Boolean Coding Week 2024: Going back to basics

Digital bear Morgan got involved in the Boolean Coding week; to brush up her skills and have some fun with friends by introducing them to the world of HTML, CSS and Javascript.
Tags: Coding, The bears

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I’ve been coding since I was 2012, and really started getting into it more in 2016 when I started my A-levels. At university, I was coding in HTML, CSS and Javascript, and then moved on to learning frameworks such as PHP Laravel and Ember.js. Throughout university, all projects were hand coded which took hours of my time and meant my coding skills were sharp!

Since then, due to the beauty of page builders, gone are the days are coding your website from scratch (Unless you want to flex your skills) – we want to make websites that anyone can use and edit as they need.

I decided to get involved with Boolean Coding Week, a free week of coding session of low level HTML, CSS and Javascript, to help refresh my knowledge and introduce some friends to the world of web development.

A rundown of the week

Day 1

The first lesson was ultimately a bit of a ‘yes, I know’ session. But it was fun to see how my friends interacted and people responding to the code the exact same way I did all those years ago. The frustration of it not working and the euphoria of ‘Oh my god it works!’,

This session was all about HTML and CSS and a very brief introduction at that – this course is more a teaser trailer for their paid for courses. I was a bit concerned when we started putting div’s everywhere, however after we got the initial structure down, the instructor went back and explained semantic HTML – this is a lot more user friendly as a developer, and screen reader friendly. So plus 1 to Boolean Coding Week!

Day 2

The next session was all about Minesweeper. We made a very low level version – a grid of 100 cells, you click until you hit a bomb, the bomb ends the turn. There was none of the flag dropping, and none of the numbers around the the bomb, or the flooding of the ‘right cells’, but I wouldn’t expect to in a single 2 hour session.

This again, was a lot of information I already knew, but it was still fun to play around with the javascript, create different variations on mine sweeper. It’s motivated me to try and keep up with coding a bit more as pure JavaScript I can sometimes get a bit rusty off the top of my head – Thank god for documentation!

Day 3 – How to be a Software Engineer

The thirds session was about all about how to become a software developer. I wasn’t too interested in this workshop, but I actually was more active in the community discord on this day. People had lots of questions on how to get into different areas, so anything to do with web development or UX design, I was more than happy to share my knowledge on how to I got to where I am today and how others can make those steps too!

Day 4 – Finishing off Minesweeper and Sticker Stacker

This day brought out the competitive side of me and my friendship group. The sticker stacker game involved blocks going back and forth on the screen, and you click a button to place a block on that tower. The aim of the game is too get the high score, but the back and forth goes faster and faster.

Once me and my friends got the basics down we turned it into a competition. Who could stack the longest with the blocks moving ridiculously fast. It was ridiculous but it was a great time. It sparked that feeling of fun again in coding, and whilst yes we can make methodical and thought out websites and software, but we can also just, be silly and ridiculous and not have to take it so seriously.

Day 5 – Final game

The final session was about making ‘Ducker’ – the game where the duck crosses the road and you have to avoid the car. This was putting together all our knowledge that was given throughout the week, and then put it into one game.

Again, me and my friends had fun, putting silly sprites on the duck, seeing how wild we could make the game. It truly was like we were kids in nursery, moulding the play dough into anything we wanted it to be. It was just wholesome, silly fun.

Reflection on the week

I took the quiz from Emily’s blog about The Power of Play and I got the Explorer, which mean I want to know and understand, and I love to learn. So it makes sense that going back to basics, where there’s a potential untapped learning opportunity was so fun!

Whilst I spent most of the week already knowing what was going, it reignited that child-like wonder that I had when I was 12 years old and making my first website in IT class on Dreamweaver (It was for Evanescence’s 2011 release of their album “Evanescence” which I was obsessed with).

As professionals, it’s easy to think that you already know everything and it is “beneath” you to even entertain the idea of a “back to basics” course. But I say it’s time to put the ego away, and just have some fun!

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