WEB DEV 11: Still working towards that 100% Web Dev role

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It’s been such a long time since I last posted, but I feel I need to come back to writing down my thoughts and getting them out of my head. Whether they be about coding and my goal of moving fully into front end development or about my favorite television shows. Not sure how frequent I’ll be able to post, but I’m going to shoot for at least once a week.

I’m still working as a Email Producer/Developer at my current place of employment. For the emails, I use HTML and CSS to code them. JavaScript is used to pull in dynamic content, i.e. images, links, paragraphs. 50% are coded from scratch: Photoshop file to HTML. The other 50% is updating or re-purposing existing templates.

Even though I code emails, I also work on front end development projects. I’ve created two HTML email generator tools. One used JavaScript and the other jQuery. I need to make time to add the final styling touches to them. I’m going use Sass to create my CSS files, so I can get some more experience using Sass. I have plans to read up on AngularJS & Ruby, and see what I can build with either.

Some of my projects and old code wars problems can be found on my GitHub: https://github.com/spialelo. I should really get back to doing at least 2-3 problems, weekly. Well, that’s it for tonight. I’ve got an early morning tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

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WEB DEV 10: Just a little something that I’ve been working on

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So after the beginning of a rough week at work, I was even more so motivated to get these personal projects initiated.

Here is the site that I came across and felt that I could improve upon it: El Matador Restaurant

After looking the website over, I went about removing things that were unnecessary or finding a way to group them. The original site has 6 tabs. I plan to bring it down to 4: Menu, Our Specialty, About Our Restaurant, and Location/Contact. Not sure all of these will stay. I’m thinking of shrinking the logo down and having it in the center of the navigation. Above the navigation, at the very top will be the location and phone number. I’m trying to figure out if that will be fixed or figure out to do that scroll down/hide navigation, scroll up/display navigation effect. If I can figure out how to make that hamburger menu in mobile and have it work, then that is what I will have for the smaller devices.

Wire frame

A quick wire frame sketch

For the color scheme, instead of the very bright red I want use the darker more maroon-red and maybe pale yellow font. Haven’t thought of the font type yet. Maybe I’ll look into some Google Fonts. I’ll make the logo a transparent image and scale it down in the code.

Not sure if you can tell by the sketch, I want it to be a single scroll with the parallax effect implemented. I learned my lesson last time with my personal site and parallax: work on mastering the parallax first and then throw in my mark up. Plus I think the single scroll will be perfect for multiple devices. The first top section, I may make a jQuery carousel, if I can get it to work on mobile devices also. Very ambitious.

Well that’s mostly everything I’ve been thinking about regarding the site and have put down on paper. I may sketch some more or just attempt making a cleaned up version of the wire frame in Photoshop. Then I can decide between using Foundation or the simpler 960 design. Kind of leaning towards Foundation, but we’ll see.

And I still have to figure out how to transfer my site to WordPress. I think it’s possible, since my site is not hosted with the company I purchased the domain from, and there is an icon of WordPress on the cPanel of the hosting site. I need to look into it more.

Thanks for reading!

WEB DEV 9: Fighting My Impostor Syndrome/Fear of Failure

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Like the title states, I’m going to fight my impostor syndrome/fear of failure. I doubt myself and my skills, while I have seasoned developers I look up to tell me they think I can definitely do it. So if they believe in me, I need to believe in me. If I don’t know something or run into a problem, try to resolve it myself first and if I’m unable to I’m going to ask help. An article I recently read said to code and share your code, even if you don’t think it’s great. Just keep coding and pushing to your Git repo. Eventually I’ll get better and possibly advice on how to improve.

I have three website projects I want to work on:

  • Restaurant website
  • Physician’s website
  • Fashion; specifically sneakers website

As of now, I’ve been googling layout and color scheme ideas. Forcing myself through this fear. I’ve found a few layouts that I like but want to alter to fit what I want. Now I just need to sketch up my ideas roughly and stay focused. If I want to get my front end web development role and maybe one day to move into a more ui front end development role, I have to get to work and chip away at my fear of failure. I hope to have them done by summer; very lofty goal for me, or by fall/winter the latest. I want to have three portfolio worthy sites. On another note, I need to figure out how to migrate my personal site to WordPress.org.

Thanks for reading!

