Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Working my butt off!

Wow, so last week and so far this week I have been working my butt off. Unfortunately I haven't been coding as much as I'd like. It seems that everyone is in high gear trying to get things finished before the snow comes so last week I worked 60 hours and it already is looking like another 60 hour week again. I am still studying in the morning before work, reading while at work and continuing studying in the evening. I'm just about all finished up with the JavaScript exercises and I have been reading Learning Web App Development while at work and finished up about 100 pages of that so far. I hope soon things will slow down at work so I have more time to get down to programming. I will try to update more frequently but lately it has been hard to really do much more of anything besides being at work non stop. Im still getting progress made but it just seems a lot slower than what I find as being ideal.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Trucks, mud and JavaScript

Wow I know it's been awhile since my last update. I have been slammed at work, it seems everyone decided at once that winters coming and now every crew is trying to beat the snow and get as much concrete poured as possible. Needless to say everyday the last 2 weeks I have started really early in the morning and worked until it was about dark. I was able to finish reading the JavaScript book and now I'm just working through the exercises.

On Thursday and Friday it rained and work was a major mess and even worse on Saturday! A few guys got stuck and had to be pulled out of the mud. I almost got stuck a few times. Heavy trucks that way over 70,000lbs loaded don't mix well with mud and almost every job is on dirt so it just made things really interesting and dirty.

Overall once winter sets in business will drop off and it will be much easier to get more study time in. I'm happy because I love to code and I know that I have great opportunities ahead if I just stay on track.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My screen went black

So the other day my computer screen went black. The cursor was there but every time I would re boot, the computer would go right to the black screen again. I was able to finally figure it out last night by doing some googling of course and found out it was an update. Kinda weird that it does that but anyways I just safe booted it up entered my username and password on the black screen with nothing typed hoping something would register. Well it did and then it started downloading the update. Glad to have my computer back so I can finish up the code exercises for JavaScript.

The last few days I have been back driving the truck. My hand is finally feeling better and the Dr. released me. I am not thrilled about driving but it has been working well because I have been able to read a lot. We have had some time where all of us are just sitting in our trucks for up to an hour or two so I have really been getting a good amount of reading done while at work. I only have 50 more pages to go in the JavaScript book so I am sure I will finish up with that today and then just finishing up the corresponding code exercises.

I really feel I have gained a way better understanding of code and it does seem that the more I do it the more things start to click and I have those brief moments where things will make sense and then there is something new that needs to be figured out. It always keeps your mind in the game. Thats what I love about coding is it keeps your mind thinking. Pouring concrete is easy. Once you know how to drive a truck and learn a little about concrete you know the job. It is so repetitive and boring the only challenge is showing up to an unknown job site and figuring out how to back the truck into some awkward spot the crew wants or how to dodge in and out of road construction cones. Learning to code is not only challenging but it is fun and rewarding. There is always something new to learn which is a perfect fit for someone like me who is naturally inquisitive.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Moving right along

So far I am almost done with A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript. It is going well and I have about 100 more pages to go. I really am glad I chose this way to start with my journey into JavaScript. I know many people learn frameworks like jQuery first before really knowing JavaScript so I think this will really help down the road.

I know when I first set off to learn how to code I thought that I would just become a ruby on rails developer and that would be that. After really digging in and seeing what learning to code and being a web developer was all about, I realized that it isn't about being a this or that type of web developer but just being a web developer in general. You need to see what technologies are working for what applications. You need to plan your app before you even choose a framework to use. Why start a project and get half way into it just to realize that a completely different framework should be what is used? I find it for this reason that I need to really know the basics like HTML and CSS which I feel fairly comfortable with and of course JavaScript. I also need to be adaptable though so I can build off the foundation I have and get an understanding of how different frameworks work. I don't want to get too ahead of myself but I do think knowing express, node and angular would be great tools in the bag. Understanding mongoDB fairly well would be highly beneficial. Then of course you have ruby on rails as well. I already know that GO is an emerging language to watch out for so staying current with what tech is coming out and knowing how it works and differs from what is being used currently, will keep you from eventually putting yourself out of a job. I know some stuff will come and go quick as everything's constantly being improved upon but it's good just to stay current.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Great meetup

Last nights JavaScript meetup was great. The presentation was building a node app. and was really cool to see the process. With having my little experience working on rails, I was able to see and understand what was going on for a change and even more cool than that was, that it was in JavaScript and not Ruby.

I am really glad I started the Smarter Way to Learn book last week because it has already helped a ton and I know the information is really sticking. So far I'm about half way through the book and still learning a ton! I know I may not finish it by my Friday goal but after really getting into the book, I want to get as many miles as I can out of it. Either way I should be done this weekend and then it will be on to Learning Web App Development.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Smarter Way to Learn

Over this weekend I made it about a quarter of the way through the book A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript by Mark Myers. All I can really say is that the book is awesome. I feel like the information is really sticking. The book has 89 chapters and I have read through 22 chapters so far. A chapter is about 2-3 pages long and then you go online to the corresponding website where you complete 20 exercises for that chapter. Some exercises are a bit repetitive but thats not bad because I have remembered everything that the book has covered so far. My goal is to finish that book by this Friday.

I put in about 10 hours both on Saturday and Sunday and continued my 4-5 hours all week. This week I am going to try for 5 hours of study time everyday and at least 10 hours each day on the weekend. I know that if I keep pushing myself and keep learning that all the hard work will pay off. 

I'm still looking forward to the JavaScript meetup this Wednesday evening. There are always good presentations and I personally learn a lot every time I go.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Lately I have been giving more thought to getting a good knowledge base on JavaScript. I know regardless of what job I may have in the future, I'm still going to need to know it and I would like to be proficient with it. I do think being able to handle front end development is important and will most likely be a valuable asset for any development team. I also would really enjoy getting a tech job so I will be closer to where I need to be career wise and still keep studying. I am so sick of driving a truck and that gives me so much motivation it's kinda funny.

With that being said as of 4am this morning I have started reading A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript by Mark Myers. It is a great book with a bunch of exercises to do. I hope to make a huge dent in it this weekend. I will also be reading Head First JavaScript Programming by Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson. This is also a great JavaScript book that I think should get me pretty far. After I have these two books finished I will move onto Learning Web App Development by Semmy Purewal. I am excited for this book because I will get my feet wet with some node. I think so far that this will be a good start. I'd really like to get more into node so I can work with rails or node depending on what kind of project I'm going to be working on. 

So far I still really love the Ruby language but JavaScript isn't too bad. I do think knowing some Ruby before js has helped a lot in understanding programming. I remember at first looking at Ruby code and having no idea what was going on or what I was really doing. Now things are starting to come easier. 

On Tuesday this week I went down to Boulder for the Ruby meetup at Pivitol labs. The meetup was great and there were two really informative presentations. I always love going to the Boulder meetup just because there are so many great people there! Next week on the 25th I will be going to the Colorado Springs JavaScript meetup. It will be nice to go to a meetup here in town for a change. As much as I do love the boulder meetup I dread the drive. Two hours of driving from the Springs to Boulder through rush hour traffic followed by the drive home through road construction after working all day and getting up at 4am to study just makes for a horribly long day. Anyways I would say it was a great week and I accomplished a lot so I'm pretty happy with my current progress.