750 Words: The challenge of challenges

This will be interesting. I could not sleep and started stressing about getting up in time to ride to the train station for the 7a train, so I gave up the ghost at 4a and just got myself ready for the 4:54a bus. I am not sure how coding on the bus will go. It’s not as smooth a ride. Jiggly lap => jiggly laptop => rando typos.

I have no problem coding every day. I do not need the 100-days-of-code challenge to get me to do it. All I do differently when I decide on doing it is owning up to my contributions on Twitter. I also become a more active Twitter participant when I start a challenge. I also make sure that I commit every day when I am on the challenge. For some reason, once I announce to the anonymous world that I am committing to 100DoC, I feel the “pics or it didn’t happen” threat is taken care of with the little green GitHub square.

So no. My problem is not coding every day; my problem is staying focused on one or two projects. That’s the ADHD without a boss or teacher issue. When the boss looks at me in the mirror, I’m less focused. MeAsMyBoss should never have hired me:
Me: I want to do a little CSS grid in between Node tutorials.
MeAsMyBoss: Don’t forget that you need to fix your portfolio, apply for jobs, do your homework, and correct or improve past homework.
Me: And maybe even plan a bigger full-stack project since I’ll be asked to do one soon.
Me: RIGHT?! Let’s deal with our excitement and stress by eating all the things!

MeAsMyBoss also is more of a delegator. She’s not someone I could go to when I get stuck. She doesn’t ask me what I think I should do. I also don’t have this desire to do right by her. I don’t care if she’s proud of me or impressed with anything I’ve done. In fact, when she is impressed, she makes me come off as a needy narcissist. Don’t get me wrong. I love MeAsMyBoss’s twin sister MeAsMyRoommate. I can do solo living. I don’t just talk to myself; I orate. I’d rather have OtherAsMyBoss. I love a good boss—one I respect and look up to. When I have OtherAsMyBoss, I procrastinate less and stay on task more.

Alas, I do not have OtherAsMyBoss. Or I don’t for coding and web development.

Until then, I have to stick with MeAsMyBoss. Maybe we can teach each other. Maybe she’ll keep me from going with a new idea: “Katy, let that one rest in your journal. GitHub can wait.” And maybe I’ll remind her that I need different projects to satisfy the different—OH CRAP! BUS TRANSFER POINT!
(and who is the boss of “shove everything in the pannier get off the bus get the bike find the next bay load the bike get on the bus and carry on”? ME! Fueled by Spokesman coffee and a jolt of adrenalin.)
See? I have to have different projects for the different time chunks available to me. I cannot do tutorials on the bus because I can’t hear the announcement. Tutorials are better for the train when every stop is predictable. I prefer longer tasks like homework for when I can have a second monitor set up. My available times do not suit one project. What can you do? I don’t care. What can I do? That’s better. I can find a happy middle between one project that I can’t do during some of my free time and too many projects that just mean I get nothing done. I also give myself a break. There’s a difference between having unfinished projects because I dislike them and having unfinished projects because I want to learn all the things.

But I do think I am done with adding more challenges. I have 100 Days of Code (very disciplined with), 750 Words a Day (medium as it is second to 100Doc), and getting back to the gym (necessary as I’m a stress eater and am pursuing a career that puts many people in 90-degree angles for hours at a time). I think I’ve maxed out I can’t even satisfy my “get to bed before 10p” challenge even once a week.


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Meta data:

LOCATION: on the bus
AMPM: am

100 Days of Code III and Codie Jodie

After going 150+ days in the second round, I put this challenge to bed.

Until this year. On the first, I started the challenge over. I will adjust some of the rules as they’re rigid (to me). They’re better rules for those not taking classes and following tutorials. I am doing both. I won’t count classwork or homework as part of the challenge, but I will count any supplemental tutorials or mini-projects. In doing so, I hope to balance my days. If I’m learning NodeJS, then support that with a tutorial, but also keep the UI and frontend fresh with a small snippet, bit of research, or a little project.

Don’t we all need to keep our backend and frontend fresh?

My first few days have been dedicated to finishing Wes Bos’s Learn Node tutorial. This makes my fourth completed WB tute: JavaScript30, What The Flexbox, React for Beginners, and Learn Node. I am always working on ES6 for everyone. I start that one over all of the time to get the practice in. When he releases his CSS grid tutorial, I’ll do that one, too.

