CSS Magic & Math

Before Thursday, when I used a morning off from work to complete the introductory Codecademy marathon, I’d never even looked at a CSS page. It seemed like some kind of dark magic to me—how could a bunch of cryptic letters and symbols turn a blank page into a kind of art? Even though I only know the bare basics of CSS now, I feel like I’ve seen the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. It seems less magical to me, but also less daunting and more empowering.

When grappling with the CSS concept of “if this, then that”—e.g. if it’s a p nested under two divs, then it is cursive and red—I felt the mathematics part of my brain creaking open and shedding the dust it’s accumulated from seven years of neglect. It was easy enough to manage with Codecademy’s hand-holding, but I wonder how I’ll hold up when I’m trying to make my own original vision appear on the page.

I loved Codecademy’s step-by-step instructions—and self-affirming badges—but I think it would be more helpful if there were some kind of skill test at the end of each section to measure how much of the knowledge you’ve actually internalized from the lesson. I’d like to see a finished product of a (very simple) web page and attempt to recreate it on my own.

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