Upcoming PHP/MySQL Example

A quick update:

I am working on a PHP/MySQL database example to be added to brianwardwell.com that will enable visitors to add, delete, view, and edit items in a MySQL table. I encountered some connection issues when attempting to have PHP communicate with the MySQL database as the database was created locally. This has been resolved, however, I am amending some of the PHP functionally to work more appropriately with correct exception handling. My goal is to have this fully completed and added to the main site by Wednesday, May 25th.

In addition to this, as previously discussed, I am working on a WordPress CMS to have the blog truly attached to the websites, rather than a link to this blog. This work will take a little bit longer of course.

Many updates to come…

-Brian Wardwell

Spring 2015 Semester

A Long Overdue Entry

I suppose most college students have one semester where things didn’t go as planned, in life or in school. For me, I hope mine was this last semester (Spring 2015) because then I have more productive things ahead. Even though it was a rough semester, and months in life in general, many lessons were learned including the “honeymoon period” in things. I wish I could remember which blog mentioned the book called The Dip by Seth Godin. I haven’t read the book yet, though this semester felt like that “dip” period. One thing I can be proud of is that even though my motivation wasn’t spot on and other things beyond my own, my instructor’s control, I still continued to give it 100% effort.

Now, the semester has ended and I graduated on May 13th, 2015 with an AAS in Web Development. Technically, my summer Ethics class will end that degree but that is also the hand off, or transition, point where my next milestone will be finishing an AAS in Computer Programming. This degree won’t finish for some time yet, so more on that later.

To give a very brief overview, as much is covered in a clickable (thanks to jQuery) Academics page on my newest portfolio at brianwardwell.com, this semester included five web development courses and one elective:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • User Experience Design
  • Web Applications II
  • Web Portfolio
  • Web Projects (Project Management)
  • Professional and Technical Writing

Web Applications II had us working on technologies such as Git, UNIX commands, stepping into AJAX and JSON, node.js, SSH and virtual machines (Using Vagrant). I look forward to experimenting more with AJAX and JSON, as well as node.js, due to their increasing use among modern dynamic websites. Summer courses will include Ethics and Informatics. I’ve always been pretty interested in Philosophy, so I am looking forward to Ethics just as much as Informatics.

My final portfolio for Minnesota State Community and Technical College is actually the exact same that is on brianwardwell.com. However, in the next two months, I am hoping to build a solid foundation to a PHP based site, since there were problems with the schools server running PHP during the last semester. I’m hoping this will then allow me to include programming examples and other features.

More information to come….

-Brian Wardwell

Romo’s, Books, and Godsmack

Before I get to to the earlier Tumblr post, I want to plug a well deserved local eatery that I am very proud to find early on, with help of a friend

Romo’s Tacos and Mexican Food, Fargo ND

  • 3402 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103
  • (701) 364-9757

Romo

Romo’s in Fargo, North Dakota

A friend got into Romo’s as it’s one of her favorite places. This place has only recently opened and already gained enough popularity to also earn a location in downtown Fargo’s Black Building (118 Broadway N). It was my first time and their $9 dinner sized burrito, pictured above, not only filled me up once but twice as leftovers later that night. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. I’ll gladly return and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Education

In twenty five days, the Fall 2014 semester starts. I have my notebooks, OneNote, folders, new dry/erase board, etc all ready to go. The only thing I’m missing are all my books. I do have two of them early that I have been browsing through. I’m also beginning some work on a book on Perl (server-side language) that comes highly recommended by many technical blogs. The book is from the library, but I’ll get my own copy when I have the cash to do so. I’m hoping to find a better programming series that I like. So far, this book seems to come at the topic pretty straightforward.

I did plenty of thinking and think I have a school plot figured out, with some help of some friends and one semi-mentor lending thoughts. The only downside is I’m too eager to learn. I have to realize that I’m not going to get there all at once. Which is obvious, I know this, but it’s hard to not get excited and “weee”.

Grateful to the Fargo Public Library, I do also have books on:
ASP.NET
Office 2013 (in depth)
Access 2013 (in even more depth)
Making Windows 8 Apps with C++
Wireless Networking
, and so on.

Most I don’t intend to read a whole lot but it gives me an idea if I find it interesting or not. With most computer (or Computer Science/Information Technology) books being so expensive, it’s much easier to do it this way. Then, I go with Amazon typically and by rating since most of these books are rated by geeks anyway.
notebooks

GODSMACK

Godsmack is set to release their sixth studio album titled 1000hp next Tuesday on August 5th, 2014. You can Pre-Order on Amazon now, although I do want to note I see a lot of “clean version” which I’m personally not a fan of. I like the dirty versions, I admit. At the band’s official website, you can check out the link to stream the album for free and hear it now. I’m personally waiting for the “it’s out” moment. Seeing Godsmack in Sioux Falls, SD was very awesome and I hope to see them on the road again very soon.
Godsmack

Introduction To Me

     The Introduction:

     The subject lines aren’t the best, however, we’ll let the fact that I haven’t posted a single serious blog entry in about two years. So, when much of this first post (especially the use of the standard text box instead of HTML and other custom formatting) is amateur, think of it more as a warm up.

