Life 5: Some Motivation

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

I know I deal with doubt, when it comes to my web development skills. I question whether I’m good enough or smart enough, to learn all of these new languages. But before I spiral down into a sea of negativity, I remind myself of this quote & repeat it to myself:

The expert at anything was once a beginner. – Helen Hayes

I know that I’m passionate about learning and I like looking at websites, pondering how certain effects were created. If I have the interest and the passion to learn, then I know I just have to keep learning & practicing.

Continue reading

Web Dev 5: Still chugging along

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Quick update:

  1. I have created a schedule on my Google Calendar to keep me focused on my Web Dev studies.
  2. Thanks to an acquaintance via a former coworker, who I think could be a mentor, I now use a site online to project manage my web dev projects, Glip. I’ve added my site and this app I started working on, as projects.
  3. I think I mentioned that I completed both the JavaScript & jQuery on Codecademy, so I’ve moved on from there for now.
  4. I’ve been hard at work on my site. It won’t be anything stellar when done, but I’m glad that I have worked on it 1-2 days a week, consistently.
  5. Speaking of my site, I’ve started to push my work to GitHub, so I’ve been improving my Git skills: https://github.com/spialelo  Continue reading

Success!

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Tonight, I told myself when I came into my apartment, I had to dedicate an hour to coding and I did. I figured out why my styles were not applying to the gallery section. Such a stupid error. I swear it always is. Always rule out a missing semi-colon, period, or an extra-space. I even ran my code through W3C CSS validator and it came out practically perfect. I didn’t completely recode. I took out the section that I was having an issue with and created a test HTML & CSS file, and troubleshooted. Glad I got that out of the way, now I can proceed with that section. While doing so, I’m going to clean up my CSS, so I can find sections quicker next time. That is all. I’m going to look at Head First JavaScript for 15 minutes, before turning in. I want to make sure something web development related, is the last thing I read before going to bed, so my brain can work on processing it while I sleep.

Life 4: Fear of failure

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Being a firm believer that choice is always ours and every moment is a moment of choice, today I decided to find out what was stopping me from writing. And I realized it was the very topic itself: fear. That in reading and writing about fear I had hit on my own fears around writing, and that, not being aware of this, I unconsciously had put fear in the control seat. And from its high and mighty place, fear decided to stop all writing immediately. What if I lacked the talent? What if nobody would read what I wrote? Or worse, what if they would and than not like it? Or what if they did like it and demanded more? What if I actually had to make a full commitment and become more disciplined? Way too many “what if’s” for fear to allow me to continue on my chosen path. – Written By Jacinta Hin for kimknightcoaching

Fear of failure. A part of me knew that was what was preventing me from finishing my website but I didn’t want to face it. But today when I was talking to my coworker about how I need to work on my JavaScript and possibly take more courses, he told me I don’t need more courses. I need practical work experience now. He said I know it, but I’m letting fear keep me from moving forward. That fear was stopping me from finishing my site that I have been working on for months. He’s right. If I can get through these Udemy courses in 2 weeks, for each, I should be able to do same. To further support his point, as I went through these courses, the material was just a refresher of things that I knew and I found myself typing as quickly as the instructor on the video. I need to finish my site and then after my site, make more sites. Even if they are for myself or for mock companies, I need to keep making them.

We are often sabotaged in our efforts to act on what we want by our fears. Not only does fear prevent us from making a decision or taking the first step, even after we have started the process of creating new realities, fear continues to claim its veto right. And when it does, we tend to stop, surrender, procrastinate and give up. We hurry back to the old and familiar status quo, even if we know this is not where we want to be. We resist change, even if our heart cries for it.- Written By Jacinta Hin for kimknightcoaching

I need to not let my fear of not being good enough to move away from email production into web development, keep me from what I want to do. I must not use the excuse that “I don’t have the time”, which was mentioned in the link I referenced, to keep from putting in work. I definitely need to schedule time during the week and on the weekend. Heck, if I have downtime at work, make a quick one page website to practice and maybe throw it on my portfolio as one-offs. I admit I don’t know JavaScript like the back of my hand, but I understand it due to the coding background I have from Java in college. I need to remember that I can understand programming and I will get JavaScript/jQuery one day.

