Weekly Learning Update (03)

This week in my web development course, I submitted my final project and wrote my exam. Mercifully, the lecturer for this course gave us two hours to write the exam, so I had plenty of time to review my answers before submitting it.

Story time: I took art in high school, as an optional course. One semester we had a teaching assistant, who was going to be grading on our lino print project (a good primer on Lino blocks and printing) It’s not totally clear to me now, but I think I could have just submitted a print made from my block, and that would have been enough. Instead, I spent hours using a scalpel to cut out tiny bits of paper between the lines on a print, and attached a painted piece of acetate behind it so the colour shone through, like a stained glass window.

I remember the TA asking me what mark I thought I should get for it, and I said something in the 70’s maybe? And she sat there looking at me incredulously. Fine art, it was not (I was 15!) But I’d worked harder than that on it! I don’t remember the mark I got for that project, but it was a lot higher than I was going to give myself.

And evidently I haven’t changed as much as I thought…

There are a few things I would have done differently with my web development final project, given the chance to do it again, and some things that I was actually really pleased with!

The not-so-great:

  • I hadn’t used any css gradients for backgrounds- though I had a really great opportunity to, and this was on my list of things to do if I had more time.
  • I hadn’t created a media query for printing (…on my image-heavy site…)
  • I forgot to set the viewport ratio in a meta tag (big oops!)
  • I used JavaScript to show/hide the login and register forms on my login page, but didn’t include a <noscript> tag (again, big facepalm when I realised this!)
  • I forgot to comment my name and version in the JavaScript file
  • I still wasn’t totally happy with the design when I submitted it, and I wish that I had more experience with design (I just went with a minimalist design)

What I was happy about:

  • Used a good colour scheme- this course introduced me to Coolors, I’ve found really useful!
  • Used placeholder images during development so that I could quickly and easily change the sizes of where the final images would go, and only had to change the size of the real images after I had decided on final sizes
  • Flexbox is my new friend. It’s great. Gridbox is good too. If you’re learning web development, and you haven’t tried it out yet, do yourself a favour. Flexbox Froggy and GridGarden are fun little ways to dip your toes in, or for a little refresher
  • Mobile-first! I actually developed the whole site mobile-first, and I really enjoyed that way of working. Would definitely recommend!

I still haven’t received my grade back for my final project, and I’m really not sure what to expect!

The homepage, as submitted

screencapture-bcitcomp-ca-students-akulbaba-index-html-2020-07-10-21_20_47

In my C# applications back I just received a pleasantly high mark on a medium-sized assignment I submitted last week. Why pleasantly surprised? Because our latest mini assignment involved data pulled from a database which included null values, requiring nullable types in our code (or so I thought) so I spent about 24-hours worrying that I’d somehow forgotten when this had been covered in our course, and not being able to get it to work properly. Emails with my lecturer cleared things up, but it was… not fun!

My partner (life, not group-work) has been working from home for part of the week, which means sharing my laptop, so I fell down a bit of a YouTube rabbit hole with videos on events in C#. I definitely feel like I have a better grasp of them now. Some of the ones I felt like I got the most out of:

  • Code Monkey’s video explained events and how they help create more loosely coupled code with a project in Unity.
  • AngelSix had a series where he creates a calculator app as a Windows Forms project- that’s what we’re using, as is more basic than Windows Universal Platform for developers getting started

 

Despite having a pretty rough time of it for a day, it was only a day, and that’s been cleared up- I’m still really enjoying my programming course. Next term I’ll be switching back to Java, but I’d really like to keep looking at resources over the month (I think??) that I have between terms. My goal is to start contributing to open source projects by the end of the year, so I have a bit of ground to cover before I can start with that, but I’ll get there!

 

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