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 — learnphp.org. 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 learnphp.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.