I’ve finally gotten to the end of these projects, as the title suggests. And up to this point I had been really enjoying the course… Then this project hit me and, I’ll be blunt, I ended up avoiding the course for nearly two weeks.
The biggest problem for me is the difficulty curve… Up to this point I felt things very smooth, with strong roots in Gamification ideas and Small, Achievable tasks. It meant, even though some tasks may have been very small in the scheme of things, I kept coming back and spending a lot of time on it because it was easy to see the progress I made. I’m reasonably confident I could create a page from scratch, organised within different div classes, and with some pretty CSS effects to boot.
So, in theory it’s stuff I should already know. But putting it into practice in these projects felt like a huge leap in terms of learning styles. It probably isn’t helped that codepen is introduced at the same time… I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t get on with it. I ended up using Github Pages and Visual Studio Basic, as it just made much more sense in flow and seeing how the files are organised (I am probably in a strange minority that got the hang of GitHub long before starting a course like this… As I used it mostly to keep me updated on game mods).
Some of it was also my perfectionism… I found the Tribute page much easier (especially when I turned it into a tongue-in-cheek page involving the song Tribute by Tenacious D). But, the second I had to create my own Portfolio page, I got myself bogged down in tiny details. I did learn some stuff; having different colours appear when hovering over a link in the navigation bar. I tried making it easier for myself by, again, removing myself slightly from the task; emulating my brother’s website. But, again, I got bogged down in getting the navbar centred AND fixed… Which, when I finally solved, screwed up all the colours.
Now, part is really my fault. But my point is that it felt like these projects came a bit too early… A few more examples to create and experiment from scratch would have helped greatly. It really got me stuck in a rut on the course… One I was only able to solve by submitting my unfinished (but a bit more than half complete) page.
You can chalk this to stuff a developer should be practicing, and getting into better habits… You’re not always going to have lots of little easy goals, and at some point you’ll have to get used to working like this. But, from an accessibility and momentum standpoint, I feel like it could be improved. You could even have optional exercises for those who still feel uncomfortable; I’d even be willing to help create some once I’m more experienced. I know, for me, it’s more important I semi-complete that particular task, but at least keep the momentum going so I still keep these concepts fresh in my head until they stick in my long-term memory.
I just wanted to add, this isn’t to slate the course… I love it. It is the most accessible course I have been able to find on the web, and I already feel like Ihave learned far more than I ever have anywhere else as well