Category Archives: 2013 Summer class

Reflection Part II

This class has been really interesting for me–some serious highs and lows. I found Codecademy (except for the JavaScript section!) extremely useful. It made things simple, and I appreciated having something specific to refer to when I was embarking on my own projects and other assignments.

Overall, I enjoyed working on my project. I just wish I had more time—just to putz on it and see what works and what doesn’t. Actually, I can see myself fiddling with it over my vacation, because I’d love to have it more finished and to display it on my website along with my portfolio. Of course, that means I’d have to figure out some way to continue hosting it. I want to be able to use this—or a similar format—to tell other visual stories. I think it’d be a great way to showcase any sort of group of individuals. (I’d love to do a thing that showcased each of the tradesmen at Colonial Williamsburg. They’re really pretty. And interesting.)

If I were to reflect on the whole class, I’d say I’m just so glad to know the vernacular of this business. I feel like I can actually talk about it. I had to sit down with this girl the other day to start work on a blog via Google Sites, and I was able to solve problems she had come across, or at least I knew what to look up later.

I definitely need to focus more on the details and how each tiny element relates to each other tiny element. I need to learn to be more patient with it—along with having more time! I will be curious to see how the data visualization class links with this one. And I look forward to be able to continuing to immerse myself in these new languages. I don’t want to lose what I’ve learned.

May Not Want To Do This Again

So this process is still going and I’m not a fan. I’m still in the process of simplifying the page and giving it that professional and clean look. It is also very tempting, and I often fall into this temptation, of doing a lot of the edits directly on WordPress. It’s easier than jumping back and forth to do the simple things like changing the font or doing quick simple fixes.

However, I’m very sore I will not become a web developer or do this for fun. After fighting with FTP and trying to get WordPress into my GoDaddy, I’m very over it. I’m not a fan. I really don’t think I will do this from the developer side again. On the other hand it is nice knowing I can. It is rewarding going into Sublime and being able to do things, or looking at the ridiculously complicated code and sifting through to the place I need to edit. That’s cool.

What is not is trying to figure out how to make this PHP code work. I’ve been fighting with it for ages and I’m not sure how much longer I can before giving up. I barely got the code to work when we added the few lines to our web pages so I doubt I will actually make it work. I have looked through a few plugins and I’m choosing among a few. I might just use one and stop stressing myself out.

Again, I am not a fan of this process. When this is done, I’m sure I’ll be very proud of myself and happy I did it, but it will be a very long time before I CHOOSE to do this again. I jokingly told my friend that if I ever did this for anybody, that is how they would know our friendship is solid.

Plans for Domination Etc

URL:  www.mollyhunterkorroch.com (Although there will probably be some sort of /historyofhoney sort thing added.)

Description:  A visual story on the process of making mead.

Goals:

  • To learn how to tell a story in this way. I’m very interested in pursuing other visually stimulating story topics that can be told in this manner.
  • Explain how mead is made in the most aesthetically pleasing manner possible
  • Easy to use and understand

Audience: People who are curious, foodies, anyone who enjoys aesthetically pleasing things

Process:

  • Make and edit still photos and “Cinemagraphs”
  • Research and write story
  • Create “slideshow” using jQuery– a prettier one than the test project. I realize the issues will be creating a slideshow of automatically playing mp4 files. I’ve found ways to do this via jQuery plugins.
  • Use CSS and HTML to upload and style the text overlaying the slideshow

Functions:

  • The slideshow–I’m hoping for a vertical slideshow, but we’ll see what I can finagle
  • Start and stop video motion. (Although hopefully it’ll run on a loop and you can’t tell when it begins and ends. Again, this may be a high hope.)
  • Fade in of text
  • Possible sound behind the still pictures (but, I’m going to film all this later this week and it depends if I found cool clean sounds.)
  • Also hoping to implement some responsive design elements–again it will depend on the video situation

Theme:

  • I will probably end up using the WordPress Twentyseventeen theme, because it’s the most simple.
  • I won’t have the infinite scroll
  • Most likely, I will be dismantling many of the aspects and just keeping it like a simple webpage–a file under my main website that can be visited and cross-posted onto social media, etc.

Interview With Web Developer Andres Spagarino by Rob Snyder

Andres Spagarino has been a web developer for over a decade. He currently works for California Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego California, where he provides online solutions for meeting the needs of the non-profit company. Andres has a deep appreciation for open source solutions and the open source community. He believes that it is a great way to collaborate with other people and re-use some of the development efforts for the good of the community.

My wife worked with Andres for two years while we were stationed in California, and she introduced us this evening over e-mail. I sent him a few general questions to get a web developer’s perspective on my own areas of interest on the subject.

What is your favorite site online today?

I am a little green/solar-geek, so I like http://www.renewableenergyworld.com and treehugger.com. My favorite part is not too much the design aspect but rather the content and functionalities (mobile ready, smart newsletters, etc).

How are you inspired by other web developers, and how does that show in your work?

I admire open-source solutions and the community behind it, I have used heavily a CMS open source called Joomla and we just recently switched to Drupal, we also are very involved with a CRM open-source called CiviCRM… I do get actually inspired by a few developers in these community since they are willing to help other developers like me in their spare time… In my work I am a strong advocate for open source solutions and I use them whenever possible and try to support them by contributing (both by donations and development support).

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years, as web development and web design continue to evolve?

I believe the online media is shifting from computer base to mobile/cloud storage base. My challenge in the next 5-10 years is to keep myself ahead of the curve in implementing new technologies. I believe that I will always be in the open source development environment and that soon corporations will be moving into this format… many companies are already doing so.  For example our local utility company is using open source Drupal, the next generation of mobile devices and seamless data integration will be a lot easier when we will use open-source and not proprietary software… I believe this technology evolution is happening right now.

What advice would you give to a new web developer today?

Get involved into any project that you are interested and use the community to not only master your skills but also to give back by helping other developers. This is a great way to learn, network, and stay updated with whatever software you get involved.

Bittersweet

I am glad to be getting done with this class because it is the natural progression of things; to move forward we have to move on from where we are. But I will miss the class because I have found the learning to be, all at the same time, fun, fast, frustrating, and fulfilling. The thing I have found most exciting is the fact that I know I will use this class in the future. I cannot say that of my other classes. I really enjoyed both Covering Capitol Hill and Crime Reporting, but the odds of being a journalist in both of those fields is slim (with the exception that many Capitol Hill stories are about corrupt politicians…).

I interviewed Patty Tompkins, who has worked for numerous companies as a contractor, consultant, and developer. She is one of a small number of women who started programming early in the computer era. She started in the late ’70s and has kept up on the cutting edge of the industry all of these years. She now owns her own company that contracts out to other companies. I met her during my trip to New Hampshire, which is where she is based out of. She was really funny and nice, and I could tell that she is someone who is able to get things done, no matter what. I think she summed it up best when she told me that she doesn’t see it as work, but rather an enjoyable hobby.

She has also found a way to be a ski instructor for over 20 years, and it really made me think about how I want to have my career path go. I want to make sure that I don’t get stuck in a rut doing work that I don’t enjoy, when I could be out doing fun things that I could make a career. This course has shown me that I could find that combination with writing and programming. I want to make sure that I keep my head up and look for the latest in technology and stay at the forefront. Once you get stuck in a certain technology, you can stay there for a long time, and I want to be always adapting.