     I am a student about to go into my fourth semester for my Web Development AAS, not including summer school. I should only have this semester and one more semester and my Associates Degree is complete. While I’m using the regular text editor on the WordPress site, not even the text/HTML tab, it is simply to warm up and get familiar with the WordPress way of doing things. I am still getting used to the idea of frameworks and similar. So far in college, we have simply done everything by hand and by scratch. I’ve enjoyed it and it really helps us understand certain things such as, example, why floats in CSS act the way they do.

     One of my upcoming classes, Web Applications I, I have a gut feeling will start introducing us to the idea of frameworks, although my school did add a Content Management Systems class that teaches frameworks such as WordPress. My goal is to be completed at latest of summer of next year as I am contemplating starting a four year school next fall, or beginning a second Associates Degree or, another possibility is a Certification program. So the “CMS” class is uncertain as there are other classes I will need before that in order to graduate.

     I promise to work on becoming more concise in future posts, pinky swear. I do have the WordPress software downloaded, but am exploring it and working with a book to help me understand the basics. I’ll plug the book, then explain a bit about my goal for this blog and some. The book is Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read (2nd Edition) by Scott McNulty.

     The Blog:

     I’m not setting out for this to be a personal blog, or a tech blog, or a music blog, or a social awareness blog. To be honest, I want it to be a little bit of everything although I don’t plan on getting too personal at all. For example, I probably won’t mention specific situations, persons, schools (at least not my own), and so forth. This won’t be a journal. I am going to leave the idea open to possibly have another (or more) join to post if there’s something important they want to raise a hand about but they would be hand picked and it would be respectful. I don’t want this blog to take a political, religious or any other side other than informative and simple discussion on topics. If there is an entry on an issue, it would most likely be to simply raise awareness. I’m still refining a more professional and proper writing style so feel free to comment if a point may have been put in a more objective way. However, comments on grammar, etc are okay but unnecessary. There may be some geekery and humor, but I would see cursing and inappropriate slang as unacceptable of myself. Even if a post is on a metal band that I very much enjoy, I will try and keep it as objective as possible. This blog is more for practice at coexisting while speaking my mind more than anything.

Because of this, I did leave comments open for now because I hope to receive some good feedback. However, if abused with vulgar and offensive comments, I will close that feature. I don’t need to see that and other readers most likely don’t need to see that or appreciate that.

     Me In A Nutshell:

     As I mentioned, I was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota. In my younger years, I spent much of my time working in restaurants before moving onto working in call centers. I wasn’t the most successful high school student and left for personal reasons in my junior year. I pushed ambitiously to return nine years later to receive my GED and did surprisingly better than I ever thought I would, contrasting my C, D average in high school. I applied to college in late 2012 and began in the spring semester in January of 2013. I’ve worked ambitiously and hope to retain the knowledge they’ve taught me so when I do enter the field, I haven’t lost any more than a little bit of that information, if any. As I mentioned, I am within a year of completing my Associates in Web Development. My mind is contemplating either an Associates in Computer Programming, Software Development, Web Programming, or similar. A far more ambitious option is to enter a four year school and begin working on my Bachelor’s Degree for Computer Science and Information Systems. I’ve struggled with math in the past, so the large amount of math is one of the main apprehensions I have. Understandably, so is drastically increasing my student loan debt, even when I know the output is more than worth it.

     Even if I were to stay with this single Associates Degree, I’d feel mentally wealthier by far. College has showed me a side of myself I didn’t know existed. I seek out non-fiction books and read intently to see the world in different ways, unlike I had seen before due to thinking maybe a bit small. Granted, I set my compass to the technology books first but I definitely have a strong interest in other subjects especially psychology. Communication, philosophy, ethics and marketing are also subjects I would enjoy dabbling in enough to gain perspective.

     I do enjoy fiction too, though I admit many are tied to movies whether it be the books themselves or authors who have also written books made into movies. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorites. I am still trying to get started on Invisible Monsters as well. I have been a fan of Ray Bradbury since I was a child even. The list goes on but books, movies and music seem to run a similar theme and they all often tend to be dark, or at least well written and well done. Though I still don’t understand many of his movies, I continue to be a huge fan of David Lynch and Twin Peaks continues to be one of my favorite mini-series, while Lost Highway is one of my favorite movies.

     In Closing:

     This first post became far too long, my apologies. I do plan on creating and launching my own blog site along with other things. A catch is I don’t feel I quite know enough yet, unless I just want to make a simple static page. I don’t know the programming quite yet to create interactive/dynamic pages such as posting blogs, images, and so forth. I would rather wait and do it right than try and get by unless I’m simply doing a gallery site using JavaScript/jQuery mostly, and “winging it” at that. Hopefully soon, many projects will evolve. I appreciate your time. 

~SpartanByte (name of school mascot + byte)