WDI Commencement

13 Jan 2016

Monday marked the beginning of the 12-week General Assembly Web Development Immersive Program. Here’s what happened:

The morning session was an orientation of sorts. Stephanie Martin walked us through a list of do’s and don’ts, calendar dates, and general administrative stuff like hours and so forth. Afterwards up until lunchtime, it was the “Install Fest”, where we installed a bunch of programs including:

  • XCode – Coding kit for iOS and Mac stuffs
  • iTerm2 – a ‘cooler’ version of terminal
  • OMZsh – a config file for shell programs
  • Ruby & Rails
  • Homebrew

We then had an hour break for lunch. After that, class started. Our instructor was Willie Tong, who characterized himself as an old school coder and a big Star Wars fan. I think he teaches quite well, and he’s also very patient with our class (who I feel is not tech-savvy at all, to a frustrating extent). Our teaching assistant (TA) was Denis, who used to work at the Genie startup, and who rather understandably does NOT show as much patience with our class. Denis was a graduate of last year’s WDI, so it’s good that he can explain things clearly to a bunch of absolute newbies.

Class was about the command-line-interface, basically a run-through of what we had already learned in our fundamentals (work we had to do prior to yesterday). There’s definitely a lot more that I’m interested in learning about with regards to UNIX. I guess the key takeaway today was to always read the manual/documentation.

Yesterday, things started to pick up. We went through HTML & CSS basics, and did some practices in class including playing a CSS selector game (flukeout.github.io). We also learned about Chrome Dev Tools, which is a highly effective way of editing CSS for the website. Basically upon saving the HTML code, the idea is to use Dev Tools (command+alt+i) to tweak the CSS on your website, and THEN copy the stylesheet into your code. This would be much more efficient than constantly refreshing the page after making saves. We spent the day going through problems and familiarizing ourselves with the different HTML tags and CSS style options, but the key takeaway was definitely that you should use DevTools all the time to learn how (cool) webpages are structured (code-wise).

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