I’ve Cracked the Code, Please Call Tech Support- Episode 16, Heir to the Express.js

New class has begun! With December now officially here , the holiday season brings a new class with it. This go around we are learning more about the backend, using and creating APIs, as well as database management. Basically the flip side of the coin. It’s going to be interesting!

  1. How do you organize your code? What are some suggestions you find on the web?

The main way that I organize my code is via comments. No matter what type of file (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) comments are crucial to keeping your head straight when coding. This way, no matter when you revisit your code, you can see where your mind was at when you wrote it.

Strategies on the web include containing your entire project within one directory, carefully choosing file names, and writing ReadMe files in order to keep everything clean and simple.

2. Can you describe your workflow when you create a web page or web app?

The first step is always to white-board the project. What do I want the page to do? What are the basic steps that I need the computer to perform in order to accomplish it? What do I want it to ultimately look like?

Once that’s done, then I usually try to start writing whichever step will be the most helpful for my brain to put the pieces together. Do I have a strong idea of what it’s going to look like already? If so, I start with the JavaScript, and make sure that my more in depth tasks can be accomplished.

If I don’t have a clear idea, sometimes I start out with the HTML. This may not be normal practice, but sometimes the act of getting some code down will help me to focus and work through problems that I don’t even realize are problems yet.

3. You can’t work out how to solve a coding problem, where do you find the answer? Why? How do you know?

As mentioned above, sometimes I’ll just start coding. Again, maybe not the typical efficient workflow, but it shakes out the cobwebs and often gives me a direction.

If I’m really stumped, I’ll search the problem via Google and go to trusted sources, like Stack Overflow. This site allows people to submit questions, and members of the community will answer. They also have a voting system, so the best answers float to the top.

If I’m still having an issue, I’ll ask my fellow coders. Even if we don’t immediately know what the answer is, we can work through it as a team.

4. What problems have you solved that didn’t involve coding?

Sometimes problems can be solved just during the whiteboarding process. Rather than sitting in VS Code and clacking away at the problem, you can sit with a whiteboard or a piece of paper and write out what you want to do, in plain English. By doing this you can see if there is a roadblock in the way that you’re thinking, rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

5. Talk about your preferred development environment. (What IDE or text editor you enjoy, and why?)

I’ve really fallen in love with VS Code. It’s cleanly laid out, you can a ton of extensions to increase your productivity, and (most importantly), it just works. You don’t have to keep fiddling with basic stuff to get everything going. Add in predictive text and Live Server, and you basically have the perfect coding environment.

6. How are you keeping up with the latest developments in web development?

During class, our professor has been great about providing links to various tech topics, and showing us the ropes. In addition, there are apps and extensions such as daily.dev which will aggregate many current tech stories. Honestly even sites like Reddit can be a great resource, provided you go to the right subreddits. r/learnprogramming has given me a lot to research!