I’ve moved!

Not only have I moved to a new city, but I’ve also changed domain names!  Check me out at hackingmy.life (hackingmy[dot]life.  See you folks there!



I’ve signed up for Dain Miller’s Advanced Beginner Challenge.  I took the Javascript course and am learning React.Js and Vue.Js.


The first couple of days starts with reading and watching youtube videos to become familiar with the syntax and language.  The videos and reading material have been great, but as always, the concept of javascript, though I understand vanilla terminology, some concepts still aren’t clicking for me.

I have found that Codecademy (which I haven’t accessed in a long time) has a React.js tutorial.  I’ve been reading the little introduction and so far, it seems like it’s pretty well detailed and in a few paragraphs has shed a little insight into why folks are using React.js:

  • Speed-  apps written in React can “handle  complex updates and still feel quick and responsive”.
  • Modular-   Can write many small reusable files, instead of one large chunk of code.  This helps with maintainability.
  • Scalable-  Can handle large programs with changeable data.
  • Flexible- Is being used for more than just webapps.  It’s potential is being experimented with.

I can’t wait to really take a chunk out of this tutorial and see what I’ll be building soon.



End of Year Review

As this blog title states this is my End of Year review.  Last year I gave myself the following list of things I wanted to work on and how I did:

  1. Update the blog once a week.
    • This didn’t happen, despite me thinking about posting and even mentally drafting things in my head. I do want to post more consistently and am working on setting up an actual schedule with real topics.
  2. Finish FreeCodeCamp.
    • I re-started the FreeCodeCamp tutorial as they had added more classes to make things more succint.  As I was getting halfway through the Javascript portion, I felt like it wasn’t the path I wanted to go down.  I wanted to focus on art, layouts, color and learning javascript felt like torture, as I didn’t get the WHY. I still plan to finish FreeCodeCamp. Just not now.
  3. Start making small sites for profits.
    • I did collaborate and worked on one main site and dabbled in helping a few others. I realize a big deterrent for not finishing these projects was that I am thinking of the time I’m putting into them vs. other things I’m sacrificing in order to complete these projects.  I’m not motivated to finish a few of these projects, I feel guilty for feeling this way and in turn it’s getting in the way of my wanting to put myself out there as a designer and promote myself and work for others.  
  4. Focus on design, color and composition.
    • I’ve spent a lot of this year on learnign about design, color, learning about the design world, etc. I took Skillcrush’s Visual Designer Blueprint and LOVED it.  It’s made me a bit more confused as to the niche I fall in, as I love to design, play around with UI as well as code.
  5. Not focus on learning a subject. Learn based on what I want to make.
    • I have been learning about things I’ve been curious about. However, I’ve been consuming a lot of information and not creating as much as I am learning.
  6. Go to a few tech meetups.
    • Being a single mom with not so much free time made this a bit hard to accomplish. I did subscribe and follow a few youtubechannels/podcasts about the industry which I listen to during work, on my commute, and while I’m doing chores at home.
  7. Go to a tech conference.
    • See #6.
  8. Start using Github on the regular.
    • I don’t know what possessed me to erase my github projects, but I did sometime this year and don’t know why. 
  9. Update this blog and add a portfolio section and customize the design. Bye, bye stock layout.
    • Now that I’ve taken the Blueprint, I’ve been working on this for the past few weeks. To be completed by the end of this year.
  10. Get business cards printed.
    • With my name changing, not sure how I wanted to lay out mypage/brand myself, I decided to hold off on this.  To occur soon.
  11. Read more programming/design books.
    • This, yes. Has happened, though I’ve been reading a lot about entrepreneurship, changing my thoughts to positive thoughts, and about never giving up. 

For a split second as I was reading the goals I set out for myself last year, and seeing that I hadn’t met most of them made me feel as if I had failed. For that second I was disappointed in myself. What did I do this past year? Waste it?

