Entering the World of Coding

Good evening world! Well, evening if you are on the good ‘ole east coast in the AMAZING United States of America! This is officially my first blog post I have ever written, and it brings along with it a weird feeling! I am not one to always voice my opinions or thoughts on social media, but I thought this might be a good release for me from the hectic world of coding! So stay tuned, stay connected, and brace yourself to understand my struggles!

The History

A little bit about myself before we begin. I was born in Livingston, NJ to the most amazing and loving parents that one could have. At the age of 3, my family and I moved down to a little town (back then! Now it is a booming city) called Lilburn, GA. Lets just say, I have never left since! My coding journey actual began in my freshman year of high school. I still remember the call I got from my school in the summer of 2016. The nice lady told me that one of my elective classes was full, and that I would have to choose an alternative. I asked her what my options were, and she spouted a few things and finally landed on computer programming! “Hmm, computer programming! Yes sign me up for that!” I told her. That summer, I was misguided in my idea of what computer programming was! I thought it was all about learning how to use PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. Little did I know how wrong I really was! My first day of class was interesting… My teacher told us, “Class, open up the Visual Basic application on your Desktop.” I thought, “Hmm Visual Basic, this is something I have never heard of before!” As the class progressed that day, I realized I was completely mistaken, but in my pride, and my inability to admit I was wrong, I stayed in the class and pushed through what was probably one of the hardest classes in my high school career! This computer programming class open the doors to learning Java and HTML later on in high school. I graduated with a Technical Certificate from Parkview High School, but ultimately dropped my passion for coding. At Emory University, I studied the brain. Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology with a minor in Predictive Health, yeah…. it is a mouthful. I graduated in 2014, but throughout those four years I laid coding aside to focus on other things. This is one of the things I regret most about my time in college! Only in 2016 did I start my coding again, and I have to say it has been a struggle.

The Coding Rebirth

In January, I started to learn Swift for iOS development, but working full time as an Emergency Medical Technician vastly hampered my ability to dedicate my time to learning Swift. In August of this year, I had an interesting epiphany. I wanted to do what I loved! I wanted to go back to the days where I would sit in front of a computer and create a project from scratch. I missed cursing and yelling and banging my head on a wall trying to get my code to work and fixing all of those bugs! I missed the feeling of accomplishment and excitement when your code ran with no errors! I missed seeing the final product after so many gut wrenching hours of work, so with the help of a good friend of my, Ranjit Bijoy, and the support of my family, I threw caution to the wind and withdrew my life savings to enroll in The Firehose Project. You can check them out here: https://www.thefirehoseproject.com/

Oh, I Think I Got This…

The two week pre-course they had was great! I was able to refresh my mind on all the knowledge I had lost throughout my coding lapse! HTML, CSS, easy! Building a static website, easy! Click here to check out my first static website: www.elsonmathew.com (More will be added in the future! I actually hope to blog from there soon!). I soon enrolled in the full course, and I soon realized I had no idea what I was getting into!!

Ummm….No I Don’t

Our first project was to get our hands dirty and create a web app that would display advice for any topic of your choosing! I decided to go motivational quotes, so I can constantly use it when I need it ;) ! Building the application on Ruby on Rails was so confusing! I did not understand what I was doing. Initially I wrote code and saw what happen! I just felt like a court recorder typing other peoples code into my computer! We learned how to set up our virtual environment, Vagrant. We learned how to set up a GitHub and Heroku profile. We learned how to code ourselves into our project files so that we could upload updated code to both GitHub and Heroku… Needless to say, this all was a daunting task for someone with such little experience! You thought the project was done at this point right? Try again! This was just the steps to get the project up and running!

Next we planned out how to execute our vision (this is formally referred to as Wireframing). Then we got into the meat of the code. We coded using Twitter Bootstrap, Ruby, HTML, and CSS. Every project has so many files, and all of these files work in conjunction with one another to stitch together a fluid website! It took a week and two days of fidgeting, worrying, and angst, but I was finally able to publish my first dynamic website! It is not as beautiful as I would have liked it… Don’t get me wrong, its not for a lack of trying! I tried my best to make this site as awesome as possible, but I realized I was trying to make things happen too quickly! Some one told me it will be nice to map your progress and see how easy the edits are when you are further into it and become more knowledgeable! Here is is the link if you would like to see it: https://splurty-elson-mathew.herokuapp.com Please add your favorite quote to help all of us stay motivated!!

Moving on to the Next!

I am moving on to the next application! Stay tuned to these websites to see updates and new features! I plan on adding more things in the near future as I learn!!