Development Diary - Week One
In week one, we covered the basics of HTML & CSS in order to build simple, yet structurally sound websites. Having learned this material in the fall, this was a (much-needed) review of basic concepts such as divs, classes, selectors, and soft skills like personal branding, project workflow, and best practices. There is a great deal of truth to the phrase, "if you don't use it, you lose it." Over the Christmas break, I definitely lost it, along with my self-control (yum, Christmas cookies!). I vow to "use it" as much as possible over the next nine weeks and beyond.
Project One: A Reflection
I've always fancied myself a designer first, web developer second. I subconsciously approached this week's project from the same standpoint, but soon realized that in order to create an experience, the two must be in holistic harmony. I put my user experience hat on, and began to think about design and development in unison. In the process, I realized how difficult it must be for designers and developers to work on separate parts of a project in isolation, without having a full understanding of the other's creative process and design decisions. I'm happy to be a "unicorn," despite the fact that these two sides of my brain can easily become at war with one another. They're gradually learning to get along.
Being a designer/developer feels a lot like wearing a jester hat. Every multi-colored extremity of this hat lends itself to a facet of project execution, which forces me to use a wide variety of skill sets and different parts of my brain. This is what I found to be most interesting about project one, and development in general. My whole brain is on fire with the flame of creativity, and it feels awesome.
From a technical standpoint, a few things stumped me, but I had a few mini-victories, too. Using the power of Google to troubleshoot was crucial. In many instances, I found myself stumped on a project component, only to find 10 articles on how to fix the issue, with code samples to boot. When there's a problem, the solution often isn't far beyond a Google Search.
I'm celebrating a mini-victory in itself- surviving week 1 as a happy, healthy, fulfilled & challenged developer-in-training. Now, on to week 2 at HackerYou!