Frontend Developer

Hi! I'm Lauren, and This is My Development Journey!

January 02, 2022

For my first post, I had to write a proper introduction!

2016: The Start of my Development Journey.

My Web Development journey started in 2016. I just had my first baby and wasn't too keen on going back to a stressful, unfulfilling office job. I was feeling unmotivated, bored, and had a lot of downtimes but my schedule was unpredictable. Babies can be very demanding at a moment's notice. I visited my sister, a software developer. She showed me some programs she was working on. It looked interesting, even though everything went right over my head.

Until this point in my life, I had only thought of the Internet as a magical invention that does what I need it to do. I hadn't used a desktop since growing up with the shared family computer in the den. I told her, "I need something to do that will help me get a job when I am ready, but that isn't going to be a set schedule with classes." She signed me up for the frontend course at Skillcrush.

When I was almost done with the frontend course on Skillcrush, I felt unstoppable. I could now write basic HTML and CSS. With my new skills, I created practice client websites. Mission accomplished! I am now a Frontend Developer! How very naive of me. To be fair, I could do more on the Internet than ever before.

The last subject was JavaScript, I got discouraged very quickly. I couldn't wrap my head around it. "Why would I ever put a stopwatch on a website?" "What is loop used for anyways?" "Why do I need reusable variables?" Every JavaScript tutorial I saw just didn't seem useful to me. I thought maybe a design path was more for me.

For a while, I did everything I could to never use JavaScript. I couldn't understand it. HTML and CSS made sense. HTML (layout and text) the bones, CSS is the styling of the bones. But every time a burst of creativity came for a new website, such as a hamburger menu for mobile screens, JavaScript was the only solution. I eventually started to use onClick functions within <script></script> in my HTML. That's all I did, the bare minimum of JavaScript.

2019: Finally Getting JavaScript & Solving Problems

Two babies and two years later, I was in another rut. Going nowhere because the design path wasn't for me, and I couldn't get by without using JavaScript. That's when my sister told me about React. Something beyond vanilla JavaScript. I read some docs and did the tic-tac-toe tutorial. This was just what I needed to learn about.

I found more use-cases for JavaScript. My first React website was using JSX for HTML and CSS, so basic. But it was new and interesting. I started creating more and more, using .map() and .filter().

A couple of months later, I made a recreation of one of my favorite computer games as a kid. The snake game, I have no idea if that is the real name. It is a dot that you control with the arrow keys, you move it over different dots on the page, it "eats the dot," and the snake's tail grows bigger. The bigger the tail, the faster it moves. If you hit the walls or the snake's tail, then the game is over. Snake Game Code

That was my first big JavaScript project, with almost no HTML and CSS. This project was a lot of trial and error, I never quite perfected it but I found a love for figuring out problems in code, or maybe a passion for figuring out the problem and the error disappearing.

2020: Introduction to Frontend Masters

One of my next ideas was to make a site with login access. Inside of that individual's account, they would be able to create content through a CMS. The next step was learning about using databases to store data to retrieve from elsewhere on the site. I found a MERN stack tutorial but I didn't get the deep understanding I was looking for. I did learn how to make a to-do list! That's when my sister told me about Frontend Masters. I signed up and took the full stack course. I have been taking courses and getting inspired to do little projects ever since.

2021: Looking Forward

This leads me to now, I took my time learning frontend development. I had lots of breaks and plenty of setbacks, but I also had a lot of encouragement. If I didn't have someone to ask questions to after spending 5 or more hours trying to figure something out, I would've probably quit a long time ago. Sometimes I feel like I know nothing still, mostly when I read someone's answer on Stackoverflow, and I don't understand any of it. But I will never forget when JavaScript finally clicked for me or when I got data from a database I created. It was all worth it. This year, my goal is to share my struggles and solutions and be closer to getting my first official job in the tech world!

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