Coding & Cocktails: A Mentor’s Perspective

Coding & Cocktails wouldn’t be what it is without our fantastic mentors who volunteer their time to help other ladies learn how to code.  One of our Coding & Cocktails mentors, Heather, shared her perspective on the May Coding & Cocktails session on JavaScript using jQuery.

HeatherIn May, we introduced jQuery and JavaScript. This is by far one of my favorite languages to work with because of all the fun things you can do with it. JavaScript should not be confused with Java, because they are two very different things (Java is a programming language and JavaScript is a scripting language for one). This is also a language that I am still learning everything I can do with it. It is just that vast. When I started coding many moons ago building websites that would make you gasp, I used HTML and JavaScript. I thought they were “da bomb” because I had buttons that changed colors, cursors that changed when you hovered over a link, font that changed colors, and even scrolling text. It is now over 10 years since I created my first page and JavaScript still amazes me. With that said, it’s pretty clear that if you do not understand everything in one three-hour session, you are not alone.

JavaScript is a language that is used to make the user experience better, as well as provide a dynamic aspect to the site. It is an older language, actually celebrating it’s 21st birthday this year. Just like using CSS compilers can make things cleaner, using the jQuery library can help keep things streamlined.

As a mentor this month, we had a lot of people who were new and jumping in. This helped me go over the skills I learned a few months ago when I attended the Git session as a student. We went back into Github and cloned KCWiT’s repository, checked-out a new branch, and then worked on the files in Sublime Text.

From a mentor standpoint, it was great seeing ladies learning how to work with JavaScript because it is used almost everywhere, but definitely in front-end development. It is also a great place to take a pause and review everything we have covered so far. CSS, JavaScript, and version control are a couple of the key aspects when it comes to front-end development and are definitely things that take a while to learn (especially since I am still learning them with years of coding knowledge).

So what is my favorite part of this month’s lesson? Being able to use an in-browser debugger (I’m on a Windows computer so I just click F12, but it’s cmd+option+i on a Mac). I love having quick access to look at errors, see the various elements (that light up when you hover over the code), and see sources of different aspects. It makes working on a site just that much easier. I am looking forward to next month when we’ll get to review and catch-up before moving onto the next session and I hope to see everyone there learning alongside us!


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