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#100DaysOfCode Week 4 & 5

2 min read · September 16, 2017

Category: Web DevelopmentTagged with: #100DaysOfCodeJournal

After completing the Front End Certificate on Free Code Camp, it was on to the back end, which has proven to be an interesting challenge. I have been working on using NodeJS and Express to build out routing and basic APIs. I worked through the learning courses on Free Code Camp which were a bit harder to grasp and less informative than their other lessons, but I was able to work through them. I created the first couple API microservices: a timestamp microservice and a request header parser microservice. I started working through my url shortener project and have about half of it completed. It can receive a new url, tests that it is a valid url, and then creates a short ID which is saved to the database with the original url. I still need to build out retrieving the original url with the short url ID as well as build out the front end description. Entertainingly enough, I had a lot of fun building out the front end instructions for both API services and making them presentable and responsive. Front end continues to be my first love, but I am growing to appreciate the back end as well.

One resource that has been infinitely helpful to growing my understanding of Node, Express, and MongoDB has been Wes Bos' Learn Node course. It is 9.5 hours of in-depth tutorials and instructions on how to build a Node application, use layouts, controllers, authentication, etc. I had used Wes' React course to kickstart my understanding of React, and I think he does a great job of breaking down the learning process of complex topics. As I have progressed through the course I will occasionally pause the video and try to implement the solution before continuing to test my learning process. This has been an essential part of working with tutorials in my experience; just coding along can easily lead to not absorbing the concepts as deeply and struggling more when it comes time to build a project on my own. Another thing that I really appreciate about Wes' course is that the setup files for the project which have not been addressed in the video course much are heavily commented to help provide context and understanding to begin implementing these in my own work. I can definitely recommend his courses, as the two that I have participated and paid for are top-notch.

In other exciting news for my development journey I was accepted into a Chingu cohort where I will be working with a team to build out a project. I'm excited to have the opportunity to expand my experience into working with other people on a project, which will be great experience and valuable when I start applying for jobs. It is also exciting to be building another project. I still don't know exactly what we will be building, but it kicks off on Wednesday.

The 100 Days of Code challenge has been instrumental in continuing to press forward on my development journey. I continue to keep the end goal in sight--looking forward to the time when I can have a job doing what I love. Having this end goal and a timeframe to ideally reach it helps to provide perspective and maintain direction to continue moving the needle forward.