LaGuardia TechHire -- Open Code, The Journey

Day 28: JavaScript Starts Now

With a new week came a new language, JavaScript. Today we finally went to JavaScript City. This language helps to make a page interactive that HTML and CSS cannot easily do. To start the day we learned about data types which come on a variety of formats.  These formats include: boolean, null, undefined, number, string, and objects. Booleans are concerned with logic, where they assign if something is true or false. Nulls are used when you want to specifically make a value, nothing. Undefined are a default in JavaScript because values usually aren’t automatically defined. Numbers are pretty self explanatory, they are actually number symbols such as: 1, 13, 28, 6, etc. Strings are concerned with characters and must go in single or double quotes. Objects are when you put values within a value. We spent the day focused on learning data types and objects because they are the foundations of JavaScript.

TechHire–OpenCode relies heavily on self learning and looking to outside resources. With only three weeks to learn three computer languages, I was glad to have another bootcamp that could clarify concepts I left class unsure of. Flatiron’s pre-bootcamp has been helping me greatly with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. After class I hopped on Learn.co and did exercises that helped me understand the syntax of JavaScript. Since the IDE is very similar to Atom’s text editor, I could easily transfer my in-class learnings.

TechHire–OpenCode teaches me a lot, yet leaves a lot for me to learn on my own. Self Teaching is the main and most important lesson I have learned thus far. Through trial and error and looking towards the World Wide Web, I have gained an immense amount of knowledge. This fact may be worrisome, but I know after this program is finished I can find the tools to sharpen my skills.

 

LaGuardia TechHire -- Open Code

Day Ten: The Finale!

Since the beginning of the TechHire—Open Code vestibule, I have been learning the basics of Java applied in the Processing IDE. For our second coding assignment, with the help of Zein, I decided to create a screen that shows rain pouring. As I’ve documented in previous blog posts, creating this image was no simple feat. I spent days trying to get objects to move on the screen and improve my coding. Just in the context of this one sketch, I learned something new each hour. Even when I was away from the processing IDE, I had my pen and paper to trying to figure out improvements.

For our final project we were given a ‘prompt’ that really just gave us free range to create what we wanted. I was lucky for fluidity of this assignment, because I knew I wanted to continue working on this ‘RainPouring’ project. I mapped out my ideas on paper and tried to bring them to life.

The first task I wanted to accomplish was finding a way to have an umbrella on the screen without having to write so many shapes, which took up many lines of code. Again I find myself giving credit to Daniel Shiffman, because he taught me how to add images to my canvas. The first image I placed on the canvas was of an umbrella against a white background. This royally messed up my vision because it was an ugly box in the center of my background. I soon learned that there is more than one version of an image file. I needed to ditch jPEGs and find myself a PNG. PNGs preserve the transparency behind an image; I didn’t have to worry about a background. Lines 7 through 16 show where I declared and initialized the images I wanted for my project. Now that I had the image on the screen, I wanted to be able to do something with the umbrella. I learned that images work a lot like the familiar primitive rectangle. Lines 35 and 36 show where I call and use the image() function. By setting the image coordinated to the x coordinate to the mouse’s location (mouseX) I could make the umbrella move side to side. I didn’t want the umbrella to move up and down so I kept the y-coordinate at a constant.

</pre>
Droptop[] rDrop = new Droptop[400]; /*instead of two sepearate objects,
i can use on line of coding with an array. An array is a list. '[2]' represents the
number of spaces in the index. in coding, counting starts from the number zero to account for the index.*/

Star[] twink = new Star[300];

int screen = 0; //creates global variable for screen
PImage umpic; //here is where I declared the umbrella image
PImage tweetpic; //here is where I declared a bird image

