The One Where I Learned Javascript (An Update)

Canvas+javascript by https://www.flickr.com/photos/hildeengwenverbouwen/

It’s been a few weeks since I seriously started learning javascript. It’s been great! I’ve gone from struggling to understand basic concepts to actually getting it and wanting to learn more! If I had to guess, I’ve put in 20+ hours into learning Javascript so far.

There is so much more to learn but here is what I have accomplished so far.

Javascript Road Trips

In mid August, Code School had their annual free weekend. From Friday-Sunday all content was free, so I took advantage of their Javascript pathThe content was great! It went into detail, the examples built upon each other and I was able to download the videos/pdfs as references! I’m guessing I spent 6-8 hrs going through the lessons and I feel as though I have a really solid foundation of if/when statements, functions and variables.

Bought a Javascript Book

Jon Duckett’s JavaScript & jQuery book had been on my wish list for years. I had been putting off buying it since I didn’t need more books. However, I had heard nothing but good things. In the CodeNewbies TwitterChat other people mentioned that they were reading/had read it. So, I bit the bullet and spent twenty whole dollars on a copy. I’m only a few chapters in and I like it so far. Did you know that there is a companion site too?

Twitter Famous

I like Twitter chats. In the tech chats that I follow, a common question is “What are you working on / what are your coding goals?” Since the beginning of August, I’ve been vocal about where I am in my code journey and Twitter has responded with tons of support. I’ve gotten insane (at least from my perspective) amounts of likes along with suggestions for resources, offers to chat and people admitting they were in similar boats. Although I’m not putting myself out there for the impressions or likes, it’s encouraging to see and reassures me that I’m making a good choice.

Is it payday?

The other day, I really had Javascript on the brain. So, I decided to make a super simple webpage that answers the question “Is it payday?” It works! The logic is simple (it assumed pay is on the 15th and 30th) but I’m proud that I was able to write a function from memory. I’ve posted the code on Github with the plans to update it and add functionality.

More good things are coming!


Photo by nøcomputer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One Where I Learned Javascript

Canvas+javascript by https://www.flickr.com/photos/hildeengwenverbouwen/

I’ve been avoiding learning Javascript for a while now. How long? Probably as long as I’ve known HTML & CSS which has been 5-6 years at this point. I’ve known of Javascript but only felt comfortable looking at variables and saying, “Yup, that’s Javascript!” I saw Javascript as an obstacle that would be very difficult to learn, let alone master on my own. At the same time, I knew that not knowing Javascript would hold me back as a developer.

In 2016, feeling held back as a developer was a common theme for me. I felt stuck. I felt like I had gotten comfortable and hadn’t put in the effort to learn anything new. Because of that, I felt behind, out of touch and like I wasn’t really a developer. The imposter syndrome was very real.

So, in the Spring of that year, I started to do something about it. After debating about it, I enrolled in some classes at Skillcrush and haven’t looked back. I boosted my WordPress skills and learned Git/Github. Both of which, like Javascript, I didn’t get when I tried learning it before. When Summer came, I beta tested their Introduction to Javascript class. I got so close to the end of the course, but struggled with the final assignments/project. I knew more than I did before (yay for small victories) but I had a ways to go. I needed more practice, to be in a better headspace, etc, so I planned to retake the course in the future. Which is where I am now!

This week, me and some other peeps are starting over with learning Javascript. I’ve restarted the course and I’m excited to be dipping in! It may still be hard as time goes on, but I need to stick with it. I have no doubt that the payoff will be well worth it in the end.


Photo by nøcomputer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One with the Cover Letter

Lane Co. fair beauty 3.1 by jmb_craftypickle on Flickr

On a whim, I signed up for the EdX.org course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s focus was on being a critical reader, note taking and annotation and to start brainstorming ideas for our final writing project:

With two topics being presented as part of this class, from the start, I choose to focus on business writing. Writing memos or to-dos comes easy for me, but I get hung up on where business writing really matters: The resume and cover letter. Yikes! While I’m not actively searching for a new job, getting comfortable with the process, will benefit me in the long run.


Photo by jmb_craftypickle is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One with the Tone

Tone by delete08 on Flickr

On a whim, I signed up for the EdX.org course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s assignment was to experiment writing in different tones or styles. With the example of writing a colleague for a favor we were instructed to write two versions. The first one, neutral/formal, the second informal and the last, formal but with more of a negative tone. Here goes!

Original writing

Good Morning Sue,

I hope you are doing well. I have an important meeting later this week and I was wondering if it would be possible for me to borrow your office. Two representatives from ABC company have asked to meet with me and your office is quieter and better suited for multiple visitors compared to mine. The meeting will only be an hour and the date and time are flexible, depending on your availability, etc. I would be happy to trade offices a well.

Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance!

– Shannon

Informal

Hey Sue. Can I borrow your office later this week? It’ll only be for an hour. Date/time is flexible depending on what you have going on. Let me know. Thanks!

Formal with negative tone

Hi Sue,

I know things are busy, so I wanted follow up just in case you didn’t see my previous email. I have a really important meeting this week and I wanted to know if I could borrow your office. Two representatives from ABC company have asked to meet with me and, if possible, I want to avoid meeting them in my office since it’s next to the lunchroom and can get loud at times. The meeting will only be an hour. I haven’t set a date yet since I was waiting to hear back from you.

Let me know.

– Shannon

Thoughts

Like I mentioned in my first post, writing emails is easy for me. I do memos like this on a daily basis so I enjoyed the first part of this assignment. However, writing the 3rd version (polite but insistent) was uncomfortable and difficult. I struggle with how to be firm without coming off as bitchy or rude. Email makes this challenging since tone can be lost or misinterpreted when you can’t hear how something is being said.


Photo by delete08 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One Where I Signed Up for an edX Course

Arts Crawl 11.20.09 | kellywritershouse | https://www.flickr.com/photos/kellywritershouse/

On a whim, I signed up for the EdX.org course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s assignment was to write about what type of writing you do normally, your thoughts on writing and what areas within writing you want to improve in the most.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with writing. I disliked the writing process at times, but I felt found myself drawn to the idea of being a writer. Call me Carrie Bradshaw! Or, call me someone who knows that being a strong written communicator can come in handy in the business world. Those emails aren’t going to write themselves! Which is where I come in. For ColWri2.2x’s first journal assignment we were asked to describe the type of writing we do most and for me that’s business writing. Emails and memos, mostly, but on occasion, training materials/documentations and slide decks. It may not be glamorous but I feel in my element when typing up a memo or documentation.

I didn’t feel as in my element when it came to academic writing. The essay section of the SAT, for example, was a nightmare. The writing prompt I had was lobsters (why?) and I’m pretty sure I got the lowest possible grade on that essay. In college, writing assignments went either way. Sometimes I felt happy with something I had written or surprised by positive feedback I’d written. Other times, it was a a source of frustration, stress and tears. No, with college and work experience behind me, I welcome the challenge of writing, but I do psyche myself out of it sometimes.

As far as improving, I’d like to get better at the idea of sitting down and just being a writer. Here’s to less talking myself out of writing and more talking myself into writing. There’s really no harm in writing, even if it’s not “great” or “perfect”. Practice is the only way to improve and it’s never too late to start.


Photo by kellywritershouse is licensed under CC BY 2.0