New Updates Added to Our Code Wiki

Hello all,

New goodies were added to Our Code Wiki for your learning pleasure:

“Diversifying Competitiveness Technology” video

Udemy course: Make a Splash Page in HTML

52 Question Checklist & Guide for Responsive Web Design Projects

Stanford U course: Practical Unix

Google Developers University links

Code School links

I update the Wiki several times a month, so be sure to check Our Updates page.  If you would like to join as a member of the wiki or contribute, subscribe to Our Code Blog, or check out instructions here.

Quick update: being patient and other advice

I wanted to give a quick update on my progress thus far.

1. I finished my Intro to Linux course, successfully installed it on one my laptops, and am comfortable using the command line.

The Next Step:  Find a MOOC on MySQL and gain an introduction on raspberry pi.

2. I’m sharpening my responsive design skills by growing a portfolio to be publish online by January.  To do this, I’ll be working on coding my sites by hand and using them as examples.

The Next Step: Offer to design sites for small businesses in my region to add to my portfolio, and do some freelance work via Fiverr.

3. I dropped my Java course.  Though I hope to retake it in the Spring, I’m more open to exploring Python more than Java at this point.

The Next Step: Focus on my other college classes for the rest of this semester.

4. The two MOOCs I’m taking on Python are going very well. I favor the one by UMichigan because the instructor has a lot of experience in open source software. I find the one through Rice U to be annoying though.  We’re spending the course working on coding a game, something that is big turn off for me in terms of projects.

The Next Step: Complete the Rice U course strictly for learning purposes and ditch the game project. I’ll use what I learn to build something more interesting.

Cons: I’m trying to let go of the “just hurry up and tell me how to do it” mindset I have when it comes to my course work. When I set certain goals for myself, I grow impatient when I feel I’m not completing them quick enough.  My biggest frustration is being told by a college adviser that I have to complete a certain amount of math courses in prerequisite for courses I really want to take.  More classes = more money out of my pocket, as I’m not financing my education with any help at the moment. While I championed working on a CS degree this past Summer, maybe enrolling in a bootcamp would be better suited for me.

Pros: When I first became interested in learning to code 2 years ago, memorizing code snippets allowed me to bypass groundwork and get my feet wet freelancing.  However, not being able to fulfill my clients’ needs and having to repeatedly outsource projects made me see I was going about it all wrong.  I needed to go through training to gain deeper understanding of programming concepts I had missed. I’m finally growing comfortable in the skills I developed thus far.  I’m excited about how much further I can go.

I’ll be sure to give you all my updates at least once a month.  In the meantime, follow me on twitter @shethrives11 

GitHub Launches New Student Developer Pack

In case you haven’t heard, GitHub announced the launch of a developer package for students today.  As part of GitHub Education, an initiative to integrate GitHub into school curriculum, the pack will be available to any student 13 years and older who is currently enrolled in a diploma-track or degree program.  Here is the list that the student developer pack includes summarized by GitHub:

Atom: an free, open source text editor created by GitHub

Bitnami: cloud application software

CrowdFlower: a platform for crowdsouring and data

Digital Ocean: cloud hosting software

DNSimple: manages DNS and comes with API

GitHub: social collaborative code management site

HackHands: live programming platform

Namecheap: offers domain name registration and SSL certificate

Orchestrate: database portfolio

Screenhero: screening sharing software for teams

SendGrid: email infrastructure service

Stripe: transaction fees waived for this web and mobile payment software

Travis CI: continuous integration platform for projects

Unreal Engine: game development tool suite

Most of the software and tools listed are normally available at a hefty price for students, so the fact that GitHub put this together as free resource is commendable. To download the pack, click here.

Strengthening Our Mission and Staying the Course

Promoting Our Code in tech circles has been fulfilling as it allows me to really hone in on the tech pipeline issue.  I often fear the central focus of this site is missed due to the fact that myself, a Black woman, created and run it.  When I first created Our Code as a blog, I had women of color in mind as my target audience.  Finding my place in the blogosphere was difficult this year because I don’t share the same experiences as other women and minorities in tech. It’s no surprise that I have not made race, gender, and wage issues a priority here, and if the blog continues, the posts will become more code-centered.  I want to reiterate a few points and clarify what this site advocates:

1.  The focus of Our Code is not to discuss sexism and racism at tech companies. I don’t feel those issues need to be discussed in this particular space.  This is a blog for those who are learning how to code and are looking for resources to help them.

2.  Our Code is empowerment-focused and solution-oriented.  I share stories about coders to inspire others, information that I think will help others succeed, and education resources that will help readers become better designers and developers.

3.  When I promote a resource or organization on Our Code, indiscretion on my part is used thoroughly.  If I promote a resource on this blog, it’s because I like it or use it, not because I’m getting paid to write about it.

I’m thankful and welcome the support of having a great core readership. I want this site to grow in subscribers who perhaps become contributors one day, but growth doesn’t trump mission.  I can’t allow the opinions of others to sway the type of space I created for coders here.