&nbsp;

void setup() {
size (800, 600);
umpic = loadImage("yellow0.png"); //I loaded the image in setup as oppesed to draw
//used a png. file to preserve transparency
tweetpic = loadImage("tweet.png");

for (int i = 0; i < rDrop.length; i++) { //i can use rDrop.length because it will represent the length of the strong (or how many spots are listed in the array"
rDrop[i] = new Droptop();
}

for (int i = 0; i < twink.length; i++) { //i can use rDrop.length because it will represent the length of the strong (or how many spots are listed in the array"
twink[i] = new Star();
}
}

void draw () {

//=======gloomy sunday=====

if(screen == 0){ //The following code is for a the starting rain screen
//lines 19-21 are where we initialize the array within a loop
background(48, 88, 155);
imageMode(CENTER);
image(umpic, mouseX, 400, 291/2, 300/2 ); //picture of umbrella; follows the mouse along the x-axis, width and heighe/2

for (int i = 0; i < rDrop.length; i++) {
rDrop[i].display();
rDrop[i].move();
}
//clouds
fill(187, 189, 191);
noStroke();
ellipse(25, 0, 150, 150);
ellipse(75, 50, 100, 100);
ellipse(150, 0, 125, 125);
ellipse(775, 0, 150, 150);
ellipse(725, 50, 100, 100);
ellipse(675, 0, 125, 125);
/*order is still very crucial in the function of my code*/
}//close screen 0

&nbsp;

//=======sunny side no eggs =========

if(screen==1){ //this opens the second screen
background(139,223,255);
fill(250,243,28);
ellipse(400,75,300,300);
imageMode(CENTER);
image(tweetpic, mouseX, mouseY, 400/2, 400/2); //picture of bird; follows the mouse along the x-axis, width and heighe/2
}

&nbsp;

if(screen==2){ //this opens the second screen
background(71,61,95);
fill(209,207,204);

for (int i = 0; i < twink.length; i++) {
twink[i].display();
}
ellipse(400,75,300,300);
}
}//close draw

&nbsp;

void mouseClicked(){
background(255); //background flashes white to represent thunder
if ((mouseX >= 0 && mouseX<= 225 && mouseY>= 0 && mouseY<= 150))
screen= 1; //if the clouds are pressed it goes to sun screen
else if((mouseX>=600 && mouseX<=800 && mouseY>= 0 && mouseY<=150))
screen= 2;//if clouds are pressed it goes to sun screen
}
<pre>

The second change I wanted to give my project was to be able to change the weather from rainy to sunny. To do this I added a mousePressed() function. I wanted to be able to press a place on the screen and have the weather change. I chose to say that if I clicked the clouds something would happen. Lines 81-87 show the additions I had to make. In order to do this, I had to find the area that clouds covered on my canvas. I set parameters in the clouds that said if the mouse were pressed there something would happen. I knew I wanted it to be sunny, but the almighty question was ‘how’! After watching coding tutorials by professional coders on how to make complicated games, I began to get a grasp of the basics. It to me well over three hours to grasp these basics, but it did! I had to set up another screen. I created an int named ‘screen’ and assigned it the value 0. This can be seen in line 7. I had to then add this scene change to my if conditional statements. After each parameter of the where the mouse has to be pressed, I put ‘scene==1’ or ‘scene==2’. After learning how to do this, I got excited and decided to make two scenes! (Mind you, it’s now 9am)

Now that I had a new scene, I needed to decorate it. This wasn’t particularly difficult because I know how to create backgrounds and shapes. When it came down to actually writing the code, I had A LOT of difficulty. How to say this information is for one scene and this information is for another scene? If statements to the rescue! Lines 30-54 show my answer to this problem. I could place the information of a particular statement inside of an if statement that was specific to a certain scene. ‘If in scene 0, perform this. If in scene 2, perform that’. My first scene had the rain pouring and a moving umbrella. With the second scene I was able to make it turn into night where I had a moon and stars.

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 1.00.31 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-10-27 at 1.01.03 PM.png

Below you can see the two classes I made, each has its own tab on Processing.

RainDrops:


class Droptop{
color c;
float xpos;
float ypos;
float diam1;
float diam2;
float yspeed;

Droptop() {
c = color(99,196,240,85);
xpos = random(width);
ypos = 0;
diam1 = 20;
diam2 = 30;
yspeed = random(1,4);/*i did not want to make this speed uniform
depending on the amount of blank() used*/
}

void display(){
noStroke();
fill(99,196,240,85);
ellipse (xpos, ypos, diam1, diam2); /*This shows the format for the circles
so I dont have to type it continuously*/
}

void move(){
ypos = ypos + yspeed;
if (ypos > height){
ypos = 0;
}
}
}

Stars:


class Star{
float xpos;
float ypos;
float diam1;
float diam2;

