Tag Archives: week9

Coming up with a Plan

Another late post, apologies. This week I remember reflecting on the PHP assignment. It was difficult to come back and try to remember what I had learned and make it effective. Thankfully Google is my friend, as well as Professor Linch. So I used a bit of the code from W3 Schools to finish this assignment. It was beneficial to say the least. I did have trouble trying to move my code into GitHub, as usual, but after figuring that out it became a little bit more clear what I needed to do.

As I was doing this assignment, it became clear how much more I need to plan for the final project. As mentioned in a previous post, I had seen some modifications I had seen that were of interests for me. Yet, I am afraid of the difficulty of some the modifications and if I have not only the skill, but perseverance to go trial after trial to make sure its correct. This class has been a process for me. It started off easy-ish, but now I feel the full force of what is coding. At least what I think is the full force.

I look forward to putting these past two off weeks behind me, and making something I can be proud of.

Collaboration Is Key

This week’s readings encouraged me to reflect on my time at Apple this summer. I was lucky enough to be a marketing intern on the Apple Music team. My role was focused on retention efforts, with some dips into acquisition efforts as well. I particularly liked the Aigle Manifesto.

Business people and developers must work
together daily throughout the project.”

It’s probably obvious, but very true. On the business/creative end we tend to get ahead of ourselves — leaping to fantastical updates or new ideas without first consulting our engineering counterparts. I like this part of the job. It’s fun. I got to make recommendations without a care about the thousands of lines of coding it would take to get it done.

Anyway, back to the quote at hand. I remember this summer we were working on a large project with 10 external and international partners. We had a lot of ideas we needed to get engineered for us. Unfortunately, each entity also had to be individualized for each partner. Needless to say, the two engineers leading the back-end of things weren’t very happy with us. But collaboration is key. All we really had to do was explain why all of their labor would be needed and how it would benefit our customers. Oh, and keep our partners happy. Part of the reason I took this class is to be better at these types of conversations. And have a better understanding of what software engineers do.

“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
through early and continuous delivery
of valuable software.”

This manifesto is brilliant. From beginning to end all principles should be followed by start-ups and large companies alike. Adding to the brilliance, it’s concise! We’ve all seen lengthy manifesto err to the way of redundancy (*ahem* the racist/misogynistic Google engineer guy that wrote a 10-page manifesto last year). But this manifesto epitomizes the very essence of its subject matter.

“Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount
of work not done — is essential.”

PHP + Design Thinking

This week, I struggled with PHP. I think it was more of a conceptual struggle. I didn’t know what to add to my homepage with PHP. I thought of it as a background language. I don’t know how to differentiate between languages that have functions that just spit out an answer, and languages that have clear functionality. I don’t understand the functionality of PHP. On web searches, I discovered how to make it spit out a date, and I saw that people used it to create forms but not how they implemented it into a page to do something.

Anyhoo, I added some PHP functions that I saw on the Internet and felt could be useful but didn’t see how they’d incorporate. However, on another web search I found resources like this one  that showed me a couple different uses.

Something that stood out to me in the readings today was the design thinking piece. I thought it was especially interesting because at ONA, one of the workshops we participated in was focused on design thinking. We were brainstorming different disciplines within journalism. We wrote each discipline on a sticky note, and then categorized them. Later, we tried formulating a new way to tell a story incorporating four stories from different categories. That workshop was helpful for me because having the problem and the solutions set out in front of me made them so much easier to conceptualize.

I thought it was interesting that designers have been harboring their way of thinking and the rest of us are just now catching on because some of it gave a new name. The piece and my experiences at ONA both made me want to delve deeper and find more creative ways to tell stories as a journalist.

Putting one Foot in Front of the Other

Well, it took me until today to realize that I’d completely forgotten this.

I think I overall understand API’s? Or, at least the general idea and what they’re used for. It was helpful for me to look up different kinds of API’s etc. Honestly right now I’m mostly feeling very head-in-the-sand about the final project. (Like the feeling after a fun weekend and you’re scared to actually look at your bank account. So, I know I’ll feel better and like I have it more in hand once I’ve actually confronted it.) I’m quite confused and need help with the whole adding a subdomain thing. I’ve looked up the “adding a subdomain” page on Squarespace, but I’m not entirely sure about some of the things they’re saying. This misunderstanding on my part is majorly slowing me down.

