The Nashville Software School had a fundraiser called, “Tee Off for Technology.” This logo was created in Adobe Illustrator. The images were sketched out and then vectorized. I really enjoyed doing this logo because it has a taste of typography and simple graphics in which really define the logo. I got the color palette inspiration from http://www.colourlovers.com/ . This site is not only good for color palette ideas, but it is also great for website color theme ideas.
It has now been 7 weeks since I’ve been attending the Nashville Software school and I’ve not missed one day. I know you may be thinking, “Well, why haven’t you taken a break?” My simple but honest answer to that question is…one day of information presents you with notes, hands on labs, and understanding. So if you miss 1 day, I can only imagine that playing catch up would be a nightmare. Not saying this to scare anyone, but this School is not your average school. It kind of puts me in the mind of a Boot Camp where you don’t have anybody looking over your shoulder making sure you do anything because it’s up to you to do the homework, and practice all of the skills that were taught to you in class in order for you to be great enough to get the back-end developer job once you graduate.
I know in the recent blog I said that I would be blogging from week to week, but it seems like my blogging time is always overthrown by my homework time. lol
In the 1st two weeks of this school, I thought I would be ahead of the game because the teacher had in the syllabus that we would be going over front-end development like: CSS3, HTML5, ect. These topics were very familiar to me until the teacher went over a new form of writing css called SASS. Then we got into a new form of writing HTML called HAML.
Even though I’ve already got my bachelors degree and graduated, the reality of life is opening my eyes day after day.
The breath of fresh air after graduating and getting my bachelors degree was overrated. After 4 years of college, I didn’t know whether I should be scared or relieved. No more classes early in the morning or late at night, no more test to study for, no more finals, no more long lectures, no more sitting in class until your back cramps up. These thoughts will always be remembered, but will not be missed, but I do miss the free wifi, and the free ink to print documents from the printers, and the people.
After I graduated from The Art Institute of Nashville, majoring in Interactive Media and Web Design, I felt as if I were officially a Front-End Web Developer. Before graduation, I did a portfolio show which displayed my greatest work from the past years of college. From this show, I actually landed a couple of jobs which were based on free-lance Web- Design. I knew I was on my way to success, but then came the reality of getting my own apartment.
While I was in school, I actually was a Resident Assistant aka R.A, aka Dorm Mother. The great thing about student housing at an Art School is that you get to live in a real life apartment with real family oriented neighbors. So this alone makes you think that you are already in the real world SIKKKKKEEEE. When I tried to apply for apartments they were asking questions about credit, yearly income, background checks, ect. I was like, “Why wasn’t there a class in college that went over these things?” LOL Even though I hadn’t started to build my credit, I managed to get me an apartment in Nashville. They told me, “No Credit is better than bad credit LOL!”
Now with that out the way, my focus now is more school.. I know you are like, “What the….I thought she just graduated?” Yes I did just graduate, but I feel that even though I’m a Front End Web Developer, why not get the Back-End under my belt too? 6 more months of school won’t kill me.Right?
September 9th, 2013, is the date that I start “Code School Boot Camp!” I’ve already gotten emails from the school about books and homework that have to be finished before the 1st day. At first I wasn’t too happy about the homework until I did it and realized how much of a refreshment everything was. I knew technology changes constantly, but I thought my basic knowledge of CSS and HTML were pretty deceit. I guess that shows me why my father said, “Keep exercising your mind everyday or it will get lazy, and lazy brains don’t create income!” This was funny to me back then, but now it makes so much sense.
I really don’t know what to expect from this school. Some people told me it is like boot camp, but to be honest with you, I’m a little nervous, but I really can’t wait. 6 months of school then I can actually say that I’m a Front and Back-end Interactive Media and Web Developer. Dang that sounds good 🙂
This past week was a bit of a bully. Since I’m still in the rim of getting to know how WordPress works and how to manipulate it, I ran into a lot of problems that could have been avoided. The first problem I had was trying to stop getting the “404 error page” every time I went on the home page of my site. This really drove me nuts because everything was fine the day before while I was building my site, but all of a sudden, this creepy creature showed up.
Once I started going through the dash board of WordPress, I stumbled through the Settings in which led me to “Permalinks.” After I changed the settings to default, Waaaaalaaaaa, my home page was back, but I didn’t want those numbers after the slash in my URL so I changed the settings back to post-name and……yes you guessed it, everything was back to where I started.
So I did some more research and discovered information about static pages, and I realized that I hadn’t set this option yet. So I did some more research to see how this was done, and I read that all I needed to do was to go to the Settings, then the Reading section, and then change the front page display from blog post to static front page, and then my friend you click on the drop down menu which will give you the options on which page you would like to make your static front page.
