The Path from MUD to OOP

Left: Zork I (1980) (non-MUD) | Right: Object-oriented JavaScript

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my origins — mainly because I take a lot of it for granted, despite so much of my experience contributing to the person I am today. So many of us programmers have incredibly cool, diverse backgrounds and experiences.I was raised by my grandparents since I was young, for example. They did an exceptional job raising me, and laid the groundwork for my high standards for myself.

One area I haven’t really touched on is that my grandfather played a huge role in my movement toward computing.

Read Other People’s Code

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I wanted to discuss something pretty giant topic that I’ve come across time and time again while teaching myself good coding practices. I’ll introduce it with a basic question: Do you know how to read code?

Oh, you do? Are you sure? Because I’m not talking about your own code. I’m talking about other people’s code.

Maybe you’re sitting here thinking to yourself, “why would I need to know how to read other people’s code?”… or perhaps you are nodding your head sagely, having been in a situation where you needed to call upon this invaluable skill at some point in the past. I’m personally still not very good at really figuring out what other people’s code is supposed to do unless I have an abstract telling me, so I’ve been honing in on code-reading as a skill alongside problem-solving.

But knowing how to read other people’s code is incredibly important, and I’m going to tell you why.

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Reflections On 2015: My First Year of Coding

2015 brought a lot of huge changes in my life. I like to reflect on my activities and accomplishments on a regular basis, and the new year offers a unique opportunity to look at a broader range of time. It’s good practice to count our gratitudes, successes and failures in the short term, but often even more thrilling to examine them as part of the bigger picture.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Front-End

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I’ve been looking for my first web development position for roughly the past 3 months, and it’s starting to take an emotional toll on me. I’ll be the first to admit that making a career transition is hard enough as it is — let alone one into a deeply technical, predominantly male-dominated realm. I’ve been throwing a lot of things at the wall, seeing what sticks, and re-adjusting accordingly.

But something happened this past couple of months. Something bad. I started to feel apathetic toward coding.

Examining Google’s Roadmap to Technical Development – Part I

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Note:  This post will be part of a three-part series on Google’s Guide to Technical Development for Students. Future parts will be linked as soon as they are available – enjoy! Good morning, LVEC readers! I’m in Houston, TX this week, and today is the last day of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. So sad! It’s been an incredible conference, with absolutely amazing opportunities for networking and learning. Ultimately, I believe that the connections I’m making right now will benefit me most in finding future positions, but if something comes through now – great! I’ve had the …

Programming Principles: Stuff You Need To Learn ASAP

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It’s been taking me way too long to come up with new content lately, because I’ve been focusing much more on being accurate in my writing than I should. And conveniently forgetting that the entire point of this thing is to document my own learning process, which is going to be riddled with misinterpretations and mistakes! And that’s okay, because we’re here to find the answers together. As self-taught web developers, we miss out on some of the fundamental coursework included in standard Computer Science academic tracks. The biggest umbrella concept, and one worthy of its own term-long class, is known …

Code Speed Dating: Meet CSS

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Welcome to Code Speed Dating, where we’ll take a basic 5-minute-read approach to introducing different coding languages. After all, we’re busy people, and don’t have time unless we like what we see… MEET CSS: HTML’S CREATIVE COUSIN, THE VERSATILE ARTIST This week on Code Speed Dating, we meet another intensely familiar face… much like Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, is a stylistic language that works in conjunction with HTML to define the layout of HTML documents. For example, CSS covers fonts, colors, margins, lines, height, width, background images, advanced positions and many other things. So what is …

Why I’m Scaling Back On Learning To Code (And Ramping Up On Learning Problem Solving)

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Wow, it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted! I can’t believe time is flying by so quickly. I have a point to this post (albeit convoluted, as usual), and I’ll get to it, but first… a couple of words about what the hell I’ve been up to! Good (First) Jobs Are Hard To Find The reason I’ve been so quiet lately is a combination of personal/family issues (aging family is rough) and my desperate job search as I near the end of my financial rope. I finished my Code Academy at the local community college in late August, and went …

I Will Not Compare Myself To Other Developers

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Today, let’s do a little exercise. It won’t hurt… I promise. In fact, it might feel really good. Cathartic, even. Repeat after me: I will not compare myself to other developers. I don’t know why it is that I always do this, but it’s become my mantra not to. Simple, right? Much easier said than done. Comparing ourselves to other folks is generally accepted as natural behavior, as we are community- and socially-oriented creatures. Even myself, as a pretty bad hermit and introvert. But when is enough enough? When are we ever enough? My answer to this is: it’s never going to be …

What I’m Working On: jQuery and AJAX

In What I’m Working On, I discuss what languages and technologies I am currently learning using Treehouse, so the interested public can follow along with my progress. We won’t take a very deep dive into the technologies, because Treehouse already does an amazing job of that… so feel free to sign up for a free 14-day trial and learn along with me! Last night, I picked up the Treehouse AJAX coursework, which is the next step along my path on the Full-Stack JavaScript Development track. Are you already terrified? Don’t be! Trust me: if I can learn this stuff, so can you. …