I wonder if some of the experienced developers I personally know or the ones I follow on Twitter/blogs, felt this way in the past. Or maybe some do still, even though they have years under their belts. Just another thing for me to ponder. If I can get a mentor in web development, I will have to pick their mind about this subject, in addition to JavaScript tips.

I must say this post was very therapeutic. I needed to get this off of my chest. That’s it for tonight. I have to get back to the new Udemy course I started tonight. I finished the other one, the 75% through one, so I’ve moved onto another. A few more lectures, and then I’ll turn in. Have a good night, or morning, or afternoon, wherever you are reading this. 🙂

Web Dev 5: Staying focused

Tags

, , , , , , ,

No posts for almost two months. Shame on me. However, I have been hard at work studying.

I’ve completed the “HTML/CSS” course & the “JavaScript” course on Codecademy. 46% of the way through on the “jQuery” course and 87% of the way through on the “Web Projects” course. My Codecademy Profile

I’ve also purchased a great deal on web development courses on Udemy and have completed the “Build a Website from Scratch Using HTML/CSS” course and I’m 78% through the “PSD to HTML/CSS” course. Next up will either be “Become a Web Developer From Scratch” or “Learning JavaScript Programming Tutorial”. I think I will go with the JavaScript one because I really want to improve my JavaScript skills and my understanding of object oriented programming. Plus, it is the shorter of the two courses. I also an endless amount of course on Lynda.com that I have bookmarked to view. Codewars.com is currently kicking my butt in JavaScript, which shows me, I need to study it more. I’m going to carve out a time slot for when I come home from work, to work on my web development skills. I need to plan one for the weekends too.

I’m going to go home tonight and make an effort to work on the jQuery portfolio section of my site. It’s the only major thing left for me to code. I’ve set up two freelance profiles in hopes of getting some freelance work, but I’ve been unable to get anything.
Freelancer Profile
Elance Profile

I guess in the meantime, I will just have to Google “simple website layouts” or “website layouts” and attempt to recreate them myself, so I can develop my portfolio. I can try giving myself a schedule like: 3-5 days to sketch/layout the website, 3-5 days to create the HTML structure, and then maybe 2 weeks to get it done. This could be my schedule for each web site.

The end of June is the second end of quarter. I would like to have by the following end of quarter, end of September, at least 5-7 good examples for my portfolio. I’m sure this is slow by experienced developers standards, but this is what I’m shooting for. I hope to have this done by then, so that I know I’ll have some solid work to back up my skills when job hunting, and hopefully find something in web development, before the end of the year and the next end of quarter.

Time for me to speed walk/run for my train home & dodge the impending rain storm. I’ll check back in tonight with an update about my site.

UPDATE: Spent a good hour last night trying to get Shadowbox.js to work and it refused to. Even the video I found on the set up on Youtube, that I followed to a “T”, did not help. I switched to Lightbox.js and that worked right away. No issues at all. Still wonder why it didn’t work, but for now I will use Lightbox for the gallery area. Now I just need to re-size the images & make thumbnail versions for them, and then the gallery will be done.

Life 3: Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself. – Edmund Lee

This quote spoke volumes to me tonight. Tonight I attended the second “2 JerseyScript 2 Furious” meetup for JerseyScript: NJ-area Front-end Developer Posse, a meetup group in my area for web developers. I have learned that some of the people in the group, work on products or sites that I know of. The guy from the first presentation, Brian(@brianloveswords), was talking about the site nodeschool.io, he works on and how he organizes group learning sessions/classes about node.js in different locations around the world. Turned out, when I went to look it up on Google Chrome on my iPhone, I already had the website bookmarked. I then remembered, I bookmarked it sometime last year for future use, when I downloaded node.js onto my computer. When I finally get around to learning node, I now know whom to send help requests to via Twitter.

Another gentleman, Eric(@JerseySchorr), worked for NY Times as a front end web developer, but started out as a back end developer there. He’s responsible for everyone’s favorite crossword puzzle, coded in HTML5, on the site. He had the idea of making the crossword puzzle accessible on the browser without requiring the user to have to download an app. Definitely enjoyed his presentation a lot. Maybe because he showed a great use of <canvas> or it was the few lines of JavaScript he showed that I understood. A very important tip he shared, that I’m passing on: Don’t use CSS to re-size canvas. Very interesting. I might try my hand at the NY Times crossword puzzle tomorrow. No guarantees that I will successfully complete it.