I spent most of this week both reviewing and editing the photographs I’m trying to use/writing up the content, and muddling through the WordPress/Squarespace subdomain issue, and also ruminating on some of the stuff Andy suggested last week–ways to make the whole site a slideshow. Last week, Jaclyn very kindly sent me a site that has a file converter for MP4s to GIFs.

Another issue I’m having is just that my idea seems to be quite different from everyone else’s, so the questions asked in class don’t necessarily pertain to what I’ve been working on (or lack there of, given aforementioned issues.) But, it has been helpful to hear about HOW people are going about solving their problems–where and how to look at certain problems in order to solve them.

I have noticed that without doing Codecademy and with feeling kind of frozen on the final project that I haven’t been coding as much, and that has definitely been detrimental to both my understanding and output. So. I definitely need to commit to diving back in. Something I plan on doing starting tonight!

Slowly but surely

This week was definitely a reality check as I dove more into working on my final project. I thought I would have a better handle at incorporating elements of HTML, CSS and more into our modifications but I’ve found myself Googling a lot more than I thought.

Meeting with a study group this weekend was definitely helpful, but I’ve ran into a few questions that hopefully can be answered and potentially discussed in class this week:

  1. At what point does coding modifications end and WordPress modifications begin? Is there a general rule of thumb we should be following when making edits (content is made through WordPress, style is through coding, etc.)
  2. How do we modify items in our theme PHP files when they are written in PHP or HTML? I have come across instances where there seems to be PHP (or perhaps HTML we just haven’t learned yet?) that I’d like to change, but I’m not sure how we would in our child theme.
  3. Can caching be explained further as we make our modifications? It has played a large role in my ability to refresh and make edits to various parts of my page, and I hope we’ll be able to talk more about this in class, ways around it, etc.

The readings this week were definitely a nice break from working through Sublime and Google – I especially like the API YouTube video, as Savannah mentioned. It nicely (and concisely) talked about what our topic for this week, and was a nice primer to what I’m sure will be a great conversation in class.

A quiet week

This week was one of the quieter ones we’ve had because now its just the final push to the end. For me, this week was trying to put a lot of things into place for the final project, and there were some setbacks.

Overall I have a few things I need to set up before I can get into the meat of coding. Since I’m making a personal site I need to have some good photos of myself, and I also need to get the lines for my designed template made. I’ve reached out to friends to take photos and get some of the background images designed, so until then I’ve been retooling just the basics.

I hope to have the other stuff done this week, but life tends to get in the way. The deadline is approaching pretty quickly so I’m beginning to get nervous about puling everything off. But I’m sure I’lll have a better idea about things this time next week.

As for the readings, I’ve really grown to enjoy the stuff we’re looking at. The video about API‘s was informative and really synthesized what we’re going to talk about this week. However, at this point it seems like we’re in the nuts and bolts of our final so its hard to really pay attention to new information.

API Readings and Project Update


In terms of this week’s readings, I’ll echo Allie’s thoughts in that I understand the general purpose of APIs, but, like she pointed out in her post, I’m not quite sure how they apply to our final projects and am a little confused on the more minute details, like resting APIs and JSON.

Final Project

I have to say I’m feeling a little discouraged about our final project. I had issues over the weekend with my MAMP not starting the servers when I prompted it to and couldn’t access my local site. I was able to figure out how to get the app to work with a few hours of Googling and was feeling pretty good (and like a real web developer – yay!) but quickly realized that I’ve now stumbled on a new issue that’s still preventing me from accessing my local site.

My new problem is that when I run my local server and type in the address for my project (http://localhost:8888/finalproject/), I’m taken to the wp-admin page below:

I’m a little confused about why I’m seeing this page because it was my understanding that we had already installed WordPress in class together a few weeks ago? When I go through the final steps of installing WordPress here, I get a page showing me a bunch of database errors telling me certain files don’t exist:

And finally, when I click “login” at the bottom of the errors page, I get the following error message on a new page:

So far, Google has been unsuccessful in helping me figure out what’s wrong.

