Code

How the Internet Works

I started dabbling in a new course called The Web Developer Bootcamp taught by Colt Steele on Udemy as a way to prepare myself better for an in-person immersive bootcamp program. One of the very first things that intrigued me about this course was learning about how the internet works. I’ve taken some computer science courses in college and not one of them emphasized on the process that happens behind-the-scenes of a web page.

When you enter a URL in your browser, you’re essentially requesting data and the server is responding back with that data. When you start doing back-end development, it’s going to be your job to figure out what kind of data to send back to the user. I think it’s fascinating that we’re at a point of such high-level technology that the Internet sends back data within seconds. Remember dial up Internet?! That took forever for websites to load.

I thought this video was extremely interesting and recommend everyone to watch it. It explains exactly what the Internet does in order to send and receive information and display it in our browsers as the pretty websites we see.

Project 1: Build a Personal Website via General Assembly!

I used to think I knew HTML/CSS so well from tweaking codes on Tumblr and MySpace (the good ol’ days). How wrong was I?! I was working through my Flatiron School Bootcamp Prep course and was introduced to a new section of JavaScript called the DOM, which requires you to know HTML. Wow I don’t know anything! is what I thought. I had to solve a few challenges but in order to solve those challenges, you need to have prior knowledge in the basics of HTML. I hadn’t remembered anything and I didn’t even know there was a difference between HTML and CSS. Silly silly silly Ursh. BUT there’s always something new to learn and that’s what’s so cool about programming; you’re always learning. So I learned that the DOM connects web pages to scripts and programming which adds interactivity. I still haven’t gotten through this section, but I made it a point to work through Codecademy’s HTML/CSS course and now I’m doing General Assembly’s DASH course so I can build Tumblr themes! So I now know what HTML is and what it does to a web page. Yay.

HTML (also called HyperText Markup Language) is the structure of the content that goes inside the tags. It’s the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. Browsers generally provide a default style but HTML is pretty useless and ugly without its partners, CSS and JavaScript.

To have a valid HTML document, you need to tell the browser that you’re using HTML5. You have to start the structure of your code off with

<!DOCTYPE html>

on the first line, before everything else. That tells the browser that you’re using the newest version (HTML5). Together, the doctype, head, and body make up the basic foundation and structure that every website starts with. Cool right?

CSS (also called Cascading Style Sheets) controls the style of the HTML content or an XML document. It lets you change colors, fonts, layouts, etc. It describes how elements should be rendered on screen, on paper, in speech, or other media. It’s like painting, but on a digital screen. If you’re a person who’s into making things look aesthetically pleasing, you’ll like CSS.

This is what I’ve created so far in General Assembly—it’s not perfect and it’s not pretty because I don’t know how to do all the cool things yet but it’s still something. Here’s the link and the code below.


<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
<title>Ursh</title>
<style>

body {
text-align: center;
background: white;
color: black;
background-size: cover;

}

img {
border-radius: 100%;
max-height: 500px;
max-width: 70%;
}

h2 {
font-size: 40px;
font-family: Verdana;
}

p {
font-size: 16px;
font-family: Verdana;
}

input[type="email"] {
padding: 10px;
border: 2px solid black;
font-size: 16px;
font-family: Verdana;
}

input[type="submit"] {
background: black;
color: white;
font-family: Verdana;
font-size: 16px;
padding: 10px
}
</style>

</head>
<body>
<img src="https://i2.wp.com/i65.tinypic.com/2wqzorb.jpg?w=2448" data-wpmedia-src="http://i65.tinypic.com/2wqzorb.jpg">
<h2>URSH URSH URSH</h2>
Visual Arts & Programming
Baruch College, Corporate Communications & English Literature
<input type="email" placeholder="Let's chat!">
<input type="submit">
</body>

Programming Curriculum

Within the first few weeks of learning to code, I applied to an Immersive Bootcamp program to speed up my process. Little did I know that when you get to the technical interview, you have to have a basic knowledge of functions, data structures, loops, and arrays in order to complete the challenges and knowing how to execute your thought process. I applied anyway to see what my experience would be like and to my surprise I got into the Online Immersive Program. I was disappointed though and declined the offer but it also gave me motivation to keep going because I would definitely get good and get better enough for the in-person immersive program if I kept practicing. There are SO many free resources for us to use. The Internet is our education and if you look hard enough, you’ll find everything you need to. I started off learning JavaScript and Ruby.

