I am not a technical person. I am not very creative person, either. Constructing anything without someone holding my hand along the way makes me feel like running to my room and hiding under the covers. But that’s why I enrolled in Internet and Writing Studies: to increase the circumference of my technically-averse comfort bubble. So far, the results have been mixed.
My biggest hurdle in grasping coding is it works in theory (in my brain), but in practice, I constantly stumble. When I read through Ethan Marcotte’s “Responsive Web Design,” it all makes sense to me, but when I sit down in front of the computer to start from square one, it all goes out the window. I can understand how the relative sizes of text and the percentages of the screen scale on Marcotte’s website work, but implementing those same tricks on my own page just isn’t fully clicking yet.
With that said, what I have produced can be considered nothing short of miraculous for someone of my skill level. It’s not flashy, but all of waynestainrook.com’s three pages passed validation. I felt way in over my head after our class presented its rough drafts, but when Dr. Wolff said to focus on the coding, I felt a little reassured. When he tweeted to a classmate, “dull is good” at this point in terms of presentation, then I felt like I could handle this project. Still, after viewing some of my classmate’s pages and their code, I feel like I’m behind. I barely wrapped my head around the target/context = result formula and incorporated it in my text for this portion of the assignment. The percentages of the widths of the pages and its contents is a hurdle I’ve yet to cross, so I’ll just have to work towards including that for the grid-based design assignment.
Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself and expecting too much too soon. I usually do that to myself. I just need more time with it, I suppose. One of my main frustrations during this process that constantly bounces around in my head with every line of code I type is the question: “How do I even know if I’m doing this right?” I don’t even know how to gauge my own progress. In terms of responsiveness, my website looks OK when I view it on my Droid X, but who knows! To me, everything fits on the page, and the text is readable enough, so it must be good. And it passed the validation test. Oh, happy day! All the links work, and the page does what it’s supposed to do, and nothing more. I suppose that is a victory in and of itself.
I’ve quickly realized that writing code can make me feel giddy and gleeful when I do something right and dumb as a brick when I get it wrong. Although I am not so confident in my page as it stands, I am cautiously optimistic that I will improve with practice.