Reflections after 2 months at home

Between the death toll and economic losses, COVID-19 will forever leave it’s mark on our lives. People keep talking about wanting things to go back to normal but that’s unlikely. This pandemic will probably change public gatherings and public health like 9/11 changed our policies on travel safety. I have no idea when I’ll be able to be on the periphery of a moshpit again :deep sigh:

I think the people who are going to come out of this on top are the people who adapt wherever they see an opportunity. I’ve been working from home for 2 months now. I’m so so so very grateful that I’m able to do this and continue earning money at this time. In the past I thought I wouldn’t be able to gather enough discipline to work 3 feet away from my bed but once it became a necessity, we found a way.

All of this sitting inside makes me think it’s time to start practicing with intent again. YouTuber Carla Codes made a good point. I just need to do the exercises to understand the fundamentals. I need to stop trying to learn everything and focus on getting a solid foundation. JFDI.

I really liked when I posted my coding summaries because I felt like I was retaining the information a little better– especially since there were a lot of moving parts and details. My husband is a wrestler, and he likes to keep a running and workout schedule when he’s not wrestling. He feels like it keeps his body in “good enough” shape because “the worst thing you can do is stop, lose all of your progress, and have to start all over again.”

I don’t think I’ve lost all of my HTML & CSS knowledge, but things certainly are a bit fuzzy. Time to pull out the spreadsheets again.


Small Victories

The other night at work, I noticed that when we try to email one of our customers, the email is spelled differently than their name on the internal website we use. I looked at the source code and realized that the email was entered incorrectly in the a href attribute. It’s something that may have gone unnoticed since we have strict instructions to copy and paste everything to remove human error. Ironically, the error was made before we even had a chance and it affects that one contact getting –or in this case not getting– the hundreds of service requests that the client receives every night.
Most of the time I feel like I’m wasting my time doing these coding tutorials so this was a small victory for someone who lacks technical depth in the field.

Reigning in expectations

Back again! Yanno, just practicing when the spirit moves me.

If the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that nothing is going to happen overnight. I can have my feelings about how I should have been a developer by now but I haven’t stuck to any kind of a schedule. Over the past two months, this caused me to research a bunch of Bootcamps and AA programs at the local colleges. I finally caved and reached out to a connect I made here and asked him “how did you get to where you are now?” Because he’s a developer and works at a Bootcamp– but I thought that meant that he *attended* that Bootcamp as that usually is the case for instructors but MAN was I wrong. He said over 2 years he worked through the FCC curriculum + node.js + Colt Steele’s class on Udemy and that’s how he was able to transition. DAS IT.

I’m so freaking impressed when I hear about self-directed learners. I mean, I know that basically everyone in the 90s also went that route, but today I personally feel like you need to have a CS degree to really get your fundamentals down. If I’m being honest, I have a bunch of baggage on that topic. I remember when an ex who had just switched from Nursing to a CS degree told me I could never be a CS major because of my bad math skills and because I couldn’t understand how he was explaining classes in Java. I may have taken that to heart for a long time

So I’ve started the Colt class and it’s alright. I’m 3 sections in and I’m happy to know that I already know everything he’s talking about. Sublime 3 is the suggested text editor and OH MAH GAWD is it a godsend! There are so many shortcuts! I don’t have to type out every SINGLE tag! It’s really changing the coding experience for me–well at least in the realm of HTML/CSS.

That’s all for now. We’ll see how the rest of the course goes.




100 days of code? Hell yes!

Right now, right now it is 23:05 pm on Friday 04/5/19 and I just saw r/girlsgonewired’s post about starting 100 days of code! I’ve been feeling a little discouraged, so maybe this is just the motivation I need.

I logged into the discord chat and people are declaring what they’ll be working on over the next 100 days. So, over the next 30 days, I want to complete the Responsive Web Design Projects so that I can get my FCC Responsive Web Design Certification. With the remaining 70 days, I want to complete the Javascript Algorithms And Data Structures Certification. Bueno, lets go!

