JS Testing

While going through the last bit of the freeCodeCamp I had mistakenly changed something in my Pomodoro that was causing multiple errors. I was wanting some sort of Testing protocol, however, I was using CodePen and it doesn’t necessarily have a testing protocol. It is more of a “change it, see it” coding platform.

However, I noticed that while going through Bloc.io I did study some testing protocol with Ruby there was not anything for JS. henceforth I decided to complete a Udacity 2-week course called “JavaScript Testing”. This should help round out my current learning progression of learning more JS with the recent completion of the WesBos React course. After this Udacity course, I will finish off the FCC Front-End Development and get that certificate. At that point, I will complete the NodeJS course from WesBos.

Once done with all that I will need to decide what direction to go. As of today, I have not had the luck to find a Software Development position as of yet so I will continue to dabble in what I see fit following either JS or Ruby. Right now I am enjoying JS so I will stick in that area for a bit.

So much to learn, it’s just so exciting.

1 Week after Coding Bootcamp

The sudden realization that you have spent the better part of the last year coding with a specific timeline, and schedule of projects has disappeared.

The act of putting this into practice and continuing to work on your chosen craft alongside finding a job in the industry is more daunting than I thought. Just reading some of the job listings are incredibly deceptive when they ask for a Junior Developer and ask for 2+ years in a commercial environment with 15 different requirements, some of which I have never heard of.

Never in my 20+ years of jobs have I seen such oddly phrased listings of jobs. It's almost like everyone is searching for a perfect unicorn when it seems like there should be a better way. It is especially odd to see so many websites, that are supposedly tech oriented, not have fields for Github, personal website, CodePen, etc. Web sites that are there for newbies and experienced people alike show the projects that they work on. Understandably I am not a recruiter, nor have I been in the industry and yet it is a little disconcerting. I have been told that if I match even 50% just apply and see what happens.

Understandably I am not a recruiter, nor have I been in the industry and yet it is a little disconcerting. I have been told that if I match even 50% just apply and see what happens. However, I will be a bit picky for a little bit mainly due to being employed even if it isn't in the Software Development Career I am now searching for.

While doing that I am continuing with FCC just to make sure I have some practice and face additional challenges. I am at the portion of the program of "Advanced Algorithm Scripting" and it does have me scratching my head more than once. My usual scenario is to try for 30 minutes using repl.it and if I can't solve it using my searching skills. It has definitely been good practice to go through the MDN and Stack Overflow answers and decipher how to accomplish it.

#100DaysOfCode

Just finished the last project I have with Bloc.io and have decided to start another project…or projects. Actually, “Commitment” might be a better word for it. As I had started Free Code Camp before Bloc my plan is to finish that and then start with a series of projects which I will determine later what exactly they will be.

Now I found some Rules located here Rules of the 100 Days Of Code Challenge, however, I will be changing them a tad listed below.

Commitment

  • I will code for at least an hour every day for the next 100 days.
  • I will log everyday what exactly I do on this sheet located here
  • I will tweet my progress every day using #100daysofcode.

Now here is where I will be diverging. Rules state to push code to GitHub every day. However, that seems like its gamification at its lowest level. And while I am not necessarily against that in some instances at this time if I am doing Free Code Camp, Codewars Kata, or possibly little 1 off websites on Codepen.io then pushing code to Github might not be possible. I will still be coding per say but it may be in a different format.

Day 1, Done.

On to a new chapter!!!

Bloc Capstone

Finally completed the Capstone Project for the Bloc.io Mentorship program.

Actually, truth be told it was finished a couple weeks ago. However, I decided to do it again but with React.

While going through the Bloc program we learn Angular, and with a couple projects under my belt, I could have done it with that. But I decided to expand my repertoire and learn something new. React seemed the logical choice and with some basic tutorials on the net found a course by a guy name of Wes Bos. My Mentor at Bloc.io also recommended him so I decided to check it out. If you haven’t heard of him check it out here at wesbos.com where he has multiple courses. The React For Beginners course was very well done and I found his teaching style was very easy going. I recommend this course to anyone learning React and I have decided to get a couple more of his courses.