LIFE 9: My first New York Tech Meetup (#NYTM)

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Hi all,

Forgive me for being absent for a month. Last month, I was engrossed in something to help me steer my career on the path that I want it to be on, but it did not work out. However, during that time it showed me that I knew more than I thought and I was also very capable of picking up new things. I saw that I even had a draft post for February started but didn’t get around to finishing it, when I went to start this post. I will elaborate more on my missing month, in a later post and complete that previous draft post.

On Tuesday, I attended my first New York Tech Meetup and I loved it. Here’s some of the things that I remembered, thanks to my notes:

  • A group of students from different schools, presented apps that they were developing. “Know Your Neighbor” app provided a way for your neighbor to help you or you to help your neighbor. For example, sign for a package upon your behalf, if you are not home to sign for it yourself. The other app, “MyT”, provided translation service, in the form of a translator, either in person or possibly remotely through your phone.
  • Lyft, the car service that makes getting around the city easier and more convenient, showcased their app. The app is used both by the passenger and the driver. You can switch between each view, by tapping the steering wheel. The presenter also mentioned a service that they can provide to companies, for when employees have to stay late. Continue reading

LIFE 8: Hair, Whole30, Kindle, & Netflix

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I wanted to share some other things, that are going on in my life, besides my career goal for this year. The title of this post, pretty much nails the points I will be covering.

1. After doing the strand test for possibly the 5th or 6th time, I know without a doubt, I have low porosity hair. It floated every single time and it floated for over an hour, this latest test. Definitely means I’m going back to my warm water washes/rinses & using heat when I deep condition. I plan to go back to following Naptural85’s tips, as close as possible. I just need to figure out whether the LOC or LCO method is right for my hair, for moisture retention. I also need to figure out combining that method with gel, during my wash and go days.

2. I’m doing the Whole30 this February, plus two days in March to make it 30 days. I’m doing the program, to see if my digestive issues get better. I’ve also looked into finding a nutritionist. I’m starting Monday, since I have brunch plans tomorrow. It will end the 4th day of March.

3. I’m still reading A Feast for Crows. I need to finish this book before the next season starts. I’m also still reading Jon Duckett’s JavaScript & jQuery book. Almost at the halfway point.

4. Currently getting caught up in American Horror Story: Freakshow. After I finish it, I have to make the choice of continuing Breaking Bad or starting Luther. I also have to get caught up on any episode of Arrow & The Flash, that I may have missed.

As always, thanks for reading.

– Nicole

LIFE 7: seanwes podcasts & their timing

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On Wednesday, I received the usual subscription newsletter from seanwes announcing his newest podcast: Taking Action. Thankfully, Sean gives a bit of a run down of what the podcast is about in the email, so I knew what points he would touch on. After looking it over quickly, I knew I had to listen. Sean talked about taking action. Don’t be the person that does tutorials or studies all the time. Put what you have learned into action. When I heard this, a smug little voice in the back of my head was going “told you so”. I’m guilty of absorbing lots of information/knowledge but I have a hard time taking action & using my knowledge on new projects.
Continue reading

LIFE 6: SO MUCH TO DO…I NEED TO FOCUS

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Hi all, just giving an update/post, so I can stick to my goal of blogging more this year. This past week, I’ve sent out my resume to multiple places, and have spoken with a recruiter at an agency. It gets frustrating when you see how many languages or skills they require of some of the junior positions. I know I need to create more code samples and a site or two, to display my knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, & jQuery. A lot of places keep asking for frameworks, so I have plans to look at Angular.js. I don’t think I can focus on more than these for now. Anymore and my brain would overload. I know that front end/UI development interests me the most, so I’m going to stick to my guns and keep working towards my goal.

I did some more playing around with skrollr.js. I believe I understand how it works. I’m currently trying to recreate the same animation, consistently for 3-4 slides. I need to get offset from the top/bottom right on each slide, to ensure the animation happens at the right spot. I now see after fiddling with it, that I should have tackled this part first for my site, and then worry about other extra CSS3 or jQuery animations afterwards. But then again, I feel that would have held me up more. It may just be less of a headache to leave my site as is, with a few tweaks that will need to be made, and use skrollr.js in a quick site to help build my portfolio. We’ll see.

