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.
I am hoping the title coaxes onlookers to raise one eyebrow and read on. It’s meaning comes from learning where our stress limit is and how much we can actually take on. Up until two weeks ago, I was back working full time at a very heavy thinking, stressful job while also trying to manage my way through 9 credits. Now, maybe I’ve been spoiled to have great instructors, however I wasn’t impressed this semester. If an instructor is very disorganized, the students likely will be. However, disorganization has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was getting home from work already burnt out for the day. Turning in late homework and the grades that were coming are just not me. Because these classes aren’t going to a particular degree, I had to make a choice. So, my dear college students, tread carefully because burnout sneaks up like a ninja. Well, it did for me at least.
The classes I was taking were:
IT Essentials (A+)
Linux Networking (Linux+)
Network Essentials (Network+)
If you’re familiar with technology certifications, you’ll notice that all three classes used CompTIA textbooks. CompTIA is a very well known and respected series of certifications working from computer hardware, networking, and more. So, in all truth, I could study the books anyway and then take the certification tests instead
I feel as if I’m turning back in the Web Development direction again, at least on my free time. I can’t, and won’t, go into more detail but I will be working more on my portfolio website (BrianWardwell.com) where some functionality and design “misses” needed to be fixed or added. Also, this blog will soon be integrated into a CMS (WordPress) blog that will be actually attached to the site. This makes me feel really excited as it’ll get me punching code again, which is something I love to do.
I also have plans to try and remedy MusicBytes being neglected for far too long. A massive rule of web development would be to not put up a site like that, start building up an audience, and then disappear for two months. “How To Loose Your Regular Visitors: 101”. However, this will give me a chance to learn lessons on how to rebuild an audience and improve upon traffic by way of Search Engine Optimization and scheduled updates.
I do have other projects calling my name at the moment. Thank you for taking the time to read this attempt to waddle back out and post without shame.
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:
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:
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)
An introduction to Git
…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.
I’d like to start off by declaring that I’m not complaining when I say that eighteen credits definitely keeps me moving. Actually, after being consistently busy the last two months with the help of the 18 credits, I don’t know if I could go back down to 12 unless filling up my time otherwise. I don’t really have any tech news to report or any college tips to suggest. I don’t even have a band in mind to review.
I did, however, start getting prepared to build a music blog that I dubbed MusicBytes and reserved the musicbytes.us domain. For now it simply just has a landing page saying that the site is being built. The reason for this is while I get deeper into Content Management Systems and now as we’ve hit on topics like child themes, it could help me make that site/blog better. I’d prefer to have it set up right the first time instead of having to take it down to fix it later and lose readers as I’m doing so. It wouldn’t surprise me if I started typing up some reviews on text files until that point though. That would give me a nice glob of content to already have pre-written so that all I would have to do is amend it and format it.
However, for informational purposes, I aim to have MusicBytes.us very open to where I can literally write about any musical artist, or “genre” if you prefer, without any lines or boundaries. I’m also looking to set it up to have more than one author which should give it a broader perspective of music and style. I realize the landing page isn’t visually spectacular, smiles, but am still brainstorming a visual theme and atmosphere.
For now, I’m going to have to keep this blog running as is, as a free WordPress hosted blog at that, because school and other things have me pretty booked up, especially if doing the MusicBytes blog. I’m starting to learn moderation so I don’t start trying to do too many projects at once. A photography site is also on my agenda. I would rather start up a few websites on my own before starting out on developing for others.