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Blogging

When I started my blog, I didn’t go into designing it too much.  I picked a quick and simple template that I thought was halfway decent and just jumped into writing.

This was on purpose.  I’m the type that I’ve started many blogs, get lost in the process of making it look great, make a two or three major design changes and walk away, never to update more than once or twice. I now see this as typical behavior of a front-end designer.  I enjoyed the process of designing the site more than I gave thought to the actual content.

This time around, I didn’t want to get lost in the design.  I wanted to immerse myself in the writing.  Now that I have a semi-nice flow I’ve been thinking of sprucing up the joint, who knows maybe get my own domain name (stepping it up in the tech-world).

Things I’m considering:

  • I’m considering a sidebar that will contain: books I’m currently reading, tutorials I’m currently working on, badges I’ve earned from any web-tutorials I’ve completed, projects I’m currently working on, social me.
  • Color schemes/font
  • new blog name
  • To jumbotron or not to Jumbotron.
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Growing Pains

This post isn’t about the beloved 80’s show, sorry.  Is my age showing?

I never knew coding would cause me physical pain.

I wasn’t going to write about this topic at all, but it’s something I’m going through and if another newbie was going through it, I’d like to know.  I just don’t want to only share the amazing or technical parts of this journey, I want to also  share the not so great moments.

Yesterday afternoon while I was at work I received an email from the small business app I’m working on.  My pseudo-boss told that the site I was working on, though nice, would probably used later on and that at this point in the project, I should use the code my classmates and I built during the Project_<code> class.  When I read those words, my heart ached, my stomach turned in knots and I was upset.  So upset I stepped away form my desk to have a moment.

This was my baby… how can she be shunned?  I wanted to plead her case and defend her, explain her potential and what I planned to do with her.  I was upset, wanted to grab my code, hug and console her, explain that she was good enough, it’s just time is not on our side.

A bunch of things were going through my mind those first 2 hours after I read the email: hurt, confusion, betrayal.  And a lot of questions ran through my mind at 100 miles an hour.

I really wasn’t.

Is this what I truly want?  Do I want to work this close with clients or do I want to just design/code for a big company and not have this much interaction with knowing why things I created were passed over?  Should I be THIS attached to my code that I can’t see past it? What’s really the best thing for this project? Does my design suck?  Am I a failure now that my code won’t be going live? Should I walk away? Is this a common occurrence?

Asking myself these questions brought up other thoughts:

Am I a bad designer/coder/developer if I’m not giving the client what they want? Am I listening to the needs/wants of my client? What did the client originally want and is my code fulfilling that? Am I strong enough to put my personal (at the moment butthurt) feelings to the side and step up to this challenge and REALLY bring it?

Asking myself these last sets of questions eased my heart.  Yes, I my ego was bruised, but it didn’t mean I was going to let that get in the way of creating something else my client would not only find functional, but adore.  I love challenges and this wrench being thrown into my plans, does not mean that my code failed.  It doesn’t mean that I failed. I’m going to step up and make site be everything my client wants/needs it to be.

This is a lesson I’m glad I’m learning now and not when I’m working for an actual company.  The design and code, it’s not about me.  It’s about the client and showcasing their product in a direct way to the user.

If working all the hours and sweat I poured into that website meant learning THIS lesson, then it was worth it.   Besides, just because my code won’t be utilized, it doesn’t mean it can’t go on my portfolio, I’m still going to tweak that code to be everything I ever wanted it to be.

oprah epiphany

because, Oprah, that’s why! Courtsey of memegenerator.net

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Things I’ve learned recently in the past few weeks

I have learned little things here and there in the past few weeks that I’ve had time to process but not really gotten to jot down.

Here they are in no particular order:

Bootstrap: it’s a framework for HTML/CSS.  For a newbie, it’s hard to wrap your brain around what a framework is.  I feel ashamed to admit I still don’t understand what a framework is.  I do understand what Bootstrap is, and I wish someone out there had explained it in the following words so that I could have understood the concept.  In it’s simplest terms: Bootstrap is syntax that helps your website be more responsive, faster designed and easier to maintain.