It sounds more complex than it really is, but after I did this, everything was working.
In my mind, when it comes to understanding WordPress, one must take time out to work through the steps to getting what they want. When they get to the point where they break things and put them back together, this alone builds repetition. That repetition not only teaches that person how to build their own WordPress site with ease, but it embeds a knowledge that will always be that foundation. Once that foundation is built, one must explore the layers that come with the foundation, and I call those layers themes.
The idea of having themes on WordPress was very cleaver. My sponsor and a lot of other businesses, get online, find a theme, and then get their web developer to manipulate it. This all seems so well thought out, but lets look at the people who build the themes. These are developers and designers who build a platform for others to manipulate. So these individuals think through this project in their own way while building it out through their own ideas.
Guess what, we have to literally put the puzzle back together, but in our own way. So I look at all of WordPress in this way because it doesn’t matter how much I know, I always have to research and learn more while working with a theme. I take this task as a mind game because I try to comprehend, “What was the theme creator thinking when they made this, or wow, they really thought this bad boy out!” (yes I talk to myself……lol) Anyways, this is really what I’ve been going through the past week while I’ve been at my Internship.
I get themes, and then I have to literally take them apart, piece by piece. At first I didn’t have that much practice and knowledge in WordPress. So I got upset a lot when it came to manipulating themes. Then, once I went through trial and error, and practiced repeatedly, I started to love completing the puzzle of understanding and manipulating a theme.
This pass week, I went through trial and error. My boss put me on a new project where he picked out a child theme in which he wanted to start with. Now stop there, I really never worked with a child theme that was made by someone else. I only created a child theme from a parent theme that was already created. So this was a little different for me, but I thought that it wouldn’t be too hard.
Starting on the project, I began to download the child theme that my boss just purchased, and for some reason it wouldn’t download. I actually went on the theme’s forums, and facts and questions, but I was stumped. I didn’t know what was going on. I thought that you can download a child theme exactly the same way you downloaded a parent theme.
Then I ran across a forum that told me, “Without the Genesis Parent frame work, you can’t install the child theme that was made from Genesis.” I promise you when I read this, I was like, “DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!” How slow can I be? Then I went back to the child theme website and Genesis was all over that site.lol I guess I got too excited off of the knowledge that I thought I had, and that my friend is called, “The ignorance of not reading!” lol
Anyways, I thought that everything would be fine once I found the Genesis theme, but then I ran into another problem. The Genesis theme was almost $50 and my boss already had paid for the child theme, not knowing that he would have to pay for the Parent frame work also. At that point I thought that I was screwed, but then I had a marvelous idea. Why not search for a free version of the parent framework. IDEA+DUMB=DIDN”T WORK (COULD”VE GOT VIRUS LOL).
SO i finally fessed up and came to my senses by going to my boss and telling her what was going on. She then said, “Arielle, I have the Genesis framework on my desktop, I’m about to send you the zip file!”
Arielle+POINTLESS SCAVENGER HUNT= DUMBFOUNDED
Well I did learn one thing from this, always read before you put forth action because precious time will be wasted.
This past week I got to observe a lot when it came to my internship. We actually had a partner come in and demonstrate her business to us. I got to see how the film man set up his set and props before he was about to do his job. The business in which this woman was a part of was called, “It Works!” On camera, she basically demonstrated how their companies’ products work. On the woman in the photo, the “It Works” sale’s woman demonstrated how the companies’ body wrap worked. When she finished, she held up the Greenlight Local sign and explained why she loved her community. I really enjoyed watching this because I got to see another side of the company I was interning for.
I also learned more when it came to WordPress, but it wasn’t easy. After I set down with my intern adviser I had another list of things that I had to get done. One of them was making the slide images, and call to action buttons open in another tab. Now let me tell you, I thought that I would be able to do this in the CSS code. So I googled, and I googled, and I got a headache because nothing was working. Then I came across this wonderful website that explained to me why I couldn’t do this action in my CSS code, and why I could only do it in the HTML code. This is how I broke it down in my mind. Basically, you can only style your website in a CSS style sheet, but you can’t give your website rules here also. This is where the HTML coding comes in first place. I know I should’ve known this, but the target attribute is what specifies where to open the linked document. With this little information, I was able to make the slides open in another tab, and my images do the same.
