BEHIND THE WORK
I’ve been at it for a while now. I figured it was time to go all out and showcase all the skills I have picked up. My mentor would hand me monthly projects, each one held a valuable lesson and tool I could take away from the project. However, this time I was given the choice of what my next project would be. I based my decision off of two main thoughts. One being, “what will look good in my portfolio?” The other thought was, “whatever I decide to do has to be challenging and worth something.” I immediately thought about creating a Web App. An app that would handle data, authentication for users, possible account management and etc.
I wanted to go the whole nine yards.My mentor agreed with the idea and that was that. The Todo App was set in motion. The app uses a large variety of tools and technologies. I had a huge amount of fun developing this app. You have to sign up with your email address and once you do, you will be directed to a screen with a text field. Now, you can create your to-do list, edit it, mark an item as “completed”, and even check the completed list. This took a lot of time, hard work, and countless nights to make. Despite the trouble I ran into, it was still worth the process. In reality, the process was the goal all along. It’s the very process itself that shapes and changes you.
I would like to continue to improve it in the near future. In fact, more features will be coming soon. I highly suggest you check it out.
I finally wanted to make my own website from scratch. From top to bottom, front end to back end. I went through my very own planning phase, countless hours and late nights researching and trying to understand how to brand myself. Plus, many more hours of coding, breaking things and frustrations. The results initially were breath taking to me. I blasted the site immediately. Not realizing so many flaws or errors in my design. I had the site up and running for a few months. I will forever keep up with the branding idea of “Inception Code” but I will have to sit down and remake this entire website.
It was a great experience and initial step but I see why I wasn’t getting any callbacks for jobs. I had so many errors it was embarrassing not only that but the design wasn’t that good. However, I believed I learned a lot from my mistakes and decision making. I am now more equipped to make a better website.
My mentor created a free tutorial for a new up and coming technology called “Elm”. I was given access and recorded all my work done during the tutorial. I made a choice to point out this project because of the design and functionality. I loved how I built all these projects, but that’s the geeky side of the project. I will eventually go back and alter, add and improve a few things later on. This was the funniest project out of the whole project. It required a lot of time and thinking. I believe the outcome is amazing and worth all the work.
The Scoreboard functions pretty fluidly and as you expect. Input a few of your favorite players and control the entire outcome! To view, this project follows the instructions present on the link. Once all files are downloaded go to the HTML folder and open “score-app.html” file.
My mentor created a free tutorial for a new up and coming technology called “Elm”. I was given access and recorded all my work done during the tutorial. I made a choice to point out this project because of the design and functionality. I loved how I built all these projects, but that’s the geeky side of the project. I will eventually go back and alter, add and improve a few things later on. To view, this project follows the instructions present on the link. Once all files are downloaded go to the HTML folder and open “desired-weight.html” file.
This was a project given to me as a test by Manheim. The goal was to make a text-based game that was creative but also showcased my current dev skills. This game was created back in February. There are plenty of things that need to be fixed. Major improvements are soon to come.
As stated earlier, this game was inspired by the Manheim assignment. I was currently going for a paid apprenticeship with the company. I made it to the third round of the elimination process and was given this task. I definitely had fun building and developing the game. The whole process of signing up for the program and going to the Meetups as well as the interviews was a life-changing and a great experience.
I was bored and trying to find a way to work on my skills. I figured I could create a small site filled with mini-projects. Each project was repetitive but necessary to polish off skills and better understand the tools I was using. I eventually came back to the concept and brought along a new set of tools. So I ended up having two project sites that hold the same content. However, both were created in a completely different way. Each section holds a single database that allows you to store the content you add to the projects. Once you refresh the page or come back later everything you have done should remain. Unless someone comes behind you and erases everything, that could very well happen.
The projects were fun and easy enough to make. I do wish I didn’t have my ex-girlfriend’s name all over the place but oh well. I’ll just treat it like a tattoo that can’t be removed and act like it’s not even there. Anyway, I hope you enjoy playing around with the projects.
At this point of my life, I started taking web development seriously. I really wanted this to be a career and more importantly, something I can master. I figured the more mentors the better considering the fact that they help pave the way for you. I could use the added benefit of learning from their experiences. I can recall being bold and driven at the time. I remember sending out cold emails and DM’s on Twitter, just trying to reach out to senior level Developer.