I didn’t want to lose time so I’ve continued to make changes to the code in my htdocs, even though I can’t preview it to see if the changes are correct. I created a child theme last week and have been working on creating a custom post type, which is probably my most complex customization. As suggested, I’m modifying this book list plugin.

I will keep Googling to see if I can find a solution, and, hopefully, I can get the local site issue resolved before Wednesday or can get help fixing it during class. In the meantime, I have a few other questions:

  • We talked about how some of the more superficial changes should be made on our live site, rather than our local site because the changes won’t necessarily transfer over, and I want to know when we can do that? Should we wait until we make all of our more back-end changes or can we go ahead and make these smaller changes to our other site now?
  • I think we may have covered this in class as well, but how often should we be saving the changes we are making to our GitHub repository? Is it enough to save it after we’ve completed a customization or should it be more frequent?

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.

Baby steps towards the Final Project


I’ve had some experience working with software developers and implementation specialists who have explained the benefits of an API. When I worked at Oracle as a Human Capital Management Account Representative, our selling point was Oracle’s open-API standard, or the fact that our applications could talk to virtually anything. In completing the readings from Free Code Camp and WordPress, I was able to get a better understanding of how APIs are used outside of the enterprise software sphere and are used every day by people like you and me. In the past, I’ve heard about REST APIs, but I don’t understand their importance? How would using a REST API on our WordPress site be beneficial to our page? Or, how would this practically translate to our final project?

Update on Final Project:

I’ve finally started working on my final project. It’s been intimidating to say the least. I’ve done all of my work on my local server and haven’t attempted to move anything to the Filezilla application. Should I be actively syncing these two together?

I’ve separately created a CSS file of tweaks that I want to make, but how do I incorporate this into the existing code? Should I create a separate CSS file within my child-theme and have it run last?

My biggest concern is updating the plugins that I wanted to incorporate. How do we do this? Is there a ‘how-to’ document that you’ve found particularly useful online that we should try to follow?

Additional overarching questions:

  • If we are adding HTML, CSS, PHP, etc. to our WordPress site, do we create separate files for these? Where should we be updating the code?

As the final project approaches, I’m realizing how much more time I need to dedicate to the project. I’m starting to think that my final pitch post may have been over ambitious…only time will tell.

APIs and Customizations

This week we learned about APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces. I got the simple and straightforward analogy from this video, “What is an API?,” comparing APIs to waiters, but I am missing the big picture. APIs connect requests to data outputs, but what is the nature of the request and what is the data used for? Essentially, what is their purpose? In this video, “REST API concepts and examples,” we see how we can request data from YouTubes’s Facebook page and see how many likes it has, but you can see that simply by viewing the Facebook page… I know there is a lot more data that can be requested though, so is that the main point of APIs? Also, why would someone send a request to my website, “A Life Surfeited,” and should I concern myself with this? How can I use API to serve my customers?

I have spent most of today customizing my website and making Project notes in GitHub of things I want to do, change, add, etc. I also have many questions so am looking forward to our workshop class on Wednesday. The biggest thing I’m stuck on right now if finding the correct files to alter. I know I need to copy my theme files and put them in a child theme folder, but I’ve opened every file and am not sure where to begin. For example, I want to alter the padding around my website title/header, but I can’t find the right code in the theme header file. Or, I want to remove “author” as a column on my posts, but I can’t find the code for it anywhere in the post file. I’m sure I am going about it incorrectly:/ And google isn’t helping with this one – I keep reading that I should be adding my own CSS files (who knows, that might be right!).

I think once I get past this hurdle, I will be in a good place to knock out all the modifications I want to make. Then it will be on to testing on the live site and eventually posting live! In the interim, however, I plan to spend each day adding content to the site because mine is a travel blog, my goal is to have 6 total posts with images from places I have been recently. I also need to focus on adding and modifying a widget for my interactive map. I have narrowed it down to 3 options and will have to choose which is best based on the code (once I figure out how to find it!).

Wednesday night can’t come soon enough! 😛