I’m currently on Book 4 of Game of Thrones book series, A Feast for Crows. I need to read faster?=! Before I know it, the series will be back on TV and social media will be spoiling it for me. My pretty ambitious goal, when you take into consideration how big these books are, is to finish it by the first half of February. I originally wanted to finish by end of January/beginning of February. Quite a few people told me this was their least favorite book, but I’m finding it a good read. It’s no book 3 or book 1, but I’m still making my way through. I believe I’m 20% through according to my Kindle.

Last but not least, I’m sharing a piece for Levo League, The Secret to Reaching Those Big Goals. I especially like the idea of making a daily list of 2-3 things you want to do, to help bring you closer to your goals. I believe this would be a good way to keep me focused on my goal, in spite of external factors. I’m going to do this exercise this week and report back, on how it turned out and what I accomplished. Recognizing things you accomplished that week, even if it is a small accomplishment, is another idea that I am fond of. Levo League seems to post things, at the right moment for me.

I’m thinking Sundays or Mondays would be good days to post, in an attempt to stick to a schedule. I’m going to add the task to my calendar. As always, thanks for reading!

WEB DEV 8: TUMBLR

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A very skilled front end web developer that I know and respect, recommended that I look into creating Tumblr themes, as a means of building my portfolio up. I decided to check out the dash.generalassemb.ly tumblr project.

I skipped the HTML & CSS basics part I and went straight to part 2 BUILD A TUMBLR THEME FOR GENE. I feel, if you already have a good amount of HTML & CSS knowledge, you can do the same. The lesson was pretty straight forward. Be warned, you will get an error if you don’t have everything exactly the way they want. An extra space or a line of code on another line, will make it seem your code is wrong, even though it is semantically correct. It happened to me two times. Kind of annoying.

Continue reading

WEB DEV 7: HOW TO HOLD A PENCIL

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I just listened to “How to Hold a Pencil”, for the first time ever and it just so happens the episode was about how a self-taught Front End Developer got started and where she is now. Lara Hogan, the developer, talked about her simple foray into coding as a child and then how she developed her skills. Hearing her back story, has my mind solidly made up to follow the advice of another web developer, to get started on developing Tumblr themes, and also to make sites for myself, to learn new skills/techniques, until I land a position in the field.

She even touched on how to figure out what’s the right area for you. “It’s really about what feels the most natural….like to change and see reflected. Maybe databases make the most sense, like maybe you really want to play with this thing. Maybe it’s the colors, maybe it’s the layouts…” Ding ding ding ding! That’s what I enjoy. I love messing with the colors, the layouts, the typography, the tiny effects that add to the site experience overall, and seeing it all come to life. This seems a lot like front end development/ UI/UX development, to me. What do you all think?

Sharing the link to podcast: http://howtoholdapencil.com/episodes/034/

On another note, first post of the year! *throws confetti*

Update: I listened to another podcast, that was also very informative. Coding Like a Boss w/ Brian Douglas. He woke up at 4am in the morning to work on developing his knowledge & skill. He also mentioned that another developer recommended to blog about what you are doing. It will one day end up supplementing your portfolio of work & resume.

WEB DEV 6: FOUNDATION PROJECT & MORE

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Quick update:

  1. Thinking of doing some small projects using Foundation, to help build up my portfolio. Afterward, I’m going to look into Bootstrap.
  2. I still need to implement Skrollr.js on my site to give it the parallax scroll effect. It’s number one on my to-do list on Glip.
  3. I’m looking into making Tumblr themes to build my portfolio, and put into practice things that I learn. It was recommend to me by a developer, I trust and respect. I need to look up how to go about doing so.
  4. I need to finish this Ruby app, from a one day online crash course I signed up for. So far it does what it’s supposed to, but now needs to be fleshed out more. This is number two on Glip.
  5. It was recommended to me to also check out Angular.js, while I read up on JavaScript & jQuery.
  6. And last but not least, I came across this article after Christmas and it keeps popping up in my head ever since. Hi, I’m a UX Developer – You’re a what? This last paragraph is what keeps coming to mind,

    As you can see, defining what a UX developer is can be a bit fuzzy. Like some sort of geeky, mythical creature, they are part designer, part developer. I’ve heard them described as a sort of human Flash Catalyst. If you find yourself in that middle ground between the design and the technology and you enjoy merging the two together, then a UX developer role is for you! Just be prepared for the quizzical looks you’ll get every time you tell someone what you do for a living.

That’s all for now! I’m going to have to add update my blog, onto my Google Calendar so my posts aren’t so few and far apart, during the new year.