A Love/Hate relationship with CSS

Colorful Ride

Colorful Ride

This week I have been coding using CSS. I have learned how to change font- family, color, background, add links and images to my website. Those were the simple things. I wanted to go the extra mile and took it upon myself to learn how to create navigation bar ;).

 

At the beginning of the week I was having a hard time understanding some properties of CSS.  It took me two days before anything actually made sense. I’m pretty sure it was because my 8 month old daughter is crawling now – at least that is my excuse and I am sticking to it. I realize this is just the first of many more challenges to come. I have to keep reminding myself that “I’m learning a new language”.

 

Class & Id’s along with floating are by far the most complicated CSS commands. However, I have met some great classmates on Mightybell that help me out if I get stuck. For the record I did get them to work. It just took me longer than I had hoped.:)

cross browser say what? #geektalk

 

Boiler plates over here, boiler plates over there…. aaahhh! One of my many assignment this week was to fix a ‘cross browser’ issue. To do this I was provided a Cross-browser boilerplate and told to add it to my code. If any issues arose I had to fix them. #troubleshooting already are we?

 

My thoughts on CSS thus far are.

 

CSS is cool but it’s mean. I have a love/hate relationship with it and as my instructor at Skillcrush.com said “CSS…It’s complicated”!

 

Finally, I wanted to share a great article on “which programming language you should learn first”.

The power of telling your story

I am currently using www.w3schools.com to learn and practice coding in HTML. What I like about this specific website is that you can chose which programming language you want to learn. They go into great detail, which helps me better understand the concepts.  Currently, I am learning what each of the HTML tags will allow you to do.  You can choose from any of the following programming languages HTML, CSS, Javascript, SQL, PHP, Jquery, AngularJS, Bootstrap, and XML.  The best part about the website is that all of their information is free!

 

This week I have also focused on searching for websites tailored to mothers and coding.  Here is a non-profit organization that was formed by a mother who decided to learn programming and realized the marketplace void for this audience.  This website, also founded by a woman provides online programming courses.

 

I want to provide a quick update on the book I am reading called, “A Whole New Mind”.  I mentioned in the previous blog that the author Daniel Pink, describes 6 senses that need to be used in order to transcend into the conceptual age. I want to focus on one. Story.

 

People need to hear “stories”.  If  you want to have an impact on others you need to convey a great story.  If you want to change the world, tell your story, and make it great!

 

The author of  “A Whole New Mind” writes about an awesome place called Story corps .  Here is just one of the many stories told.  I hope you take the time to listen to it. What I find most enticing about Story corps, is you just sit in a booth and record your conversation with another person. It is simple and brilliant.  A low barrier of entry.

 

Another site that enables the world to tell their story is Ted.  I visit Ted.com daily and find it useful.  This morning I came across a talk by the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, Elizabeth Gilbert.  I believe she ‘hits the nail on the head’ while discussing how to tap your genius.  

http://http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius


To come full circle, this is exactly why I am blogging.  To share my story of ‘hacking  my education’ with the world.  I hope that by doing so I can encourage others to learn regardless of how challenging the task may appear.  I encourage anyone and everyone to tackle their challenge and share it with the world – through story.

Leaning In

Today I am wanting to shed light on “Lean In”, the book I am reading. First and foremost, I am thoroughly enjoying the book.  It is a great read and I have gained a large amount of knowledge about leadership roles in America.  It has opened my eyes to the need of women leaders for our great nation.  My favorite quotes from this book is “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”  This was a a saying used at Googlewhen they were a startup.  The author also speaks of a poster hanging on the walls inside Facebook that stated, “Done is better than perfect”. I will forever remember this quote while ‘hacking my education’. I tend to be OCD about things and this is a reminder that it doesn’t have to be perfect… Just do it! 
The key points that stand out for me thus far are as followed. 
  • Having confidence in your leadership abilities.
  • Working with your peers to break the gender bias. 
  • Taking a leap of faith to do what it takes to become the leader you want to be. 
  • Learning to withstand criticism is a necessity for women and learning to control emotions. Although she suggest that you do let your emotions show on some issues that you feel passionate about. 
For those that do not know Sheryl Sanburg is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at FacebookOne of the 14% of women that are in leadership.  She dedicates two chapters to family and husbands.  Making sure your marriage is 50/50….bragging rights… I got lucky or as I tell him, he got lucky 😉 My partner in life does help with family, leadership roles, chores, homework, cooking and bills, etc. This of course on top of his full-time career and part career where he is a Professor at UMUC and now my mentor.  I feel as though I married Superman! So that makes me Superwoman right?! 
So am I leaning in? I believe so.. There is no perfect time to lean in.. you have to have faith.  I am creating my own opportunities right now by #hackingmyeducation at 33 because I want to challenge myself.  Moreover, a career in coding and help change the future of education for myself and my children. I am now curious about every aspect of coding. Here is a good article on why stay-at-home mothers should learn to code.  And I am even more motivated now that I have a daughter. 
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Hacking my Education

Today I begin on the journey to #hackmyeducation.  This is all new to me.  I never attended college and currently work as a full time, stay at home mom.  I heard about #uncollege from my husband and now mentor (@sorriv).  This recently began while I was thinking about my second career.  And technology peeked my interest.  Technology is the field of study I would major in were I graduating high school and about to attend college today.  Most importantly, it is the field of work I would like to spend my time improving.  It also happens to be afield where many women have chosen not to go.  
 
With my husband and mentor, we have designed a curriculum that combines a liberal arts foundation with a programming concentration. The intent of this blog is to share my experience (both successes and failures) with the world.  My goal is to show that combining a desire to succeed, the vast amount of open source educational material, a dedicated mentor, and global network of support, anything is possible. Because, we can learn anything.
Why code?  This is a career field with limitless possibilities.  And technology is baked into every aspect of my daily life so why not shape it with my vision?  All that being said, I haven’t taken a math class in over a decade and I have never taken a computer course.  If I wanted to learn something that was completely out of  my character.. that would be foreign to me and challenge my mind in every way, this is it. It is also a career path that more women need to step into.

I hope that by sharing my experience it will encourage other women (from young girls to other stay at home mothers), or #uncollege’d individuals to overcome their fears and reach a level of self satisfaction and accomplishment while achieving their goals.

I have begun this journey by reading a book recommended by my mentor (@sorriv) and refreshing my math skills.  The book is titled Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg. This link will take you to her inspiration Ted talk.  The math class is pre-algebra and I will be leveraging Khan Academy.

 
I will continue to update this blog and my Twitter account (@erinnorr) throughout this journey.  Feel free to follow along, offer any advice, encouragement, or help along the way.
 
Erin