As this semester comes to an end this week, the next topic of discussion regarding myself and web development comes into play as I move forward with this information. This semester in terms of this class has been one of the most challenging subjects to understand and have a grasp on learning since one of my first years during pursuing my undergraduate degree. I was hoping that it would be fun and slightly challenging in a new concept or manner. It was definitely both of those things — something I had not encountered before and absolutely challenging.
In terms of what I foresee next for myself and my journey to understanding web development and coding, I am grateful that I took this class and actually stuck it out to successfully make it to the end of the semester. After viewing what I have completed with my WordPress site, I am disappointed in the fact that I know that it has the potential to be SO MUCH more. However, I am very proud of what I have put forth regardless, especially knowing how daunting this assignment seemed to me when first presented and understanding the time and effort I put into trying to make this a functioning site that adhered to my proposed theme.
I think I will not completely abandon my WordPress site following this class, absolutely not. I think that realistically I will come back to it and tweak it here and there or actually use it as a podium for my thoughts as I finish completing my level one sommelier this summer in July. It can host itself as a nice site to refine my thoughts, general or granular, in regards to wine — especially since I have the domain name for a year, I don’t see why not. The hardest part that I was struggling with following the destruction of my original laptop mid-semester was re-doing the back-end installation of programs and I think that was the ultimate setback that frustrated me and discouraged me at times.
This class was very difficult for me, but I’m so glad I learned what I learned. I really benefited from the open-ended, pick-your-brain type discussions where we explored the possibilities of different web development strategies. Those types of discussions are what let me to sign up for Data Reporting this summer.
I’m excited to use what I’ve learned in this class to augment what I’ll be doing in that class. I’d like to leave the class with a good understanding of how to use publicly available APIs to get a jump on story ideas and to look at patterns.
I’d like to slowly but surely delve into adding more features to my website and, in some instances, just as a way to showcase web items I’ve built. I’ve seen great sites that have beautiful, flowing photo portfolios, interesting notification tools for updates to news stories and more. The focus here for me will have to be staying interested and treating this like learning a new instrument.
I felt that I was most comfortable with CSS, but I do feel (at least) conversational with the rest of the languages we’ve learned. I’m certainly interested in learning more through the Codecademy lessons now that they’ve added PHP as well.
Anyways, thanks so much everyone for learning with me, and thanks to Greg for being an awesome teacher!
Believe it or not, I actually want to work more on my website following this class. I ran into a few bumps that I would like to resolve. In previous posts, I mentioned how web development entails a lot of problem solving. This is a skill I would continue to exercise as I figure out how to improve the map and contact form on my page. When developing my website for the final project, I did not think I would touch it again once this class was over. However, I am inspired to first figure out the issue to my website problems and then create my own personal portfolio website with the tips and tricks that I have learned in this class. Fortunately, I am not taking any courses over the summer so I am hoping to embark on another frustrating journey and finish launching my website by the end of the summer.
I really don’t want to forget the skills that I have learned in this class. A matter of fact, I was hoping to turn this into a hobby. I enjoy the feeling of being able to code something correctly and seeing my vision work! I know the world of web development is a lot more intense than this course, but who knows where my skills will take me? It would also be interesting to try going to a coding meet-up this summer. I can’t wait to see where my new journey takes me!
My next step is a new project I want to work on. I want to create a site for our toolkit at work. The toolkit explains the steps our clients need to take in order to livestream their events through our services. The website I want to create will have different pages that explain the process. Then I am going to create a form where the client submits their materials. This would include a box for the title of event, the description, livestream embed code, and the image. I want to be working on this for the next month. Our next series of events is in September, so I want to make sure I have it done and ready and tested before then.
Looking back at these past couple of months, I am very glad I took this class. It has allowed me to learn something I had zero knowledge of. I did not even know the different languages. The class exposed me to different resources like Codecademy where I can learn more on my own. I also learned a valuable skill, which is that the answer is always available somewhere and all you need to do is look. I, now, Google everything. Reddit is a huge resource for me and not just for coding questions, but any question I have. I look up news, resources, articles about food, fitness, etc. It is not easy to look things up. You need to know what key words to use and you can not use too many words in your search. You need to keep it simple and straightforward.
I think this was a really good class for me to take. It allowed me to understand what was possible in addition to fairly judging my limits so far. I think the final class was probably the most beneficial for me because it was both corrective and eye opening.
With my current job, we do a ton of planning and scheduling for interviews and whatnot, but most of our work is done by one or two people in a couple sittings. When I said “eye opening,” I mean it was good to hear from a programmer who was previously working directly in journalism/WaPo because I felt like the logic behind completing assignments in one and the other are completely different.
Most of the work is solitary or with perhaps one other person filling in background information. Whereas in coding, it’s several people building the same final project. I think putting me in the position where I have to dedicate a ton of sittings to one project and work with a number of different people was the most “out of my element” part.
Going off of that tangent, the most immediate “what’s next” change for me would be applying some of those same practices for successful coding projects to my own work. Dedicating more sittings to assignments and asking for more eyes on work rather than just a copy desk and one other person.
As for code-driven plans, I still want to extend my domain into the following year and use it as a host for a short project. It’s not too much of a weighty endeavor, but it also wouldn’t be brief. (I mentioned it in class, but I want to make about 5 different avatars in Pokemon Game Boy fashion and draw boundaries and obstacles for around two levels.
