Category: General Updates

Gauging My Progress

As I step through The Web Developer Bootcamp, I am beginning to realize just how much I’ve learned the last two years and how it is beginning to codify in my brain.

I am coming from a Humanities background but I have always had technical chops, working with circuits was a thing I liked to do; improvising is fun.

I was, a long time ago, a Computer Networking major but decided that I wanted to build computers instead of administering them. Before class started I chose Electronics Engineering Tech at my local 2 year. I did very well. I got an A in my first class, being the only black person as well, by the middle of the semester, the only female. This was the early 2000s.

I’ve always had technical chops. In fact, I taught myself electronics over the course of two years and was competent enough that my physical science professor wanted me to help her teach the electronics section. She was a physicist and my hero.

I prefer being an autodidact, if you haven’t guessed by now.

Translating Hardware Chops into Software Chops

I just played around with circuits and diagrams of those circuits with basic logic structure knowledge. I had and have the ability to learn logically complex things. The fact that it has taken me two years and 5 CS classes as well as learning on my own makes me feel really silly. I have always been the smartest person in the room. It is quite humbling to struggle with something that you feel you should get right away.

Sometimes I look at other newbies and see they struggle with simpler concepts than I did. It makes me feel better 1 but I also want to help them become competent.

The Web Developer Bootcamp and Leveling Up

I have been studying for two weeks practically non-stop. I am seeing so much progress that it encourages me to keep going. I can ask relevant questions of the material, when I get stuck instead of running to Stack Overflow or Slack/Gitter first thing, I open up Dash Docs and read the MDN, which is beginning to make a lot more sense to me.

I can write simple algorithms much more easily than just a few months ago. I don’t know what happened or what switch flipped but I am really, really happy.

Being Happy For Other Developers Success, However…

I see developers all around me getting jobs. I am happy. I am really happy for them. This isn’t a fake happy. It is how things should work. You never begrudge another’s success.

I do, however, feel a pang of longing when I see the tweets and YouTube videos. I am waiting for my turn.

The helpful thing for me right now is knowing I am about a little over a half a year from being ready to apply for developer jobs. It is the solace I need to not get discouraged.

The Code

Some of the things I worked on.

Arrays

//Print Items in an Array in reverse //

function printReverse(arr) {
  return arr.reverse();
}
printReverse([1, 2, 3, 4]);

// Refactor to print on new line
function printReverse(arr) {
  for (var i = arr.length - 1; i >= 0; i--) {
console.log(arr[i]);
  }
}
printReverse([1, 2, 3, 4]);

// isUniform //

function isUniform(array) {
  for (var i = 0; i < array.length - 1; i) {
    if (array[i] !== array[i + 1]) {
  return false;
   }
 }
  return true;
}

// sumArray //

function sumArray(arr) {
  var sum = 0;
  arr.forEach(function(element) {
    sum += element;
 });
  return sum;
}

// max //

function max(arr) {
  var maxValue = 0;
  arr.forEach(function(element) {
    if (maxValue < element) {
  maxValue = element;
    }
  });
  return maxValue;
}

Objects

//Movie database for object practice

var movies = [
  {
title: "Taxi Driver",
hasWatched: true,
rating: 5
  },
  {
title: "The Social Network",
hasWatched: true,
rating: 5
  },
  {
title: "Steve Jobs",
hasWatched: true,
rating: 4.5
  }
];

function stringBuilder(movie) {
  var result = "You have ";
  if (movie.hasWatched) {
    result += "watched";
  } else {
    result += "has not seen";
  }
  result += '"' + movie.title + '" - ';
  result += movie.rating + " stars";
}

movies.forEach(function(movie) {
  console.log(stringBuilder(movie));
});


  1. The arrogant, competitive little snot I was still peeks through sometimes. 

Making The Tedious Easy With MDL Templates

Wanting to just get the app up and running 1 , I sat down yesterday and paged through some of the Material Design Lite Docs.

For some reason I never noticed the tab that said, Templates. I about cried.

I really didn’t feel like getting into too much detail with the HTML and CSS 2 so this was a welcome addition to what I already had.

Essentially, there was a template called Text Heavy Website. Since my app is processing text mainly, I hit the jackpot.

There are still some things I need to add, like the sidebar that will hold the texts that the user stores on the database but most of the boilerplate is written.

Good guy Google!


  1. Actually working on it, you know. 
  2. This is just boilerplate; I have a lot of HTML and CSS to write as I add more components. 

