Rob B
My Bootcamp Diary

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My Bootcamp Diary

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Stay humble, stay coding

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Stay humble, stay coding

Just when you think you’ve got it, you haven’t

Rob B's photo
Rob B
·Nov 29, 2022·

5 min read

It’s a short post this week but I want to start by saying that I genuinely love the cohort I’m in and I really look forward to catching up with the team and everyone at Command Shift each week. Being a part of a supportive community of people that encourages growth and development is invaluable.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this week, only that it was the last week of our foundation modules and that the time would be spent on CSS. When we arrived for the first lecture of the week, we were told that we would all be getting a little taste of what it’s like to work with other developers on a project. This made me nervous. I’m not sure why. I guess in some way, it’s how I imagine athletes feel when they switch from training to competition. Each member of the cohort was tasked with building a post-it note with specifications assigned to us by the tutors. This would then be merged into the October 2022 branch. The post-it note was a simple bit of CSS comprised of a heading and paragraph to list the name and description of a CSS property. I had padding. Then to make it a little more interesting we had to give the post-it a background colour and rotate it a couple of degrees. I think we added a box shadow to make them appear like they were stuck on the screen like real pieces of paper.

For me, that was the easy bit and I finished it in a few minutes. The next bit was to merge this into the correct branch. I'd struggled with GitHub merges the week before and spent the weekend practising to manage this learning gap, so I was feeling pretty confident about it. Funny story, I was quickly humbled. The ghost of GitHub past came back to haunt me. My ability to merge branches held up, I just happened to merge into the wrong one. I, and many others, merged into the main branch instead of our cohort branch. So I was in good company. Oh, but wait there’s more. I inadvertently made myself a code reviewer on the main branch and approved my own pull request. Lesson learned. Always make sure that you merge into the correct branch. Other than that, I’d say it was a great success. If I’ve triggered a bad Borat impression out of you, I can only apologise for that.

One thing I’m not sorry for is setting myself goals at the start of each day and then checking back in with them later in the evening. I like to have little daily goals that are realistic and achievable. Sounds cringe and corporate but it’s very helpful. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that. Classic cliche, but much better. This week my tasks were things designed to improve the overall look of my portfolio. For example, they included building a responsive navbar and adding hero text. My other goals were to add a few keyframe animations to prompt users to scroll and to indicate when a user has hovered over a nav link. I had to keep reminding myself that this project was always going to be a work in progress, and just how it should be. Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. I showed my portfolio to the group before the lecture as part of a mini showcase. It’s really cool to see how people in my cohort express themselves in their work, and they are not short on creativity.

This brings me to my next point, I joined some of my cohorts for a couple of breakout sessions outside the lectures this week. This is a really good habit we’ve gotten into. My portfolio was dark mode by design, which I liked. However, during a code hang it was pointed out to me that you run the risk of resembling an online memorial. I found that funny but it did make me think about my experience of the project versus the experience of the user. Not everyone wants to live in a monochromatic Tim Burton existence, and that’s completely fine. I then went away and switched the colours up. It looks nice but I will be adding a toggle button to switch between themes at a later point. I spent the weekend and even stayed up til 1am tweaking it.

There was one thing that didn’t go as easily as I had anticipated. I challenged myself to complete what I thought would be an easy CSS task. Famous last words. Maybe I had a bit of brain fog. That simple goal I wanted to achieve didn't happen. For some reason, the alignment of the images in my Grid changed when I added text, in a way that it wasn't supposed to. It turned out to be a padding issue on a heading in one of the grid areas that was causing the misalignment. Funny coincidence, because that was the CSS property I was assigned in the coding challenge earlier in the week.

Apart from the little amends I need to make to the footer and projects sections, I’m happy with it. I don’t want to get bogged down in the nuances of my personal website. Thankfully there was plenty of time to practice Grid before I shifted my focus to JavaScript the following week.

 
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