Other than that, this past week I did a lot of CSS coding and a little PHP coding. O …..I almost forgot…let’s get into the PHP coding. When it came to the slider on the home page, I could not get this thing to open in another tab for nothing. Then I ran across this site in which gave me examples on how they manipulated the PHP code in WordPress. I went into the code editor, then through there I was able to go to the drop down menu on the top right to: Slider.php. In there, I was able to add the target attribute to the code in order for me to make the slider do what I wanted it to do. Even though I had to read through a lot of forums and websites to get here, I feel rejuvenated because I came, I sought, and I conquered….ok kind of corny, but can I just have a happy moment? lol J
I have made it to week 3. Time just flies! This week my sponsor got everyone from graphic design, marketing, and web-development together to critique the GREENLIGHTLOCAL.ORG site. During this meeting, everyone was allowed to speak their mind by saying what they liked and disliked about the site. At the end of this meeting I had 3 pages full of notes. This may seem like it was over-whelming, but this really was helpful because I had direction on what I needed to do. Of course everyone used their imagination on what they thought the site needed, but I was able to give my input on what would be best for the site when it came to SEO, and user-experience.
On April 20th, 2012, I attended WordCamp. This experience helped me to build up my knowledge when it came to making a WordPress site. During our meeting, I was able to tell my Sponsors why they shouldn’t have a Facebook feeder on a static WordPress page and much more. It’s crazy how knowledge can be sucked in and spit right back out.
This week I also learned about the SEO plugin for WordPress called: YOAST. This plug-in alone is so powerful that it can make anyone’s site SEO ready with just one plug-in. I also learned how to make a Word-Press theme. With all of these topics, I was also able to go back to my internship and finish all the task that were needed to get done, in a day. I love Word Camp. This week, I really felt like I was a part of GreenLightLocal, because we all worked together and listened to each others thoughts and criticism when it came to making the site better.
You’re now in there like swim wear
I’m now in week 2 and I finally know all of the people that work here by name. I was given a desk and a 2nd monitor so that I could work with Dual screens. Who knew that working with 2 screens could be so freaking awesome. I know I seem so naive, but honestly, the only other screen I have at home is my T.V and ..well..omg ..I could soooo like hook my T.V up to my computer. Just thought of that while typing this blog. lol Anyways, lets get back to the internship.
This week I was given task that would help me get better acquainted with the back-end development of the site. I had to: make a gallery for the team that would link to an attachment page with their information, display the clients in a neat way, display videos, create call to action buttons that will link to informational pages, find photos and display them on the non-profit page, and input content into the website while also making sure it’s correct from the word document that was sent to me. Trust me, this sounds easier said than done, and keep in mind, I’m still a beginner in WordPress, but guess what……I managed to get all of my task done. Go Arie, go Arie…ok sorry…had to let go for a second.
This is how I did it. No I didn’t have a fairy God mother that granted my wish. I had to grant my own wish by using Google.com. Yes I got help from forums, but no, I didn’t have all the time in the world to watch tutorials, so I had to figure it out myself. With the senior Web developer at the desk in the same room, I was able to ask him questions, but at the same time I wanted him to see how fast I can catch on by myself. I first had to figure out how to display all of the clients and their logos, but make sure that they linked to the correct pages.
I then looked up different widgets for 30 minutes and found this thumbnail slider. I then manipulated the CSS of this widget and I was able to make this slider fit on the homepage and link to certain URL’s. Then along the way of research, I found a great you tube video slider that used light box when the user clicked on the video. It seemed like I was connecting the dots as I completed task after task. With the gallery, I did a little research and I discovered that I could use the default gallery that WordPress Presented in the back-end dashboard, but edit whatever I wanted. To make my pictures link to the correct page, I had to install the widget:RPS Image Gallery. This widget helped me use the default WordPress gallery, but make it to when the user clicked the picture, they would be directed to an actual page that was created instead of the WordPress default attachment page. This alone made it easy for me to upload pictures, and link them to the correct page.
My last task was to create buttons that would link to different URLS. Now this took forever because my style sheet seemed like it wasn’t being read.I began to panic when I also saw that my index page wouldn’t refresh, and right then I thought….I broke the site. My heart instantly got heavy as my eyes began to water, but I had to remember that I was 22 years old and nobody cares about your feelings when it comes to the real world or jobs. SO, I sucked it up and I went to my mentor, he smiled and easily copied the default style sheet and pasted it. Everything was now working, and we found out that the problem came from me accidentally deleting some CSS code.Gosh, that was a close one.
When I sat back down and braced my self, I was able to get the widget working that showed your custom ad. With this widget, I was able to input my pictures, and link them to different URL’s. I also learned that I could show my pictures by using HTML and copy and pasting the path located in the media gallery that WordPress presents in the dashboard. I also learned how to make the new page open in a new tab. After this week, I feel like I learned more than I ever thought was possible to learn in one week. I can honestly say that WordPress held me captive until I put forth the effort of work that it took for me to get the job done.