So far HTML seems pretty easy and straight forward to use. I went in thinking that it was going to be some daunting dragon that I was going to have to slay, but it is surprisingly very user friendly. I’m saying this now, but may regret it later on in the semester. But for now, I am having an easy time grasping the concepts. So far, my biggest issue is indenting the lines of code, but the more I went through the lesson I was able to properly indent, so everything aligned and functioned properly. In terms of web development, I am not sure what kind I want to focus on or if I ever plan to use it beyond this semester. I plan to really get a feel for the discipline and see if it’s something that really interests me enough to pursue seriously. I find the idea of web development and coding to be pretty interesting, but I’m sure whatever skills I gain this semester, I will only use for my personal projects. For my final project I think I want to build a blog of some sort. A place unlike my blogs that I write for class that have to be very politically correct or ‘on-brand,’ I want this one to accurately reflect the actual views and opinions that I have about real issues. My current blog reflects the neutral persona that I’ve adopted for my career and doesn’t include many issues I am passionate about or those that I feel affect my community at disproportionate rates. I believe that I bring a unique perspective to things and should share. So essentially this blog will be the home to my real and true thoughts, sort of like a finsta—a fake Instagram where you share everything not just your picture-perfect highs but the lows as well, the real you.
This semester has been an interesting one, to say the least. It definitely opened my eyes up to the world of web development and all the endless career possibilities that include the skills of web development. I am thankful for all the skills I learned this semester and excited to see how I can use them in the future. Following this class, I want to further my knowledge, to do that I want to do three things. First, I want to dive deeper into HTML. I feel like playing with that more will help deepen my understanding. I feel like we learning this is really the basis of web development. I can use these skills on making my online portfolio pretty unique and stand-out amongst the others. Secondly, I want to expand my knowledge of CSS. I’m really interested in the making things aesthetically pleasing, so a knowledge of this could really help my ideas become a reality. Lastly, I want to see how I can use these skills in my journalism career. I think having these skills will really help me in the grand scheme of things. My self-learning plans includes, to continue lesson on CodeAcademy, watching tutorials and speaking with the subject of my midterm regularly to help me troubleshoot issues. I will begin this plan over Winter Break, while I have more time to really do a deep dive, opposed to my jammed packed semester schedule.
Prof. Greg, thanks for all the guidance and insight you provided me this semester. I throughly enjoyed the class, it was a welcomed challenge.
Creating a website is hard. Throughout the semester, we have technically learned all the tools that we need to be successful. But it seems to be really hard to take my vision of a ‘finsta-like’ blog into an actual website, that makes sense and is user friendly.
My latest struggle has been with my poll plug-in. I’ve searched high and low on the internet to find a solid poll plug-in template that I could base mine off of and have come up empty handed. I’ve had to take everything I’ve gained from the many sites I’ve browsed to create my own and hope for the best. I have the basic format done, which I am really happy about. But, I can’t seem to master collecting results. So if anyone knows anything about that, it would be greatly appreciated.
I experienced some difficulty with CSS, trying to get all my fonts the way I wanted–keeping them ‘on brand’ with Instagram. At first I was able to download the font but not import it to WordPress, then I discovered that I needed an additional plug-in to facilitate that merger.
I spared you guys most of the crying that was involved. All in all, website creation is an uphill battle that is designed with the brave at heart in mind.
This week, it was fun to learn PHP. I was not fully understanding everything that we went over in class last week when we started going over PHP and WordPress.org, but the exercises this week allowed me to really understand these concepts. It was cool to see how the all these languages work together and the similarities within them.
What/why: I’ve tried to think of ideas for the final project since the beginning of the semester. I don’t have a business or a niche hobby that could benefit from my new skill set. So I thought, do what you do best and that’s talk (write). For my final project, I would like to create a site that’s an extension of myself. A blog where I flesh out my thoughts, conspiracy theories, latest hashtags and news of the day. Basically, my finsta in website form entitled, What Is Kyra Even Talking About?, something people around me say on a daily basis. I think this will be a cool way to create a form of content that’s new to me.
This time last year Kristen Kagei, sat in her pajamas on her kitchen, in the middle of the day, covered from head to toe in flour. She cried as she attempted to bake cookies to comfort herself from being let go from her job, one that she had started just months earlier. Unsure what she was going to do, Kristen dodged calls from her parents because she knew for certain she didn’t want to return to home to Tokyo, not yet at least. Desperate to find something, Kristen began a 24-hour job hunt, and in the middle of the night she thought to herself “coding.” Fast forward a year later, and Kristen Kagei is currently a junior web developer at National Public Radio (NPR) located in Washington, D.C.
Kagei’s journey into web development is an unconventional one and not the one she set out on when she traveled to the United States for school. Born and raised in Tokyo by her Japanese father and American mother, she left the only home she knew in 2009 when she enrolled in Georgetown University to study linguistics. Upon the completion of her degree, she thought she would travel the world, possibly teach in another country—the possibilities were endless. Infatuated with D.C., she decided to stay here and see what the city had to offer.
In August 2017, Kagei was let go from her job when the market research company she was working for was acquired during a merger. At the research company her desk was positioned next to the web development team and she was often intrigued by their work, citing their multiple monitors of “colorful gibberish” as what sparked her interest at first. Thinking that coding could be her next move, Kagei enrolled in coding school to learn as much as she could about the subject. She describes coding school as “the most grueling process of my life.”
Since Kagei entered coding school with no working knowledge or computer science background, she would look at the coursework and compare it to things in life she was familiar with. She often compared the systemic process of coding to the processes in the restaurant industry, an industry she worked in before. Viewing the customer’s order as the desired webpage action and the kitchen as the back-end frame. Kagei also came to understand coding as a method of solving problems mathematically. When trying to grasp new concepts she would ask herself, “How do people solve problems? How can they do that with technology?”
Upon completion of coding school, Kagei began a web development internship at NPR, working with their podcasts, community of radio station and apps. She worked on projects that made sure their products were accessible. This included developing bypass mechanisms within the app for users with limited or reduced mobility. She accomplished this by creating menu options that allow users to skip ahead, instead of having the entire page read to them.
At the end of her internship, Kagei was brought on to the development team full time as a junior developer, which involves working on emerging platforms. She described her new role as finding ways “to sync the information [content] with the new technology.” One of the platforms she works closely with is their new app, NPR One. NPR One is described as a constantly evolving platform that allows listeners “a whole new way to listen to stories, shows, and podcasts.”
Each day she asks herself, “How do you get people the news they want?” Kagei’s job is to work on NPR One and introduce its content to new platforms like Fire TV and Amazon’s Echo. Platforms like these allow the audience to engage and consume their favorite outlets in ways like never before. Kagei works to ensure that their user experience is the same regardless how it’s accessed: their website, app or an outside interface.
Kagei says working on code that someone else has written is one of the hardest parts of her job. Often she finds herself trying to manipulate long chunks of code without breaking it, but making it do what she wants.
Although she has had great success thus far in her career, Kagei still views herself as a beginner with a lot to learn. For example, she still spends some days learning code or tools of the trade to make sure she is up on all the latest things.
A year into her new career, Kagei is enjoying herself. She appreciates the flexibility she has to work in any industry and values her role in a large media company where she feels she can contribute to “a bigger cause.” She hopes from her story that others learn that they’re capable of anything and there is an “infinite amount of possibilities among these ones and zeros.”