Learn Node is a large project that jumps into Node at the late beginning stages. No play in the terminal. Just starting off index and Express, requiring, exporting … He’s taken care of the project decision (a Yelp-like app) and the styling. While at first I felt overwhelmed, by the end, I felt this was a great way to see what it is like to come into a project other people have started.

Now I’m ready to do another that is more ground up. Hello, Andrew “Fantastic” Mead. Honestly, he says “fantastic” all of the time. I like to pretend he has to force himself to say “fantastic” or else he’ll end up saying “fucking awesome”. He’s also like a hot Pee Wee Herman.

Two different styles. I like them both.

But all of this Node is leaving my fronted out to get stale. Ha ha, Code Matey! Not for long. Every workday I have to look at horrible Secretary of State websites. They’re just awful. And you know what has happened. Some manager has dumped the web and online content management to someone who was good with email. Poor sod is already overworked and now has to build and maintain the website.

I do not want to be the person who laughs at ugly sites. They are the same people who love correcting other people’s grammar. Thou shalt not be a dick. Ever. Or we shall try not to, and we shall scold ourselves when we get high and mighty.

Instead of mocking the websites, why not use them as a way to learn and practice the CSS grid system and keep up with Flexbox? (Screw you, Bootstrap. You bore me and junk up my HTML!) The content of those sites is pretty boring. Or at least the section I have to visit. I’d have to keep it ipsummy loremmy. All I care about are the colours, layout, and responsiveness. We’ll see. It’s an idea.

As is Dressy Bessy or Codie Jodie! The doll, which I never had, seemed to have all the fun things: snaps, a button, zipper, laces. She was a shocking mess for fashion, but her purpose was to teach kids to zip, tie, snap, fasten, and whatever else you can do with clothing. Taking notes about the states’ SoS sites, I got to thinking about just the states in general. 50 states. About 50 weeks in a year with two for fluff time. Why not a state a week that had facts about the state, some decoration, enough boxes and divs to fill a page, buttons that did things, etc? Wouldn’t be pretty, but if the only goal is to practice frontend play, why not? Codie Jodie. She’s got buttons, a responsive grid, some css animations, jQuery plug ins, …

Again. We’ll see. I will need to have all things outside of the class and its homework be short and sweet. Not interested in losing more time.

Planning to plan. On it!

I know. I know. Shu’up!

I spent two hours, staying up until 2:30a, trying to figure out something that just came to me while I was staring out the window and enjoying my last cappuccino. 

I know. I KNOW! But this is my ADHD in action. Hyperfocus. While I was at The Iron Yard, homework was due at 12a. No staying up late because it’s pointless to be a warm body in the classroom if the brain is on ice with a toe-tag (my brain has toes, but only seven). As a former teacher, I trust my instructors’ advice and obeyyyy. If homework is due at midnight, I turned it in at midnight—finished or not. If I had to turn something in incomplete, I’d comment the daylights out of it so that they understood where I was lost. Bootcamps do not have the luxury of time that 4-yr institutions have. I’d stress about what I would turn in and hyperfocus. Sometimes that would work, but often adding the stress of being evaluated put up a barrier. While on the surface, I wailed that I’d never get it, I deep down where my burps are made, I believed SuperJess, who kept reminding me to add Carol Dweck’s “Yet!” to my wailing:

  • I don’t grasp Ajax … yet.
  • I don’t get “this” … yet.
  • I don’t have any ice cream in my freezer … yet.
  • Last night I was in my hyperfocus zone again, but I was having fun. I’d struggle, try something, go back to other parts of the app to play, return. It was a battle, but messing with my code was fun. I knew I wasn’t searching with the right words. And I knew it was a matter of yet.

    Fast forward to this morning, and it comes to me: “stop listening”. Oh yeah. Off. Derp. I’m always playing with .on(“click”, function(){//your bad-ass code here//} and have not had the need to stop listening. And that, my liege, is how we know the earth to be banana shaped is why we code every day: re-view, re-visit, try new things, rinse, lather, repeat. 

    I don’t want to count this as part of my 100 DoC. My rules for me are to code every day, but for 100 DoC, I build something in a day. If I choose a larger project, then I’ll try to dissect it, but going back to tweak is just “code every day”. If I run out of time, I’m totes counting this. Sorry. My life. My rules.


    100 Days of Code: Don’t be skeert

    It was a dark and stormy night. 

    Not really. It was a bright, sunny, muggy day, but my laptop was in a dark place. I’m sure it’s just a phase.

