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Zachary Niehoff
Zachary Niehoff

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What I've Been Working On: Flask, REST APIs, Testing, and Projects.

What I've Been Up To

I have been trying to grow and solidify my knowledge by watching videos/completing tutorials and then making my own projects using the knowledge I gained as practice. I have a list of skills I want to learn so I started working with a few of them simultaneously.

I watched a video on LinkedIn Learning about creating a college course website using Flask, REST APIs, and MongoDB. I started coding along with the instructor but soon realized that I already knew or understood the concepts he was teaching.

After all the work I've put into my portfolio website I have become quite accustomed with Django's syntax and how it works. When it came to learning Flask it was a breeze. I was able to translate the concepts I'd learned with Django and create a working app way quicker than before.

My Project

I finally found an interesting small project to work on. I am creating a Python/Flask web application that makes small, unimportant decisions for you. Like where to eat tonight? or What movie should I watch? It isn't anything even remotely revolutionary but it's getting me valuable experience in Flask, Python, and using APIs.

First Steps

It started off being an app to choose where to eat, but I decided I wanted more depth. Right now, I only have the restaurant chooser app completed. I plan to implement more soon.

APIs Used

Creating this app I got a lot of experience using Google APIs. Mainly geocoding, places, and Google map embed. I also learned that some companies charge to use APIs and that is why I am not hosting my web app.

HTML and CSS

I love the concept of having templates being extended to generate pages. It makes setting up new HTML pages for your project fast and simple. This time around I decided not to go with Bootstrap and try my hand at CSS myself. I don't think it went badly I just don't know how to make my website's pretty yet.

Virtual Environments

One thing the video did teach me was how to setup and use a virtual environment in Visual Code. I had never used a virtual environment before despite having heard quite a bit about them. It was surprisingly easy and non-painful. I can't believe I was using the command prompt so much before.

Unit Testing

Another concept I've been wanting to get into. It wasn't covered in the video and my current project isn't a great one to implement tests into. I currently have one test in my app and it is to make sure the restaurant chooser class functions properly. I can't make the test 100% accurate because the API sometimes returns Subway and other silly things when you are searching for pizza.

Thanks for reading.

I have been working hard on learning and building up to a career in Software Development. This is my third project I feel will be worthy of showcasing and I'll hopefully have more to show off before the year is over. Also, in about a month I'll have my Associates Degree in Software Development and officially be halfway done with school! Maybe then I can finally get an Internship.

The project can be found here if you are interested in viewing it.

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