But I didn’t. I am proud that this year, like last year was a hard year. And I stuck with this. I didn’t quit.  I may not have produced as much content as I wanted, but I consumed a lot of knowledge that will help me lay the groundwork for my future.  I needed to really get my head in the game, I learned about myself, the things I need to function.  One of those things is knowing (at least on a basic level) how an environment works before I jump in.  It’s the way I am, I’ve always thrown myself into situations where I don’t know anything about a field.  I love that I can jump into the unknown, however, it has caused me a lot of stress in the past and the learning curve has been so stressful and filled with fear that it turned me off from it.

I don’t want that to happen in this case. I didn’t research design agency life, but I did do a lot of research on what it’s like to have a side hustle; how to have work/life balance; the purpose of design: am I designing for art’s sake or to problem solve; What should I be charging; Should I freelance or work for someone right off the bat; What kind of problems do I want to work on aka who’s my target client; Should I generalize or specialize; Design or Develop; Would I benefit from learning to make passive income, etc.  I’ll share the channels I follow in a future post.

I know to some this might seem like a waste of time, but creating for the sake of creating, seems like a waste. I wanted to invest my time in learning the above referenced things so that I don’t waste time making too many mistakes. I’ve already gone down a lot of paths the past 2 years and not completed much.  I’m also taking into consideration that I took the Skillcrush Blueprint, spent 3.5 months on it and spent cash that I didn’t really have and invested in myself.  Was it worth it? Yes. But now I need to take what I learned and monetize it. That’s what these last few weeks will be for me in 2016. Get this blog up and running, and make it work for me.  My goal is to have it make enough to cover the Adobe cloud subscription I want to sign up for. Working with Gimp and Inkspace is good, but I’m spending so much time learning these programs that It’s taking away from actually creating anything.



Designing Woman

My Skillcrush Visual Design Blueprint is over, but I am still working on finishing up some of the work.

At times, a part of me wants to finish the work, put it on my portfolio and use it to find a few projects.  At other times, it feels like I already have a few projects on the table and I should just focus on those projects and finish up the class when I can.

I was sick for the past week, and didn’t have to focus on what to decide. Today an opportunity presented itself at work, and I ended up making a logo for my Company’s cancer walk team.  I showed my boss my sketch and she liked it. I hope she likes the computerized version.

It was the first time in a long time that I sat at the computer and TRULY enjoyed every minute of my tweaking every anchor and handle on this logo. I had so much fun.  I’ll show it off after I get some feedback. I don’t like showcasing work before the client sees it, but I’m proud of it, if I do say so myself.

It’s giving me the confidence to finish the other real-life  project I have been working on, but kind of hesitant to touch the past few weeks.

I started feeling hesitant and a little bit apprehensive for a few weeks now because in taking these design classes, I stopped coding for almost 18 weeks. I went to code a simple sight and despite my knowing html pretty well, for the life of me, I couldn’t set up the nav bar to look like I wanted and it made me doubt myself. How can I call myself a developer, when I have to reference if my <ul> and <li> are in the right sequence?  I know it’s impostor syndrome rearing it’s ugly head.

But it’s not affecting me tonight.  Tonight, I feel good. I feel accomplished. This felt right.


I’m crushing on Skillcrush

This summer I signed up for Skillcrush’s Visual Designer Blueprint. I knew it would be an online course and I knew it would be extensive, being that I previously took the WordPress Blueprint  but never finished (okay, I didn’t even make it halfway, will probably ask to join a future Woprdpress session.)

The class is officially over (though the content is available to me forever), and though I haven’t finished all the assignments, I am almost done. The group will be active until the end of this month and I plan to finish everything within the next week or so.  I knew the class would be involved, but I didn’t think I would learn THIS much.

You definitely get your money’s worth by taking this class. The assignments seem easy as your watch the videos and read the instructions, and they are.  The instructions are simple, well explained and to the point. I highly enjoyed myself while doing the exercises and wanted to get really involved in each assignment, and that’s great, however, it’s one of the reasons it made me fall behind a bit, the main reason being that it’s summer and it’s not easy staying locked up doing work when you have a little one and the sun is shinning.

