Projects, projects and more projects

I had decided to take my mostly finished project, the backgammon game, and use the One Game a Month challenge to keep me moving forward. Things haven’t exactly worked out that way. Time has been at a premium lately and, while the game is mostly finished, in a lot of ways it is holding me back. I have been spinning my wheels trying to accomplish the final tasks in the scraps of time I have had. Progress is slow and it is sapping my motivation.

While all of that has been going on, I have been given a few leads that could, in the long run, lead to actual, paying work. A friend of mine who works at a small start-up told me that he might be able to hire me in the future if I can get a handle on all the basics (HTML, CSS JavaScript) AND if I know Angular. To that end, I have started hitting the AngularJS tutorials and online class type stuff, mostly the great series at code school.

Seizing on that, my mentor has decided that we are going to work on a project together. He will handle the back end and give me an api, and I will do everything else (with guidance where needed). We started Sunday evening with a long discussion about the functionality he’s looking for. Yesterday I worked on getting some bare bones of HTML and CSS going, along with a little itsy bitsy piece of JS/jQuery that performs some useless DOM manipulation. This morning I plopped together the Angular, dummied up some data (in JSON format, of course) and got it to appear on the page via an expression. Yay!

Even though it is at the earliest of stages and none of the code I have written does anything useful at all, it feels good to be putting all this learning into practice. I am still slow and have to reference my notes and the tutorials and the docs and bug my friends for help, but I’m getting there. I am learning the tools (I have maybe temporarily switched to VS Community, don’t worry JetBrains, I’ll be back, I promise!)

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