Someone responded and to be honest I was shocked. James Moore just so happened to be an instructor and jumped at the idea of being a mentor. He continues to play a major role in my progression and thinking. A lot of growth was initiated by him and cultivated through the months ahead. He told me his teaching style and how he goes about things. I could tell immediately that this man means business. I agreed to his terms and got to work.
I was told that the best way to go about this was to use two key resources at my disposal. One is a flash card based program called Anki and the other was for me to be tasked with completing a large number of mini-projects. He was spot on and the improvements showed rapidly. We had a few bumps along the way miscommunication and other frustrations but we stayed cool and collected for the most part. This Notes App was one of the initial mini projects. At the time I am writing this it’s been six months since I took a look at this app. I am sure it can use some more refactoring and a few issues fixed.
It was time to start digging a little deeper into my craft. My mentor and I wanted to ease into larger scaled projects that require more time and thinking. So naturally, the next project seemed to be more a prerequisite for what’s next to come. I was forced to think on a larger scale to how Twitter may use React.js components for their whole interface and system or app. The whole point of this mini app was to learn. So the app itself doesn’t look flashy and doesn’t function exactly like Twitter. All those specifics didn’t matter, what did was my way towards improving.
I honestly believe if God gives you a gift you have to give back to the community, your church, and fellow man. I take pride in giving back my services freely to non-profits and churches. This was my personal church that requested a website and I immediately signed off on it. It’s an honor and only right to agree to the task.
Looking back I realized the church family was trying to help me get started. They were my first clients and the site can honestly use some work. The site isn’t fully finished and on a server yet. Plus, other issues are involved with this site. I figured it would still be nice to showcase my starting work and how I use to actually code. Maybe I will fix the issues and showcase the updates. I ultimately hope in the near future we can continue and finish off the site. I have no doubt that I will continue to serve and help other non-profits and churches freely.
The first site I ever made wasn’t too bad. The main problem was the responsiveness or how it looked and worked on a mobile device. I was very new to everything. Of course, to me, it wasn’t bad but now looking back I notice some flaws. Well, it had a lot of flaws actually. My mentor told me not to fix anything. I was confused, why would I not fix the site? How would I get better and learn how to properly use bootstrap, HTML, jQuery and other technologies? He had only one reply.
“Media Queries plus flexbox and practice will solve all your problems. Just keep working until you get it right. Make something new and don’t quit. ”
I’ve come too far to quit. Once my mind is set on something I am going to get it done. His statement left some major issues. So, I had to address them to him. “What is flexbox and how do you even use it?” He laughed and said that at least I know what media queries are.
The assignment was simple, redo my practice site. However, the catch was to only use barebones CSS, no BOOTSTRAP. I got nervous and wondered how could I possibly do this. I don’t know what the heck a flexbox is, and I only used bootstrap to design and style. I was barely good at using bootstrap and that’s the easy way out of creating a responsive site. I looked unfit for this career but I realized I was just getting ahead of myself. I just started, of course, I have all these errors. He allowed me to panic and doubt for a while. Then he simply told me to figure it out.
Figure it out! Really that’s the best advice I could get. Little did I know that was a learning lesson in itself. In this career, you are constantly figuring “things” out. I thank my mentor for instilling that in me so early.
It was a wake-up call, it made me realize that I am at a beginner level moving to an apprentice level. I don’t really need my hand-held now. Give me a direction an objective and I will figure the rest out. However, I gave a valiant effort, but unfortunately, the site still doesn’t work at 100%. I purposely haven’t fixed it just to prove a point.
That I kept working and got better. I didn’t quit and I am more than happy to show errors and how I started off.
At this point and time, I was little ways past the “starting off” phase. The work I did on this site shows my improvement. I just bought a course online to further my learning and skills in web development. This particular project asked me to create a website with bootstrap. Well that’s not a problem at all. The issue came along when the website had to be about hippies. I instantly thought this was a joke.
Later on it made sense….
This was another project given to me by the course I was taking at the time. This one required a little bit of math. I think the design is amazing. From the background picture to the color of the font and button. After this project, I begin to dig into more creative ideas. I started to realized how much I enjoyed coding.
This project was more of a “do it yourself”, or “figure it out on your own” kind of thing. Which bothered me at first, because I had to look at a whole bunch of numbers and play with a lot of ideas in my head. I couldn’t figure out where to begin. Lucky for me, I knew what the finished product would look like. This was the first project I had to create by 85% research and the other 15% was by fixing issues. The main lesson learned on this project was to learn how to find valuable resources and explain what the problem is in detail. Now, I never feel stuck and unable to complete something.