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Anthony Nanfito
Anthony Nanfito

Posted on • Originally published at ananfito.hashnode.dev

R2D6: Sololearn, Scrimba, and Frontend Mentor

How these resources are making me a better dev

Intro

Hello and welcome to another blog post for Anthony’s Techie Thoughts! If you’re new here, my name is Anthony and I’m studying programming to make a career change from mathematics teacher to frontend web developer. In my blog posts I reflect on my journey and share things I’m learning along the way. You can find me on GitHub, Hashnode, DEV.to, and CodeNewbie.

This week, on Tuesday November 15, I started my second round of the #100DaysOfCode challenge. In this blog post, I’ll share my reflection on my progress including my dailyDevLog with notes reflections, references, and links to my work. Thanks for stopping by and happy coding!

Weekly Reflection

I’m five days into the second round of the #100DaysOfCode challenge. I wrote about my reflections after the first challenge and I’m looking forward to another 100 days of learning. This week has been a very productive week. I found two fantastic resources (Sololearn and Scrimba) to continue to improve my JavaScript coding skills.

I’ve been enjoying the quick, short lessons on Sololearn to review JS concepts, especially since I can practice both on the computer and on my phone. This is really useful when I’m at work and only have 15-30 minutes to time to study. It’s perfect for squeezing micro lessons.

I’ve fallen in love with how Scrimba uses scrims to teach and engage learners. If you haven’t checked it out, I recommend it. It’s worth looking into. I really love how you can pause the video and interact directly with the code that’s being discussed in the video without having to clone a repository or switch to a code editor. This makes learning more efficient and practical — it’s really great learn the concepts but be able to practice before seeing a solution.

I’m currently working my way through the Frontend Developer Career Path (which is part of the Pro subscription package) with the end goal of being hirable upon completion. Hopefully, I’ll be done with the program by May 2023 (if not, sooner) and ready to start looking for jobs. I also really like how Scrimba charges in 6-month increments with the mindset that six months you’ll be job-ready. This is both motivating to me and flexible for my finances.

I’m still working on finalizing the “product preview card” for the Frontend Mentor Challenge. This has been another excellent resource for both putting my skills into action and reviewing concepts like HTML and CSS which I study back in May/June of this year. This project in particular has helped me review CSS and I’m looking forward to finishing the challenge with a mobile-friendly design. This is something that I’m continue to struggle with but with practice I know I’ll get better.

Looking ahead to next week, I want to continue with the even/odd study days where I on even numbered days I focus on Frontend Mentor Challenges and on odd numbered days I focus on learning JavaScript via Sololearn, freeCodeCamp, and/or Scrimba. This was an idea that occurred to me after reflecting on my first round of #100DaysOfCode. So far it’s working really well because (1) I always know what I need to focus on (I don’t waste time trying figure out what to learn) and (2) alternating days gives a break from topics which lets my subconscious work “behind-the-scenes” to better understanding them.

TLDR;

Triumphs

  • Completed the first 3 modules on Sololearn’s JavaScript Course
  • 8% complete with Module 3 of Scrimba’s The Frontend Developer Career Path
  • Created a simple passenger counter app (inspired by the one in Scrimba curriculum) for my partner, who’s a flight attendant, to use

Tribulations

  • Designing the passenger counter app to be mobile-friendly

Goals for next week

  • Continue with even/odd study days
    • Even Days: Frontend Mentor Challenges
    • Odd Days: JS, fCC, and/or Scrimba curriculum

dailyDevLog

Here are my daily reflections for the #100DaysOfCode challenge from this week.

Tue Nov 15

Today's Progress:

  • Completed the last 3 intermediate scripting algorithms on fCC (now onto the certification projects!)
  • Play around with some introductory Node.js

Thoughts:

I’m really happy I completed the final few scripting challenges on freeCodeCamp’s JavaScript course. I took a break from the challenges to use some other resources but I came back to them today and it was a good review of functions, this, some, and map(). It was also helpful to learn about some new things like currying and delete.

Moving ahead, I’d like to review the JavaScript concepts. Even though I completed all the challenges on fCC and I feel (mostly) confident in going to work on the certification projects, I still want a stronger JavaScript foundation to stand on before I move on the frameworks and libraries. I’ve already downloaded the Sololearn app to my phone to start reviewing and I think I’ll complete the video courses for JavaScript that are on the fCC YouTube channel.