I still have the server on my computer and I want to write out the HTML designs for the unique characters on the test site. It’s something I’d like to add to my resume. Although it’s not necessarily advanced enough to land a job at Sony or Nintendo, it’s still neat to show you have practical knowledge of different fields. I’ll also build off of it, depending on how well it looks after the first couple stages.
What can I say! the past few months have been a learning curve for me, getting out of my shelf to try something new. The experience has not only been academically challenging, it has also been intellectually rewarding. I feel like I have gained significantly from taking this leap of faith to try this class. Thanks to Greg and everyone who shared a tip or an idea on the countless things I was confused about. I took the class only to be able to run my own website, but I feel a part of me wants to hold on and explore and learn as much as I can in a rather fast changing field of journalism, it won’t hurt to have something to fall back on, and this could really be a thing.
As I highlighted in my last post, I do intend to revisit each of the programming languages we went through in class to increase my fluidity and repertoire. Codeacademy, Khan Academy, W3School, and YouTube — especially mmuts who has a lot of lessons on almost all the programming languages we studied in class. I also intend to interact with a lot more web developers who have accomplished a lot more in the field for insight on how to make my way around. A significant part of this process will be to use by skeleton website as learning tool to get familiar with ropes. So please try passing by to check the latest on my website 🙂 make suggestions on how I can improve it.
I read through all the feedback you gave on GitHub and the great resources you guys recommended. Just like Oliver Twist I am asking for more resources that will enhance my skill as I try to learn as much as I can for the future.
Let’s get back to the roots of my decision — namely the reason why I chose to take this course, even though it is not part of my program. At first, I thought “I’m done with most of my course requirements, so it would be fun to take something different, a class that could help me spread my wings.” I did it multiple times during my undergraduate study, where I have developed my passion for film photography. Thus, in January of 2019, my brain’s craving for fresh ideas was about to be satisfied. This investment of my time definitely paid off, as right now I can update my resume with a description of the basic web development skills I have acquired. After finishing the class, I will definitely aim to advance my skills and try to practice the languages I have learned throughout the course so that my knowledge doesn’t fade away.
I think I will concentrate on the basics such as HTML and CSS, which I could later on put on my resume and apply in my future career in media creation for my organization and clients. I could take on more tech-savvy projects and show off my skills to employers. I will definitely try to build confidence in my own abilities through online practice and maybe contribute to other Open Source projects on GitHub. Through this, I will make sure I understand the code and gain confidence in myself and whether I can articulate how to use it.
To conclude, it was an interesting experience, even though it required a lot of work and psychological strength. In the future, I will definitely consider taking a lighter course, especially when developing my professional career at the same time as I am working on my master’s degree.
It’s so hard to believe this semester has come to an end.
When I entered this class, I wanted to enhance my knowledge of HTML and CSS (the only two coding buzzwords I could come up with at the time), and become more adept at communicating with the web development teams I work adjacent to. During our wrap-up class period last night, I realized how much further we had gone into the world of development—to varying degrees of success.
I’ll be finishing up my degree this summer and transitioning to a new life and new job shortly thereafter. As I’ve begun to seriously consider what my new options might be, I’ve noticed a lot of jobs that list basic web development skills in the nice-to-have category. In my own hiring experience, I have always responded well to communications specialists who also demonstrate basic coding skills.
Given this, I’d like to go back to some of my first goals for this class. Rather than develop a plan that will make be a better “web developer,” I’d like to focus on gaining real competency in some more basic things that will make me a stronger communicator. I’ll prioritize CSS as a first step, and hope to become really facile with the syntax and also in my understanding of everything CSS can manipulate. (Sorry, it doesn’t look like I’ll be creating any CSS paintings any time soon…)
I plan to go back to the Codecademy lessons we completed in class, and will likely look for additional tutorials on YouTube and Lynda as I find the time. Because CSS “clicked” for me at least a little bit the first time around, I’m hopeful that I can maintain a comfort with it as I make it a part of my regular practice. This will coincide nicely with a Design Communications course I plan to take this summer, where I will study the fundamentals of functional design as it relates to print and digital publishing.
I’m hopeful that I can continue to work and learn alongside development and design teams in my new role, whatever that may be, so that I can continue to learn this new language I’ve been introduced to.
Thanks for a great class and a challenging semester!
I greatly appreciate all of the helpful comments from the rest of the class. This website is turning out a lot better than I thought it could be due to everyone’s assistance, both aesthetically and ease of navigation wise.
I’ll definitely continue using the site after the class, adding a few plugins to deal with potential spam filtering for comment/suggestion box (as Cory noted).
A major haul I’d also consider doing (granted I have more content to work with) would be adding a footer section at the bottom of each page. It feels a bit empty there now. Apart from the 404 page and contact page, I wasn’t entirely sure I had the chops yet to go too deep into more than the roughly 10 pages I already have.
I think having the chat box would also be a pseudo addition looking back. Practically speaking, it would likely just gather a ton of spam and I would only realistically need it to answer (with keywords) about 10-20 questions in total before encouraging users to answer multiple choice boxes (to filter questions). I’d still like to know how to do that, but for the course of this website, although it was an interesting idea at first.. it seems to be a bit superfluous (as some of my classmates suggested).
It’s been a bit of a challenge figuring out why my contact page won’t show, I know there’s a problem with connecting to the page, I created a a folder and linked it via the folder but to no avail. The funny thing is that I do have an understanding on how this works, but struggling to put the pieces together. I guess that forms part of the developer’s experience. At this point I remain resilient and optimistic despite my inability to figure the most basic things out.