jQuery – Easy(ish) in Theory Hard in Practice

This week’s lesson left me feeling similar to last week in that many of the steps were logical and easy to understand abstractly, but a bit more complex when put into practice, especially when the examples disappeared. One the one hand, I liked that the project made you set up the jQuery each time you ran an assignment, I now have the $(“document”).ready(function(){   }); permanently ingrained in my head as the starting point for any jQuery work, which is great! However, I thought at other points the lack of guidance with the jQuery lesson as compared to past lessons was frustrating and, frankly, wasted time.

In past lessons, if you try to write the code five times unsuccessfully, the system will give you the option to see the correct code. Although the goal is obviously to write the code on your own, I learn best from watching and observing the correct approach. Therefore, when I got to a piece of code I couldn’t figure out, seeing the correct code enabled me to understand what I had missed, why I had missed it, and how I needed to set the code up in the future to be successful. The jQuery lesson did not provide any code, no matter how many times you tried, which for me was extremely frustrating. I would Google the terms I thought I needed, take a break and come back, look to old lessons for clues, and eventually I did figure each section out but the process was so frustrating my “aha” moment was not very satisfying because I just wanted the practice to be done.

Similarly, although I felt (relatively) confident with the jQuery lessons of Codecademy, I struggled to test my slideshow code in JsFiddle, thus I am not sure if my jQuery is functioning properly, which is frustrating. I would update pieces of the code, refer to old lessons, read notes from class, everything would look accurate, and then when I put all of my code into JsFiddle nothing happened. I could not figure out if it was because my code was inaccurate, or if I was putting it into the system incorrectly, but either way it left me uneasy and annoyed.

As we discussed briefly in class, I think a lot of this comes with months (and years) of practice and repetition, but at this point I am continually surprised by the mental and physical toll that coding takes on my mind. After five hours of staring at five lines of code that look right but don’t work right, I have an ever-growing respect for fulltime coders.

I have a call set up tomorrow to Sarah Howe Elliott, a web developer, project/UX manager at the Chamber of Commerce (I have never worked with her directly and she does not work with my department within the Chamber). I’m excited to hear about her career and if she was equally as frustrated when she first began learning code J

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