I always knew what coding was, but had no experience with physically creating it. I had no idea how it worked or what it even did, but knew that it was used to create websites. I always thought of it as mostly having to do with the design factors, but soon after realized that design was only half of it.
Writing in code is extremely challenging to get the hang of at first. It takes a ton of focus and attention to be able to understand the elements of creating a well-written code. Similarly to blog or print writing, organization is a major factor. Also, consistency plays a huge role in the outcome of the code. Without an organized or consistent structure, the code is meaningless, and usually ends up being unstructured and messy. However, it definitely takes a lot of practice to perfect writing in code, so mistakes are inevitable for those who have little experience.
Like a well-written essay, code has a set structure and format. It has headings, paragraphs, and lists just like any other piece of written work. However, what makes it so different is that there are two separate pages that are needed to form the singular document. HTML focuses on the content of the piece, whereas CSS focuses on the formatting elements. Combined, the two create a document that looks like a digital blog or article, but that is specifically designed to the needs of the creator.
The HTML page is the most important aspect for a writer, not designer. While a writer is concerned with the actual content of a piece, a designer is more interested in the appearance of the structural elements. The HTML page enables the writer to organize their content in the most appropriate way, whereas the CSS enables one to create design elements that compliment the content.
For me, the CSS page acts like an outline for the document. Before writing an essay, many authors create an organized plan for their content. The CSS page acts as this plan, allowing the designer to decide where to place headings, sections, and paragraphs. Once they have established where these sections should be placed, they are able to edit and format the different areas so that they are pleasing to the eye. Like blog writing, deciding where to place sections is important. By learning how to float different areas on the page, I was able to place different pieces in different places. This made the page more appealing on both the web view and the phone view.
Coding has challenged my understanding of traditional writing by introducing me to the aspects that are often unseen. Although anyone can change the format and style of their Wordpress or blog pages, not just anyone can code! Coding requires some knowledge of math, where writing does not. Coding also requires tons of patience; instead of freely writing without constraints, one must pay attention to miniscule details in order to form the page as anticipated. Coding has definitely redefined what it means to be a writer, producer, and designer.
When I first started this class, I nervously anticipated how to approach coding. It always seemed so foreign and difficult to me, so saying that I was scared is an understatement. I was originally flustered and disorganized and began having tons of trouble understanding the initial elements and concepts of creating a code. Even reading the HTML book posed as a major challenge since I had little background and understanding of the web design world.
However, as class continued, I began to connect the coding dots and was able to better grasp some of the concepts. I quickly realized that written content was just a small portion of what coding entailed. More importantly, I learned that formatting and structure is the priority. Learning the ropes of HTML first enabled me to understand the importance and differences of sections, paragraphs, headers, and list types. I learned how to structure my resume into these categories and began to see how the different categories affected the layout of my content. I started to notice the importance of placement and choice, realizing when to use these headers, paragraphs, and sections.
Once we added CSS, I was lost to say the least. Now, everything I thought should be in the HTML page went somewhere else. I really did not connect HTML and CSS together until I began to practice combining the two on my own. I soon understood how the two were intertwined- so much that one little mistake in either part could throw off the whole resume. I started slowly by changing the header’s font and size in the CSS page. I soon learned how to change the color and fonts of different sections. I also began to play around with margins, borders, and padding. Additionally, I learned how to make sections float on the page.
Then, as soon as I thought I was back on track, tablet and phone formatting was thrown in. I learned where to edit these sections on the CSS page and reconstructed my website so that it was applicable for multiple digital views. I made sure that the font size, colors, and sections were different for my phone view so that it was simplified and easier to read than on the computer view.
Before I knew it my resume was coming together. After lots of time, energy, and mistakes, I was starting to feel satisfied with my product. I definitely think that a big portion of my success is from the coding Thursdays. They have really helped me have an opportunity to ask questions and stay on track.
I now understand how important attention to detail is when coding. It took me a lot of practice to remember to put the semi-colon after colors and sizes, (the same goes for remembering to close the brackets after a section) but it made me realize that staying consistent is imperative when making sure that the code works. Writing in code is SO different than anything I have experienced- it definitely takes some getting used to! However, once I learned to feel comfortable with my abilities, I felt more confident and was able to incorporate my new knowledge into my resume.