Rashida Reviews Her Week in Girl Develop It’s JavaScript Class

Rashida’s #MotivationalMonday guest post grabbed so many readers’ attention that I’ve invited her to share her coding journey with us on Our Code.  In today’s post, Rashida discusses her first week in the Intro to JavaScript class sponsored by Girl Develop It.  If you haven’t heard of the organization, GDI organizes classes, lectures, online hangouts, and hack nights for women who are learning to code. Click here to find a chapter in your city, and join me on twitter to congratulate Rashida on completing her first week in the class by sharing this post!

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As I continue my long journey to becoming a front-end developer, I’ve realized that I can’t escape learning JavaScript. I mean, HTML & CSS are great to know, but you won’t get very far only knowing markup languages if you want to become a true programmer.  From what I’ve observed, becoming an actual front-end programmer means getting down & dirty with JavaScript.

Overcoming Intimidation

My first attempt at learning it was in 2014.  I was enrolled in the Skillcrush Web Designer Career Blueprint.  The last module of the 3 month course was an introduction to JavaScript. Let’s just say I didn’t make it past the first 3 lessons.  I was so intimidated by the syntax that I gave up before I even started.  In the back of my mind, I knew that I’d eventually have to just suck it up and conquer my fear of JavaScript.  I kept thinking to myself that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.  Every programming language has its difficulties, so trying another would only lead me down a similar frustrating path.

Over a year later, I’m now enrolled in another Intro to JavaScript class, hosted by Girl Develop It Atlanta.  I actually got pretty lucky because a fellow dev-in-training offered me her free voucher since she wouldn’t be able to attend due to being accepted into a coding bootcamp.  Who am I to pass up free learning?!  (Sidenote: thanks again, Mallory!)

Intro to JavaScript Class

This class is a 4-week series on Tuesdays throughout the month of October.  Each class is 2 hours long and there are around 20 ladies total enrolled.  The first class covered a brief history of JavaScript and basic programming concepts such as variables, data types, and functions.

// Think of a variable as storage for a value that you can go back & retrieve later
var firstName = "Rashida";
var lastName = "Thompson";
var age = 29;
var favoriteColor = "pink";

firstName + lastName; // Calling these 2 variables result in "RashidaThompson"

document.write("I want to order a pizza."); // This is an example of a string.  
//Strings are enclosed in quotes.

// Function example
function sayCheese(name) {
    var firstName = "Rashida";
    alert("Say cheese, " + firstName + "!");
}

sayCheese("Rashida");

So far, one concept that I’m having trouble grasping is the return keyword. I understand that using this keyword returns a value and also stops a function, but beyond that, I don’t understand its importance.   As I do more research, I’ll be sure to come back with a better understanding and an example of my own.

What I really like about the class so far is that we learn a concept and then we immediately practice it by writing our own code. No question is a stupid question and the learning environment is very open & relaxed.  Stay tuned for updates over the next 3 weeks!

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Rashida is a marketer & mom-to-be transitioning into web development after many years of denying her techie roots. Despite numerous coding hiatuses, she has become the ultimate comeback kid. When she’s not knocking out front-end tuts like a boss, you can often find her on Twitter @rashidathompson.

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2 thoughts on “Rashida Reviews Her Week in Girl Develop It’s JavaScript Class

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: Continuing Your Education by Attending Remote Cons | Our Code
  2. Pingback: Guest Post: Continuing Your Education by Attending Remote Cons | Our Code

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