Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Journey to Learn How to Code - Part 2

by Teri Charles

I have accomplished one of my first goals in this journey of mine to learn how to code this year!

I have finished the six week online HTML/CSS class with Skillcrush! The final project for this class is creating your own online portfolio from scratch using HTML and CSS.

You can find my portfolio at!

I've always been a minimalist and you'll notice my portfolio reflects that. I wanted a "clean" look to it. You'll also notice something on the Home page that is near and dear to my Tester's heart, and that is a Moleskine notebook! James Bach and Michael Bolton introduced me to these through some of their writings (click on their names to see articles about using Moleskines). I use them all the time now for testing ideas, notes while I'm testing, drawing out mindmaps, etc. James even gave one to all of us that attended his RST (Rapid Software Testing) course. So I couldn't think of a better image for my portfolio!

The other thing that was important to me was to stretch myself and take my skills and learning up a notch, so I used Git/GitHub to manage my site. I've been wanting to learn Git/GitHub for a while because it's used where I work. As I said in Part 1 in My Journey to Learn How to Code, the best way for me to learn something was to have a project to work on. Use it or lose it! By having the portfolio assignment, it was a perfect thing to use to increase my skills with something like Git/GitHub. I am by no means a Git/GitHub expert yet, but I'm in the process of learning it from a little help from my friends by doing the following:
  • Two workshops on Git/GitHub I've taking through GDIBoulder (a local Meetup) with a fantastic instructor, Tim Berglund.
  • Some awesome one-on-one help from Cara Jo Miller. Cara Jo is a great friend, the Lead Designer at Simple Energy, and the founder and co-leader of GDIBoulder.
  • Simple Energy, a local Boulder company, provided a great space for Cara Jo and I to work in. They are also a wonderful supporter of GDIBoulder!
I learned how to setup my repo (repository), branches, commit changes, push those changes, and merge so that my master branch and feature branch are the same. These kinds of things are a whole new language for me! A month ago I had no idea what repo, branches, commit, push, and merge meant in Git. Now look at me!

Next up is to start designing my software tester's website as well as a JavaScript class with Skillcrush in March.

I still have so much to learn and I want to keep growing my skills with HTML/CSS. I have no doubt that as I'm learning more and my skills increase, that I will be tweaking and making changes to my portfolio. I learned a lot creating my portfolio, but it's only the beginning. I have to keep practicing and growing, but I'm anticipating that I'll learn a lot more as I'm creating my tester's website!

I hope you're enjoying this journey with me! Glad to have you along for the ride!