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Bryan Corrêa
Bryan Corrêa

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What have I learned after 10 days of studying front-end web development?

Hello, world! My name is Bryan. I’m a newly graduated Brazilian Biochemical Engineer. I was looking for a job even before I finished my degree. Actually, I was looking for a job since December (after I heard I would not be hired in my internship because they had frozen hiring). Currently I’m participating in some selections for Trainee and I have had two job interviews so far, but no job yet. The situation here in Brazil is really chaotic as we have millions of unemployed people and inflation is increasing the price of everything almost daily. So I need a job urgently!

That said, after graduation I started to take some online courses to improve some skills, learn others, and even to prove my knowledge in some tools. And it was then that I got back involved with what I have loved for a long time: programming!

A brief background

I have always been a person who likes technology. I’ve always liked knowing how things work, building things, and opening/destroying things to see how they work. :)

I took a class in college called “Algorithms” in the second semester of Biochemical Engineering. It was really great and I loved that subject! However, after that, I didn’t have enough time to consider studying programming because Biochemical Engineering was really complicated and I didn’t have time to take a course about programming. In the 5th semester I had a class called “Thermodynamics” and the professor suggested a project that we should calculate the thermodynamic properties based on temperature and pressure of some elements, like Oxygen or Hydrogen, e.g. I applied my basic programming knowledge to create a simple program that would ask users to enter T and P, it would calculate the properties and display a table made in ASCII with the calculated properties. This made me realize that maybe I was good at development, but I didn’t have time to study.

It was summer in Brazil in December 2019. I was on vacation from college and it was the first time since a long time that I had some free time. So I decided to learn something more about programming. I studied some free YouTube content and some reading materials, and I realized that my logic was pretty good to solve some problems using programming. However, when the classes started, again I didn’t have enough time to continue studying. =/

It was the first days of 2020. The world was on alert because of COVID-19 and it didn’t take long for the disease to reach Brazil. Colleges and schools suspended classes, semesters and everything else. The country stopped and many people were dying. It was a really horrible and sad moment for everyone. =(

With no classes and no way to leave the house, I had some time to study whatever I wanted. During the pandemic,
Stanford University brought in “Code in Place”, a month-long program with online classes about programming in Python. I was one of the 8,000 people selected, and after 4 weeks of classes, assignments and challenges I was ready to do my final project. I created a simple interface (using the TKinter lib) and a back-end that generates random alphanumeric code. I got the idea after reading about Bright Simons, a Ghanaian programmer/social innovator/writer who suggested integrating random numeric codes into boxes of malaria-treating drugs to prevent counterfeiters. You can see the repo of the project if you like.

Besides all the sadness because of the pandemic, I was really happy studying programming and started to learn something about web development. However, the college classes returned in September 2020 (online, since in-person classes were still forbidden), and the professors doubled the amount of classes, projects, exams, papers, essays, etc., and it was impossible to continue studying programming! :/

As I said before, I graduated in April 2022 and started studying for the Trainee selections. I’m doing some temporary work to support myself, and I’m having some free time to study programming again.

The official beginning of my web development study

Last month (September), Rocketseat brought us the NLW (Next Level Week) event. It was a week where either a fullstack web/mobile project (Ignite track) or a front-end project (Explorer track) was developed. The theme was eSports. Since I’m a beginner, I decided to participate in the Explorer track. It was a really good event and you can see the final result here and the GitHub repo here.

After the NLW week, I didn’t have enough money or credit to buy the Rocketseat bootcamp (which I want so badly). However, I didn’t give up and started studying by my own means. And yesterday, 10 days after starting my studies, I launched my first “solo project”: the LinkHub.

About the idea

When I started studying web development I thought I should apply the same technique I applied when I was studying Biochemical Engineering: a combination of the Feynman Study Technique and the LPC technique. To do this, I thought I should create Instagram, Twitter and Youtube profiles to share my thoughts while I was learning (i.e, teaching to learning). My idea is to make some videos, posts, etc. to share what I know, what I’m studying. It will be useful for me and may be useful to other people as well.