Code on peeps,


FCC Tribute Page Revisited – part 2

Full disclosure: I really don’t know how many parts this tribute page is going to have. Due to work stuff (and finally getting around to playing Final Fantasy XII) this week was a slow week dev wise.

I went to Thursday’s meetup event and was impressed. There were a few technical difficulties but I was happy to see everyone keep their cool. Since moving here I’ve just felt so much more anxious about everything and I’m afraid to look like an idiot– but I’m learning something new and I’m going to look like an idiot, so I just need to put in the time until I reach the point where I know what I’m talking about. ::audible groan::

What I’m actually annoyed about are some insecurities I’ve had for a very very long time. While I was watching a demo on using JEST a testing library for Javascript I was smacked across the face with functions. In the context of something like Excel, I love functions! they make sense and Excel helps you understand how to correctly use them with minimal errors. But in the context of coding, functions mean ALGEBRA. For those of you who don’t know me, algebra is legit my arch nemesis. I can trace this back as far as the 7th grade. We had a quarter system in my JHS, and my math scores were something like 95 / 94 / 67 / 93. The 67 was the quarter where algebra was introduced to our class. As someone who’s worked with students, I really don’t know why I was not pulled aside for intervention especially because this haunted me in the 8th grade when I took Algebra and received the first “C” in a class IN MY LIFE. I went home, curled up in my parent’s bed before they got home, crying into my report card.  But that wasn’t the end of it. Then in the summer between 9th  & 10th grade, I was given the opportunity to attend summer school to get ahead in math. We did 6 hours of Algebra 2 every day– and I got an F. Since I spent the summer exposed to Algebra, I was put in an honors class for my sophomore year– at the midpoint, I was doing so badly that I was moved to a lower level class and still failed for the year! Finally, as a junior, I was put in a class that was more my speed with an excellent teacher, AND I GOT AN A! But the damage has already been done. Even when I went to college I had to repeat finite math several times. I got out of my math requirements by taking classes like data analysis (basically a how-to for MS Excel) and Statistics for Business. But Algebra isn’t going anywhere. The only thing I can compare it to is how I felt before I learned how to drive, in the sense that whenever the situation arises where I’m supposed to use a skill that I don’t know and have legit been traumatized by, I walk in the opposite direction. But both of these skills are the things that are between me and better, more fulfilling life, so I have to suck it up and work on the skills. There is no shortcut.

Anyway. Here are my notes from the week:

28-Mar 18:04 19:45 1:41
Used the girls who code website as inspiration for a color scheme.
Used W3 Schools to pull the parts of the code that I need to make the layout what I want it to be.
Idk if it’s just me but my code feels a bit disorganized. I would love to see how someone else formats their HTML/CSS and how they use their comments. Is there a style guide like MLA/APA is to writing?

lots of anxiety towards the end of the meetup. Being in a space where I have to force myself to focus and work on my projects was a good practice. I just felt so unimpressive working on FEWD when people were testing out Javascript functions.

31-Mar 8:00 9:00 1:00
Trying to incorporate sections that have a background color and ones that do not. Apparently, I cannot add padding around the image because it will make the FCC test fail–but without it, there’s just too much whitespace. Maybe try margin? A good resource for color harmonies

Added copy into ed/law/politics/code sections. I want the columns to be responsive because they only look nice next to each other. Perhaps use @media query with window min/max? Also, I need to figure out font sizes/how to make font sizes responsive.


code on,



FCC Tribute Page Revisited – part 1

This was written on 03-25-19 @ 11pm-ish

As I mentioned to the IE-SD Slack chat, I *finally* got back to the project page. I got there years ago, and made it on my teenage crush Brandon Boyd. That embarrassing little nugget lives on

But I experienced some legit panic when I looked at the project on Sunday, cuz real talk… I forgot ALL OF THE BASICS. It’s been so long since I’ve even had to set up a page!!
There’s a part of me that was going to start reaching out to people but someone in the FCC Slack chat posted this and it made me pause for a bit because I’ve been dealing with this… funk a lot lately.

