Tag Archives: week13

What’s Next?

Given all that we have learned in this class, there is no doubt we have a strong base for our web development knowledge and now it is our responsibility to continue growing, learning, and developing our skills. My plan is three-fold:

First, I plan to continue working with WordPress to better understand the different available plugins, updates, minor coding edits, etc. that can make a generic site more personalized. Even though I don’t have a specific site I hope to create, I have no doubt that at some point in my career it will benefit me to have a strong understanding of WordPress and site development so I am starting at level 4 or 5 as opposed to level 1.

Secondly, I plan to continue using Codecademy to learn more about PHP and jQuery. It is clear that there will always be more to learn and more to do, especially since coding and web based products are continuously growing and changing, but I think staying up-to-date on where these languages stand will be extremely beneficial. Additionally, as sites like Codecademy come out with new lessons, I will follow those classes so I maintain a basic knowledge of coding.

Lastly, I plan to register for a Python training class, as many colleagues and friends have mentioned that Python is widely used in the business world and is one of the most beneficial languages to know. I am glad that we learned PHP and jQuery in class, as I think my understanding of those languages will make the learning curve with Python much easier.

My timetable is slightly fluid, as I will be working full time while continuing my master’s degree and was recently told by new employer that I may have to apply for business school as soon as I finish my MPS degree (yay). Thus, being realistic, I don’t know if I will have time to commit 5 to 10 hours a week to maintaining my coding. Rather, my goal is to keep a continued drumbeat of coding in my life – not necessarily learning a new skill every month, but when I have an hour or so, taking that time to follow a Codecademy class. Similarly, when I have a slow week at work, or during winter break at Georgetown, signing up for a Python training when I really have some time to commit to focusing on the language and giving it the necessary attention.

A Functional Future

Looking Ahead

Now that class is over, I’ve been thinking about what’s next for my travel site and beyond, and I have come to the conclusion that “functionality” is where it’s at. I certainly need to strengthen and expand my understanding of, as well as continue practicing, HTML and CSS. But I shied away from JavaScript because I found it difficult — where in truth, once mastered, it may be the most useful language we learned.

I was playing around with my new site, A Life Surfeited, this weekend and it came to my attention that there are a few functionalities I want to add to enhance my plugins. This of course will require that I modify the JS (or find new plugins!) For example, in my World Map plugin there is the option to link a specific pin to a post. This is super great and helpful, but I want to take it further to have the post title, location, and date pop up when the user hovers over the pin. This will require some JS magic!

Beyond my site and JS, I am thinking about venturing into the land of Python or Ruby on Rails. I took intro classes on both languages about a year ago from General Assembly here in DC and will try either Codecademy or Learn to Code the Hard Way this go around. I think they will make more sense now that I grasp the larger concept of programming and know some basic skills.

As far as what I’d use them for, I am unsure. I have yet to find a language I am super pumped about, so I’m going to keep at it. I hear Apple’s Swift is pretty intuitive and easy to learn also. For me, I think my adventures in coding will serve me personally as I delve deeper into the blogging world, and anytime I need to communicate with the web developers in my office or any future career. Who knows though — maybe I’ll end up following a path towards working in code. I’m old enough now to know that the choices we make (aka. taking this class) have meaning and drive the direction of our life in some way. I’m not running away from programming, so that’s a good sign!

If nothing else, this class opened my eyes to a world I was always curious about and knew so little of. As a connoisseur of any/all knowledge, it was very satisfying and is what kept me going even at my wits end; “Maybe this challenge will teach me something I didn’t know before.” Including teaching me a little more about myself;)

Best of luck in all your future endeavors classmates! And thanks for a great, mind-expanding semester, Greg!

Cheers,

Jane

Moving On and (Hopefully) Up

To continue my progress with code, I’ve broken down my future goals into three sections:

First, I would like to continue to maintain and build on my site. There are three features I would have liked to have on my site but didn’t get to working on for the project:

  • I would also like to incorporate Google Analytics into the site to track my visitors and am giving myself until September 6th, at which point the site will have been live for a month, to have this figured out.
  • I would also like to add a subscription button to my blog and am giving myself until September 6th to do this.
  • Currently, my custom meta boxes still won’t register and save spaces, and I am being generous and giving myself until the end of September to fix the issue.

In general, I would like to continue learning programming languages and brushing up on my code skills. For this, I am committing myself to two goals right now:

  • I would like to use Codecademy to learn the basics of Python. We’ve talked a lot about Python in our class, and it seems fairly common and useful to know. There are twelve lessons in Codecademy’s python course, and I am once again giving myself a generous amount of time to finish them. I would like to make my way through the entire lesson by the end of October (Tuesday, October 31).
  • I would also like to continue brushing up on my JavaScript and PHP skills because I feel those were the two languages I struggled with in particular over the course of this class. However, I don’t know the best way to go about doing this?

Lastly, a couple of weeks ago, I attended a Women Who Code event here in DC and, even though I’m not sure if I really qualify as a woman who codes, I really enjoyed the experience and would like to continue to stay involved with this organization. I want to commit myself to attending at least two WWC events a month. I attended an intro lab in early August and will be going to a Lambada Ladies event on August 24th.