A Blog about my journey as as web developer

Always learning

Last week I had the honor of seeing my baby girl off to college.  Helped her move into her dorm, cried my eyes out, and found ways to distract myself so I could stop crying.  In all of this I realized that I don’t always take my own advice.  I tell my students and my kids that not everyone is going to get things the first time out.  While finding ways to distract myself over the weekend I was prepping lessons.  I was smart a few months ago and created a repo for each lesson had the base files in the main branch and then use the branches to hold that months solutions.  However this month we were working with updated material.  It’s not that the content changed so much as the order or way we wanted to teach it changed.

So that ment that all those base files needed to change.  Friday I spent hours trying to come up with material for my JS lesson that evening and kept yelling at my computer.  My poor dogoes thought I was yelling at them.  No not at them… just my code and it’s lack of functionality. I had to keep reminding myself to take a break.  Step away do something else and get my mind off the code for a few min so that I could then go back and fix it.  Then of course I would finally see the error of my ways and get it working only to come across a  new error.   I felt like one of my students learning JS for the first time again.  How ever I learned a few very important things:

#1 Never using coding or lesson prep as a distraction –  if it can go wrong it will.
#2 If you must use coding or lesson prep as a distraction you just might learn a few new tricks.
#3 If all else fails read the instructions.  Or in this case read the documentation or even the material that is presented to the students.
#4 Food is an important element to coding.

Something that I have been told by my students is that they like that I use real world analogies in my lessons.  One of my oldies but goodies is that a web page is like a house,  The html is the structure…. the basic layout of the home.  Floor 1 is going to have this many rooms and contain these items. Floor 2 this many rooms and contain these items.  CSS is the paint on the walls, the fluffy pillows on the couch.  Pictures on the walls.  And JS is what powers it all.  You can put a light switch  on anywhere on the wall, but until you hook it up to power it’s just a switch that doesn’t do anything.  Some how some months I come up with new ones, some are better than others, but each get the point across…

I have said this before but Web Development is a never ending environment that you will always be learning something new in.  Someone is going to show me a shortcut, or give an explanation to something better than me, or just by the nature or technologies the languages get better.  The way I write a function today is  not how I might write it tomorrow.  However commenting your code or creating repos so you can see a commit history and learning from the past is how you get better.  Next months classes will go better than this month because I learned something from this month.  I had to grow up this month and accept that yes indeed I am old enough to have a daughter that is off in college now.  Yes I will miss her, but she is a smart capable young women and she can take care of herself.  She will ask for help from me when she needs it, and I need to realize that just because I am a Mother or a Web Developer Instructor I don’t know all the answers, I might have to phone home and get some help too, and that’s ok.  It just means that I am using my resources, learning and growing as a persona and a Developer.  Now after seeing that image of a sandwich I just realized I am taking terrible care of my own health and haven’t eaten dinner.  Maybe I should go do that.

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