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J. Negrete
J. Negrete

Posted on • Originally published at fishouttawater.substack.com

Perpetual Education: Week 2

Yellow. Lots has happened. I’m listening to Eluvium while drinking some wake up juice. Thunder strikes Rip City. It’s awesome. The past week has been quite an (academically) eventful week.

Here’s what we jumped into:

First we learned the very basics of the operating system. I felt pretty comfortable with this already but it’s always nice to go back to square one and retrace your steps. Reminds you of the flow of things. There’s so much I don’t even think about when using the operating system. It’s just kind of “there” and reliable. Probably not a good way to be about anything you hope to specialize in.

We also did a test run of the terminal. Looks scary but it’s really not. Just have to be careful. Most experienced devs I talk to say it just takes time to get used to the flow. In the meantime I’ll watch my step so I don’t destroy everything.

Some days at PE are pretty mellow. One of them was spent just surfing the web and seeing what aspects of designs spoke to us. Visual tricks and what not. I don’t know if low effort is the word. It’s just about experiencing things and effectively expressing that experience. Working out those soft skills that most computer nerds lack.

So we’re jumping all over the place now. The OS, the browser, the real world, and now… Google Drive. Freaking awesome tool for the modern day. Screw you MS suite. We got all these tools for free and their arguably better and easier to use. Sorry, I’ll stop ranting. So anyways, Drive is dope. You can easily collaborate, set styles, yada yada yada… damn you Bill Gates. I hope the Divorce wipes you out.

OK. Now we’re comfortable with creating docs. Let’s delve into an actual programming language. The old friend never knew you had, the one we take for granted, the web whisperer — HTML. It’s like the Babe Ruth of programming languages. Remember that google doc? Well let’s turn it into a web page. Some simple tags will do the trick — yada, yada, yada and… voila! We got a webpage. It’s actually not too far removed from creating a google doc or even writing this blog post. Baby steps.

Welcome to HTML land. Let’s take it up a notch and build a 4-page site.

<a href=“another-page.html”>no problem</a>.
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OK Smart Guy. Try to make a web portal.

<ul>
 <li>
  <a href=“https://www.nytimes.com”>oh, you mean like this</a>
 </li>
</ul>
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It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole if you don’t switch it up. While on break from HTML we focused on writing and networking skills. For this we made use of Whimsical. My first time using it. Super easy. My thought process can easily get cluttered and this nicely organizes it for me. Visual format. Not too much effort. All my thoughts and ideas right there. For the writing part we talked about how crucial it is learn in public. It’s amazing how much you learn about yourself when you put it down on paper. Writing is a lifelong skill that’s worth refining and investing in. This isn’t going anywhere.

Alright, back to HTML land. WTF is an FTP? Oh cool, I can bring my sad little agoraphobic HTML file to to web. This is awesome! This lesson was really fun because got tasked with building a webpage using only the tools that were available in 1992. I’m a total 90s kid so this was fun. I used a background from the horrible film, Lawnmower Man. I created the header to look like minesweeper. For the hyper links I just google image searched “cheesy 90s digital art.” The goal was to make it as ugly as possible and I think I did pretty good.

To Affinity and beyond. Affinity Designer is the bee’s knees (if you please). This program is dangerous in the best way possible. I can get so lost having fun with this thing. There are so many incredible tools to explore. Even going beyond PE and watching tutorials started to set me off-course. Although it’s great that I’m loving this program, I have to stay focused for the sake developing other skills. Needless to say, I’ll definitely be looking forward to these sections.

Obstacles, Blockers:

Nothing too crazy. I had some trouble setting up Google Drive for desktop. This lesson was a bit convoluted due to the timing of Google Drive changing their whole application right as Alpha 3 (the current class) was taking lesson. Derek made an updated video but it was kind of a mess. You could tell he was scrambling. The video made me think it was a way bigger deal than it needed to be so I didn’t touch it til I got some help because I was afraid I might screw up the whole file sharing process. What’s cool is that Derek is constantly updating the course, listens to his students, and actively seeks feedback. He’s aware of the issues with this particular lesson and will update it. Really not a significant obstacle since I have access to a mentor and a bunch of classmates to help me in the slack if needed. Word to the wise: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

See you again next week freaks!

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