LaGuardia TechHire -- Open Code

Day 23: Carmen Sandiego, Where are you?

Today our class was introduced to the inner workings of computers. For apple, we are working with MackBook Pros, the terminal is used to essentially command a computer to perform actions. Terminal was supposed to be practiced on the first day of the cohort, but obstacles arose. In a world of technology, it is important to know how to overcome or bypass difficulties for they are in abundance. Perhaps more important than our previous lessons, it was imperative that we followed instructions in the most meticulous manner. One wrong key stroke can cause havoc while using terminal.

On our very first lesson of the cohort we learned about file structure, and that same lesson was reinforced today. Files are usually made by right clicking to create a new folder or file. Today we learned how computers actually create and access files. A seeming unimportant word gained great importance, “Directory”. A directory is a cataloging system that connects file paths in a computer system.  During this class we learned various commands that are explained in this video by Code Academy. 

After learning basic Terminal commands, we headed over to Git. Git is a version of a Distributed Version Control System. That may seem like a mouthful, but Git it is a web developers dream. By using Git, a person can have access to the full history of their projects. When learning Git, Kurt explained it to us as a tree.

DisneyGrandmotherWillowAnim.gifTell me about it Grandmother Willow…

There is a master branch which relates to the trunk of a tree. The master branch is where the main project lies. Then there are branches of a tree which correspond to different versions of a project. Different branches, work off the current master branch and allow the user to make alterations without effecting the master branch where you want your final project to be. When you are truly satisfied with a version, or branch, you can merge it to the master. When you merge a branch to the master it becomes the updated version that your branches will be worked off of. This can be thought of as adding a ring to a tree trunk. It took a lesson on nature for me to understand Git, but there are computer written commands to bring Git into effect. Beanstalk Guides gives a great breakdown of Git commands and their use here

To solidify the lesson on Terminal and Git, Kurt gave us an exercise that brought me back to my childhood in the 90s. We played his version of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”. This wasn’t the computer game I remember, but it was technically a computer game. In Kurt’s version we went to GitHub and cloned files of data and hidden in these files was the elusive Carmen Sandiego. We searched each folder by changing directories and listing all hidden files within them. Sadly, I didn’t actually go to the countries that named each folder and file, but I did find Carmen Sandiego as I traveled through Kurt’s cloned files.

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LaGuardia TechHire -- Open Code

Day 21: The Choice is Yours.

After a weekend of coding, I found that my insatiable appetite for food had translated to an insatiable appetite for web development. Monday’s are dreaded for most, but I came to class eager. Last week’s orientation an familiarization of the program allowed Kurt to jump right into the lesson. I was ready!


When starting a CSS stylesheet, we used to go element by element, customizing each one individually. There were a lot details that were standard unless you altered them. This inconvenience led us to the star selector * (No, I’m not talking about myself.). The star selector allows the user to target the whole stylesheet, this applies to CSS and HTML. That being said, watch out because it can lead to problems if you aren’t careful.  From previous exercises, I found two elements, in particular, that threw me off with there standard measurements: margin and padding. In star selector I can set both of these elements to 0%. Doing this removes the standard measurements and allows me to set set new values.

box-sizing: border-box;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;

It was day three and time to learn more advanced web making. Before moving into modern web development, we had to learn about the past. Float is a method of website making that is based on putting text around an image. This layout is often used for basic web pages that consist of a banner, aside (menu bar), main content and a footer; nothing too complicated. After this, I was ready for more, ready to step into 2017 of HTML and CSS. Tell me about flex!! (It’s true I need to go back to the gym, but can flex my website in the meantime!) Flex is used with a lot of current websites, especially those which feature columns and boxed content. With flex, order is extremely important. All items automatically have an order of zero,”0″. which brings things to the top of the page. When assigning a different number order, larger numbers go lower on the page.

Most websites want to give their viewers a method of providing feedback. This is usually done through forms, or an area to get in contact with the web page provider. These areas usually contain a space to enter your name, age, email, and other demographics. In fact, I provide a contact page for my viewers to Get in Touch!  When making a form, there are a few types of inputs you can provide. The three we worked with in class are text input, radio input, and checkbox input.

As the name suggests, text input is place where the user can type a message. An example of this could be writing a yelp review.

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Radio input is where the user can choose only one of the options provided. An example could be entering age range, a person cannot satisfy more that one of these options.

Checkbox input differs from radio input in the fact that the user can choose more than one option. An example of this can be used when ordering ordering pizza online. Here you can choose more than one option, go on, your tastebuds deserve it.

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Wed development is much like life, you have an endless amount of options and opportunities. I began this blog with a post asking “Who Will You Be?” and the choice is always yours. Life will present situations much like a form on a website. Sometimes you can answer with all the thoughts you hold. Sometimes you have to pick and choose one option over others. My favorite, sometimes you can choose as many options as you want. (All, nothing and everything in between.) I am glad I can see so many parallels between the craft I am learning and the life that I am living.