Star() {
xpos = random(width);
ypos = random(height);
diam1 = 10;
diam2 = 10;
}

void display(){
noStroke();
fill(255);
ellipse (xpos, ypos, diam1, diam2); /*This shows the format for the circles
so I dont have to type it continuously*/
}
}

Today’s presentation of our final projects marked the end of the TechHire—OpenCode vestibule. Each Participant was allotted seven minutes to present there project. These seven minutes included setting our laptops to the projector, talking through our code, running our code, and lastly a Q&A session. I am generally a great public speaker, but Friday had my nerves rattled. I felt the pressure. My presentation could make or break a possible invitation to the full TechHire—OpenCode program. I felt the pressure. After setting up my laptop, my anxiety steadily receded. I was able to talk through my code in a manner that showed my understanding and dedication to the project. I was surprised to hear subtle gasps when I showed the interactivity portion of my sketch. There was less than a minute left for Q&A and I was able to still answer two questions without gabbling. My supportive classmates gave me a round of applause, which erased all doubt about the quality of my project.

These past two weeks have taught me so much in the world of web development. I learned about job placement and techniques in coding. The most important lesson I learned during my time with TechHire—Open Code is that there is no limit to what I can accomplish if I put my mind to it.

LaGuardia TechHire -- Open Code

Day Eight: Intro to Java… Script?

TechHire has a requirement of attending one technology related event. I contemplated going to a hackathon but I was not confident with my skill level in coding. I am a person who enjoys going to events and mingling, so I wasn’t nervous about finding an event that wasn’t too focused on a person’s coding skill. Besides the world wide web, I had a few other resources to find an event that satisfied TechHire’s requirement. When it comes to events New York City is in abundance. After scrolling through just my Eventbrite, I had over 6 events I could attend in the allotted time frame provided by my instructor.

I chose to attend ‘Learn to Code NYC: Into to JavaScript’. Though we are learning Java on Processing, I thought the two languages couldn’t be so different because of their name. Seriously speaking, I have played with JavaScript very lightly and know the general syntax of the language. That being said it was an Introductory course, no pressure right? Well, half right… After spending hours discussing how to evade the imposter syndrome, I still found myself in well within it’s reach. One phrase that sticks in my head from my elders when I’m feeling ill prepared is “don’t embarrass me”. I care for embarrassment even less than green eggs and ham, Sam I am! I managed to concoct reasons of why I wasn’t qualified enough to attend an introductory course! For some, these thoughts would make a person feel stuck, unable to decide one way or the other, but not I. I told myself that I would learn as much Java script as I could in two hours. My binge learning began with me downloading an iOS application called ‘Learn JS’. The application made my 2 hour commute feel like 30 minutes. I didn’t fully notice the delays that seemed to strongly affect that the commuter next to me.

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 11.06.47 AM.png

Galvanize is the company that sponsored and ran the class. Their building space had an open floor plan that made everyone inside feel like family. The open floor layout encouraged me to talk to other attendees even though i wasn’t confident in my knowledge of JavaScript. As the class began, I took a seat next to my TechHire classmate, Danny. The JavaScript class wrote code on an online IDE on repl.it. I was relieved that TechHire had us make a Github account, because I was able to easily login and save the code I wrote in the class. In the class we learned about how to make functions and I learned about arrays. The syntax of for statements is similar to Java. Learning about arrays and functions here was very helpful to the assignment I had to tackle after the event.


//how to create a function
function pigLatin (str){
var firstChar = str[0];
var restOf = str.substr(1);
return restOf + firstChar +'ay';
}

function makePigLatin(sentence){
var words = sentence.split(' ');
var translated = [];
for(var index = 0; index < words.length; index = index +1){
var val = words[index];
var pig = pigLatin(val);
translated[index] = pig;
}
return translated.join(' ');
}

After the class I talked to the instructor, Donnie D’Amato. He calmed my worries about being a newbie and encouraged me to pursue my dreams, especially if they are difficult. Donnie gave me a great confidence boost when he took the time to show me his Codepen.io page. He showed me his current projects as if he was trying to network with me! Though he was teaching JavaScript, only a couple of his projects had any JavaScript in it. About 90% of his projects were solely CSS and HTML. This comforted me because, as an amateur, I didn’t feel like I had to learn a million languages at once. I can  possible create anything with any language. Dawn’s most frequently used phrase in class is “There is more than one way to skin a cat”. Don’t I believe that now!