Lesson learned: Always read the instructions first

I made a TON of progress on my project last week, and I was really excited about it. I also learned two important lessons:

  1. If you’re designing something  that you want to look good on a smartphone screen, it’s probably a good idea to test that design on an actual phone, and not just by resizing the browser on your laptop.
  2. Reading the documentation and instructions for using a framework (or really, anything) before you start using it can prevent a lot of stress.

Want to know how I learned those lessons? Keep reading.

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Week 9: Project progress and a career leap of faith

a screenshot of the section of my project site with Triple Crown race names and dates

The items in the title of this post are in reverse order, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want, so let’s get to the big stuff first, shall we?

Last Friday was my last day as associate editor at TechRepublic, which was bittersweet. I’d been there for almost three years, I had a great group of coworkers, and I learned so much and gained a lot of professional self-confidence during that time. But moving on so I could focus more on learning and getting experience in web development and UX was what I felt like I needed to do.

At the beginning of this year, I was in a mediation class (I’m going to get all new age-y on you for a second.) and two words came to me: listen and honor. I decided to adopt those as sort of a mantra for this year, as much as I can. So a few weeks ago, when I thought about leaving my job, something just felt right, and I decided to listen to and honor that inner voice.

So anyway, my plan is to spend the next few months working on my Code Louisville project, doing online classes, and looking for and learning from any other resources I can find. Then I’ll be looking for opportunities to get my new career off the ground.

In other news,  I’ve had quite a bit of time to work on my  Louisville Triple Crown of Running project version 2.0 over the past couple days, so I’ve gotten it to a pretty good place. Not perfect, by any means, but good. (It’s hosted here, if you want to check it out.)

This seems like a good time to go item-by-item through all the changes I’ve made. If you’re into that kind of thing, stick around.

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Week 7: Dear Bootstrap, you’re amazing…

This post is going to be a short one. I wanted to stick to my goal of posting at least once a week, though.

This week, I discovered Bootstrap. If you’re not familiar, it’s an HTML, CSS, and JavaScript library. Basically, instead of writing a bunch of code from scratch, you can say, “Okay, I want to make a navigation bar,” or “I want to make a button,” and there’s code that you can copy and paste that does those things.

It’s probably good that I learned how to do basic front end layout things the hard way first, but Bootstrap has made it a lot easier to accomplish the design I have in my head.

Continue reading “Week 7: Dear Bootstrap, you’re amazing…”

Week 6: jQuery and Flexbox layouts

A couple weeks ago, I posted about being overwhelmed by trying to get the basics of JavaScript. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still intimidating, but this week, I met jQuery and it made JavaScript a little more friendly. The syntax is a lot simpler and more intuitive, for me anyway.

I remember reading a book for an English class in high school (don’t ask me what book, that was a little while ago) and it took like three pages to get the message across that it snowed. That’s how JavaScript feels to me, as a beginner.

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Project update: Creating the basic layout for my Louisville Triple Crown of Running site

This week, which is week 5 of the Code Louisville program if you’re counting, the assignments were the JavaScript and the DOM course, and the Responsive Layouts course.

But mainly I wanted to share what I’ve been working on project-wise. In a previous post, I talked about making the Louisville Triple Crown of Running website more user-friendly, so I’ve come up with a basic layout that solves the issues I was having.

One of the first bits of advice I got from mentors in the program was to put my ideas on paper before writing any code. My idea went through several iterations, but here’s the one I ended up with:

Continue reading “Project update: Creating the basic layout for my Louisville Triple Crown of Running site”

Week 4: JavaScript overload and CSS selectors

Not gonna lie, this week was tough!

I’m getting to the point where I understand enough about JavaScript and CSS to know that they can do really cool things, and have some idea of how those things might be accomplished. But I feel so far away from actually getting anything to work.

As I was going through the JavaScript Loops, Arrays, and Objects course on Treehouse, I had several ideas for cool things to do based on the videos, but they’re all just useless pieces of broken code at this point. And I don’t know enough to identify where the problems might be.

But instead of turning this post into one big rant, let’s focus on the things that did go right this week:

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Project: Making the Louisville Triple Crown of Running website more user-friendly

One of the big requirements for the Code Louisville program is designing and building the front end of a website or app from scratch. For this project, I wanted to solve an issue that’s bugged me for years.

I’ve run the Louisville Triple Crown of Running several times, so every year, I’ve visited the website looking for race dates. And every year, I have the same frustrating experience. Here’s a screenshot of what you first see:


Continue reading “Project: Making the Louisville Triple Crown of Running website more user-friendly”