December 30th, 2014

Winter “Break”: In quotations due to the fact that I believe that I rested that weekend after nearly falling asleep during a teleconference which was the last item to do for the fall 2014 semester.

I am working on completely redoing my school portfolio website. I am taking a Web Portfolio course, so if my ideas interfere with my instructors requirements, I’m already preparing to keep the design and structure open enough to adapt it as my own portfolio as well, rather than just a school website. I spent an entire day building a fairly different navigation system. I believe I got a little too excited when it finally started working the way I intended :-). I have my own site requirements when it comes to content, but still playing with the main sections even though the header and footer are complete.

Another project that I have been working on, which was a long planned idea that turned into my Content Management Systems final, is a music blog ( http://musicbytes.us/ ) which will, hopefully, feature one other author at least other than myself. My goal for MusicBytes is to be objective but make sure to have fun with it as well. I have that site pretty far along but nowhere near public eyes yet. The current home page is simply just an “under construction” page, that makes it able to be bookmarked. That was honestly my only goal for that page.

I’ve been playing around with other ideas such as reading up on the Python web development framework Flask even though I want to get to Django (Python framework as well). I also got books on Joomla and Drupal but of course things take time. A friend seems to be “thumbs up” on Joomla, so that may beat Drupal to the line on my second CMS (learned). Also looking into:

  • JSON
  • AJAX
  • XML
  • deeper into jQuery/Angular/etc
  • deeper into CSS frameworks
  • Object Oriented Programming (OOP) Terminology/Concepts

Already, the main challenge in grasping Flask is it’s object oriented. It is fun trying to grasp the tougher concepts though and understanding its purpose. Although, Flask is already refreshing my memory on Python, so it may be half the battle. I was near taking Java this coming semester which has a strict syntax and wouldn’t have let me avoid object oriented concepts as it thrives of it, but I swapped classes when I realized how time consuming it was. I’m not sure if that was the best move to make considering I’m leaning back toward sticking with the second degree, even if it’s not at my current school. It’s been a massive stress on trying to decide that, which has moving out of city/state attached to it, finances, etc all in one move. I suppose that would freak most out though. One adviser notes that I likely have enough “tools”, but another adviser (from the other program) makes me question especially when I know myself that we haven’t gotten heavily into OOP yet or dynamic content. I’m hoping this spring semester changes that. Although, keeping my second major will give me another Associates degree from only 39 extra credits. Granted there are two algebra classes, the rest isn’t so bad at all :-).

As for fall, though I have a lot to learn, I think the last semester helped me realize that I’m not a “noob” anymore. We got into a lot of fun projects. This is especially true in our Web Applications I class playing with:

  • HighCharts
  • Google Maps API (and other APIs)
  • more customizing and making JSON calls with jQuery
  • Building a database with CouchDB
  • Sass (which runs on Ruby, so I’m playing with that as well)
  • Knockout, Angular, Backbone and other JavaScript frameworks (which taught us concepts on data binding)
  • An introduction to Git
  • Coffescript

…and so on. I’m planning on tackling the Virtual Machine/Ubuntu Server project that I had to abort as my final project due to hardware problems. Also learning through forums from current web developers, programmers, designers. I’m not quite sure what clicked this last semester as far as suddenly and naturally finding good content resources, outlets, and really affordable ways to keep learning..even if it’s my own idea of “Oh, I wanna learn this (geeky giggle)”.

As for a new blog for myself. I plan on getting one going up as soon as I get the domain registered and such. I was a little frustrated when I saw Microsoft’s new browser was named “Spartan”. Having a funny feeling I won’t be a fan, I’m already rethinking my “SpartanByte” alias. Stay tuned on that as well, (grins).

Imperfection is inevitable” <— Someone said this.


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