As to the Capstone Project, it is a Random Build Generator for a game called Path of Exile. The overall completed project was started with the Create React App and you can see all the code on my Github profile.

As for the completed site, I have published it as a subdomain located here POE Random Build.

I started with the project thinking it was a simple exercise and at times some code came pretty easily. I ended up with a different thought process when it was completed. Learning React was the start but then I kept seeing something and going “ooohhhh that might work…” With that, I saw a meme that everyone knows of “Just ship it”.

Overall learned quite a few things besides just React such as a Dynamic CSS called Stylus, sometimes it’s easier to not use an API and just build some objects yourself, creating and hosting subdomain, and even how to FTP. I know a couple things are probably overlooked such as the creation of subdomain and FTP’ing but it’s good for the experience.

Let me know how you like it, or if you see any bugs by sending me a note caschotchii@gmail.com

FCC – Show the Local Weather

Just completed the Local Weather App through Free Code Camp on Codepen. This one took me a little bit mainly due to balancing trying to do FCC, Bloc.io, and now I have started to actually put some resume’s out.

Personally found this one to have some quirks that were…troubling. This is due to Codepen and trying to pull your current location due to restrictions of cross-origin HTTP requests. I went ahead and used a simple JSON request through ip-api.com which allowed me to pull information that was for the general area and was much easier than using the CORS (HTTP access control) method.

Other than that the App is simple showing temperature, an icon showing what the weather is doing, your location, and Wind direction and speed. Nothing terribly fancy but I think the main takeaway here is to use an API, to pull data and organize it.

The only other real big hurdle was just trying to style it to make it look half way decent. I have realized that style is not my strong suit and I will need to work on that one.

You can check out my Weather App on Codepen.

FCC – Random Quote Generator

Completed the Free Code Camp’s project “Random Quote Generator”. This was an interesting little project, fairly simple as I didn’t get too sophisticated with it. Simple bootstrap layout, vanilla javascript, nothing fancy.

My main goal was to complete this to learn how to randomly pick a quote from an array. You can take a look at my “Random Quote Generator” on Codepen.io.

After I was done with this little project I decided to find some others who had completed it. Surprisingly it appears a lot of people completed this using an API to pull random quotes from various other websites. I honestly did not think about doing it that way. I had assumed, from the directions, that it was to test if you could make this work using vanilla JS. I am not necessarily wrong as I have re-read the directions but still, it makes sense to be able to practice with an API.

As I look at the map from FCC I noticed that the next project is a “Show the Local Weather” page and you will need to use an API for that.

So at this time I am happy with my way of doing the Quote Gen and will leave it at that.

Finding that New Career

While I am closing in on the Graduation date of Bloc, early June, I am starting to feel a little pressure to put out resumes, build a network, etc etc etc.

I hate job hunting, despise it even. So my promise is to be real and true to myself. Not hard as I am kinda blunt…to put it nicely.

Let’s just hope people take a shine to honesty…

My biggest problem is a lack of experience and some of the horror stories you hear about interviews, such as whiteboarding. So I think whiteboarding as a whole is a failed way to conduct any interview for a jr dev. I have interviewed people in other industries, mostly retail and customer service. And while going into a Tech Industry is different I still believe that any interview that is stressful will never show any person to their true potential.

Really? Why put some person in front of a whiteboard to solve a Fizz Buzz problem? They could have just memorized it that day, or the day before, or the day before that.

What I would love to see will probably not happen until such time as I can make it happen in the industry.

Bring a candidate in and see if it feels like they will ‘fit in’ to your workspace. Then look through the projects they have done (Github, Personal website, etc) and decide if they should do something like a one off. Ask them to create a button, form, template, etc.

I know I am new to the tech industry and yet I have already had 3 instances where I felt like the person was just not..in it. Keywords and snazzy language needed on the resume just to get them to look at you sideways…it made me want to take a shower after 1 talk with a recruiter.

Well, I will get off my soapbox for now. Bloc taught me large concepts and how to complete an entire project. And while I have experience with that curriculum I am going to try and do the Free Code Camp Front End Program. This will off some additional projects such as Weather API, Random Quote Machine, etc. They appear to be fun and should be fast to code up. They would also demonstrate that I will have a strong handle on Front End dev, and lets face it…anything helps.