The class moves quickly, but steady. The instructors are HIGHLY involved and I’m shocked that they work what seems to be around the clock. They answered every question and concern, gave feedback and were pleasant.  You can sign up for hangout feedback sessions where you can go over an assignment, discuss it with fellow classmates that also signed up and you can provide them with constructive criticism (as they can to you) and you they’re fun!  I was only able to attend one, but I highly enjoyed putting a voice and face to the work you see everyday.

During this Blueprint I learned about user personas, branding, how to use illustrator, what inDesign actually is and how to use it, updated my Photoshop skills, learned more about UX/UI design and really got into the psychology behind creating a site/brand/image.  It was also helpful to see other people’s work and how they interpret the same assignments and their take on things. It’s a really cool process.

The main thing I took away from taking this class is that I love this field. I am capable, and have the skills to really put myself out there and I believe taking this class really cemented that in me.  Okay, back to finishing up. I think the next post I make, I will share some of the work I’ve done for the class.




Crushing it

I signed up for Skillcrush’s new Visual Design Blueprint a few weeks ago.   I felt I was lacking a few skills/needed to brush up on things I learned back in college.  I feel that in order to really make my websites not look amateurish, I need to polish my design skills, brush up on photoshop and finally learn illustrator.

I was having trouble pinpointing why the few websites I’ve created look nice, but, they looked… basic and needed to look a bit more polished. So, when the email came announcing this new blueprint, I jumped all over it.

I had previously signed up for the wordpress blueprint and enjoyed it and learned a few things. I didn’t finish it, but Skillcrush has an awesome policy that if you didn’t finish the class, or wanted to brush up on things, you can always go back and access the material. I’ll eventually finish it.

I’m starting to feel a little more confident and I’m having fun.  I am almost done with week 2 and I’ve already learned so much.  I’ve learned about grids, mood boards, user personas (which was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but in the end turned out to be one of the most helpful) and storyboarding (which when I started out felt silly, but turned out to be very helpful and an eye opener).

I can’t wait to see what next week holds.  I’m so excited to start utilizing these skills to make Mylings and Stacy’s sites gorgeous.


Stuck like Taffy on Teeth


I’ve spent most of this weekend working on this problem. And yes, I’ve looked up the answers and I still don’t understand HOW some people came up with the answer because in my head, it doesn’t work out how it’s working out for them.  I don’t even KNOW how some people came up with their answers, it’s like… they know more Javascript than the level they’re at on Freecodecamp and just seem to plug things in.  I’m trying to use what I’ve learned from FCC and trying to figure it out, and it’s just NOT.  I think I need to take better notes || complete the sample review after the learning few learning lessons. That last sentence was a programmer joke , “||” is programming for “Logical Or ” Operator.  I think that was my first programming joke, but knowing myself, I probably got it wrong (like my grammar in this past sentence).


Countdown Freecodecamp

4.23.16- 2 hours

4.24.15- 2 hours

Hours remaining prior to this weekend: 379

Hours  remaining after this weekend: 375 hours

Goal:Front-End Developer Certification by August 26th, 2016


I know this much is true…

When you walk away from things after banging your head on the keyboard for an hour, you tend to come back with a clearer head.

Went to bed, woke up and remembered that amazing youtube video that explained functions to me a few months back.

Check it out here!



I decided to do 20 hours a week of FreeCodeCamp. I calculated how long it would take me  to earn  the Front End Developer Certificate at this rate and I should be earning it by August 26th of this year.

That’s my goal. I just want to complete it and have something to show for my efforts. Tonight I wanted to do just 1 Pomodoro, because mentally, I just didn’t want to code.  Five Pomodoro’s later and I reached the Boolean section in the Javascript portion.

Will stop here for tonight. I don’t want to go overboard and get burned out.

Going to go to sleep while I read Jon Duckett’s Javascript and jQuery. I think I’m having a hard time understanding to program because I don’t understand terminology. I can follow the examples just fine but if it weren’t for them, I couldn’t do the example just by reading the terms.

Things you should check out that were discussed tonight: