Month in Review: May 2018

Learning Development

freeCodeCamp

I continued working on the beta version of freeCodeCamp until they made some changes and it was no longer beta.  There was no option to update/add my email address to the account I was using with my old username, so I had to email them.  We’ll see what they say.

LinkedIn Learning

I worked on a couple HTML and JavaScript courses, but didn’t get them completed.


Projects I Worked On

Island of Aloha

URL:  https://geoffreyshilling.com/

Purpose:  This is a new personal site for all things non-development, with a focus on Hawai’i and recipes.

Progress:  The site went live this month and I’ve moved about half the recipes over from the old site.

Mug Monday

URL:  https://geoffreyshilling.com/plugins/mug-monday/
GitHub:  https://github.com/geoffreyshilling/mug-monday

Purpose:  A WordPress plugin that will allow me to easily share a new coffee mug every Monday.

Progress:  The initial “Mug Monday” custom post type has been created.  There are only a couple more adjustments to make and I’ll be able to start using the plugin.


Project Goals for The Month

  • Island of Aloha [Website].
    URL: https://geoffreyshilling.com/
    • Finish transferring remaining posts from my Household Discoveries website to Island of Aloha.
    • The site officially launches on King Kamehameha Day, June 11.
  • Mug Monday [Plugin].
    URL: https://geoffreyshilling.com/plugins/mug-monday/
    • The plugin is almost working.  It’s adding a “Mug Monday” category and “Coffee” tag to all posts, regardless of whether it is a Mug Monday post type.
    • I have a few other minor tweaks and this should be finished up.
  • PRT Tracker [Plugin].
    URL: https://geoffreyshilling.com/plugins/prt-tracker/
    • The plugin will allow me to track my workouts that will help improve my Physical Readiness Test (PRT) score in the Navy Reserve.

Ongoing

  • Blogging. My initial goal is to start with one post every 2nd Tuesday of the month and see how that goes. Once I get a couple months out, I may bump that up to two posts per month.
  • WordPress.org Support Forums. I haven’t been able to spend much time providing support lately, but I hope to get back into that. I miss it. My goal is to spend at least 30 minutes each day in the forums.
  • freeCodeCamp. I had to email freeCodeCamp as I was unable to get my email address added/updated for the account I was using when I working on beta.freecodecamp.org. Hopefully it won’t take too long to get figured out (and I won’t have to start completely from scratch).  Once that gets sorted out, I’ll start working on freeCodeCamp again.
  • #100DaysOfCode. They say the best way to learn something is by doing. I had previously started the challenge – and did it most of May – but it wasn’t working out with my schedule. I’m going to make some adjustments so it works for me.
    I’m just about done with a separate post on this and I will be sharing it on Monday, June 4.

Month in Review: April 2018

Aloha and Happy Lei Day!  This was an unexpectedly busy month.  I’m eligible for promotion in the Navy Reserve to the rank of chief (E-7).  As part of that, we found out at the beginning of the month there is a 40-hour course we need to complete in order to even be competitive.  Once I got into the course, I quickly realized it was in fact not a 40-hour course, but a 70-hour one.  That’s where most of my time went this month.


Learning Development

freeCodeCamp

I completed the following items in freeCodeCamp‘s JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures section.

  • JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures
  • ES6
  • Regular Expressions
  • Debugging
  • Basic Data Structures

Now I’m working on Basic Algorithm Scripting.  I intend to start working on freeCodeCamp a lot more as of this month, with a goal of at least seven hours a week. 

LinkedIn Learning

I made some progress on the Become a Front-End Web Developer learning path in addition to a course on writing by completing:

  • Programming Foundations: Fundamentals
  • User Experience for Web Designers
  • Completed UX Foundations:  Accessibility
  • Completed Writing to be Heard on LinkedIn

As I start to work more on freeCodeCamp, that extra time has to come from somewhere.  I’m going to cut back on my LinkedIn Learning courses to a couple hours a week, plus whatever else I can squeeze in.