This is the curriculum I’ve created for myself SO far to get good enough (and even better) to get into a Bootcamp Program:

  • HTML/CSS (Codecademy)
  • General Assembly (Dash Course)
  • Build a Tumblr Theme (or a few Tumblr themes) using HTML/CSS
  • JavaScript (Codecademy)
  • jQuery (Codecademy)
  • Flatiron School Bootcamp Prep JavaScript Course (again from the start!)
  • Ruby (Codecademy)
  • Flatiron School Ruby Fundamental’s Course

After I complete this, I’m going to create a second curriculum using resources like CodeSchool, edX, Udacity, Coursera, FreeCodeCamp, and TeamTreeHouse.

What’s your curriculum? What am I missing? What language are you learning? 

I’m Going to be a Developer

People say the best way to learn something is to teach it. I’ve been told that starting a coding blog is a good idea so I decided I’d give it a shot.

I’m Ursh. I’m an absolute beginner, so cut me some slack if I write about things I have no clue about and feel free to correct me, give me feedback, etc. But please be nice about it. There’s always something to learn and I’m here to do exactly that.

I started coding 4 months ago, in December, so my knowledge right now is less than 10% in what I need to know—SO nerve-wracking but exciting! Before making the decision to dive into a creative world of endless possibilities, I was in school. I studied Corporate Comm. and English Literature with a minor in Philosophy. “But what are you going to do with a degree SO deadend?” Right. What was I going to do? I wanted to write, I wanted to make a difference, and I wanted to create. But with a degree like that and 10+ internships in PR, social media, and marketing, my options seemed limited and lacked creativity. I didn’t want to be a media planner or spend the next few years being an administrative assistant to an editor. I also didn’t want to write branded content, promoting and selling things that I didn’t fully believe in. I walked away from an industry I knew so well but made me so miserable. The root of my anxiety is often caused by the “image” the media portrays and I didn’t want to be part of that materialistic world. So after graduation, I panicked….hard. Even harder when I landed a job involving numbers, balancing books, investments, and real-estate. I couldn’t help but “lol” at myself. I’d officially set myself up for failure and a life of misery. So three months later, I quit—and got a lot of shit for it from traditional parents who believe in “sucking it up and making money.” *eyeroll*

At this point, I existed with no real direction. It’s not easy figuring out what you want to achieve and what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it. I took a step back to fully evaluate where I wanted to place myself in order to drive my creativity and my passion for innovation. I looked backwards at my life, connecting the dots of all the things that added value to my life: creating, building, problem solving, challenging my brain. I’ve always had an eagerness to bring my vision into existence through a digital medium; design, animation, web applications, web pages, UX/UI, interactivity, photography, video editing, video games, etc, are all things that I enjoy. I searched deep within myself.

I was midst creating a blog about fashion—because why not put my degree to use?!—and I realized that I liked making the blog “look aesthetically pleasing” than actually writing for it. I knew deep down that I had some gravitational pull to technology. As far as I can remember, I was extremely enthusiastic when I created “awesome” MySpace layouts with simple HTML tags, being the ~special snowflake~ who’s MySpace page looked “different” and “cool” because it was “original.” I look back at that now and realize everyone was doing the same thing I was doing (haha). But there was an intrinsic reward for me every time I learned a new HTML tag and hard coded a simple line. So it kind of clicked.

I’m going to be a developer. I’m going to keep learning every day. I’m going to learn even when I feel the least motivated. I’m going to keep going, I’m going build, and create, and I’m going to be frustrated, and angry, and full of self-doubt, but I’m not going to stop. I’m going to live up to my full potential, I’m going to create something, I’m going to learn Arduino, I’m going to build interactive objects, and I’m going to call myself a developer, as genuinely as ever.