Lately, I’ve been having a hard time with being wrong– or uninformed or not being able to make good inferences, or whatever. Since leaving Chicago, I’ve had to learn two jobs —at the same time–that have very precise directions. There are usually immediate consequences involved when you don’t follow the directions at work and one way or another the customer suffers because they’re not being serviced accurately and efficiently. I’ve had both of these jobs for a year now so there’s been a good deal of note taking, workflow forming, and flat out crying when I feel dumb. To be honest, you’d think that I would be better at dealing with these feelings, but really, I’m not. It’s taken a lot of tools to reign in runaway emotions and straight up panic attacks to be where I’m at right now.

So after some breathing and talking out loud about the things I forgot, I told my husband that this is likely going to keep happening. At some point in my development career, someone is going to ask me to do something that I’ve done before, but cannot remember. The better I get at understanding how to code, the more I’ll need to learn how to dig around for solutions.

So that’s what I did. I went on W3school and one by one knocked out the *minimum* requirements for the tribute project. Just going one by one until the test script climbed up and read 10/10– and YAY, it fucking worked.

I’m going to call it a night. Tomorrow, I can focus on making it pretty.


code on,


Yay for new peeps!

Have you ever read the Alchemist? There’s a famous line from it that goes something like

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

The past 24-hours kinda feel like that.

So, this week I decided to venture out a little. Since I’ve been going through the FreeCodeCamp curriculum, I decided to see if there was a Facebook group in my area and joined it. One of the organizers sent me a friend request and we started chatting about the curriculum. He invited me to the group’s Slack chat (man you’re just not a legit group of developers unless you have a slack chat). A lot of the members were online and someone mentioned something about RSVPing to an event. I clicked through a few links and it turns out it was that night! After coordinating with my husband, and rushing home to get my laptop, there I was sitting in a new-to-me software development MeetUp group.

The people were super friendly. Ironically, the group started because of 3 people who were *also* accepted to the Grow With Google program— but they were doing Front End Web Development while I was working on Android. One of the organizers made a very good presentation on hosting, domains, and DNS and the group was actually engaged! People were asking good questions and they led into really good sidebars.

I left early because I had to run to my parents’ house, but I’m so fucking jazzed about this. My husband has been pushing me to venture out and go to meetups like I did in Chicago, but I had been avoiding it because of time and, tbh, my spirit has been a little crushed lately. For the past year, I’ve worked 7 days a week, averaging 56 hours/week. I’m still working this schedule and I’m pretty tired all the time. It makes me moody and generally unfit for human consumption. I do it because it takes these two jobs to make anywhere close to the same amount of money that I was making in Chicago.

Going through the FreeCodeCamp curriculum and logging my time/lessons has helped me find pockets of time to continue to study. Finding *this* group of straight-up nerds is a fucking godsend and I cannot wait to see what we make and learn from each other.

Speaking of learning, here are my notes from this week’s FCC lessons:

Applied Accessibility
17-Mar 8:45 10:00 1:00 11

“The goal is to make the web more accessible to everyone regardless of abilities. To do this, website content must make semantic sense.

<div> – groups content
<section> – groups related content
<article> – groups independent, self-contained content

Photos need alt text for images that don’t load and for people who are visually impaired and use screen readers. Audio needs alt text for clips that don’t load and transcripts for people who are hard of hearing/deaf. (mind blown)”

18-Mar 21:00 22:01 1:01 11 
date & time tags.”.sr-only {” creates things in the CSS that are only accessible to screen readers and not visually visible to website visitors. contrast ratio for text readability is 4.5:1 contrast for normal text. this is calculated by comparing relative luminance values. white against black creates the strongest contrast @ 21:1. A good way to achieve this is by declaring w/ hsl(). Tabindex tells the visitor’s keyboard what to focus on when tabbing through a website.

