Let's catch up! Learn-co Weeks 1-2

It has been quite some time since I last blogged! I'll try to be more consistent going forward to produce at least one blog per week! 

Sooooo my last post was a recap about RailsGirlsLA. Since then, I started the full-stack remote program at Learn-co! I think it's been about two weeks now! 

What have I learned/done so far?

As a very quick and dirty summary, so far I've completed the HTML and CSS lessons. I learned how to build a responsive website as a result, using media queries. I also learned how to use Twitter bootstrap as a template to build quick websites. I also learned about validation and inspector tools, which are super helpful for debugging. For the last lesson, I created and deployed a little profile page, which can be viewed here once my github pull-request is accepted (I think?).  The lessons are easy-to-follow with a mix of video-guided code-alongs, quizzes and readings. If you ever get stuck, help is readily available at all times, whether that be from another student in the course or a staff member. 

What's really neat about this is how empowered I feel. As I am using square space to type out my blog right now, I feel more empowered to ditch it and build a site of my own. For example, I just used Squarespace's GUI tools to create the text-link above, which will open in a new window, which I TOTALLY know how to code now. Pfttt, I don't need THAT button anymore! Also, this section of the course covers githubpages, which hosts websites/blogs for free SO we may be jumping ships very soon! I also love looking at my github and seeing all the code that's on it now! yahoooo!!!

Currently I am onto learning Ruby which I much prefer. Ruby is so much more interesting and fun to me. I am on the Procedural Ruby track and will move onto Object Oriented Ruby next. During the pre-qualification track, we covered many of these topics so now it's a bit of review with more details, quizzes and coding exercises.  I also learned about REPLs, like Pry, to help with debugging. At this very moment, I am reviewing iterations and building code that use the "yield" keyword, which includes a lot of work with arrays and blocks.  In the future, I'd like to go more in depth and choose certain topics to summarize, which would also help reinforce my learning and understanding. Yield is still kind of confusing to me. 

So far I am enjoying Learn-co. It has been challenging but doable, and I'm learning heaps. My only concern is that at the pace I'm going, I am not sure when I will be able to finish. I wish there were a time table that would tell me to complete lessons A-D by X time period, as a target to finish within Y months. I saw something like this when first signing up but it was broken down by hours. Who knows if I'm faster/slower than other people within that same hour though. I understand that we are the first "class" so maybe this timetable is currently impossible to predict, but some of the reasons this program appealed to me is that it's a lot cheaper than other programs, it's with a well-renowned school (FlatIron School), and it's remote which also means I am learning while staying employed. But I hope it doesn't take me ten months to finish = $10,000, for example. However, that's motivation right there isn't it! 

Another concern is more of a personal one. I will be attending Rubyconf tomorrow - Tuesday, then I'll be flying "home" to North Carolina for family time/Thanksgiving. All this will slow me down majorly, but I will try my best to fit in a few lessons per day. 

But probably my favorite part of this experience is actually that my boyfriend is doing it with me! This, I hope, will be really fun when the projects come around and we can pair-program/create together. We've been able to ask questions and solve problems with each other. It feels amazing to know that we are learning and growing together. awwwww <3