Author Archives: Isabella Basco

My Next Steps…

I can’t believe the summer semester is already over! It’s been such a challenging semester because this by far has been my hardest class at Georgetown. Still, I don’t regret taking it because it pushed me to learn a new, invaluable skill I never thought I could have.

As I’ve mentioned several times in class and on the blog, I plan on using the website far beyond this summer. As my firm continues building out our podcast division, I will add more cover images to my slideshow, more SoundCloud embeds on our podcasts page, a new version of the logo and will possibly change some of the HTML and CSS.

My boss liked my website but he will probably have some more suggestions for me before it goes live.

We have a bunch of new podcasts in the works. One new episode of a podcast is launching in a couple of weeks; and several more are coming in the fall so my greatest hope is that the website could be live for current and prospective clients by the fall (around October or November 2017).

Also, I hope to get better at code: maybe I could get better at Python or Ruby? If I were to really commit myself to coding more, I would prefer to take some kind of bootcamp. I see so many advertisements online, that that is what I would probably prefer if I were to get better at this.

In D.C., I have two jobs, school and also am active in the community, so I am constantly busy. Learning how to code was no easy feat. I probably would prefer to recommit myself to learning the basics on Codecademy again. Oftentimes, I used to rush and be “against the clock” to finish assignments, so it would be nice to get better at coding without feeling rushed.

Overall, I’m excited for the future and cannot wait for what’s next.

Addressing the Confusion

This week was a crazy week for me. I was in Philadelphia for the Asian American Journalists Conference and did not work on my project as much as I would have liked to, which means I need to be as productive as possible this week with my web page.

As Greg told me in my last blog post, I need to figure out how to override and add the CSS into my child theme and go directly to the plugin.

I still need to figure out localhost problems. Since my website has a lot to due with audio, I need to embed my Soundcloud links onto my website. It is really frustrating considering that my localhost also was not working 2 weeks ago. There’s so many roadblocks sometimes in this unknown world I decided to venture into.

I have not been coding nearly as much as I should. It’s going to be crunch time for me. I plan on adding more CSS, embedding the Soundcloud audio, and choosing my child theme. It’s confusing doing code sometimes without the help of Codecademy or an HTML validator. I’ve been trying to navigate FTP FileZilla with everyone emailing each other back and forth. It’s been helpful, but I’m hoping to make more progress this week.

It’s nerve-racking and confusing. I’m so confused sometimes by this project, but I’m hoping with hard work, I’ll be able to accomplish what I need to do.

Overall, this week will be the end-all-be-all and I hope I can do everything I can to make this project truly great. I know that anything worthwhile will have lots of challenges, and I have plenty here so all I can do is my best.

Making Those Changes…

I was so relieved to be done with the project that I took a couple of days off to recuperate some.   Overall, I really enjoyed looking at everyone’s projects and thought everyone did a great job, especially considering that we all started doing this just a few weeks ago. It is amazing what one can do with commitment, energy and hard work. I thought the feedback on my project was solid: Savannah was right about my color scheme. I do need to make it more consistent.

In Greg’s feedback, he told me to make more code-based customizations, which I’m trying to work on right now. I’ve been trying to make a custom post type called Podcasts and make custom fields based on that. I’m wondering if I need to install a plugin though or if I should just do it on WordPress? That is the biggest question I have to ask for this.

I added descriptions for my podcasts and centered all of my SoundCloud links so it looks nicer and more properly indented. Someone suggested on a GitHub issue that I should put my Instagram plugin at the top of the page, but I like where it is. While I thought most of my critiques were solid, I kept my page as it is for a reason. One critique someone gave me was that my logo looked too small, but if I made it any bigger, then it would be overstretched. My boss will probably email me another image, so I will probably just have to change the logo anyways. Another suggestion was my menu. I have been playing around with it, but how do I change my menu exactly? I’ve gone into my wordpress menu and tried to shift things around, but my menu still looks the same.

Overall, this is a project I will continue to work on. There are kinks here and there but I’m proud of what I have created so far. The biggest thing I need to work on though are those custom post types.

What a Relief

After sacrificing many hours and most of my weekend, I think my site is finally in solid shape. If I feel the need, I might add some more modifications to my page but I am now confident I have done my best and finished all I need to do.

