Week in the life (Generic title, I know)

This was a productive week in terms of learning code but not all weeks are because of time constraints. The 2-3 hours of work truck commuting to and from the cutblock (I plant trees) provide ample time to read and re-read my Heads First JS book. Including the drive and clean-up after (I’m usually covered head to toe in dirt, or rained on) I have 11-13 hours per day that I can’t dedicate to coding. Family time (dinner, kids music lessons) are important too so coding exercises and lab work follow in the hour or so of free time I have left. Having 3 kiddos running around is great but can leave me with little extra free time and when I’m coding I almost always have them making noise in the background as my desk is in the living room. With a pretty random work schedule I have a day off every few days and pretty much have to be flexible and learn all day long while I have the day off.

In just a week my coding projects become so damn scattered. For instance so far this week I’ve worked on:

  • downloaded and played with new screencasting software from TechSmith.
  • finished Head First JavaScript, and started a more advance book: Eloquent JavaScript
  • worked on problem solving by building my own apps while not copying how another programmer solves the problem but rather by writing psuedo-code, reading documentation, and stepping through the process to solve the problem myself
  • filmed a beginners video on “Ways to implement JS, accessing and interacting with JS”
  • tweaked my homesite “johnsblog.org” by adding newsletter section, changed/appended nav bar, changed theme, added social media icons (as a nav bar), Facebook widget

I’d like to break down a few of these topics. First off, completing “Heads First JS” feels real good as in the last two chapters comprehension, (though not necessarily implementation), came easily as I’ve been going through this book doing all the exercises, crosswords, and playing with code snippets all the way through. There was so much information on Objects that pertained to learning Constructors, and Object prototypes in the last couple chapters. I had spent a lot of time with the foundational parts so the more complex structures utilizing these parts as primary building blocks were at the very least understandable. I scanned through prototypes rather quickly since ECMAScript 6/ES2015 (JavaScript language implementation introduced in 2015) is more of a class based system.

With my main textbook wrapped up I’d like to pass the knowledge forward chapter by chapter. I think video would be the best format as that’s the quickest way for me to communicate and show REAL examples of code being pieced together. So, armed with my new screen-casting software, I filmed some different ways you can access JS as well as the general workflow that I use. I’ve still got to record and edit the audio, unfortunately with TechSmith’s proprietary editor instead of KDENLive on Linux which is what I’m familiar with.

Tweaking my site here on WordPress is usually real easy to do but sometimes hard to get right. There is no coding required – just GUI(graphical user interface) click and drag, load, navigate, etc. I changed the nav bar and linked them to the appropriate pages including newly created Newsletter, Blog, and Projects. I built a social media widget that links to sites and uses some nice little icon images. Then there’s the pre-built FB widget as well that came out real sharp looking. I added Archives, and Categories sections (of blog posts) just below the FB link.

Well, that feels like long enough writing for this blog post and I didn’t even get to do a book summary or rant about the programs I’ve started building! We’ll have to save that for another time when maybe, they’ll actually be working.

Author: John McKirdy

Husband, Father, Computer nerd, Fat fitness junkie, MMA fan, Wildebeest

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