Let me just start with a confession: I spent way too much time playing around with the web inspector and changing people’s website photos to pictures of dogs. The web inspector has to be my favorite part of this week’s lesson. Aside from thinking about how useful it’d be in planning out my next pranks, I enjoyed the web inspector tool because of its potential usefulness as a learning tool.
While I was playing around with the code to make changes that I thought were funny, I also had a chance to identify the different elements making up the html code for the websites. I was able to recognize most elements from the Codecademy lessons. I noticed, though, that there were a lot more things I hadn’t yet gotten to. I feel like I have a good grasp of what I’ve learned, which is progress on an ever-changing road ahead.
I also liked how useful the features on Github were for building on a code. Though I didn’t fully understand the intro exercise when I was doing it, after further examination and meditation, I recognized how useful the branch system is to the user. GitHub is essentially a social media network for web developers. Pretty cool if you ask me.
The Codecademy exercises showed me that learning to code is not impossible. I immediately recognized that there would be a lot of information, but I was prepared this time (I already had a Codecademy account because I tried to learn before). I took notes to create a reference list of tags and what they do. Now, I know that learning to code is just like learning any other skill. When you really take the time out to learn and practice it, it’s not so bad. I’m excited to see what I can learn how to do next.
When I started the exercises for Codecademy, it took me back to the MySpace and AIM days when we would add in basic code, like bolding or italicizing words, into our basic profiles to make them unique. What I learned was at a different level, of course, but reminded me of the different purposes that coding could have for different audiences. I agree with what Mindy McAdams said in her post—sometimes it’s best to start to learn the fundamentals before diving into a project. While I learn by being hands on, if I were thrown into a project right now to code, I would feel overwhelmed, stuck and frustrated. By going through the exercises, I’m teaching my brain how to think and “speak” in a different language. Now, I’ll have to commit to the practice, practice, practice analogy. In continuing to read McAdams’ article, though, what is the added benefit of having a separate CSS document? Is that a personal preference or is it easier to use and read when collaborating with others? I suspect, that in general, it is cleaner and an easier way to set what a style guide is, but it could get lost.
The browser web inspector is a phenomenal tool. I’ve tried it via Google Chrome, and it’s interesting to see how Google created their webpages. Moreover, it shows how other websites, like Flickr, can embed tag upon tag upon tag to keep your images and content safe from copy/paste mechanisms and free from copyright infringement. This theme is important as I continue to think about the necessity for communicators, like journalists and those in PR, to understand the basics of HTML and CSS. We have to continue to dig deeper to find the truth and to protect what we know to be true.
While reading and completing the exercises, I had a few questions—
- During the Codecademy exercise, it mentioned that using spaces (or the “enter” key) helps create cleaner code. Why is that the case? Should we be adding spaces as a best practices into our code? If so, where?