How to turn Cyborg: Weeks 6 & 7

My adventures through Dev Academy’s web development programme

Enspiral Dev Academy is a New Zealand web development programme that takes students of any level and trains them to become junior web developers through 9 weeks of remote learning and an intensive 9 week in-class bootcamp. Dev Academy’s Marketing Manager Maddy King has taken it upon herself to brave the Dev Academy web development programme, and share her #nofilter thoughts on the journey. Check out Week 1 here.

I didn’t manage to do anything in Week 6 as I was moving between Spain and Holland. To be honest I think my struggles in Sprint 4 diminished my confidence and my enthusiasm for picking up the work again, and I didn’t have much motivation to crack back into coding.

But I got back into it in Week 7, and actually had a fantastic time! After all my negative thoughts about freeCodeCamp and feeling like I wasn’t learning anything, Sprint 5 made me realise I had learned a huge amount. Sprint 5 takes all the JavaScript stuff we learned in the previous sprint, and combines it with our HTML and CSS knowledge from earlier. This means that we’re incorporating the JavaScript into a webpage so we can see its practical application — which I love. Plus this was all done back on Codeacademy, which just speaks so well to me. So I was very happy.

I started the week by doing some extracurricular reading, to feel like I had more of a grounding after the last sprint. I read through some W3schools content, and checked out JavaScript on Learn X in Y. For some reason just putting what I had learned into different language really helped me feel like I was on top of it. Though I stopped understanding what they were talking about halfway through, it gave me confidence to see that I could follow most of the concepts, based on what I’d already learned. That made me feel more solid going in to Sprint 5.

Me finding weird things fun since way back

The method that Codecademy used for integrating JavaScript into HTML was to get us to build a bunch of forms. HTML mostly just sits there holding the structure of the webpage, and CSS makes it looks pretty, so the most action you can do is create links between webpages and insert GIFs and videos. With the Function commands in JavaScript you can command it to actually do things, like run equations or a series of actions. So JavaScript sits in a third document that makes up your webpage, HTML and CSS being the other two. We started integrating them all together by making a button in the HTML, and then using JavaScript to get the button to trigger an action once it was clicked, using an onClick command. When the button was clicked it said hello to me, which was nice.

Then we built a travel destination form, which was pertinent to me in my travels. This had two input fields, for your first name and last name, and then a drop-down menu of options for a travel destination, and a Submit button. When the Submit button was clicked, the program had to scoop up the names that were put into the input fields, and the destination, and re-print them out below the form.

This meant the data from the input fields and the drop down menu had to all be stored in a variable, otherwise they would go nowhere. So clicking the button triggered an onClick command in the JavaScript, which made it process the form, capturing all that data, storing it in a variable, and then printing it back out into the HTML. It was pretty straightforward but it was cool to see how these different components were talking to each other.

We moved on into radio buttons for destination options, and a packing list that crossed items off the list once they were selected. We ended with converting temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius. This involved using the tricky For Loops from last sprint, which challenged me, but I think I understood it a bit better this time around. We used the loops to check whether the user had selected Fahrenheit or Celsius on the form, and IF it was Fahrenheit, apply one equation, or ELSE if it was celsius we’d apply a different equation.

Some of the loops used a length command which threw me, because I thought it was counting the letters in the name like the .length method had done in our early JavaScript, and that didn’t make any sense. But later I figured out that it was instead counting the number of objects in an array, and just running the loop for as long as there were objects (i.e. if there were two numbers in the array the loop would only run twice). Once I understood this the rest was easier. It really helped to step back, all the time, from what the challenge was telling us to do, and instead read through the code line by line and see if I understood everything that was going on.

We started reading a chapter from Eloquent JavaScript, which stated a list of JavaScript keywords, that you use to command JavaScript to do stuff. It was:

break case catch class const continue debugger default delete do else enum export extends false finally for function if implements import in instanceof interface let new null package private protected public return static super switch this throw true try typeof var void while with yield

I was so pleased to see I already knew almost half of them!

I didn’t finish the sprint but am feeling loads better about everything I’m learning, and having fun with it again. I’ve been advised that to really master this I should be coding every day, but unfortunately my current situation doesn’t allow it. So I’m really looking forward to the bootcamp when I can make this my sole focus.

Phase: 0

Week: 7

Sprint: 5

Time logged: 5.5 hours

If you’d like to change gears in the new year, join Dev Academy’s web development programme and gain the skills to design a creative, flexible, well-paid lifestyle you love. Start with 9 weeks of remote learning, before entering the in-class bootcamp in Auckland or Wellington. Graduate 9 weeks later with the skills to become a junior web developer. Apply today!