    I had serious plans to get my jQuery on, but I was still in the mood to doodle. Conveniently, I came up with jQuery ideas while I was doodling. I don’t know if it was the act of doodling or just that by the time I started, my brain woke up. I’m not a morning person. I get up at 5a, but I do not function until after 12. I am starting to think that it’s futile for me to come up with something before noon.

    A dark and stormy night. And I never got around to making it stormy. Just let it be a dark night, okay? 

    [edited: Added jQueryUI for shakes. Whoo hoo!]

    100 Days of Code: Greyhound

    I finished! Holy schmokoly, doing the back end of a dog is hard. I am hoping all that focus will help me to do that on my own. So focused on this, that last night I had a dream about it; however, Dream Me drew a horses head instead of a hound. And to make it worse, I wasn’t even naked with Steve Buscemi. 

    I hope to return to this one to have fun with animation. 

    Happy 4th! Keep your critters safe. I’m on my way to get ice cream and peanut butter because I deserve it!

    Greyhound by CSS

    100 Days of Code

    Had way too much fun doing this one. 

    My goals were simple: 

  • learn a function that determines if a number is prime
  • “glue” a div onto a photo to make it look like a sign 
  • play with css and jQuery to change the display
  • I took a DoC break and found that doing that just makes me sad. If I can’t come up with an idea, I should still just play and see what comes to my mind. That is what happened. I was lethargic all day until I decided to look up how to determine if a number was prime. While writing down that function, I came up with more ideas.

    I miss my instructors, so when I can, I like to use them. Always good to see their faces. 

    The Prime Feline

    100 Days of Code: Scav, v2

    Eyes on the prize. No, really. Check this out:

    Goofy eyes on that fishy prize, no?

    I spent the day applying for jobs and longing to do less painful things such as eating glass, so at the end of the day, I chose to add another function to the existing app. More fun with setTimeout. I would like to revisit this app (and others) after 100 days of code have passed to look at functions that violate the DRY rule and make them more efficient. You may think I should do that now, but I have come to coding from writing, and I’m applying this rule: “Write drunk; edit sober”. These codes are fun for me. I learn when I have fun. I also tried to apply that when I taught math. Right now I’m just punch drunk giggly making some of these codes. I’ll return to them later when I feel conservative and bidniss like. Creating > editing at this point. Not forever. Just at this point.

    I think my next app will be an about-me page, which I loathe. Me me me me me this is about me me me me me. Blergh. So yeah. After I come up with a way to make my about-me to be less about me. Oooooh. Magic.

    100 Days of Code: Scavenger hunt

    I had fun with this one because I got my doodle on and made my own things for a fish to find. The fish is the rare Torinfish. So rare, that there’s only one. Torin is the daughter of a friend, and I made this app for her. She loves to swim, so I am having her fish clean the pool. There are 10 objects to find. 

    I did not finish or get as far as I wanted to, but I left it functioning. I am happy as it is and look forward to making these changes on another day:

    • Having a list of items that either disappear as I find each or an empty list that builds.
    • Make two random number generators that come up with the top and left position for the hidden objects so that no two rounds will be the same. 
    • Have a button that starts a swimmer, and the user has to find all of the objects before the swimmer finishes. 
    • Make more doodles!!

    Scavenger hunt: clean the pool

    Good fun, but it’s bed time now. Nuh nye.

    100 DoC: hiccups

    I had a plan, man. I’ll call the plan Stan. Stan had a plan: expan’. 

    The project I was working on grew as other ideas came in. When that happens, I know it’s best to give it a rest. Let the ideas come in, take notes, do something else. I’m cool with that. My project; my rules. 

    Part of the project required my drawing little things, so that takes more time than just building a wee code. 

    Here’s my cursor to give you a hint of my fantastic art skills at work:

    Part of having too much fun with code is letting it get out of hand. I don’t care. This is code, not a trip to Vegas. The fishy project will come soon. 

    Still, I wanted to have a code done, so I cheated in a way. I returned to old homework to make it neater or add more to it. I started with my “vanilla to-do”. I won’t add a link. It’s not that fun yet. Just believe me (belieeeeeeve me) that I added check boxes for when I complete a task. When I get stuck on a DoC project again, I’ll return to this to-do list to add windows.localstorage. And once it’s all done, I’ll build a new one from scratch with Ajax and jQuery. 

    Some days just are sluggish. This was one. I’m just glad that I didn’t find comfort in a pint of ice cream. Win! (not really)