After 365 Days of Code — A Habit Made Easy to Keep, Harder to Quit (Part 1 of 3)
Phase 1: Free Code Camp Certification
Phase 2: Diving into the ME(R)N stack
Yup, I was learning MEN (MongoDB, Express, and Node) as I didn’t use React during this phase. I continued with Colt Steele’s Web Development Course to go into back-end development as I have previously finished all the front-end lessons already. It’s a really great foundational introduction but it uses ES5 syntax at most points, which I later refactored to ES6. I picked up a lot building the Yelpcamp app featured in the course as well as the extra add-ons like Google Maps, Cloudinary, password reset, flash messages, and more. I finished the whole course on April 9th and promptly started my own backend app called “Wanderlustoria”.
During this time, I also went to a hackathon called Bitcamp 2018 and had my first ever taste of soylent (Cafe chai if you’re wondering). The taste was reminiscent of thick soy milk. The hackathon experience itself left a bland taste in my mouth. It was too frantic, too loud, and too bright under the stadium lights to actually be productive. I will just stick to seminars, talks, and recruitment events for awhile.
Phase 3: Back to the front-end
I was totally missing React so I opened up a past tech, GatsbyJS. This time, I was set out to reconstruct my travel blog. Enter travelDev, a website about travel and web development with emphasis in digital nomadism/expatriatism (if that last one is even a real term). Joe (Twitter @jjprevite) and I teamed up to form #TeamGatsby on May 4th to learn and build a proper GatsbyJS website. We diligently worked under the clock as to finish before it struck June 1st and just in time for my upcoming plans (See The Extraordinary Plans)!
I finished my travel blog website but want to reinforce my knowledge even further so fired up the old Architect portfolio website for my friend with a small twist. I knew Flexbox pretty well already but heard so much about CSS Grid. I mixed in Wes Bos CSS Grid course on June 4th. I worked furiously to re-adapt the previous code written months ago with Bootstrap and Flexbox into strictly CSS Grid. There are still certain things that are Flexbox-only but I thoroughly enjoy Grid since it offers so much more options and writing media queries was a breeze using
grid-template-areas. If you know Flexbox, you’ll pick up CSS Grid pretty quick.
I finished up the architect portfolio website (June 12th) and it would be my last project for the 365 days of code. I learned even more about styled components with this project and adapted Alan Smith’s bootstrappy styled component classes called “modifiers”. I also implemented a “matrix” styling system, somewhat akin to a global css file, in this project. I hope to share with you this system in the future. I will present it as the M&M method. 🍬
So why did I name this article with “harder to quit”? I felt really guilty if I didn’t get to code at least 4 hours a day. An hour or half-hour was barely enough for me to satisfy that itch. You’ll experience so many concepts, new friends, and establish such a die-hard habit along the way. Looking your twitter feed and watching what other people do is really inspiring and provides many ideas for you to innovate on. I think a lot of new devs dwell on the frustrations and forget quickly about how many victories they have won. It’s better to hang on to that “cloud 9” feeling after you have built an incredible project and don’t forget to reward yourself! Persistence, optimism, and self-preservation will help you win this “game”. But you didn’t need to hear that from me, you guys are all rockstars already for learning to code. Cheers. 🏆
So that’s it? Nope, continue reading part 2 and 3 as I promise it’s going to get even more interesting. Thanks for reading and hope that you have enjoyed this article.
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