CRUD: My New App, Check Yo Self

I have taken a bit of a break from the coding/learning thing as I suffer from a bit of depression every now and again, outside of the usual. It’s a woman’s thing, as they say.

So while I was a bit down and cantankerous I took a break to tweak a few of my sites and read some documentation. After the bout of depression subsided, I dove into SQL.

Create, Read, Update, Delete: CRUD

I asked around in the Code Newbie Slack and asked my buddy Alex if I could use localStorage to store the markdown documents.

Let me backtrack.

When I was designing the app, I got the idea of having the markdown documents collect on the side of the app, sort of like the design template I was using. I knew I’d need to store those documents and really didn’t want to dive into databases.

I thought about using localStorage. Alex told me that localStorage has a capacity limit. I really don’t know how many texts someone would store and come back to, and while text files are minuscule, I don’t want to risk it.

I could go the I Need a Resume route and use setSessionCookie which would require less overhead. But if the user clears their cookies, all their texts would be wiped out.

I still plan to use setSessionCookie but I am not sure how I am going to work it in with storing the texts in the database.

CRUD is a SQL thing. 1.

ORMs and JavaScript May Save Me, Big Time

While learning SQL at Treehouse, Andrew Chalkley, the teacher, explained ORMs, or Object Relational Mapping software that helps you interface with a database in different languages. For instance, ActiveRecord for Ruby and Hibernate for Java.I was having a hard time understanding how to store the texts the users input, store the texts, and retrieve the texts up until that point in the course. Everything we did in the course was hard coded and I definitely understood I could not do that. ORMs to the rescue. Searched for an ORM for JavaScript and there are many, either through npm or other means, there are plenty. Still researching. Since I am using Postgres on Heroku, it needs to play nice with it and I found one called sequelize.js that looks like it will do the trick:


var Sequelize = require('sequelize');
var sequelize = new Sequelize('database', 'username', 'password');

var User = sequelize.define('user', {
  username: Sequelize.STRING,
  birthday: Sequelize.DATE
});

sequelize.sync().then(function() {
  return User.create({
    username: 'janedoe',
    birthday: new Date(1980, 6, 20)
  });
}).then(function(jane) {
  console.log(jane.get({
    plain: true
  }));
});

This snippet seems quite easy to grasp and will make interfacing with Heroku’s Postgres addon even easier. 2.

Coding Again

I plan on scanning more docs and getting the HTML up and going. I felt overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I needed to code. This is one area that hinders me still: not breaking big projects up into little pieces. I decided I have been at this enough that I should actually take Russ’s 3 and break that shit down. I fired up Drafts app on my iPhone and wrote down every task I needed and wanted to complete. Then I shifted those over to OmniFocus and Taskpaper. There are more tasks to add but I feel a sense of relief knowing that the ideas are down, and that I should work on one small bit of code at a time.

Thoughts?

I never know how to end these things. Let me know what you’re hacking on in the comments. Or not. It’s all good. ????


  1. Create: INSERT INTO, Read:, SELECT * FROM, Update: UPDATE SET, and, Delete: DELETE FROM. So that’s why they call database apps that are simple CRUD apps, which I understand finally. 
  2. Check out sequelize.js 
  3. Code Newbie field general, 1000XP 

From Web Development to Software Engineering

So this is a brief post about my intent for my career and prospects for myself.

I love web. But I don’t want to be about that life.

The more I do software engineering, the more I fall in love with the challenge and the languages1. Classical OOP is nice and diving into functional programming is the next logical step, with Java recently adding lambda functions and some other nice functional features.

What About The Blog Name? What About JavaScript?

Still going to work JavaScript– kind of can’t avoid it. And the blog name is changing once again2. I love JavaScript tooling and look forward to learning more about React, Node, Redux, etc. But my main focus is software engineering for now.

Will You Go Into Web At All?

As a first job? Not sure. It’s unavoidable at this point. Whether I do architecture or backend remains to be seen. I’d prefer to have some say over an interface because I like visual things, but I am not a good designer, and I don’t want to learn how to design; that would take away from my main focus, programming. So getting better at Java for now is important to me. I will be finishing out Free Code Camp because I started it and I will also finish up my cousin’s ecommerce site which uses PHP. But after that, it’s software engineering all the way.


  1. Specifically Java, C, Swift, Go, and C++. 
  2. Sorry about that.