Responsive Web Design Principles
19-Mar 18:03 19:03 1:00 4

Responsive Web Design Principles: Create a Media Query (UGH……………. this was difficult to understand. I think I need to realize that I’m given very direct and explicit directions. there are no inferences to make. JUST DO IT EXACTLY AS YOU’RE TOLD.)

The 4 different viewport units are:
vw – viewport width- ie: 10vw – would be 10% of the viewport’s width
vh – viewport height – ie: 3vh – would be 3% of the viewport’s height
vmin – viewport minimum – ie: 70vmin – would be 70% of the viewport’s smaller dimension ( height v width)
vmax – viewport maximum – 100vmax – would be 100% of the viewport’s bigger dimension (height v width)”

CSS Flexbox
20-Mar 21:15 21:55 0:40 17

“Flex, flex-direction/ row, column.
Justify content:
flex-start aligns items to the start of the flex container (row default left, column default top)
flex-end aligns items to the end of the flex container (row default right, column default bottom)
space-between aligns items to the center of the main axis with extra space placed between the items.
space-around similar to space between, but first and last items are not locked to the edges of the container. flex-shrink controls the size of the items when the container shrinks. The flex-grow property controls the size of items when the parent container expands. flex-basis specifies the initial size of the item before CSS makes adjustments with flex-shrink or flex-grow.

ALSOOOO There is a shortcut. The flex-grow, flex-shrink, and flex-basis properties can all be set together by using the flex property. For example– flex: 1 0 10px; will set the item to flex-grow: 1;, flex-shrink: 0;, and flex-basis: 10px;.

align-self : adjust each item’s alignment individually. useful since other adjustment techniques using the CSS properties float, clear, and vertical-align do not work on flex items.


::breathing intensifies::

CSS Grid
22-Mar 22:43 23:17 0:34 10 
“fr : sets the column or row to a fraction of the available space
auto : sets the column or row to the width or height of its content automatically
% : adjusts the column or row to the percent width of its container
grid-gap is a shorthand property for grid-row-gap and grid-column-gap from the previous two challenges that are more convenient to use. If grid-gap has one value, it will create a gap between all rows and columns. However, if there are two values, it will use the first one to set the gap between the rows and the second value for the columns.

Refer to CSS Grid: Use grid-column to Control Spacing for 3×3 grid example… trust me, it’s much better than trying to figure it out in your head.”

Wish me luck and lots of sleep.

Code on peeps,


Checking in

Hey Y’all.

I’m still in Cali and I’m working on the FreeCodeCamp curriculum at a v slow pace.

I redid all of the lessons that I completed years ago because the curriculum has had a lot of updates and I didn’t want to miss out on anything. This week specifically I’ve started recording my stats. Not to micromanage myself, per se but so that I can pace myself and reflect a little bit on what I’m doing. Here are my notes from this week.

Applied Visual Design

12-Mar 23:11-23:45
Offsetting elements by pixels. Different ways to color an element in CSS. Basic ish.

13-Mar 11:25-11:45
Lunch break. Got stuck on Hex vs rgb/hsl.

13-Mar 23:25-23:56
OMG, WHY DID I OVERTHINK THAT?! The trick was that they literally wanted me to use hex #s instead of following the RGB( x, y, z )format.  These lessons offer neat tricks in how to manipulate color, texture, direction (i.e. color gradients that tilt on a diagonal angle).

14-Mar 18:51-19:53
The devil is in the details. Try to take every piece of instruction literally.  The content of these lessons is about creating simple shapes like circles, squares, and hearts as well as manipulating them by making them fade and move. Cool stuff–but how often will I actually have to do this down the line?