I’ve also got some other tutorial videos for building projects (like games) saved in a playlist on YouTube so I think I’ll start going through those too. I really enjoy the “learning by doing” approach. Sometimes the challenges on fCC (or elsewhere) are a little too abstract for me.

References:

Link to work:

Wed Nov 16

Today's Progress:

  • Completed 2 JavaScript lessons on Sololearn about if, else, and else if.
  • Added styling for the “product preview card” challenge for frontend mentor

Thoughts:

Really satisfied with today’s session. Sololearn is turning out to be a good resource for me to review my knowledge of JavaScript and I’m liking how the Frontend Mentor challenge helps me review/practice my HTMS/CSS skills.

References:

Link to work:

Thu Nov 17

Today's Progress:

  • Completed two lessons on Sololearn: the switch statement and the for loop
  • Joined Scrimba & Completed Sections 1-12 of Module 1 of the Learn JavaScript course

Notes & Quotes:

swtich:

  • When using a switch statement if there is a case where there is no match you can use the keyword default at the end of the statement

for loops:

  • Statement 1 in a for loop is optional if the variable is defined before the start of the for loop
    • Also within in Statement 1 you can initiate more than one variable by separating them with commas. e.g., for (i = 1, text=""; i < 5; i++)
  • Statement 2 of a for loop is optional if and only if you put a break statement in the lop
  • Optionally Statement 3 can be included inside of the for loop at the end

Thoughts:

I felt a little lost at the start of today’s study session. Today was an odd so I my focus is “set” to work on freeCodeCamp projects, but I’m just not feeling confident about my JavaScript skills. Yeah I completed the course work but it still feels jumbled and “soft” in my brain. I know I need to start building up the skills with projects, but I’m also not sure where to start. So I started looking for some resources and stumbled upon Scrimba which is a really cool learning resource and I wish I had known about it earlier.

For now, I think I’ll continue to study the coursework during the week and save the projects for the Saturdays, when I have more time to focus. Right now, it’s hard to get started on the projects when I only have 10-15 mins here and there to study while at work.

  • M - F
    • Odd Days: JS, fCC, and/or Scrimba curriculum
    • Even Days: Frontend Mentor Challenges
  • Sat
    • fCC Project Work Day (have an extended study session)
  • Sun (no code, rest & reflect)
    • Weekly reflection blog post
      • Triumphs
      • Tribulations
      • Goals for next week

Link to work:

Fri Nov 18

Today's Progress:

  • Added styling to “product preview card” (frontend mentor challenge)
    • Need to figure out how to properly style SVG graphic

Thoughts:

Today’s session was short because I went on a field trip for work and came home tired (and with a headache) so I didn’t get much done beside some simple styling.

References:

Link to work:

Sat Nov 19

Today's Progress:

  • Completed 2 lessons on Sololearn about the do...while loop
  • Continued working through the JS course on Scrimba
  • Created my own version of the ‘passenger counting app’ based on the one featured in the Scrimba coursework

Notes & Quotes:

  • “The while loop repeats through a block of code, but only as long as a specified condition is true.”
    • “If a condition is always true, the loop will run forever”
    • “Make sure that the condition in a while loop eventually becomes false.”
      • This can be done by remember to increase/decrease the value of the variable (e.g., i++ or i--).
  • The do...while loop differs from the while loop in that it “will execute the code block once, before checking if the condition is true, and then it will repeat the loop as long as the condition is true.”
    • The do...while loop must end with a semicolon ;
    • “The loop will always be executed at least once, even if the condition is false, because the code block is executed before the condition is tested.”

Thoughts:

Really satisfied with today’s study session. I feel like things are starting to come together. I’m really enjoying using a Sololearn as a quick-study tool to review JS concepts. I’m also really enjoying Scrimba — so much so that I’m considering signing up for their Pro account in order to get access to their Frontend Developer Path and full access to their community.

References:

Link to work:

Thanks for reading

Thanks so much for reading this post. If you found it helpful or have a suggestion for something I can improve upon, please let me know in the comments below. Hearing your thoughts makes this more of a conversation and helps us all learn. See you next time.

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