I actually cannot believe a month has gone by already. What a ride! We’re now four weeks in to our Coder Factory adventure and at this point I’m starting to worry that’s it’s going by too quickly. I mean, I suppose it’s a pretty awesome situation - I’m not working for (at least) six months and I get to dedicate my time to honing my coding craft and hanging out with a bunch of cool devs-to-be - so it’s maybe not surprising that the time is flying. It was my birthday last week and my classmates were really lovely and celebrated with me - I got cake!

So what have I learnt in weeks 3 and 4? The last two weeks we’ve really got stuck into the guts of web development, with html, css, bootstrap and ruby on rails. We started out getting to grips with css by making our own takes on CSS Zen Garden. If you’re not familiar with CSS Zen Garden, it is a demonstration of the design that can be achieved purely through CSS. You take the provided HTML and, without editing it at all, style it purely through an attached CSS stylesheet. You can see my version here. Little did I know I was doing the super trendy parallax scrolling at the time. I’d seen it on another website (using javascript) and just wanted to see if I could do it in CSS.

Next came one of my favourite challenges so far - we picked a cool website design on Dribble and then spent a couple of days taking the design and turning it into a functioning website. I really enjoyed taking a flat image and working out the structure and code that was needed to make it come to life. It’s also definitely the coolest looking website I’ve ever made because it was designed by a professional designer and not me!

Front end under our belts, it was time to get on Rails. Rails is a web framework for Ruby - it allows you to combine html with Ruby, which is very cool, and lets you have databases and other behind the scenes backend things on your website. My mind was blown! My favourite thing about Rails so far is that I can store everything in arrays and iterate through them to generate my html. So cool. We spent the last week working on Portfolio websites, from inspiration through design, development and deployment - and I have to say the coolest thing about mine is that for one section it has an if statement to decide whether there should be a button for each example. Love it! My portfolio is also up on GitHub, and deployed here if you want to see it in action!

A screenshot from my portfolio:

Portfolio screenshot

I know I’ve been pretty glowing about Coder Factory on my blog, but I’m honestly really happy with how the course has been going. I’ve learnt so much and I’m having a blast. It’s exhausting, and I spent most of the last weekend recovering, but it’s totally worth it.