It’s my second week in with the Thinkful Front-End Developer Career Path Program and I must say, things are going a lot faster than I thought they would. In my first week, I just tried to get the hang of the program and balance my schedule with work and Etsy and y’know…life stuff. But, for my second week, I was truly ready to kick it in high gear. So, how did I do?
jQuery and Manipulating the DOM
Going through Treehouse, I got semi-comfortable with jQuery, at least to the point where I could add plug-ins and attach the functionality to certain elements. Though it took a great deal of finagling, I was able to get most of it to work. But, what I learned after going through the first few lessons of Thinkful was that I wasn’t really using jQuery. I mean, sure I was copying and pasting and this and that, but I wasn’t truly learning it.
So, as I made my first “Hello World” document, got a feel for the Document Object Model (DOM), and practiced some jQuery basics with searching and traversing the DOM, I felt as though I was really getting a feel for the utility and understanding how and when and why to use the jQuery library. With those basic tools in hand, I was able to take on the jQuery Street Fighter Project.
I thought that Thinkful did a great job with the content on this project, showing you the basic set-up and some best practices, but letting you go at a certain point to make it all happen. I was able to put the basic project together, so it looked like most other students’ projects, but I decided to go the extra mile. As a former avid Street Fighter fan, spending much of my youth throwing hadoukens and striking the cool pose with Ryu, I was able to find a level background image to include, as well as the Street Fighter logo, which I thought was pretty cool. And for the finishing touch, some brilliant web philanthropist had posted the Ryu Theme Song as an mp3 for download. Hadouken! Project defeated:
More jQuery with The Shopping List
Next up was a project that allowed me to build upon the principles I picked up in the Street Fighter project: The Shopping List. This time, we were told to start with a basic wireframe of the app, then build a static version using HTML and CSS, and then once we got all of that worked out, basically delete all content (minus the divs) and dynamically fill in content using jQuery click and key methods.
I had read about the Fizzbuzz Challenge here and there and everywhere. Supposedly, it’s a pretty common interview tool to see how a programmer thinks and processes functions. Some people hated it, some people didn’t mind it, and a lot of people didn’t really seem to understand why it was used as such a barometer of skill. Needless to say, FizzBuzz sounded rough.
The FizzBuzz Challenge
What is the FizzBuzz Challenge? Well, basically, you are assigned the following problem: “For each number from 1 to 100, if it’s not divisible by 3 or 5, print the number. If it’s divisible by 3, print ‘fizz’. If it’s divisible by 5, print ‘buzz’. And finally, if it’s divisible by both 3 and 5, print ‘fizz buzz’.” Sounds…complicated, right? Well, it is, until you break it down to it’s most basic pieces. First, you figure you need a loop. Good, easy, make a for loop: “If, else”. Next, you decide which numbers are divisible 3, then which numbers are divisible by 5, and which numbers are divisible by both – just to get an idea of what result should print out. What’s the magic number? 15. So, I started building the thing and I was able to get a solid loop going using the division operator. But, as I soon found out, I was dead wrong. Sure, the division operator works for 3, and 5, and 15, but what about 6 or 9 or 10 or 30 or 90? You can’t set a parameter to give you the results you need. What you need is the modulo operator. That will give you the remainder of the operation, which of course, you will need to be 0 after dividing each of the denominators.
Even with the stigma surrounding it, I was truly happy to see it as a project goal on Thinkful. It shows that they really create their content based on making you a job-ready developer. And they didn’t just glaze over it, they made it a serious checkpoint. A checkpoint which they prepare you for during the coursework. Again, we were told that we didn’t necessarily need to worry about style, but I couldn’t help it:
Functions and Scope
Coming Next Week: Object Oriented Programming, AJAX, and APIs