Projects I Worked On

JavaScript Guessing Game (Fixed Number)

Live Example:  http://geoffreyshilling.com/404
GitHub:  https://github.com/geoffreyshilling/javascript-guessing-game-fixed-number

Progress:  This has been almost done for a while but finally made time to get it knocked out.  I took the photos and added the number of minifigs to the game.  The game has been added to my 404 error page on this site.  I’ll probably make a few tweaks (including adding a photo of the minifigs spread out), but it’s up and working.

Island of Aloha

URL:  https://geoffreyshilling.com/

Purpose:  This is a new personal site for all things non-development, with a focus on Hawai’i and recipes.  I’ve spent a little time checking out what recipe plugins are available and working on a “start here” page.

Mug Monday

Purpose:  I love coffee and the mugs it goes in.  I think it would be fun to get the week started with sharing a different mug each Monday.  Although this won’t be a permanent feature, I have enough to keep it going for at over two years!

Progress:  I experimented during a lunch break and actually got the entire thing working.  There is a “Mug Monday” custom post type that uses a Gutenberg template.


Project Goals for The Month

  • Island of Aloha [Website]. The main goal this month is to do more research and decide on a plugin to use for my recipes.  Once that’s done, it shouldn’t take me too long to get all the posts transferred over from Household Discoveries to Island of Aloha.
  • Mug Monday [Plugin].  I’m hoping to have Mug Monday finished up this month.  It only took me a lunch hour to get it going, but I want to clean some things up a bit.
  • #100DaysOfCode. They say the best way to learn something is by doing.  I had previously started the challenge but it wasn’t working out with my schedule.  I certainly don’t have any more free time, but I’m going to do my #100DaysOfCode working on freeCodeCamp’s challenges from beta.freecodecamp.org.
    I’m just about done with a separate post on this and I will be sharing that in the next couple days.

Ongoing

  • Blogging.  I’ve wanted to start writing for a while, but this month I plan to do it.  My initial goal is to start with one post every 2nd Tuesday of the month and see how that goes.
  • WordPress.org Support Forums.  I haven’t been able to spend much time providing support lately, but I hope to get back into that.  I miss it.  My goal is to spend at least 30 minutes each day in the forums.
  • freeCodeCamp. I’ll be continuing on with the JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures section, finishing up the ES6 portion this week.

Month in Review: March 2018

This month started out slow for development because I was still finishing up my Navy Reserve annual training, with a drill weekend following my return.  Then I was working to get caught up with being gone for a couple weeks.

Once a year our Fire Department holds a reverse raffle as a fundraiser.  Of course, it was the third Saturday of the month.  This meant all the finishing touches were being wrapped up in the middle of all my Navy stuff.  There was a lot going on at once.

Starting tomorrow things should be closer to being back to "normal."  I made a couple changes this month:

  • Moved fitness from a "hobby" to a priority.  It's been too easy to not go for a run or push-ups/curl-ups because there is something else to do.  My Navy PRT goals are 1.5 mile run in 11:23, 78 curl-ups in 2 minutes, and 60 push-ups in 2 minutes.  That's not going to happen without working for it.
  • Received Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner a few days ago and plan to start using it today.

Learning Development

freeCodeCamp

I completed the Basic JavaScript section of JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures and started on ES6. This week I should be able to start in on Regular Expressions.

LinkedIn Learning

My premium subscription to Lynda.com ran out at the end of April and I was going to go without, but then I realized how much I was using it.  I decided to try LinkedIn Learning and go for another year.  So far, there are just a few little things I don't like as much as Lynda.com, but I'm going to give it a little more time.

As much as I want to jump in to React so I can start building more with Gutenberg, I'm going to (painfully) limit myself and proceed in logical order.  I already do pretty well with HTML and CSS, but I really want to get a strong foundation of JavaScript before I move on.

Right now my plan is to take the Become a Front End Web Developer learning path, and then the Become a Vanilla JavaScript Developer learning path.