 Walking away: when you are stressed and you’re trying to figure out a problem, walking away really does help.  Sometimes i’ll give up after trying to work on something and I’ll force myself to not think about the issue, but it slowly creeps up on me… a possible new thing to try, which ends up being what I needed to do to make things work.

Stylesheets: Sometimes switching the order of your stylesheets around helps you get the desired result you wanted.  For example: I was having problems getting the navbar to become transparent on the Citeshare page.  I tried any and every combination of my navbar on my CSS sheet.

1zi4xj

I googled for hours and many people on different sites mentioned that that sometimes there’s so many attributes with CSS that you have just play around with the order of the attributes.

After trying numerous combinations I almost gave up.  But I decided to do one more google search and somewhere in StackOverflow, someone had posted to change the order of the CSS style sheets and the Bootstrap in your HTML file.  I figured I had nothing to lose.  I tried it and it was magic!

CSS- It really is a Cascading Style Sheet.  The further down the sheet, the more precedence they take over, although the ruels still apply, that anything in line (aka any style done in HTML) will take precedence over any styling on the CSS. It’s a tricky concept to wrap around your head, but once you practice it, it becomes easier to comprehend.

Codeschool: Check out Codeschool. a great way to learn to code. I subscribed and tried their Bootstrap course.  I learned so much from it and have followed the lesson to venture enough to implement it on the site I’m working on.  It’s worth the subscription price.  I highly recommend it.   The lessons are clear, to the point and concise.  I can take notes as the tutorial plays and when it comes time to answer the questions you can replay the section of video that applies to the questions.  I suggest you have a project you can practice on as you work through the tutorial you are working through.  I started taking the foundations course, despite knowing HTML and CSS.  I figured you never know what you don’t know, so why not just do it.

Donna Noble gif courtesy of doctorwhogif.tumblr.com

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Phone Post

I’ve been working on the site every chance I get.  I come home, take off my coat and have sat and coded for the

next 4 to 7 hours. 
Tonight, I felt two things while coding I haven’t felt in years. Pride and confidence in what I’m creating.   It’s been years since I’ve really made anything worth making.   I felt i had nothing to draw, or create or contribute to the world.
Tonight i go to sleep feeling like an artist.   Don’t get me wrong,  the site still needs tweaking,  could look a billion times better,  but it’s getting there.   Like Michaelangelo chipping away,  taking away from the marble the parts that aren’t necessary to show the piece within the stone,  I too am polishing this site, playing around with code to reveal the masterpiece within.

#dramatic

I know, I know.  But i feel happy.   My potential being put to good use. 

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Clearance to share…

I’ve received it. So here ya go:

di6ppR6i9

Citeshare.com.

Here’s what I’m literally working on right now, in no particular order:

  • responsiveness. I had a friend check it out form their PC and things aren’t looking the way they’re looking on mine monitors.
  • Fix the typos made by the apostrophes.
  • Fix the order of the content.
  • Finish adding content.

Fix the navbar.  Right now it’s looking like the screen shot below and I want it to look like the image on the right. Check out Vito Salvatore’s website.  That’s his navbar, it rocks. His site is beautiful.Capture2

Capture

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Front End…

My eyes hurt, my ass is numb but I’m happier than I’ve ever been.  I spent all weekend working on designing and putting up the website for the project I’m working on.  I’m freaking excited.  It’s finally starting to look more put together.

My only gripe with coding is that I’ll spend three hours trying to fix something, figure it out, upload the new code and it looks like I did 5 minutes worth of work.  It sucks, but I don’t care.  I’m having so much fun.

The things I have still to update:

  • Testimonials section
  • Colors scheme on the NavBar
  • Thinking of putting a small label floating on the top right of each section. Not sure about this, as the navbar is supposed to link you to each section
  • Make the NavBar links navigate to their perspective section.
  • Contact form at bottom on page
  • Sign-up and other search bar need to be spruced up.

I was going to link the site, as it’s live and I’d love some feedback, but I think I should get clearance first. I can do this forever.

Things I’ve done in this site that I’ve never done before, in no particular order:

  • Used Google Fonts.  Super  easy!
  • Overwrote my index.html file with an older version of the file and had to “recover” my file.  I was happy I only lost about an hour worth of work.  Lesson learned: When you start getting tired, save and walk away, don’t try to upload anything.
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