The third presenter, Helen(@helenhousandi), worked for WordPress.org(@WordPress). Her twitter profile says “core committer at WordPress”. Helen mentioned a bit of the work she did on the admin. They make use of preprocessors, like Sass, to get their work done efficiently. I was glad to hear that, since a friend from college not only mentioned Sass to me, but gave me a copy of a book on it. I’ve looked up some info on Sass and it looks a wonderful tool, for web developers to have. I learned many lines of CSS went into WordPress. A very big number, that escapes me right now. Definitely pass 1,000, I think. If any of you developers whom work on WordPress see this post, you all are amazing. Our organizer, Jenn, mentioned WordPress was what got her started in web development. She recalled how she moved from Geocities to WordPress, and started customizing it to her wants & needs. That reminded me of my own path into web development. Long live Geocities!

The final presenter, John(@seejohnrun), whom turned out to be a fellow NJIT almuni, did two mini-presentations. The first showcased a pong game using your scroll bar as your paddle. I enjoy seeing HTML5 and JavaScript in action. The he shared a bit of a service his advertising company provides. I’m not going to go into further detail about it, since I’m not sure if the product has been released yet or is still in the prototype stage. I can say, it’s amazing what you can do with HTML, CSS, & JavaScript, once you have spent years learning it and working with it. Seeing the pong game he created, has me contemplating, trying my hand at making a tic-tac-toe game, that was recommended for me. It may take me longer, but it could be a great learning experience.

I was going to put this post under Web Dev initially, but then I decided not to, since it affected my outlook on my future. Viewing all the interesting things these individuals have worked on and are currently working on, had my attention riveted. I thought I would feel self-conscious, because my knowledge was not at their level. Instead, I was inspired. I want to not only be as skilled as they are, in the years to come, but to be able to share any knowledge that I may have, with others one day.

Web Dev 4: About Me

Tags

, , , , , ,

Did you all think I forgot about my web site progress update? Nope. I did a rough draft of the About Me section, for my site. When I wrote it up, I realized that Microsoft Front Page, was what led to me learning about HTML & CSS. I think after that, I delved into the world of Geocities and afterwward making sure my Xanga/MySpace page theme had the right color scheme/design became a hobby of mine. I’m more than 50% positive I will end up rewriting the copy. The bookworm in me feels compelled to write two more drafts, before giving it the final seal of approval. My high school English/History teachers are to blame for this.

About Me page semi-finished

About Me page semi-finished

This week, I hope to take the time to start reviewing the functionality of Shadowbox/Lightbox for the portfolio section. My idea: I would like to be able to show thumbnails of the sites. Once you click on the thumbnail, you can quickly scroll through maybe 2-3 screenshots of the site. In the caption/description area, I will offer a short description and the ability to go to the live site. Fingers crossed that I successfully implement it. I’ve done the codecademy jQuery track in the past and plan to revisit it for a refresher. Will also check out the try.jquery.com site and some jQuery/JavaScript books I have on my Kindle for assistance. In between working on the Shadowbox/Lightbox, I’ll work on the rewrite of the “About Me”. The jQuery aspects of the site may take a while, so I maybe posting a lot about it. Possibly some code snippets to share and ask for input.

I am quite pleased that I have been putting in work on my site every week consistently, putting my skills & knowledge to work. Hopefully tonight, after the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ series finale(Ah! Barney & Robin better end up together) and a quick session at the gym, I can put in a bit of time towards my site. Until next time, thanks for reading!

Hair 4: First creation

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Two posts back to back? What? I’m just as shocked as you are. However, I just had to share my first time experience, making Naptural85’s Thick and Fluffy Pomade-Type Moisturizing Creme.

Ingredients:
-Unrefined Shea Butter at Room Temperature
-About 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
-About 1 tsp Olive Oil
-About 1 tsp Castor Oil
-About 1 Tbsp Jojoba Oil
-About 1/2 tsp Vitamin E

I modified the recipe by adding 1/2 TSP of vegetable glycerin and about 4-6 drops of lavender to add a nice scent.

Regular ingredients

Regular ingredients

I bought the Africa Shea Butter a week or two ago, from a beauty supply store near me. Instead of storing it in a cool place, I left it out in the open, giving it time to soften.

Everything in the blender

Everything in the blender

I have a Ninja Blender, so I knew my baby could handle the job.

