learned that it’s only available for CSS v3 and it can only be used with RGB colors values. Other than that I don’t recall learning anything new yet.

Soon, I will run out of free lessons available from those two site, so I’ll need to pick one to pay for. I’m also paying a monthly subscription for CourseRA.com. I’ve gone through all of the HTML and CSS lessons there. The next lesson dives into JavaScript. I was holding off on starting that because I want to get more HTML and CSS practice under my belt. I’ll probably get started on that this week though.

My focus is improving. When I started this journey it was difficult to get in the mood to code when I got home from work. I had to make myself do it. Now, I find myself thinking about coding when I am away from a computer and I also put in a little practice while at work when I get some spare time. It’s getting much easier to practice coding when I get home from work as well.

I’ve been starting to watch coding videos too. I think I’ll start picking a couple that I liked to share in my posts.

Coursera.org Full Stack – week 1

1/17/17

A couple weeks ago I bought a course from Coursera.org called “Full Stack Web Development Specialization.” I’ve been working through it off and on after work. Today I finished the first week material, which was basic HTML and CSS. I’m talking like HTML 101 stuff. About 90% I already knew, but it was a nice refresher. A few of the latest HTML5 items that it went over were new to me. Such as, fieldset, legend, main, section, and some of the new input types. The final assignment was to build a form. The instructions provided an image and some vague directions. The form included many different input types- including a radio options, checkboxes, a file upload button, labels, and a submit button. The course also discussed GET and POST differences, so we were supposed to pick the right one for our assignment. The instructions also provided some styles that we were supposed to apply.

I attempted to code it all without looking up any tags or syntax. So I was going off of my past experience and skills I already had and a little bit of new knowledge I gained from reading through the course material. I’d say I got about 75% of it coded correctly in my first shot. Some things I flat out forgot and others I made some typos and other errors were syntax related. I think I did pretty well overall. I am going to follow up that material with a lesson at CodeSchool.com to brush up even more on HTML and CSS. On Coursera.org the next lesson dives into JavaScript, and my skill set for JS is weak right now. I want to get really solid with HTML and CSS before diving into new material.

For the project that I just finished I used Visual Studio Code. I am going to download a few more of the top IDEs to try out as well.

Preface

1/15/17

During the last half of 2016 I was doing a lot of thinking about where I want to take my career. For many years it has been in the back of my mind that I would enjoy life as a web developer. I halfway had my mind made up that I was going to make the switch from my current IT job into the coding world.

I spent many hours researching online classes, reading articles, and watching YouTube videos. I picked out a few courses and set my sights on Front-End development because it felt like the most obtainable to me. Meaning, I already knew HTML and CSS, so all I needed to do was learn JavaScript. I was already familiar with it, as I had played around with it quite a bit. However, I wasn’t at the point where I could code it on my own without using code snippets from existing samples. I’m aware that there are many more things to learn- such as JS libraries and things like SASS- but it’s those three pillars that make up the foundation for building the rest of my skill set on.

I bought a few courses from websites like Udemy, Coursera, and Code School and got to work. Lately, I’ve been brushing up on HTML and CSS. Basically, starting over as if I was a complete beginner, even though I felt like I was beyond that. I wanted to go over it all again with a new perspective. I knew that someday- hopefully soon- I would be getting paid to code. I need to take the learning process more seriously now, because when I land a job I would be expected to be an efficient and effective developer. I need to keep that in mind while reviewing topics I’m already familiar with and learning new ones.

It’s now 2017 and my mind is fully made up. I want to land a job as a Front-End Developer before the end of the summer.

Hello, World.

Developer’s log, January 2nd, 2017. On a mission to become a Front-End Web Developer.

My first blog post here. I will be using this platform to track my progress from novice-ish web development skills to landing a job. This blog is primarily just for me. I’m not expecting anybody to actually find this space. I am also doing this to have something to present when it comes time to start job hunting.

I’ve been casually studying and playing around with making webpages for many years. A majority of my skills are self-taught. However, my Dad introduced me to computers and webpages when I was a kid and I have taken a few basic HTML and CSS classes at Bellevue College. I’ve helped friends and family with some simple projects, but I have never accepted a paid gig. So that’s why I say novice-ish. I know enough to build a basic webpage, but that’s about it at the moment. I really enjoy it though! I’ve recently decided to take the next step, and get an actual job in the field. I am setting my sights on Front-End. So, here I have created a simple blog for me to log my progress. It’s free so you might see a few ads. We’ll see how it goes.

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
– Plato