This was such a challenging assignment. I had no idea what to do most of the time since I have never been a computer science person. Looking back, it always feels rewarding to be finished because you know you have worked hard for something.

After completing the project bit-by-bit, I have made modifications that were different from my original pitch, which I need to go back and change. Here are some of the things I did for my website:

  • I coded in several images (our firm’s logo and our podcasting logo) and added the images to my WordPress admin.
  • I did some HTML and CSS.
  • I finished a JavaScript slideshow.
  • I embedded several SoundCloud codes.   

Overall, it was so cool to see the final product. Some things I forgot to do was constantly commit to GitHub as I made modifications, but all my code should now be on GitHub. If I make any more modifications, I’ll probably add some of our social media plugins and a contact form, but I wanted to make sure to focus on what I had so far and making it look as nice as possible.

It was tricky doing everything. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the project. More likely than not, my boss will have feedback for me as we continue growing our podcast division, but I’m proud of what I have done so far and know I did my absolute best.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s projects and getting others’ feedback.



All About That API and Final Project

This week, I have made some progress on my final project but not without kinks. I tried to open up my local host but again, it lost its connection on the server, so I have had to make some progress on the actual domain. Sometimes, it’s frustrating because I don’t know what to do to open it up.

I installed my header image and am now putting links on all my work, but am trying to add in “additional CSS,” to make sure I am coding. I went on GitHub to look for some CSS but my code is not working for some reason on WordPress. I am also having trouble making sure Greg will be able to see any changes I have made in code.

I added a plugin for Instagram which required some coding because I had to put in the id. I am also trying to figure out how to embed audio since they said the files I have for the podcasts are too big. I need to figure out how to make this website compelling and podcasts interactive.

Overall, it’s a slow and steady process. I am still trying to brainstorm ideas on how to make my website creative. The readings this week were interesting though. I enjoyed watching the “What is an API” video because of the “waiter” analogy. I thought that was a great analogy. The “Rest API concepts and examples” video was a little more confusing and had to watch it several more times to understand it.

The WordPress Rest API intro page was interesting. I already knew how to use WordPress before this class but never delved deep into how and why it works, so it was intriguing to learn how Rest API makes it easier to use WordPress in new ways.

Some questions I have are:

1. How can I embed audio in when the files are too large?

2. How can I add CSS into the WordPress domain when it’s not registering?

3. Why isn’t my localhost working?

These are questions I need to address next.

Project Management and Final Project Details

Balancing work, school and other projects can be challenging and learning web development is no easy feat. It is definitely a full-time job! I’ve installed my WordPress folder and have been playing around with some ideas for my website, but I need get going on it more. Right now, I’m at a slow start since I’m honestly afraid of building it, but I know once I get more familiar with it, it will get easier. Like I said, I’m excited about building a website that is user-friendly and exciting for our clients since I am very passionate about what I do!

I know nothing about project management. During my senior year of college, I had an interview for a project management position that I was scared about. I always thought it was for technical people only (and I do not consider myself that technical), but at the end of the day, project management is just problem-solving, which is a skill we all need.

The principles behind the Agile Manifesto were helpful. Some of the principles that resonated with me were: “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software,” and “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.”

As a creative person, my favorite article was the Design Thinking article. I enjoyed how they emphasized how design is way more than “making things pretty.” One quote that stuck out to me was: “It’s important to bring design into a project early, before the team settles on a solution, so they can truly explore the needs of the users.” I love that the article emphasizes user-friendliness. The essence of technology is that it makes everything easy for a user. Ultimately, that is what makes a great tool. I strive to create a website that will be engaging and creative for our clients.

Another quote that stuck out to me was: “It changes the conversation. When you add ‘thinking’ to the word ‘design, it’s no longer about color or decoration. It’s now about process. It’s about getting to a more intentional outcome.” Overall, it was great insight.

Now, I will chip away at installing themes for the WMG Podcasters!

Setting Up the PHP on my Web Page

I was up late last night trying to set up the PHP on my web page. While the Codecademy assignments weren’t difficult, I found the PHP to be a little confusing. Luckily, we set up “local host” already in class, but I forgot that was the validator for PHP. I was making it difficult for myself to figure out how to run the PHP by googling it several times until I remembered later that the PHP server is how we do it.