Almost all social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) allows you to share only one link. If you have a lot of links you want to share, you have some “solutions” for that, like Linktree and Beacons. So, problem solved, right? In my case maybe, since monetizing content is not my main goal. But using these tools to share your links can be a SEO problem.

So I thought: “Well, it is really useful to solve this problem. The person could create your own ‘link in bio’ tool and add it to a new section on their own website or app, avoiding loosing relevance in social media algorithms and search engines…”. The next moment I thought: “Since nowadays it is really difficult that something hasn’t been invented yet, I believe that someone has already done that…”. I did a search and… well, there are lots of people talking about it everywhere. So I should give up on the idea, since it is not an innovating one, right? Well, I forgive you if you answered “yes”, because you don’t know me well yet, but the right answer is “no”.

So I opened Microsoft PowerPoint and made what I called a “lo-fi prototype”, a “sketch” of what I was thinking about this front-end application. After a day of searching, drawing a “lo-fi prototype” in PowerPoint and a “hi-fi prototype” in Figma, I thought it was time to turn this into a web page (or web app, I don’t know the exact difference yet). So I made the HTML structure and basic CSS in a few hours, and yesterday I studied and implemented some animations, meta tags for SEO and some responsiveness, and voilà, LinkHub was born! If you are interested in seeing it, you can access my LinkHub here and the project repo on my GitHub profile.

What have I learned after three days of doing this project?

So now I’m a front-end expert who can apply for a job, right? Hell no! This was just my “Hello, World” in the world of web development , and I have much more to study, learn, practice, design, etc. It was a simple static front-end HTML and CSS project, but I’m really proud of it!

But, what did I really learned after doing this project? Let’s start with the “hard skills”:

  1. I learned something about HTML structure, HTML elements, HTML tags (yes, there are some differences between elements and tags), differences between div and section tags, how to make a list of links and icons, among other things.
  2. I learned something about classes, ids, properties that can be applied to some elements, meta tags for SEO, etc.
  3. I learned some basic CSS: box model, some flexbox, simple animation, background gradient, etc.
  4. I learned about the integration between HTML and CSS: positioning elements on the screen, visualization, etc.

Now, let’s talk about some “thought process” that I learned by doing this little project (I didn’t know if I could call this “soft skills”, so I called it “thought process”):

  1. It is really good to study HTML and CSS at the same time to understand how things work.
  2. Documenting the project was a good way to understand what I was doing and thinking, not just for good practice.
  3. Curiosity may killed the cat, as a popular proverb said, but my curiosity has taken me to places I would never reached if I didn’t have it! So be curious!
  4. Enjoying the process is not necessary, but it is awesome when you are doing something you enjoy!
  5. While I was doing the project, I thought many things that can be done by incorporating some logic behind it. That’s why I’m starting to study JS right now!

And that’s it for now! If anyone besides me read this, please leave your thoughts below or in any social networks that are on my LinkHub.

NOTE: I am not a native speaker, so if you see something wrong with my English, please let me know and correct me. Thanks! o/

Top comments (1)

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baki31srj profile image
Baki31srj

@Bryan Corrêa Great article. I'm a Bangladeshi, just learning English but I had no problem understanding your writing.
Anyway, my name is Golam Rabbi and I am from Bangladesh. Maybe there is more corruption in Bangladesh than your Brazil. I enter the job through some kind of intermediate, the owner lays off when not needed.
Finally, I worked all day as a lawyer's assistant in the judge's court in my area, but in the end I felt that there is no future like this, so I am trying to learn front end development.
But here is another problem because I didn't learn any programming language in college. So it takes a lot of time to learn HTML and CSS, then there are JavaScript and various frameworks.
I work all day and have very little time, then I am looking for a friend with whom I can share and talk to learn work. Because I don't do any work alone. Sorry if I don't understand English. I wrote Bengali and translated it to English.