Home Stretch! …almost

8/24/17

I made it to the final project of the server-side course! After this, only one more unit to go- which is React.

Also, I just made my first comment on Stackoverflow tonight! That’s an exciting moment for a new developer! Look for username: bprdev.

Not much else to share tonight. Just getting started on my final project. I dont have anything to show yet. It’s all prep stuff so far. I’m planning on making a job posting site using Node, Express, MongoDB, and API CRUD methods. I’ll post a link when I get it finished.

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7/27/17

Just back from a trip to Bali. I brought my laptop, like a good student should. However, I fell off track a bit, like a good vacationer should. So, what have I been working on? Lots of stuff! It all falls on the server side. I feel like the learning curve for server side technology, such as Node and Express, is really steep. It took me a couple weeks to wrap my head around it. I grasp the concept now, and I am working on learning when to “require” and “use” what. Learning which module to import and when to use app.use is overwhelming to me. I guess there is no magic wand that I can wave and suddenly understand it. I just need to keep plugging away.

The last two weeks have been all about Mocha and Chia. I’m learning about Unit Testing, Integration Testing with Travis-CI, TDD Vs BDD, and some other fun stuff.

Today, I started working on my LinkedIn page. It has been dormant for like a million years. So today I knocked the dust off it and basically started from scratch. Honestly, I have never been a big fan of LinkedIn. In my opinion I think it’s too bad that it is the go-to. It has always felt like they are trying to make it something its not. I dont want another social media profile. I just want to use it for job hunting. And did you know that they removed the ability to import your resume to populate your profile? Ridiculous, right? I left them a fun message in the feedback section. Also, in the edit profile section there is a place to enter a “formerly known name,” and if you put something in there it gets displayed in the middle of your name on your profile in parentheses. E.g. “Bert (Joe) Smith.” In my opinion that would work for a nickname, but a former name should be in a separate field. But anyways, I dont want to rant here. There are a few other things that I don’t like about LinkedIn, but all well I’ll suck it up. I also signed up for Twitter today too. I am probably the last person to sign up in the world. I have always tried to steer clear of the Twitterverse but I put a lot of thought into it. ¬†Yes, I actually contemplated this, like spent time thinking about whether I should join or not. I came to the conclusion that it has potential to be helpful when I start job hunting. If I keep it strictly for Web Development related news and chatter then I could deal with it. I’m not going to give my username out to my friends. Remember? I don’t want another social media profile. I’m trying to stay focused. Trying so hard. I’ll be updating the contact page on this blog with LinkedIn and Twitter soon. I want a little more time to get my ducks in a row.

I’ve been watching a ton of videos lately. Mostly about Node, Express, Mocha, and Chai. I also picked up a JavaScript book that I am really enjoying. I’ll post a few video links below.

(!(REST in this.place))

7/5/17

I started to write a post last week but I don’t know what happened. Got distracted and never published it I guess. I’m barely keeping my head above this crazy torrent of server-side life that I’ve been immersed in. I’m stressed out but I’m still going! It seems like when I learn about one new thing, it reveals five more things that I need to learn. Each of those five new things introduce me to five more things I need to know about.

I frequently worry that I’m forgetting things I learned a few weeks ago because I’m not using all of it. I’m too busy learning new material. Of course, some of the new material builds on top of previous lessons, so I’m good there. But I am backtracking to refresh myself. So I am having to balance new and old to keep up with the curriculum.

“Sometimes we don’t know what we have learned until we’re tested.”

I don’t remember when or how I acquired that quote– or maybe I made it up– but it’s been with me for a very long time. I can remember telling it to friends in High School. I think it is totally true, and I am trying to keep it in mind when I’m stressing about possibly forgetting things I recently learned about.

Well anyways, here are some of the topics I’ve been studying over the last couple weeks:

  • Node – the server-side runtime environment, via Google’s V8 JavaScript engine, for running JavaScript locally on a server.
  • Express – a JS framework for working with Node. Kind of like jQuery does for plain JS. Without Express, coding straight Node would be cumbersome. Express allows us to code quicker and more concise.
  • REST APIs – REpresentational State Transfer (REST), an¬†architectural style and standard for designing APIs. The HTTP protocol and it’s methods are used for communications.
  • CRUD – Create Read (or Retrieve) Update and Delete. These are the four core operations used for interacting with REST APIs.
  • Routing – URL endpoints used for REST APIs.
  • NPM – Node Package Manager. Used for … managing Node packages. A handy command line utility for installing packages from Node.
  • Nodemon – a very useful Node package that listens for changes made to our project files and will then restart the Node server.
  • Heroku.com – a PaaS for deploying server-side projects.

and more… such as importing and using Node modules, handling request and response objects, error handling, and middleware. Middleware seems to be at the core of Express applications. It’s a chain of functions used for handling requests and responses. Or it could be one function. But it helps keep the app code organized. Middleware can be third-party, built-in, or custom.

There is probably more that I can’t think of right now, but as you can see I’ve been super busy. Still enjoying it but definitely taking a ride on the stresscoaster that never seems to stop. Its like 18 loop-the-loops followed by a Splash Mountain waterfall. It’s a fun ride but it’s intense.