LaGuardia TechHire -- Open Code

Day 20: If You’re Learning and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre. -Albert Camus

It is a luxury to be sure in life, to know exactly what is to come. That being said, it is imperative to learn as much as you can about your environment regardless of its manifestation (e.g., physical, mental, social, academic, etc.). I never used Atom before this cohort and it was important for me to familiarize myself with the text editor. I downloaded the program on both of my personal computers and loaded the projects I had worked on in class.

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During my exploration of the program I found there was an option to download packages and themes that customize your experience. I downloaded the ‘monokai’ syntax theme which colored my text in a way that made it easy to distinguish between elements. This was a big help for learning new code.Monokai Kurt also introduced us to a color picker app called Sip. This application icon states at the top of my toolbar and whenever I want to pick out a color, it’s right there. A key feature of this app is being able to pick up colors from anywhere on my screen. Bam! Hexadecimal at my finger tips!

TechHire–OpenCode is a program that requires immense dedication. That being said it is important for me to give web development my all. Google is a great place to look for answers, but i wanted more to reinforce and learn new skills. The Flatiron School is a well established web development bootcamp based in New York City. Their school just launched a beta accelerated bootcamp prep. This bootcamp prep is meant to build a strong foundation before you tackle an official bootcamp cohort. At noon I attended an online lecture by the co-founder of the Flatiron School himself, Avi Flombaum! He was wonderful in the way he introduced us to new material and explained topics. is an online platform made by the Flatiron School used for learning web development. During the lecture we were introduced to the Learn IDE. I found it comedic when Avi told us the IDE was based on Atom. Zing, another way to reinforce my skills with Atom!

It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not to venture all his eggs in one basket. -Miguel de Cervantes

LaGuardia TechHire -- Open Code

Day 14: The Waiting Game.

With the weekend over, my anxiety about the TechHire–OpenCode cohort arose. On the last day of the vestibule, we were told that our pending acceptance would be decided and communicated by Tuesday. It’s now Monday and I need answers. My mind went through a crazy whirlwind of questions. When will I find out? Will they notify people who were rejected? How long can I play the waiting game?image03.gif

During the weekend, everyone was booted from the vestibule slack channel and told they would be added to a new channel upon acceptance. Tomorrow might be the deadline, but come on! I alternated between compulsively checking my email and putting my phone on ‘do not disturb’ while I was in a separate room.   FullSizeRender.jpgMy patience, or lack there of, was soon rewarded with information regarding the TechHire–OpenCode cohort with Software Guild.There was no formal email. There was just a notification on my phone from the Slack application., a little orange bubble at the corner of an icon.I was added to a new slack channel. This channel was for the third cohort of the program. I was accepted into Laguardia TechHire–OpenCode with Software Guild. Though it wasn’t the formal acceptance I was hoping for, my excitement was not dulled! The formalities came later that day, so I was really in.



I made it. Well, I made it in. Stay tuned for how I make it through.


The Journey

Day 12: Self Care. Improvement, Not Perfection.

Be yourself, but always your better self. -Karl G. Maeser

Firstly, I want to say how thankful I am to have had this opportunity with TechHire– OpenCode. This weekend provided time to reflect on the past two weeks. Web development has been a recent passion of mine and it wasn’t influenced by anyone around me. In the past, I have taken the advice of others as if they were commands I could not stray from. Pursuing web development is a sign of great growth for me. My parents, one of my biggest supporters, were absent in supporting this dream of mine. I did research and found TechHire—OpenCode, I applied myself, and worked to get a place in the vestibule. I am following my dreams, regardless of those around be because I am the one living my life, no one else. Immense work went into the vestibule, I focused on my work and gaining the courage to say no to others. Many talk about the “Yes” methodology of life, but that is something I’ve already adopted, and to a fault. I am learning that I can say no without being selfish. This vestibule has given me some strength in terms of putting myself first.

After much needed rest, I was able to do things outside of coding and step back from my computer. They (whoever they are) say that we make time for the things we really care about. This weekend had a theme of self care by ways of home improvement. As I have said before I am a Jack-of-all-trades. Handy work is something I really enjoy; if something is broken I will fix it. I found mirrors meant for trash that I decided to recycle and use for my office. My office of need of color, so I spray painted the mirrors to help brighten the space. (Yellow is my favorite color.) The stairs in my apartment was  a project I talked about, but never had the time to complete. Two hours later my stairs were complete.(But not dry, so I was stuck downstairs.)  Lastly, I needed a place to for Alfred, my money tree plant, where he could get adequate sunlight. Also, I was tired of looking at my old radiator. BOOM! Two bird one stone, I decided to build a radiator cover to hide my hideous radiator and provide a space for Alfred right near the window. Unfortunately, the five year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy, brought heavy rain and strong winds. Needless to say, today was not ideal for buying wood at the hardware store. I did however, take measurements and draw out a plan to avoid delay when the weather improves.

I am grateful for this program but more importantly, I am proud of myself. Self-care includes improving your environment (fixing my apartment) and following your dreams. I am taking bold and confident steps along the path of my life. Each day I work at becoming my best self. I am honored to say, this is a reality for me. I am a better person than I was yesterday.