15-Mar 22:41-22:48 0:07
We went over animation-timing-function: cubic-bezier(x1, y1, x2, y2);. I have a hard time explaining exactly what this is, but it has something to do with changing animation speeds. This is the first time CSS has ever looked like a math problem.

Progress level

Total time this week: 2:34
15% or 213 out of 1409 total lessons




Every day I’m dabbling

After talking to the co-owner at the MITS company, I’ve decided to dabble again. This time, I’m going through some free CompTIA A+ certification prep materials to see if I could transition into the MITS side of the house. Whenever I stumble across things like this I always wish I could go back in time and tell younger me to change my intended major to Computer Science or something.

I’m happy to say that I feel super supported at my job. Some of my coworkers think that me preparing before even being approved to take on extra tasks at work is overkill. That I’ll be great because half of it is googling/following procedure and the other half is just knowing how to talk to people— the obvious joke being that the techs are not very good at the latter, but TBH the people here are no more awkward than any other workplace I’ve been in.  I’m going to keep studying either way. I want to be great at this and have zero personal or professional experience… aside from using a steak knife to disassemble my old HP ProBook to unplug/replug the keyboard ribbon–SO to ease my own anxieties, I need to know that I know what I’m talking about. There are so many articles out there about sexism in STEM and at the moment, I don’t think that that will be a problem in my current workplace but when I eventually move on, I need to know that I’m just as qualified as anyone else to be in these spaces.

Anyway, I’ve gotten some good PC parts from recycling days and managed to score a Dell Optiplex 9010. The processor is a few years old, but it’ll still run faster than my laptop. I was so excited I put a blank HHD in and hooked it up to a few peripherals to make it into the BIOS and then used a Linux USB to watch it boot up. Today I’m going to install windows and hopefully begin moving things over to make it my main workstation. Then I can finally refresh my laptop. It’s been YEARS. The laptop doesn’t have an optical drive which is a first to me in addition to Dell’s UEFI method of reformatting your PC.

I’m gonna hug her extra tight cuz she’s been through the tail end of my BA with me and all of my dalliances into coding meet-ups. Let’s hope for the best.

Starting Over

Anyone who’s had to use “starting over” as a title knows how weird it feels to admit that things did not go as planned or promised.

At this present moment, I am living in California. After many years in Chicago, IL, we moved to be closer to my family since my mom is going through some health issues. My father passed away almost 10 years ago. At the time he was in NYC while I was in Miami, FL so, moving to California just in case my mom’s health started to tank felt like the right thing to do. But also, for as much as I love, live, and dream Chicago, it’s always felt temporary because of the cost of housing and terrible winters. In my 20’s I thought that at some point in my 30’s my husband, dog, and I would pack up our stuff and move elsewhere– I just didn’t realize that that would take place between age 30 and 31…but I digress…

Anyway. Moving means starting over. At the moment I work two jobs. Yes! With a BA, you too can have as many (entry level) jobs as you want! One of the companies I work for really excites me because it’s a managed IT services firm. This was intentional since I love working in smart environments. However, I’m a paper pusher. Again. And I’m not really sure what to do about it. At my last job, I was surrounded by new product development professionals. It was easy to say that I wasn’t going to go back to school to figure out if I’m good at mechanical engineering or industrial design. As far as I’m concerned, those ships have more or less sailed. But I’ve been in Cali for over 6 months so I’m starting to feel the itch to get back into development. California is supposed to be the promised land of tech opportunities, so who’s to say that I can’t jump on that ship and rise up with the tide?

This cross-country move isn’t my first rodeo, but I’m hella sick of starting over without having a well-defined career. I want to be able to have well-paying work wherever I go. In fact, I hope that one day, I have a job that allows me to work from home (#themillenialdream), save for retirement, and live without debt. For me, these are my big dreams.

So. I’ve started getting back into the FreeCodeCamp tutorials and I’m doing pretty well at chugging through a few lessons every night. We’ll see how this run plays out.

Code on,