Author Archives: Jennifer Gribnau

For my final project site

For my final project I will do a personal site; more specifically, a blog-type of site that will have content focus on wine. It will be an informative, yet general and approachable blog that will serve as a place to learn nuances to specific varietals and their profiles.

The main audience for this site will be geared towards younger adults, but not exclusively. This will be made for people who are interested in wine, but don’t know too much and want to learn more.

I want to do this kind of site because I think the voice and style is something that best fits my interests and will be something I could see myself using. This audience is near my wheelhouse and I chose wine because I’ve studied wine before and plan on taking it up once again to hopefully get my Sommelier 1 this summer.


For this past week’s lesson regarding learning PHP, I was initially expecting to use Codecademy, but was surprised that we were using another website — I was not sure what to expect, but was happy to learn that PHP was essentially another language similar to HTML. So it started off for me as relatively simple, as most of the lessons do. However, I think that maybe I was getting accustomed to Codecademy and the interactiveness of the lessons. The lessons on were more difficult to understand the actions that I was doing and involved more of an attempt, attempt, look for the solution, try to make a correlation and then move forward approach.

One of the confusing things for me, or at least I know it will be confusing to execute along with other languages, is that PHP does not use carrots to open and close like HTML. Instead, it reminds me more of CSS with the semi-colons as separating elements. With the variables and types section of the lesson, it was nice to see a bit or repetition with the basic elements as a way to reinforce older lessons that were learned earlier in the semester. Specifically, the boolean values as true or false, and the strong formatting as a means to command multiple things at once. Hearing the terms over and over again was helpful because I feel that this is one of those things that you have to do everyday otherwise you forget everything you learned the day before, just like math. The arrays in the lesson plan seem easier than the ones we were learning in previous lessons because there were less of the ambiguous, or at least to me, symbols such as the curly braces, brackets, additional parenthesis, and so on. I do think that I will have to go over the lessons once again to better understand the material like I did with Codecademy before we finished our gallery assignment.

Slideshow gallery

For this week’s assignment on the slideshow picture gallery, I found it challenging at times. I think since this was the first assignment in which we applied HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery all at once, it was a bit overwhelming to sort through the differences of each language. What helped me the most was going back through the Codecademy lessons and reviewing all of the different languages to refresh and kind of relearn everything. It was relieving that we went over almost all of the HTML during class period to get the ball rolling on the gallery assignment. I did struggle the most with the JavaScript and jQuery portions of the gallery, which is what I expected from the beginning.

There were plenty of moments of trial and error regarding writing my code, but I did Google search lots of webpages and articles to walk me through similar projects. I personally chose to do my slideshow gallery on various puppies, which did cheer me up when I was getting frustrated and lost on what components were not working cooperatively with each other. At the very end, I added my CSS last — it is very simple, but still I was searching the internet to look for how to do things such as center align my elements, various wordings for colors and so on.

The part that had me most in a panicked frenzy so to speak was getting all work committed and saved on GitHub. I had some issues as I was confused and probably needed a break from the continuous work to look carefully at what I had completed and what was left to do. Despite getting it to work in the end, there are still lots of uncertainties I have about using GitHub and not guessing my way through whether I completed things accurately or not. I’m glad it is finished and I ended up being very proud of what I completed.

Week 4

For this week’s tutorial lesson on Codecademy for jQuery, I wasn’t initially sure what it was in comparison to HTML, CSS and JavaScript. However, I learned that it was essentially just an extension of JavaScript, or what they referred to as a “library.” I thought it was neat to be able to accomplish the same dynamic function that JavaScript enables, just instead using JQuery with a way smaller amount of lines of code.

When reading about the structure of where to input certain elements when writing your code, Codecademy explains that HTML loads from top to bottom. In essence, it makes sense, but it’s just not something that I had thought about when learning HTML and such. So, putting JQuery at the bottom of your code allows it loads after everything else. This was like a low-key lightbulb moment for me to understand that this is the reason behind why pop-ups and elements controlled by JavaScript and jQuery are the last things loaded on a webpage.

Using jQuery seemed a lot simpler, which is great since I’m sure that is its purpose – using $() to target elements makes it easy to identify throughout the code and it remains consistent. Additionally, using the period sign as a means to attach the handler is practically the simplest way I could think of for connecting method that triggers a return function.

All in all, JavaScript was easier to learn than CSS for myself. In comparison to jQuery, JavaScript seems more difficult and time-consuming, because it is. Either way I am glad that the lessons are somewhat easier to digest the farther we get along with the lessons. The only thing is, Codecademy makes it so easy to learn and understand the material even when I’m not understanding it. It’s when I go to GitHub or another page and see a blank page then I feel like I’m lost, have no idea what to type or where to start.

