Days of Make
  • Finish CodeAcademy’s command line tutorial
  • Finish JavaScript algorithms and data structures certification (FCC)
  • Wake up at 5:30am every day to code
  • Mon: Finished command line lessons
  • Tue: Some JS and front end libraries (Bootstrap, jQuery, Sass)
  • Wed: More JS, tiny bit of React, Microsoft event
  • Thur: Started JS projects. Completed ROT13 Cipher and Palindrome checker
  • Fri: Finished Roman Numeral Converter
  • Sat: Earned JS Certification
  • Sun: Some more React work on FCC
  • I can do this! (Microsoft story)
  • Using a variety of resources and practicing each concept solidifies it in my mind. 
  • Continue work on Front End certification
  • Create random quote machine (FCC project)
  • Learn basics of gpio with raspberry pi with python or JS
  • 1 hour of making or coding a day

Sometimes necessity is a great motivator. I’ve tried to learn the command line many times before and would figure out the basics before promptly forgetting it all because I never used it! Now, I need to for my data structures class (C++) because we’re using an online IDE with an integrated bash shell. It’s awesome and it is so satisfying to work with it. It’s motivated me to use it whenever I can! Also, it’s incredibly useful with my raspberry pi projects. Note to self: use what you learn in a variety of situations and you’ll really grasp the new skill/concept. 

CodeAcademy is a cool resource, but not my favorite. There were definite gaps in the activities and explanations. With some googling and trying things out, I figured it out. Like freeCodeCamp, the tutorials are to get you started. You have to put in that extra work to apply the new concepts (i.e. FCC projects).

Throughout the week, I worked a lot on this certification. It starts off with basic JavaScript, introduces important aspects of ES6, and dives into arrays and objects. There is also a section on RegEx and common debugging techniques. After that, there are a lot of easy/medium algorithmic challenges like you’d find on HackerRank. It took a lot of work to get through it, but was rewarding. By the end, I felt more confident in my thought process and learned some useful techniques. 

There were a few common roadblocks as I solved these challenges, especially the projects. The most difficult was a lack of knowledge on a topic. For example, on the Pig Latin challenge, it took forever to handle words without vowels because I didn’t know how you’d translate a word like nth follows a slightly different rule. I was also able to come up with a solution, but never a very elegant one. I relied heavily on for loops as I’m not too comfortable with some aspects of functional programming. My biggest complaint would be that FCC’s editor doesn’t allow for any output on most challenges. It is very frustrating not being able to use console.log to check my work. Luckily, I could copy and paste my code into another editor which saved me a ton of headaches. 

freeCodeCamp has done an amazing job on this certification. It taught a ton of JavaScript and really pushed. As someone with experience in other languages and some experience completing coding challenges, these were still very difficult and I learned a lot. I feel very indebted to FCC and all that they’re doing in the community! 

Wednesday I attended a Microsoft resume workshop at my school. A project manager and two software engineers came. The resume aspect was pretty generic, but one of the engineers gave some great insights while talking about his interviewing experience. The biggest takeaway for me was ‘I could do that’. He talked about a few of the problems they had to solve and they were pretty similar to those on FCC which I had be solving this week. Although I have a long ways to go, I was instilled with a greater confidence in my coding abilities and felt invigorated, wanting to go and code right then. I can do hard things. So can you. Everyone has incredible potential. I’ll hold onto that moment as things get tough and know, ‘I can do this’ whatever it is. 

I can’t wait to share my progress next week working on react and bringing back to life my LED cube with Raspberry Pi instead of Arduino! Until next week!

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