Projects I Worked On

Island of Aloha

Purpose

This is basically going to be my blog for all things non-development.  I originally was going to name this Aloha from Dad, but decided to change it to Island of Aloha because there is going to be quite a bit of stuff related to Hawai’i.  I have an old site that hasn’t been updated in a long time where I started to keep some of our favorite recipes and household tips; I’ll be moving these posts over to Island of Aloha.

Progress

I have the domain purchased and a maintenance page set up.  I created a local copy of my old site as well as one for the new site.  The posts are starting to move over from the old site.  Since the page URLs will be changing, I’ve also started looking into page redirects.  The site doesn’t get a lot of traffic, but there are a couple popular recipes on there.


Goals for The Month

  • WordPress.org Support Forums.  I haven't been able to spend much time in the forums lately, but I hope to get back into that.  My goal is to spend 30 minutes each day providing support.
  • JavaScript Guessing Game (Fixed Number). I still have to take the picture of the mini-figs and this will be finished..
  • Island of Aloha [Website]. I'm going to slowly continue working on transferring my old Household Discoveries site to Aloha from Dad.  This will also involve creating a recipe custom post type.
  • freeCodeCamp. I'll be continuing on with the JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures section, finishing up the ES6 portion this week.
  • Blogging.  I've wanted to start writing for a while, but this month I plan to start.  My initial goal is to start with one post every 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Month in Review: February 2018

This was a very slow month for coding because of my Navy Reserve annual training.  I'm finishing that up today and I haven't done much outside of that the past couple weeks.  I'm posting this from my hotel room in Norfolk, VA before I head for the airport. 

I'll be getting back into things on Monday morning and March should be much more productive.


freeCodeCamp

I completed the Applied Responsive Web Design projects, which was the last part of the Responsive Web Design section.  The next section is JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures.  I made it about halfway through the Basic JavaScript section before leaving for my annual training.


Projects I Worked On

Client Questionnaire

Purpose

Have a checklist of things to go over when helping friends and family members plan and build their sites.

Progress

Completed.  After spending some time looking at what others were using, I decided I was wasting my time.  I have no desire to be a freelancer, so it's not like this is something I'm going to use that often.  It just didn't make sense for me to spend a lot of time working on it.  I decided I'm going to use iTheme's 65 Questions to Ask During Your Next Freelance Client Meeting and be done with it.


Goals for The Month

  • JavaScript Guessing Game (Fixed Number).
    I didn't get the picture taken to finish this up, but that's all I need and it will be done.
  • PRT Tracker [WordPress Plugin].
    This is to track my running, push-ups, and curl-ups for our Navy Reserve Physical Fitness Test (PFA).  I  started a plugin before and had the basic functionality working.  I'm going to start over and make it work with Gutenberg.  The plugin will feature a custom post type to collect workout information and progress reports based on my goals.  This will be a little slow since I'm also going to need to learn about developing with Gutenberg.
  • Aloha from Dad [Website].
    I'm going to slowly continue working on transferring my old Household Discoveries site to Aloha from Dad.  This will also involve creating a recipe custom post type.
  • freeCodeCamp.
    I'll be continuing on with the JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures section, with the goal of spending six hours a week.

Week in Review: January 29-February 4, 2018

This is going to be the last of the short-lived Week in Reviews. I've decided to shift to a Month in Review that will be posted on the last day of the month. These weekly posts have been taking too much time for no more than they are providing at this point.

The Month in Review will be more of a list format (I think). It will include more specifics about what I learned, any problems I ran into, or any big accomplishments I had.

Changing to this format should also give me time to write something besides updates. I'm going to start slow with the goal of one post every second Tuesday of the month beginning in March. This can be a tutorial, something I've done, something I want to do, a review, or any number of other topics.


Learning

freeCodeCamp

I completed the Survey Form and Product Landing Page projects. I'm working on the Technical Documentation Page and then all I'll have left in this section is building a personal portfolio webpage.
My Current Applied Responsive Web Design Project: Technical Documentation Page

I've mostly been going through the tests in each project to make sure everything is working right. Now I'm adding to that a bit. I'm still going to make sure everything is working, but I'm also going to make my projects look like the examples as much as possible. This will be a good practice in replicating something just from how it looks on the front end.