I went on W3Schools to look at how I could set up some PHP on my web page and didn’t know what to choose. I didn’t want to make anything too complicated, so what I did was make an array of my age and some of my favorite activities like styling, skiing and reading. I find coding to be fun once I actually know what to do, but it’s figuring out the minute details that can be tricky. Luckily, it did not take me too long to figure out what I did wrong, but I did get some minor coding details wrong at first. I kept replicating the <br> tag and the <html> and <body> tags. I also forgot to make my quotes consistent.

Running it through the PHP server was easy once I figured out my problems. I uploaded it to GitHub and my PHP should now be on my index.html file.

The readings were interesting. After updating my pitch post, it makes me excited to develop my website and add audio embed files, images and video files. I also cannot wait to dive into front-end stack. I am a creative at heart: I love color, artistic things and diving into what makes things pretty. Albert Einstein once said that “creativity is intelligence having fun” and I couldn’t agree more. I LOVE to create and it’s cool to see how technology and user experience combine the best of arts and sciences. Who knows? Maybe I’ll become a UX designer.

Because I’m All About That PHP

This week’s Codecademy courses were not bad at all. In fact, I found them way easier than JavaScript and jQuery. I actually liked doing it because I found it to be the most flexible of the courses we had. It didn’t feel overwhelming. The only part that was frustrating was the very last exercise of the 5th course. I was having so much trouble with the echo.  I pressed “reset” over and over again until I realized Codecademy was telling me what my errors were on the right side of the screen.

After doing several of these courses, I realize my problem is that I can do the code, but I want to learn it fast and right away. When I was at an event this past weekend, I spoke with a woman who works at a foundation that works with women in tech. I mentioned that I was learning code and she commended me because she said it takes an “extraordinary” amount of patience to be able to do it.

Reflecting on it all now, I realize that’s my biggest problem with web development: getting flustered and having patience. In an age where we want things fast and right away, it’s hard to look back at your problems and figure out the one mistake that you did wrong. It’s probably a sign that I need to think twice, slow down and take my time. I’m lucky I got through it.

The readings this week were interesting. I worked some with WordPress at Wake Forest and through building my own website. The information that stood out to me the most were the debugging, what themes do, what they are made of and the plugin.

I also thought our class last week was interesting. After downloading and working some with MAMP, I’m excited to learn more and grow my skills in technology. I’m slowly but surely getting better at this coding after all!

WMG Podcasters: Updated Pitch Post

About: Since I already have a portfolio website, I’m going to build a website for the public affairs firm I work at. At the Washington Media Group, I am a digital producer: my primary job is to produce podcasts for all of our clients. To promote our podcasting division, I will be building a website called

Audience: The audience for my website will be potential clients that are interested in using our podcast services.

Goals: My boss wants me to be creative so my hope is to use all kinds of HTML, CSS, Javascript, a plugin, soundcloud and video codes and a contact form to highlight the vision of our firm so we can engage in the social-audio space. While building this website will probably be difficult, I imagine it will be rewarding since it will benefit my firm. It honestly is something I could not have done had I not taken this web development course.

How I Will Achieve these Goals/Planned modifications: 

  • I’m going to mainly use front-end because in public relations, we like to wow people with our appearances, especially since we are building a podcasting division. I am using a dark blue font with different sizes. I’ll use HTML, CSS and Javascript. I don’t see there being as much of a need for back-end or full stack but we will see as I keep experimenting with it.
  • I’m excited to use some of our plugins. I added in our Instagram feed as a plugin so we can incorporate the active work we do on social media. I will also use our custom logo (we have a logo specifically for our podcasting division). For podcasting, I have a section devoted entirely to audio. After reading the theme handbook, I know I will need to embed the audio files and play them back using a simple shortcode. I will probably use mp3 and control the audio player by using “wp-audio-shortcode”. I will also post our promotional video on the homepage. The WordPress video feature will allow me to embed the files and play them back with a simple shortcode. I will use Poster #, Height # and Width # to determine the media. I will probably also use mp4.

Theme: Melos


Overall, I am incredibly excited about where this journey will take me. I know there will be lots of challenges, but it will be rewarding.