Done mixing

Done mixing

It blended greatly. Nice and fluffy. After I poured/scraped it out and looked at my blender, I finally remembered how much work it takes to clean my blender very well. I need a hand mixer & mixing bowl, for next time.

Poured into original container. It wasn't going to fit.

Poured into original container

I attempted to pour it back in the original container and soon realized it wasn’t going to fit.

Transferred to an old hair creme container

Transferred to an old hair creme container

Good thing, I had two old creme containers that I saved for just this instance. I used an old Shea Moisture container.

Smooth and fluffy

Smooth and fluffy

Voila! I’m going to try it first as a twist creme and then let you know the results. After that I experiment, I will use it as my moisturizer, before applying hair gel/custard for a wash-style-wait-then go. No such thing as a wash and go, for me at least. I applied the little bits I had left over, on the twists I currently have in. Didn’t want to waste it and I get to try it out a little. Tomorrow, I had planned to take my twists down for a twist out anyway.

Well that’s all for tonight. I did get around to trying the Cherry Lola Treatment and the Egg, Mayo, Honey, & Olive Oil Deep Treatment, I mentioned in a previous post. I did the Cherry Lola once so far, and I’ve done the deep treatment every time I washed or cowashed my hair. I’ll write a post soon about my experience with both. Until next time, good night & thanks for reading!

Web Dev 3: Progress

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

It’s a little late/early on the east coast, but I wanted to squeeze this update in. Well my post from last week worked. I kept thinking throughout the week, I had to put in work on my site. I had to complete another portion or add something to my site, that will bring it closer to completion. I’m happy to announce that I did do some work.

  1. I decided to remove the intro/splash and bring the viewer directly to the portfolio, which will eventually be set up using shadowbox/lightbox (jQuery). Still working on the code for the hyperlink to show the viewer they are on the portfolio page. a:active is not working for some reason and it usually does. I’ll investigate why.
  2. Took the photo and the small title that was on the intro, then threw it onto the About Me page. Currently fleshing out the copy. Hopefully that I can complete tomorrow or by Tuesday.
  3. Added a Contact Me page and a form. I want to get the form working, so I’ll have to make some time to learn a bit of PHP. From what I’ve seen online, getting a contact form working, is not crazy hard. Fingers crossed, I won’t be regretting that statement later.

That’s all for now. I need to snatch as many hours left before I have to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for work. Thanks for reading.

Web Dev 2: Still under construction

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

My portfolio site is still under construction. However, instead of keeping it squirreled away on a folder on my computer, I have uploaded it in a sub folder on my site. It’s one of my ways to motivate me to finish this. I need to stop putting it off. Here’s a good article about this from the Harvard Business Review Blog Network, with tips. I think I fall into the category of “Reason #1: You are putting something off because you are afraid you will screw it up”. A part of me knows that I know my HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3 & a bit of JavaScript/jQuery, but I doubt myself, which leads to my procrastination. I need to stop doubting myself and get to work.

Solution: I’m going to make weekly tasks relating to my site, that have to be completed, to keep me focused. I will make myself spend time every day, working towards the goal of completing that task. Even when I’m tired after work or from a post-work gym session, I will work on it. I won’t work on it after a work happy hour. Not a good idea. The completion of each task, brings me closer to the completion of my site. Sounds like a good plan. Right?

Once the site is tackled, I will pursue more freelance work via Elance and pro bono work. Pro bono work? Yes. I need to get more experience and build my portfolio. Pro bono work is another means of achieving both of those things. I’m also planning on re-doing sites that I come across that need a bit of “help”. We all know those sites when we see them. The typography may be off or styling on the site is inconsistent. It’s another way to build my portfolio. I will also make random sites for friends/family or relating to something that has to with my friends/family. Sometimes just for fun, I may attempt to recreate more parts/sections of popular social networking sites, as a means to test myself. I’ve already done a small section of LinkedIn for my temporary site landing page.

Well that’s enough for tonight. But before I sign off, I will tell you my task/tasks for this week. 1) Fully flesh out the home page which involves styling the image and a quick blurb/intro. 2) Complete the “About” copy with an aside or two thrown in, to make it more personal. I will move onto this task only if “Task 1” has been completed. I will make sure to check back in with a quick post on the completion and a link to it. Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for my site status post, later in the week.