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Jake Pucci
Jake Pucci

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Closing My Bootcamp's First Phase.

   I have officially finished my bootcamp's first phase. These last three weeks carried incredible challenges and at times, some adrenaline-filled victories. It's funny to be so dramatic about it but that's exactly how it felt.

   For context, I feel like I should explain my background with computers, or lack thereof. Before this bootcamp, my computer knowledge was incredibly novice. At most, I would use a computer to email people and watch the occasional Youtube video. Even an Excel spreadsheet looked incredibly foreign to me. Never did I think I would be able to operate the terminal, use VScode, and understand what functions are and how they operate. Phase-1 was undoubtedly a rollercoaster.

   The first week took no time at all when it came to absolutely throwing me into a dark pit of despair. Never has my fear of failure been so high and my confidence been so low. The resulting feedback loop was overwhelming. I decided the only way to boost my confidence with all the new material was to spend every minute I had studying, watching tutorials, and practicing labs. I felt that if I just eat, sleep and breathe JavaScript, I would begin to understand what was happening. This introduced me to my first bootcamp lesson; rest is a necessity. After working 16+ hours each day trying to catch up and learn JavaScript, I finally crashed mentally. So much so that I regressed in my coding knowledge. Eventually after some rest, I felt like I was starting to grasp about 40% of what was going on which, according to my Tech Coach, is a fantastic start. Celebrating this small victory was much needed. There was even a moment when I thought "Ok, I got this", but this cycle of feeling confident and then knowing nothing continues even now.

   Week two began and I was bracing for the same shock I felt in the previous week. Luckily, week two's entire focus was different and I could breathe a sigh of relief. Instead of the confidence beat-down that was week one, week two consisted of tying all our skills together to prepare for our first coding challenge. This practice was a warm welcome, and I actually was enjoying the repetition of the mock coding challenges. Our challenge consisted of using a fetch() method to create a website hosted by our local json server. Im sure to most Devs this is probably an incredibly easy task but for me and my novice knowledge of JavaScript, it was a crazy challenge. I did however learn some very helpful tips to help keep your code clean and useful.

const imageList = document.querySelector('#movie-list')
const title = document.querySelector('#title')
const yearReleased = document.querySelector('#year-released')
const description = document.querySelector('#description')
const image = document.querySelector('#detail-image')
const button = document.querySelector('#watched')
const bloodPoints = document.querySelector('#amount')
const bloodForm = document.querySelector('#blood-form')
const bloodAmount = document.querySelector('#blood-amount')
let selectedMovie; 

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   Declaring variables is a fundamental part of coding. In large blocks of code, you can find hundreds of variables declared. Through experience I have learned creating a space at the beginning of your code to declare globally scoped variables to be a super helpful method. Trust me, it makes the problem solving process that much less painful.

   Along with declaring global variables in an organized location, I also learned to name them in ways that make sense and are easy to understand.

const meunuList = document.querySelector('#menu')
const dishSection = document.querySelector('#dish')
let selectedItem;
const dishName = document.querySelector('#dish-name')
const dishDescription = document.querySelector('#dish-description')
const dishImg = document.querySelector('#dish-image')
const dishPrice = document.querySelector('#dish-price')
const dishText = document.querySelector('#dish-text')
const menuItems = document.querySelector('#menu-items')
const cartForm = document.querySelector('#cart-form')
const cartAmount = document.querySelector('#cart-amount')
const numberInCart = document.querySelector('#number-in-cart')
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   Above is a prime example of how not to name your variables. I could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration if I named these variables in a more understandable way. For example
const meunuList = document.querySelector('#menu') and
const menuItems = document.querySelector('#menu-items')
are both named very similarly. Often I found myself using the variable menuList when I needed menuItems or vice-versa. Moral is, name your variables in ways you can identify exactly what you're calling on.

   It was during week two that I actually enjoyed working on these practice challenges. I felt like I could actually see the progress I had made with JavaScript and found it fun to try and problem solve my functions in all the different ways one can. Finding ways to consolidate and clean up my code was very satisfying and almost like a game. For example:

const divide = function(param1, param2){
    return param1 / param2

// can become shorter with an arrow function;

const divide = (param1, param2) => param1 / param2
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In my most humble opinion, the latter function is a much cleaner looking version.

   So far, my experience with my bootcamp, Phase - 1, and programming overall has been pretty good! Besides the occasional deep dive into the pit of despair, I am really feeling like I can learn this skill. I believe as long as I keep applying myself to learning this and keep repeating my mantra, I will only continue to improve my skills.

My bootcamp sent me this image on my first day. I reference it often.

Image description

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