Words of Wisdom: A Q&A with Two Developers

For my web development Q&A, I interviewed two developers: Zach Howe, an iOS developer at Mobolize, a start-up in California and Alan Florendo, a web developer at Asynchrony Labs. Both are interesting people because they took different paths to do similar jobs: Howe forewent university to become a professional developer while Florendo formerly worked as an accountant and attorney before deciding to go into web development. Both offered insights on how to master coding, how to get better at it and how to pursue a career in technology and web development.

Alan Florendo, a lawyer-turned-web developer

How did you get into web development?

ZH: I was interested in computers from a young age. I taught myself to program early on. I was in high school, I wouldn’t do homework, I would go home and code. But I learned how to code.

AF: It’s a weird story. I used to be a lawyer and my husband was in grad school and when he graduated, he moved to St. Louis and I moved with him. I never liked being a lawyer. I decided to move with him and not practice law anymore. I started working out a lot and the guy I worked with went to a coding bootcamp and learned a lot of what you are learning. The purpose was to train you to learn enough to get you a job afterwards. I always tinkered with computers, followed suit and took the career path of this guy. I’d worked as an accountant before I was a lawyer. I did a lot of work with Excel and databases and converting data into large Excel spreadsheets. I had a background both in databases and understanding them in a rudimentary level and programming them in Excel. I had a couple courses in high school that stuck with me pretty well. I had basic principles and when the opportunity came around, it kind of all clicked.

Where do you work now and what do you do exactly for them?

ZH: I work at a startup called Mobolize. I mostly do mobile development now and I got started with iOs. I’ve been in mobile since I started.

AF: I work at a software consulting called Asynchrony Labs. I’m a software consultant. We work at long-term projects. We are contracted out for 3 months to a year to build software projects, Android apps, enterprise systems and consumer-facing systems. I build web apps for them.

What’s your favorite development project you’ve worked on?

ZH: When I worked at a company that built an app that was large with a lot of users, it was awesome to use and that people outside my company used it at my work. That made it exciting. When we built this up, millions of people used it. It was at Fandango, and millions of people used the app. It was awesome to see that I was making something and millions of people would use it. To know that many people would actually see your work, instead of something that would be buried on the app store.

AF: I’ve built some games. There’s a lot of complexity in games.

What projects are you working on now?

ZH: It’s really just one I work on. They’re all kind of interrelated though. So I work on an app with Sprint. It deploys on their app store. They vendor our app, which we build for them. It’s a secure app—whenever you get on public wifi that’s not secure or isn’t Starbucks where people can listen on traffic, we build a software on Apple or Android that would encrypt that data on demand where you wouldn’t have to do anything at all. I worked at Trucar on their mobile application for iOs. It’s all about the same stuff – basically mobile front-end to their website, companion apps to their websites.

AF: I work on a job recruitment site for a financial institution—pretty simple, listing their jobs and what they do, but there are a few additional hoops people have to get through so we program those.

How difficult is it for people to learn how to code?

ZH: I think people can learn it better than they think they can. It often looks intimidating but you learn it bit-by-bit and it takes time and you begin to understand it a lot better. At some point, everything just clicks. The more and more you go and do it, the easier it gets. It just takes time to get good at.

AF: There are a lot of coding bootcamps and there’s concern too many people are learning how to code and not enough. It’s easy to learn how to type something in and make the computer do something. It’s more of a skill to do something in a manageable way. It’s one thing if your little game works well and you don’t understand the code in a way. But if the code is written poorly, it can require rewriting the whole thing to make a simple change. You have to distinguish between writing manageable code and writing something that functions.

What is the best advice for people who want to go into web or mobile development?

ZH: Jump right in—solve the problem you want to solve. From a learning perspective, you can’t jump in all at once and be able to do everything. Don’t expect to build the biggest app ever or Facebook overnight. That’s a massive project. A lot of apps I work on don’t happen overnight. Try to find something you want to build yourself and you have a use for. Those kinds of things are easy to navigate through. If you don’t learn as you go, you will never go off the ground. Find something you are passionate about and stick with it.

AF: Think about why you want to go into web development – is it the design portion of it? The coding portion of it? You can’t learn everything at once – try to learn some sort of depth into the skill first before going into anything else.