Christina's coding
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The Journey to Coding

Introduction

Most people never get past their first 100 days of learning to code. High schoolers join coding orgs, but only learn WIX, templates, or drag-and-drop code. It's much better and more fun to really learn how computers work, and how they can be a tool for you in whichever way you choose

How This Works

This blog that charts my first steps, links I liked, and how I felt. When you feel stuck, I hope it helps you move along more quickly

Who I am

In 2020, I joined Hack Club, a nonprofit that helps high schoolers start after-school computer clubs. My job is Chief Operating Officer, which means I work directly with the founder. When hired, I was the only non-technical person on the team.

Background

My middle school computer science club had 12 boys and a male teacher. No girls. My high school didn't have a CS club at all

My senior year in high school in 1995 (on right) just as the web was beginning. My class was one of the last to go though high school without phones, devices or social media

25 years later, the majority of US high schools still don't teach any computer science classes. Most that do teach it, don't do it well.

This blog will chronicle my learning as I:

  1. Deeply understand computers and the internet
  2. Learn to code so I can build and do more amazing stuff
  3. Chronicle my learning journey
  4. Share so others can do the same.

A roadmap Follow my stages of learning


Beginner Goals

Check out each season to see what I'm learning. I start in the Spring of 2020. I enrolled in Codecademy for html/css basics, and friends at Hack Club helped me learn the rest

Early 2019

In 2019 I built my first html website after meeting Hack Club founder and feeling curious about coding. I went through Hack Club's How to Build a Personal Website workshop on Hack Club's website. Had zero idea what I was doing. Didn't know what html was; how the internet started. Who built all this internet infrastructure???? I needed context and love reading so fortunately one afternoon at Barnes and Nobles I purchased "The Innovators", a nonfiction book that tells the story of the people behind the computer/internet. Suddenly, I saw the internet not as something from space, but rather as the result of humans building and experimenting over hundreds of years.

Following Hack Club's tutorial, I build a website in repl.it but then I gave up and did other things for a year. Felt like i couldn’t do it. Or worried it would take to long. Forgot about it.

Spring 2020

Decide I want to give coding another try

April

May

May 24th

Loving going thru codeacademy while simultaneously building my site. This morn I created tab links at the top of my site that will allow me to click on them and go somewhere else on the site.

Christina's top 10 Still hitting questions, like my push to github isn’t uploading my active website. I slacked my expert friend w this question. Without that, not sure how I would have figured it out. Also, my daughter and i posted on our town listserve that we’d build you a website for $50, and we got a client. Having this pressure will be awesome.

Still struggling w divs but adding them to my site. My main worry atm is how will i remember all this. When will it become second nature. Also, my code is getting so long-- i’m struggling to not feel overwhelmed by it.

Do you ever want to just code all day? It’s kind of addictive!

May 26

Found this list of all tags by Mozilla

June

More updates coming soon! I am busy learning to code atm

Summer 2020

July

done!


  • Built christina.cool/parents This was a way to implement some stuff I'd learned in codecademy, including Divs and Tables. Shared it w friends. This is the first "real" thing I've built and while it's not useful, it's really important to have the confidence to build and share projects as a way to push myself to keep going. Sharing publicly matters a lot. On the ship
  • Built a fundraiser presentation for a donor and got live advice from a talented webdesigner (Lachlan) that pushed me. I also learned to 2 things: two use Hack Club's font, and to pull the colors and a graphic from another website and put it in my own. I also shared the website on a call with colleagues at Hack Club, which was fantastic. Having a community to share the milestone moments of coding is really important. Presenting that made me feel amazing, and motivated me to keep going. This was a private fundraising doc, so I can't share it :(
  • Watched a Hack Club ama presentation with Dylan Field, founder of Figma, and saw a bunch of students using Figma, which inspired an idea in me that one day i could create my own designs for my sites, and not rely on others images existing on website. This is unlocking a creativity in me that I'm excited to explore.
  • August

    Six months after I started in earnest, I'm coming to the end of my self-described "beginners' stage and I'm testing that I can apply my knowledge and finding some gaps. Overall, my emotional state is excited: I feel encouraged that I'm learning because I know now how to build and publish websites for the world to see, and I see very clearly what I've learned (html basics plus a little styling) and I see the next stages of my learning, which is tables and forms and more styling like how to publish photos. When I look at basic website code, I understand it. once I master this, I'll move onto javascript-- there, I'm excited to start working with databases.

    Note: I code only 1-2 hours a week! If you have time to do more, you will move way faster than me. You can get past the beginner stage in a month if you 6-8 hours a week.



    Winter 2020

    December 2020

    Once I get to a comfort level with the above, I'll have reached the next stage of my learning. These will be in service of a couple projects I'm going to work on. Currently, I use html and css constantly to build websites and teach students. Like I said, I'm stuck on JavaScript so I have to move on and learn new stuff and dip back in. I'll figure it out.

    Early Spring 2021

    February 2021

    Early Summer 2021

    May 2021