I’ve Cracked The Code, Please Call Tech Support- Episode 2, Attack of the Git Clones

With September starting to leave us, my Full-Stack Development course training has begun in earnest. I haven’t even broken anything yet!

Well, that’s not true. I’ve broken a lot of things. But I have not broken anything permanently! So that’s good.

  1. Describe one thing that you learned today.

One of the most important things to learn when coding is not just how to code on your computer, but also how to make sure that you don’t “fix” your code to the point of it being permanently busted.

This is where version control comes in. The basic idea is that by documenting when and how you adjusted part of your code, you can know exactly where to go if something breaks.

There is a handy little program called Git which allows us to do a few different things very effectively. You might have heard of a site called GitHub. Using this site, we can store a version of our code in the cloud, leaving us free to experiment with a separate build on our computer. The Git program allows us to upload our code to GitHub, upload or download any changes that are made, and (most importantly to me) lets us keep notes on any and all changes that we make.

This way, Future Me knows exactly who to blame when Past Me breaks something.

2. Describe 2 (your choice) pseudo-selectors and discuss what they are used for.

Pseudo-selectors (a.k.a. pseudo classes) are actually really fun! These allow you to change what certain specific elements look like on your web page, sometimes when particular actions are taken. That doesn’t explain things very well. Hmm. Examples!

Let’s say you have a link on your website, and you really want someone to click it. You could make that link really pretty using normal CSS. That’s fine. OR you could make it do awesome stuff when you hover over it.

By using the pseudo-class :hover on the link element, you can set that link to change different colors, even bounce (my personal favorite) when the user hovers over the link with their mouse! I imagine this makes the link much more enticing to click.

You can change language settings for specific characters in words, select only the first images in your paragraphs, hide text until it is hovered over…these give you tons of options for your page.

3. What are some of the “gotchas”/epiphanies you’ve had for writing efficient CSS? However your heart tells you.

Honestly one of the best epiphanies that I’ve had for writing efficient CSS comes from looking at my work in a different way.

Google Chrome is a pretty interesting program (as far as web browsers go) and it has a very nifty feature: Inspect. This is a way to view all of the code that programs a website right from Chrome. Go ahead, you can try it! All you need to do is right-click and choose “Inspect”. All that weird script? That’s code!

So, I was having a big issue trying to get a button on my Portfolio to stay the right size. No matter what I seemed to do, the button would squish too small and the text would bust out of it. But, by inspecting the page in Chrome, I was able to view the Box Model of the button, and finally remembered that I could tell the button to scale automatically.

The “gotcha” moment came a short time later when I realized this same trick would not immediately work on my navigation buttons. The search continues.