When I attended a week long development bootcamp earlier this year, which was really a career orientation program, I knew I might be doomed when the icebreaker activity was a math problem. I’ve never considered myself a “math person”. I do, however, like learning new languages, and I took really well to learning basic French in high school. Learning HTML/CSS feels more like learning a new language than it does solving complex math. I know that will change should I choose to learn complex programming, but for now, I’m in my comfort zone.
When you’re learning a new language, you can gain a lot from reading the language, so in this case, reading the code. Reading code is how I’ve taught myself new tricks thus far. I may not be to the point of being able to mock a website from scratch, but I can problem-solve. For example, a few of the pages on ConnectVA had a lot of long, bulleted content. So I figured out how to apply the accordion code we were using on another page to the rest of the resource pages to make the content more organized and easier to read.
At that bootcamp I attended, the lesson of the math question wasn’t to test our arithmetic skills, but rather to teach us the value of Googling something when we don’t know the answer. Googling is how I learned how to add anchors to organize FAQ pages:
Having real-life problems to solve at my day job has really helped me grow my coding skills in a practical way.