Week on The Web #1: Learning Front-End Development & Cryptocurrencies

Diving into Front-End Development

FreeCodeCamp has a great way of teaching you how to code. It uses the “learn by doing” method. You can actually obtain certifications upon completion. They are all free and you do not need to pay a cent. They do ask you to donate on occasion, but you do not have to. However, I suspect if you do end up finding a job doing Front-End Development than giving them some money for the hard work that they do is very important.

I’ve completed three parts to their Front-End Development certification. Most of this was brush up for me, but it did help to put into perspective a few things that have confused me in the past. There are a few things I’d like to recommend they add. If they are going to help us learn by doing, it would also help to have us ingrain the knowledge of proper terminology. As right now, I sit here. I remember the names of some things, but it would help to solidify that knowledge with a quiz on the terminology. There are quite a few to learn along the way such as tags, elements, attributes, id’s, classes.

However, I realize that they also expect you not to just use them as your only source of learning. So for other aspects, I’ve been using W3Schools to basically fill in the gaps. FreeCodeCamp, mentions best practices along the way but does nothing to really make them stick in your head though. Maybe I should have been taking notes, yeah probably. They emphasize learning Bootstrap, but I learned back when it didn’t exist and I prefer to make my own CSS and styling, however, the good thing about Bootstrap is it is pretty widely used and therefore, very relevant to today’s Front-End Developers.

The next best resource I already mentioned, but since part of obtaining your certification (project portion) is making a tribute page I needed a place where I could reference all the Bootstrap classes that can be used. At W3 Schools, they have a complete list of all bootstrap classes. Thank goodness! I don’t remember there ever being a link during the FreeCodeCamp classes that actually referenced somewhere with a complete list. Thankfully, Google and I have been friends for quite some time and I just did a simple search for “printable list of bootstrap classes”.

Working in the FreeCodeCamp environment leaves you feeling a little at a loss for all of the information that needs to be actually put into your documents to reference the bootstrap framework libraries. Because their back-end deals with these, you are left feeling a little odd when you know that there should be code in your document that clearly isn’t there.

Add the following between your <head></head> tags near the top of your HTML document.

  • Link to reference bootstrap CSS: :
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/css/bootstrap.min.css">
  • Link to reference jQuery:
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/css/bootstrap.min.css">
  • Link to reference Javascript:
     <script src="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/js/bootstrap.min.js"></script>

Google Fonts API is not required, but during many examples on FreeCodeCamp, it is used.

  • Link to the Google Fonts API:
    <link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family='[Insert Font Name]' rel='stylesheet'>

Learning to code (again), was the primary focus of this week. I’ve have gotten pretty far in creating the required “Tribute” page project.

Gaining Interest in Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have basically become a new area of learning for me. The subject is vast, full of scams and legit opportunities. I’ve been reading the Altucher Report where he started the Crypto Corner in his monthly newsletter, his first breakdown goes into explaining how and why they were made. I have very little knowledge in this realm at all, so it was nice to understand the advantages of crypto currency. Anonymity is a strong reason for its creation, and I imagine a fear for many who feel safe with the current monetary systems across the world. I suspect those who fear terrorism and other nefarious causes might hate cryptocurrency for the exact same reason others feel compelled to use it.

Sure, there is a criminal element cryptocurrency, but there is in paper money too. At least with cryptocurrency, there is no possibility of forgery, as they are decentralized (do not go through handling by a third-party along the way). One person sends some currency directly from one person to another. No banks, no federal reserve, no human error component no sniffing by CIA, NSA, etc. Supposedly, there is money to be had to invest in these. I’m not yet able to do so, nor do I yet feel I have the knowledge to ascertain whether a particular currency is more than just a Ponzi scheme right now.

A Few Great Reads

Farnham Street is a great place for people with brains who love to consume knowledge, they recently published this article,  The Trojan Horse: How Marketers, Retailers, and Artists Conceal Their True Intents (11-minute read). It gives you great insight using the Trojan Horse myth/legend as a mental model that explains how good marketing works. I subscribe to their newsletter. To see what you might get in yours, check out their best articles, then decide if you want to subscribe to their newsletter ‘Brain Food‘.

Plant Paradox is a new book by Steven R. Gundry, M.D. It explores and exposes how plants possess the ability to wreck chemical warfare on the body through proteins called Lectins. Gluten is a lectin, but he asserts that it is not the only problematic one. Dr. Gundry bases his recommendations on what has worked in his clinical practice for other ‘canaries’, a term Dr. Gundry uses to describe people who are extremely lectin reactive and as such, have multiple health conditions. Like many other books in the area of health and diet, his book does come with a diet plan.

Aside from Dr. Gundry’s book, a good article explaining some aspects of lectins is contained in this article from Superfoodly titled: “These 50 Foods Are High in Lectins: Avoidance or Not?“. It has some very useful diagrams to visually understand the how lectins work. It is important to understand, that until you read this book, it might seem as if Gundry is saying all lectins are bad. That is not the case, he is pointing out the lectins that cause inflammation in humans.

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Kitchener, Ontario

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