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Quick Update: No, I am not Dead. Yes, I am still working on the Career Change

Sorry that I haven’t updated this in a long time but unfortunately life has been busy and stressful. So for a quick update, I am currently working on Ruby on rails going through the Odin project. I will go into more detail about this later, but at this time I’m really just kind of refreshing myself on all the stuff I worked on in the past. Also, I purchased a used mid-2010 MacBook Pro that is devoted to my web development endeavor.

Day 93 to 107: Restructuring My Studying

I am stuck a bit. I am working daily for the most part,  I had a few days where I needed a day off or something happened, but I feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I am in the middle of Michael Hartl’s Ruby on Rails tutorial and I am learning a lot but also feel like I am going through motions. I need to shake things up a bit. So I am making the following changes,  starting tomorrow:

1. I am going back to daily blogging. I really believed it help me focus my learning.
2. I am finishing the current chapter of the Ruby on Rails tutorial then moving on to complete my current project. I believe this will help me learn faster and more effectively while also positioning me to find a job quicker.

Days 84 to 92: Continuing with the Ruby on Rails tutorial… and some CSS!

So, my apologies on the slow updating here. I am still alive and moving forward. A couple of life events slowing me down, the usual being work, allergies and a horrible toothache but I am still working on my career change. A quick update on the progress:

  1. I completed a few CSS courses at Treehouse. I am rusty on it and wanted to get an update. I finished these:

Getting Started with CSS Badge


Basic Selectors badge

I will continue with this as I want a pretty solid front-end foundation despite my aim being back-end.

2. I finished chapters 5 and 6 in Michael Hartl’s Ruby on Rails tutorial. I am over halfway finished with it. I will be starting projects at that point!

Days 76 through 83: Catching Up on Posting But I’ve Been Studying!

Sorry to go missing from here, but I’ve remained busy. Allergies and such have been wreaking havoc on me, but I have continued studying Ruby on Rails Tutorial through Michael Hartl. I am currently halfway through Chapter 5 and I am learning a lot and really enjoying it.

I also just had my first interview through SparkHire. This was a unique experience. Its a one-way interview where you record your answers to questions. If I pass this part of the interview process I then move on to an in-person interview. Very exciting. I will be switching gears for a bit to brush up on my CSS skills at Treehouse.

Days 73, 74 and 75: Beginning (Again!) the Hartl Ruby on Rails Tutorial

So, a quick update and a proposed project. First, I have been slowed down over the last few days due to a severe sinus infection. I hate allergies! Nyquil knocked me out yesterday. About to do so again. Gotta get through this to keep working, both my day job and this.

I also finished up a first, small, project. It is using jQuery to display the top 50 games ranked according to Hotness at Board Game Geek. Take a look here to see it in action. I got help from the great folks at CodeNewbie Slack channel to iron out some bugs.

In any case, I have started back on the Michael Hartl Ruby on Rails tutorial. As of today I have completed chapter 1 and 2 again. I wanted to start from scratch to catch back up to where I need to be. I also have an idea for a 2016 US Presidential election web app I want to develop using the Twitter API. This will be my next project. I will be using JavaScript and Ruby on Rails to complete it. Stay tuned! Now, off to sleep!

Days 71 and 72: Podcasting, Finishing Up a Project, and a Day Off

This past Friday the Developer Soup podcast was recorded and made available here. Go have a listen! Alex and I discuss building confidence in programming and avoiding burnout. The next day I went to the beach, visiting Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City. it was a nice, relaxing day away from everything. On Sunday, I completed the BoardGameGeek Top 50 Hotness display web app I was working on. Take a look here.

So, I have decided to continue my studying while also working on programming on the side. A two-fold reason for this. I want to continue building my skills. No matter what, I need either Rails or Node.js in my repertoire. I have decided on pursuing Rails. No real reason for this, except that it feels right. I figure no matter what that I can come back later and get Node or whatever other skills I need. I am starting on Rails tonight.

The Road Behind, The Road Ahead

So, I am at a good point to assess my skills to this point. Let’s take a look at what I’ve learned so far.

I started on May 27, 2015. Since that time I have learned the following. This won’t be a fully comprehensive list, nor will it be in order:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Bootstrap
  • Ruby strings, numbers, Boolean
  • Ruby functions, arrays, hashes
  • Ruby methods
  • Ruby operators and control structures
  • Ruby loops
  • Ruby Objects and Classes
  • Ruby blocks
  • JavaScript strings, numbers, and Boolean
  • JavaScript Conditional Statements
  • JavaScript functions
  • JavaScript loops, arrays and objects
  • jQuery Basics and plugins
  • Manipulating the DOM via JavaScript
  • AJAX Basics
  • Working with APIs using jQuery and AJAX
  • JavaScript methods
  • JavaScript constructor functions and prototypes
  • JavaScript prototypal inheritance
  • Node.js Basics
  • Node.js servers, routes,  templates
  • Node.js and HTTP methods and headers
  • Gulp Basics

OK, that is a lot. I decided today that I would start working on a small, personal project. I wanted to make access the API from BoardGameGeeks and display the top 50 games by “Hotness” in a grid. I wrote up the code after much work and it didn’t work. No errors and I had no idea what went wrong. The CodeNewbie Slack chat was very helpful and patient in helping me figure it out. Learned a little more about jQuery and document.ready and putting code outside it to run.

Despite learning a little more, I find myself frustrated. Maybe I’m tired. Who knows. In any case, I realize that this is part of the process. I must be frustrated. Through that frustration I can continue growing in skills and reach my goals.

Biggest issues moving forward:

  1. Figuring out some projects to do. I overreach a lot. I need to focus on some small projects that are a little bit above my skills so I can continue growing in my skills.
  2. Node.js or Ruby on Rails? I started out wanting to do Rails. I then went with JavaScript for a bit and come to find I really like Ruby and JavaScript. It seems there are more training resources for Ruby on Rails. I spoke to a few people at CharmCityJS Meetup who suggested that Node.js is more marketable as it is more widespread. JavaScript is everywhere whereas Rails is popular only in certain areas. I have no idea. I have went back and forth over the last few days. Eventually I will decide. Right now, however, I am going to build a few projects.

I’ve been busy and forgot to update. You may have noticed that I moved my blog inside my domain and set up a homepage outside it. I will be adding portfolio items here. My resume is also present.

I have also updated the blog theme. I wanted a little more simple. In any case, on to the update:

I completed these badges, finishing the FullStack JavaScript track:

Creating a Simple Server in Node.js badge

Handling Routes in Node.js badge

Creating a Basic Template Engine in Node.js badge

HTTP Methods and Headers badge

Welcome to Gulp.js badge

Gulp your JavaScript Workflow badge

Compile Sass with Gulp badge

Improving your Gulp Task Pipelines badge

And completion of the track!

OK, so I have a lot of thinking to do about which path to follow. Node.js or Ruby on Rails?

Just a quick update. I completed the following:

Practice Project badge

Introduction to Node.js badge

Building a Command Line Application badge

I think I will finish up the Full Stack JavaScript track at Treehouse tomorrow!

Its been a busy last few days. First, on the personal front, I went on vacation starting Friday. Yay!

I recorded the Developer Soup podcast this past Friday. It was on choosing a programming language.

And since then I have destroyed a slew of badges on Treehouse. Here goes:

jQuery and AJAX badge

AJAX and APIs badge

Introduction to Methods badge

Constructor Functions and Prototypes badge

Prototypal Inheritance badge

I will continue on tomorrow.