Welcome to the Older Coder Blog.

Tony Ascroft © 2018

It’s been a few weeks since I set up this blog and I’ve yet to post but like they say in coding ‘you can’t just study it you have to do it’ so here’s my first of hopefully many posts.

A brief recap as to where I am in my pursuit of learning to code:

-In November of 2017 I decided to learn coding with the goal of securing a web development position where I can design, develop interactive web sites/apps and continue to develop my design and coding skills.
-Since then I’ve read and worked through Head First JavaScript Programming, Coding All-in-one for Dummies, and I’m currently reading JavaScript Novice to Ninja.
-I’ve read numerous on-line articles on coding, web design, Ui/Ux. Subscribed to podcasts like UI Breakfast, JavaScript Jabber and HackerRank Radio, joined web sites like GitHub, freeCodeCamp, and Watch and Code, and watched online videos from Lynda (free through my local library) and Coursera.

Basically I’ve immersed myself in the ‘open education’ movement. In later posts I’ll discuss which sites and books I found best/worst but for now I just say that if I didn’t look at them all I sure looked at a lot. One of my prerequisites was no cost so all the materials I’ll review are either free or available for free i.e. through libraries.

I’ve had a website to show off my art/design work for years but it was mostly hacked together from other sites or created with Dreamweaver and I had just enough HTML/CSS knowledge to put a site together but never enough to do what I really wanted to do. It was always a game of hit and miss whether or not my ‘code’ would work or not. My latest web site TonyAscroft.ca is based on a free Dreamweaver template which I put together a year ago. But now, thanks to my new knowledge I’m able to manipulate to make it look the way I want it to! It includes Bootstrap, jQuery and JavaScript which until recently I had only a vague idea of what they do or how to manipulate them but thanks to my online learning its all starting to make sense.

By the end of February I expect my skills will still be rudimentary but I’ll definitely be able to hold up my end of a conversation and understand someone explaining more complex concepts, my website will be updated and I’ll have added the JavaScript ‘Battleship’ game I created in “Head First JavaScript Programming” plus I’m hoping to create two tribute web sites. At that point I shall venture into Toronto to join in with Coding Meetups, listen to talks from experienced coders in the industry and hopefully participate in a few Hackathons (events where coders get together and donate their time to create apps for non profit groups).

From what I’ve read there are four main areas to focus on when learning to code. Reading books about coding and related subjects (basic knowledge), learn coding online through interactive websites (first hand experience), join in with public groups of like minded individuals (networking) and finally start creating apps and websites on your own. The last point is a Biggy! Experienced coders often say “you can’t learn to code if you don’t practice”.

Thanks for reading, I hope it was inspiring or at least informative. Comments and questions are welcome. I’m going to set this blog up to allow anyone to post a comment, if I find I’m getting too much off topic comments I will moderate but I’m hoping we can all keep it civil.

~ Tony

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