Phil Learns to Code

Learning Web Development from Scratch

My name is Phil Rimmler, I’m the marketing manager at here at Bootcoder.com, which means I’m responsible for all the clever tweets and beautifully written emails that show up in your inbox. I recently realized that although I’m part of a team that helps individuals find the best coding academy to suit their needs, my own programming abilities are woefully lacking.

So, in this series entitled Learning To Code I’ll document my own journey through bootcoder.com as I go from total novice to hopefully a proficient coder. I’ll dedicate 3.5 hours per week to learning to code and 1.5 hours per week reflecting on it here. Hopefully, at the end of my series, someone new will pick up the torch and continue to learn to code.


Entry #1

Why do I want to learn to code? That’s the first question I had to ask myself. I have never built a website. My UX (user experience) past lies primarily in old blogspot designs and I was a history and psychology major at Boston College.

I mean, they don’t even give me a second monitor at the Bootcoder offices. What could I possibly do with coding knowledge? But then I thought about all the ways in which it could improve my job. And then I thought about all the ways it could help me personally too. Then it hit me, by the end of this series of articles, my final project will be to build a personal website dedicated to my interests and pursuits.

So what’s my next step? Because Bootcoder is a startup in full bootstrapping mode, I don’t have the time or cash to go through an in person coding camp right, now so I have chosen to complete an online course in my downtime away from Bootcoder.

A friend recommended I go with codecademy.com and their free HTML & CSS workshop. This is the most basic coding language to learn and afterwards I should be able to edit the front end of my website, meaning all the text and picture that visitors will see.

The coding workshop is online and saves my progress so even if things get hairy in the office for a few weeks I can come back right where I left off. All that’s left for me to do is begin which is what I’ll do right now. Stay tuned for my reflections on my first night of coding.


Entry #2

Code Academy does a great job explaining that HTML is the skeleton of the website. Essentially, I can use my future knowledge of HTML to add the texts and pictures that I want on my site.

CSS, which I’ll tackle later on in the website, is used for the design and layout of the site. Most of the initial reading and lesson dealt with inserting and editing texts. I can now insert paragraphs of text into my site with little trouble.

This is a great early skill to have. It seems like we’ll tackle pictures later. After reading Part 1, however, my first impression was that this learning to code thing is going to be a little tougher than it looks. I kept getting hung on where to add when I’m done inserting my wall of text.

I finally broke through after the 3rd or 4th try but still went back a few times to make sure I had it right. But I can officially say that I know how to make a sentence Bold. If that’s not a success then I don’t what is.

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.