Opening theory

Staring at that brand new, empty Cloud9 workspace the first time gave me a rush of feelings. Intimidation, a bit of brain freeze, but mostly it gave me a feeling of freedom. I could do whatever I wanted! I could tinker in small increments or giant steps. I could fail miserably and succeed occasionally.


But what would I fail and succeed at? Well, I mentioned that the Head First JavaScript book has projects, so that is where I started. I read the book, I did the lessons. I built the Battleship game and then the improved Battleship game. I anticipated some of the code they would show me and I tried my hand at writing it before I knew what I was doing. I mostly failed, but I learned at every step. And I’m still learning.

I knew I needed a project to keep me pushing at the edges of my knowledge. Something small but complicated enough to provide a challenge. I settled on backgammon and I started breaking it down into tasks. I am constantly improving my HTML and CSS and making even bigger strides with JavaScript. I already know I am going to want to tear this all down and start over, using what I’ve learned to make it better and cleaner and maybe even more functional. But first, I want to finish it, and so I keep plugging away. colud9filled

I am still a neophyte. There are still large gaps in my knowledge, in JavaScript and the tools I am using to learn it. Parts of the Cloud9 interface go absolutely unused by me. Git branching and merging and commits and pushes are still slightly esoteric. It’s also not always easy to find a chunk of time long enough to sit down and get something done. I am trying to make sure I code every day, but it doesn’t always work out. Even if I can’t code though, I spend parts of my day thinking about coding. Code I’ve written and want to improve. Code I want to write but don’t know yet. Philosophies about code; patterns and unit testing and libraries.

Mostly, I try not to get bogged down in self-recrimination or embarrassment over the quality of my code. if this were easy, they wouldn’t pay people to do it. All I hope for is to keep making steady progress, and I hope to be able to showcase that progress and shed some light on my process and the roadblocks and obstacles I have met and will certainly continue to meet.