Week 2: JavaScript and jQuery

Well the boot camp is definitely starting to get harder.  Instead of the end of day burnouts I had during week one, I actually found myself getting burnt out during the class on some of the days.  I guess with HTML and CSS most of the concepts have a visual aspect to them so it isn’t as hard to conceptually visualize how things should work.  However with JavaScript and jQuery since a lot of the concepts are more dynamic and kind of take place behind the scenes it requires a bit more brainpower to digest.

One of the most difficult aspects of learning JavaScript is that there’s just so much to learn.  The best way I can describe it is that in class we’re taught how to put sentences together, but we don’t know enough to make a paragraph.  And in most cases we need to be making paragraphs, not sentences.  When I was working with HTML and CSS if I had parts of the paragraph missing I could usually describe what I needed to search for to fill in the blanks.  With JavaScript it’s a lot harder since there’s so many different ways of going about doing the same thing.  Even if you’re able to find a solution to your problem it might not even apply to the method you’ve used.

The homework assignments have also started to increase in difficulty.  In week one the homework assignments were more time consuming than they were hard.  Planning, AKA pseudocoding, is very important.  I’ll admit, planning has never really been my style.  I’m more of a throw it against the wall and see if it sticks type of guy.  But it didn’t take me long to learn that if I wanted to work efficiently I would need to take the time to pseudocode and figure out step by step what I needed to do.

Even after all the planning in the world, I’m still my own worst enemy.  Debugging code as a newbie is definitely a frustrating experience.  Does my code actually work?  Did I write it correctly?  Are there any typos?   How about a missing semicolon?  Do my conditions have the right number of equal signs?  Are you sure there aren’t any typos?  Are all my parentheses and curly brackets closing the right things?  Is everything in the right scope?  Lexical !@#$ing scope…  If you have no idea what lexical scope is I wont burden you with an explanation.  Just imagine Schrödinger’s cat meets Inception.

I think my head is still above water at this point, but I do feel myself sinking a bit.  While most people will spend this MDW at the beach or BBQing, I’ll be spending a majority of it trying to stay on top of all the material we’ve covered, maybe one BBQ…




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