Bloc Project chosen

Finally decided what to do with my Bloc Project which turns out to be a not-so-business like addition.

First, let me explain that I am a HUGE ARPG Gamer, ever since Commodore 64 Bards Tale, Zork, etc. Current obsession, and has been for about 5 years now, is Path of Exile, an online Multi-player ARPG.

I had a few projects that were all standard fare that I was considering for my Capstone project such as; SAAS app for vehicle estimates to be evaluated, a website that would scroll different articles (matrix style) that may help people get out of their usual ‘bubble’ and get some new experiences, an app for homeowners to keep all documentation in 1 place, a GUI reporting database that allows business owners to just hook up any database and be presented options on what report to build based on the database tables, etc…

My Mentor pointed me in a different direction though and I am actually pleased he did. I will be building something fun but will allow me to learn some new things. Bloc program teaches you JS with Angular so I will be completing this project in React. Which means I need to learn this while doing the project, should be interesting, to say the least.Basic project is going to be a Random Build Generator for Path of Exile

The project is going to be a Random Build Generator for Path of Exile that will challenge a person to use a random class, keystones, unique, etc. It will provide the information in a single page app which I have wireframed up to be something like this.

Now, you could do the entire thing with an rng function based on manually created arrays that hold all the data to make it somewhat easy.However, that wouldn’t hold up over time. Instead, I will be doing it based on searching through API provided by GGG and possibly through the Mediawiki API for icon graphics and descriptions.

However, that wouldn’t hold up over time. Instead, I will be doing it based on searching through API provided by GGG and possibly through the Mediawiki API for icon graphics and descriptions. All wrapped up in a single page React app with some graphics and allow a different way for people to be challenged.

I will probably still do some extra items if I have time such as a custom poebuilder that will highlight main routes to keystones from starter position, or search for the gems/unique’s you need and provide a ‘whisper to buy’ link like other poe trade sites.

But overall I think this is a good foray into Software development while still having a little fun.

I mean isn’t that what life is about is to enjoy yourself?

Bloc Project phase

I am nearing the end of my Bloc program and just when I start feeling like I ‘Get it’ with some concepts something rears up and hits me upside the head. This time it is right at the start of my Project phase.

You basically get to pick from a list a couple featured programs to such as the  ‘To-do list’ or another (Called Blocmarks) that allows users to send, manage and share bookmarks.

You are basically off on your own to complete User Stories that are listed before you. Such as login, Topics CRUD, User Authorization, User Profiles, etc.

Being left in the deep-end but you still have a Mentor to guide you and point you in the right direction it still forces you to try, try, and try again.

Can be frustrating at times but you always learn something new.

1st project I have decided to complete is called “Blocitoff”, app that allows users to create self-destructing to-do lists. This focuses on Backend Specialization with Ruby on Rails with a simple Bootstrap design just making sure I know the basics of CRUD and using Rspec testing.

2nd project I am still trying to work out. I want to continue with RoR but I think I should do something with JS, mainly just to cement some basic skills. If I do go the route of a Javascript project I believe I will try and do it in ES6 with React. We shall see.

Practicing every day

During a recent talk with an Alum from Bloc I was advised that I needed to ‘Think like a programmer’. The explanation was training my brain with problems through Codewars, hackerrank, codeeval, codechef, etc. Mainly any site that is reputable, has a smorgasbord of problems that allow me to think through, and solve, basic to more advanced Algorithms.

So I made it my pledge to do a couple Codewars Kata every day to change my thinking.

Today I spent a better part of an hour trying to solve a multi-dimensional array problem in Codewars titled “How many stairs will Suzuki climb in 20 years?”

I finished it, but with about 6 lines of code. Like always I look through the All solutions and Best Practices of other individuals, and viola I see that the flatten public class method pretty much solves what I was trying to do in 1 word.

Just a helpful reminder that even while struggling to complete something that may take lines of code you will always be able to learn something from the same problem later.