Casey Armstrong
Mar 6, 2018 · 3 min read

I’m a copywriter who writes content for the general public, but I want to become a technical writer who writes documentation specifically for software developers. This is my educational journey…

https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-focus-photography-of-man-smiling-putting-hands-on-head-907899/

I’m nearing the end of my JavaScript Independent study course, and I have completed all the JavaScript, JSON, AJAX, and API exercises on FreeCodeCamp that I set out to complete. But, I’m left wondering, what was that all about?

Although I can vaguely see that the programming language I studied can be used cleverly to create almost anything you see on the web, I also feel like I read the instruction manual to a calculator (i.e., a little perplexed and a little zoned-out).

However, to be fair, this course did not include the more hands-on part of the curriculum where you get to create your own applications. (Perhaps this would help me regain my initial excitement and appreciate it more as a creative tool?)

Similarly, I regret not integrating jQuery in my course. I have a feeling it could unlock a more practical view of what JavaScript can do through it. Nevertheless, after trudging through the basics of JavaScript, I feel like I now know where to look for answers to JavaScript related questions (FreeCodeCamp, Mozilla, Lynda.com, and Youtube). I also gained a basic literacy for looking at functions, and I have a new appreciation for code samples that I see in API documentation, such as this one from Google Maps’ API Docs.

My Favorite Function/Lesson:

I think my favorite mini program I encountered during my lessons was this one:

function golfScore(par, strokes) {

if (strokes == 1){ return “Hole-in-one!”;

}

else if (strokes <= par -2){ return “Eagle”;

}

else if (strokes == par -1) { return “Birdie”;

}

else if (strokes == par) { return “Par”;

}

else if (strokes == par +1) { return “Bogey”;

}

else if (strokes == par +2) { return “Double Bogey”;

}

else { return “Go Home!”;

}

}

golfScore(5, 5); // Par

https://www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-of-man-playing-golf-during-sunset-33478/

It made me think I was playing a simple video game, and it helped remind me why and how functions make sense through logic, sequences, syntax, etc.

Lastly, I think learning about JavaScript objects, JSON, and a tiny bit of jQuery and AJAX help give me a glimpse of the bigger picture of how it all plays out on the web.

The Final Project

As I wrap up this course, I have one more assignment to go, the final project. I was initially planning to try to document some IRL code, but as I look at my options now, I’m thinking that might be premature. I am considering doing one of the create-an-app exercises from Free Code Camp instead, or I am also considering an explication of Google Maps’ API Docs because they have a JavaScript specific. Or, both assignments together?

Wish me luck!

The Documentarian Planetarium

News articles and blog posts about the universe of writing developer documentation….

Casey Armstrong

Written by

Technical Writer obsessed with #API’s, #VR, #Chatbots, #Crowdsourcing, #Microvolunteering, #PortableHomelessShelters, and the future!!

The Documentarian Planetarium

News articles and blog posts about the universe of writing developer documentation….

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