Lynda.com

Last week I completed the Learning React.js course as part of the Become a React Developer learning path. The course works through building a note app. I learned a few things and got some more ideas to work on down the road.


Projects

JavaScript Guessing Game

GitHub [Project Code]: https://github.com/geoffreyshilling/javascript-guessing-game-fixed-number

Purpose

I thought it would be fun to have people guess how many minifigs (LEGO people) I could fit into a Mason jar. Since the number doesn't change, it won't be something to play over and over. I'll be adding it to my 404 error page in hopes that it won't be seen that often.

Progress

I'm almost finished with the game. The only thing I need to do yet is to add the actual photo of minifigs. It currently has the following logic:

  • Allow only numbers to be input.
  • Accept input from the regular number keys and also the number/key pad.
  • Allow the user to enter a guess by clicking the button or pressing enter.
  • Allow a maximum of 5 guesses per game.
  • Allow the user to play again once the game is over.
  • Prevent a user from guessing the same number twice.
  • Limit number of digits per guess to 4. Example: 1234.
  • Set focus to "Play Again" button when game is over.
  • Disable input field when game is over.

The "Store"

Purpose

I'm working on a business website for a family member. The "store" is currently a hard-coded, non-responsive HTML site with images of the business's catalog. The new site is being built with WordPress and WooCommerce. They have no desire to sell online, so this will be more of a showcase of products. The new site will allow the business to add or remove products without having to contact a developer to update the HTML.

Progress

  • The site is nearly ready. I've uploaded the site to a development area for the business to look at.

Goals for The Month

I like to have a list planned in case I need it, but I'm guessing I won't have a lot of spare time the next couple weeks. There is a presentation I need to finish up for the Navy Reserve, so that will take priority. Because of this, I also don't plan to spend much time answering questions in the forum this week. I don't like answering a question and then not being able to get back to it for a few days. That's pretty frustrating for the person having trouble. The goal each day is to check for spam in the forums, spend 30 minutes working on freeCodeCamp, and then the rest of the time on my presentation. Once it's complete, then I can go back to my normal schedule.

  • JavaScript Guessing Game (Fixed Number).
    • All I need to do is take a picture of the minifigs in the jar, put it on the page, and add that to my 404 error page. This has been a fun project with a major bonus of getting my son interested in coding.
  • Now Page.
    • I'm going to work on a "Now" page. I had one of these in the past using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), but it just wasn't working for me and my schedule. The "now" page will be updated quarterly and show what my goals are for that quarter and possibly a list of projects I'd like to work on. Development is a hobby for me, so it's pretty low on the priority scale when it comes to everything else. It's hard for me to set time-based goals for this reason.
  • Aloha from Dad.
    • I really don't need something else to work on, but this is going to be a new site for all my non-code stuff. It's going to be about the lowest priority project I have, but I've wanted to do it for a long time and it's going to take a long time to complete. It's mostly going to be a place for me to write about projects our family does, recipes, travel, Cub Scouts, Navy Reserve, and more. The site will start very basic and grow from there. It will always be a work in progress.
  • "Client" Questionnaire.
    • I have absolutely no desire to be a freelancer. None. I love development and support, but I'm not big on marketing or some of the other things you need to do. I have a number of requests for help with sites from friends, family, and non-profits I support (such as our Fire Department). It would be nice to get something together to help the process move smoothly along. I'm calling this a "client" questionnaire so you'll know what I'm talking about. The purpose of it is to get input from the groups listed above to set priorities when I help them out with a site.
  • Learning.
    • freeCodeCamp. I'll be continuing on with the Applied Responsive Web Design Projects, spending 30 minutes a day.
    • JavaScript. As much as I want to jump in and learn React.js, I want to build a solid foundation with vanilla JavaScript first. I've decided to switch over to the Improve Your JavaScript Language Skills learning course on Lynda.com.