Week 3 with JavaScript

When dealing with the JavaScript lessons this week in Codecademy, I found it to be easier than last week’s lessons dealing with CSS. The items that I thought were easiest to grasp were adding comments – which isn’t surprising since it’s literally the addition of nothing into the code, or no commands at least. I thought that initially, the random number command in JavaScript was the coolest since it literally generated a random number each time you chose to “run” the code. It kind of changed my mindset with HTML, JavaScript and such. With how we were learning HTML and CSS, it presented itself to me as definitive, rigid commands that were consistent. To be honest, that lack of fluidity is something that I am not particularly used to, so it struck me as too calculated and formulated. However, the random number command via JavaScript was interestingly cool! So, I am excited to see more code that is dynamic.

While learning about the addition of variables in JavaScript, the instructions to the commands seemed very easy, however I kept finding myself forgetting to add another line including the console.log text; I didn’t realize that I had to add semicolons after each line as well since we didn’t have to do that in HTML. When we came to the portion about learning of interpolation, I followed the lesson along with relative ease, but I still don’t really understand the need for interpolation with the ‘+’ sign when you could just use another line of code. Once again, I really liked in Codecademy how they implement the lessons you just learned. It further helps me understand the material and gives me another opportunity to take a second or third look at the sections and items that were not necessarily clear when I first encountered them.

Attempting CSS

For this week’s lessons on Codecademy, I felt more lost and behind than the previous week. It was definitely noticeable the difference in pace, since the lesson had just picked up from where it had left off the week prior. Particularly, I was having issues with CSS, I think primarily because that concept of language is literally something I have never seen before. I know I will have to backtrack and redo the lessons in order to understand how to execute it. Additionally, when I was on GitHub, I felt like I was back in time trying to customize my MySpace account, which was nostalgically hilarious since my HTML skills have only gotten worse since then. I was using GitHub the website version, and the main issue I had was to figure out how to implement CSS on my repository. To be honest, I did not figure it out and looking back my only guess would be that this is something I need to do on the GitHub desktop version.

For the reading, the Inspect and Edit Styles article started off with a screenshot of an inspected element. Even after reading the article from top to bottom twice, I am still slightly confused with elements it discussed, such as examine and edit box model parameters. Personally, all this type of information and learning is completely different than I am used to. I was hoping to challenge myself by taking this class and I think that already by the second week I can feel it. The verbiage that discusses HTML and CSS is very particular and is throwing me off more than anything. I just think that it is dense, and have to constantly look up words and their reference on Google is slowing me down more than I originally anticipated.

Learning Modules on Codecademy

For this week’s module, I want to reflect in more detail about my experiences on Codecademy. Just to mention, even after the readings I still did not know what to anticipate for the actual activities and lessons.

First off, I liked the format and method that Codecademy used to teach HTML. I felt like the breakdown of lessons into different segments kept relevant and more advanced information lumped together, which made it feel more approachable and manageable. Also, viewing everything side by side in a single window was awesome! Seeing the detailed instructions that included pictures, the input area and the coded results all in one look made it easier to learn. I utilized the “Show Solution” option after two failed attempts and it corrected my mistake. This allowed me to go through the text and see the difference between what I had input and what was needed to follow the instructions. Information checking in the form of a quiz was beneficial to reinforce some of the new information I learned.

I had learned some HTML in elementary school when we made our own webpages through HTML, so a lot of the tags and attributes came back to me easily. However, I did have difficulty making the unordered lists and ordered lists appear with bullets or numbers. I will just have to keep working on it.

Week 0

When overviewing the article going over some of the more prominent coding languages throughout the decades, it made even more apparent my lack of previous experience with web development. The only one I had recognized by name was Java. More than anything, it was just interesting to see the coding languages evolve throughout the years alongside technology that precedes and coincides with the gradual evolution of the web and internet. I was most surprised that different companies kept developing and expanding existing technology from other companies in a competitive sort of manner, as opposed to the same companies redesigning their own information. As a millennial, older people are always telling you that you’re very lucky and fortunate to grow up with the internet and all these capabilities due to technology. I did not know previously what exact year “The Web” was born, and it is slightly mind-blowing to learn that it was created right before I was born.

Another portion of the reading I enjoyed was part two of computational thinking and journalism. Specifically, when there was a quote regarding comparing everyday actions and computational actions. Comparing buying your own set of skis instead of renting is comparable to online algorithms.