Tag Archives: JavaScript

Week 10 at The Iron Yard

This week I started my project for Demo Day and worked on it for most of the week. I was very pleased with the progress I made this week, and even more pleased with the fact that I was learning more ways to use JavaScript and ReactJS to build a web page. For example, I wanted to make a list from a string where the entries were separated by carriage returns. The method I first tried resulted in error messages. So I searched on Google for a technique that would work and was directed to stackoverflow.com, where I found an example that was similar to what I wanted to do. In particular, it suggested that the method be placed between the render and the return, instead of within the return. I did and it worked. I have searched Google for information on other techniques I have wanted to use, and have found it (and stackoverflow.com, among other online resources) to be helpful. I’ve also been using Trello to keep track of the features that I want to include and my progress on those features (those not started yet, those in progress, and those which have been completed).

I also made more progress on preparing an online “portfolio” of my work. I have three projects in place and visible (a chat function, an API call to the omdb media database, and a “guess a number” game), but need a unifying home page. That’s still in the beginning stages, but taking shape.

Our class took a field trip to Best Buy headquarters to talk to the web developers there. They gave us a tour and answered our questions. It was informative to learn about what sort of work they do, and what sort of knowledge and skills are required in their jobs. They’ve offered a place there for our Demo Day in September.

Continuing work on the Demo Day project next week. Still having fun!

Week 8 at The Iron Yard

We continued our work in React JavaScript this week, with an introduction to Horizon and RethinkDB to facilitate placing data on a web page. Our exercise this week was to develop a chat application. At the end of class on Tuesday, I was feeling discouraged because I had worked all afternoon and not made much progress with the code. However, by the end of class Wednesday, I was making significant progress, and on Thursday I was seeing satisfactory results.

There are still some subtleties in the code that I am working to grasp. However, I realized that while I may not understand everything completely at this point, I am gaining more familiarity with the code the more I work with it.

I also had some difficulties uploading code to GitHub; again, because of not realizing the ways that GitHub handles uploaded files. Fortunately, Jim (our instructor) was able to suggest the appropriate instructions to get things working again.

I also discussed my idea for my project for “Demo Day” with Jim, and was able to define some realistic goals.

Jim says one more week of lecture, and then we begin work on our graduation projects for “Demo Day.” This promises to be exciting.

Week 7 at The Iron Yard

We continued our work on React this week. Our activities included splitting our previously written JavaScript code (in earlier assignments) into Component modules, and learning web navigation using the Router tag. We also learned how to set up scripts to install webpack functionality, and how to reference fonts within React components. I’m impressed with the results of our coding exercises: we are building more and more sophisticated web pages.

When discussing our progress for the week, one of my fellow students remarked that the times when we think, “Oh, yes, we’re getting this” are often accompanied by thoughts of, “oh, no, this is really hard and will we ever understand this?” Certainly I have felt this way, though I know from past coding experience that eventually, yes, I will understand this, and having moments when I wonder if I ever will are part of the process (though undoubtedly frustrating at the time).

In any event, looking forward to seeing what we can build next week.

Web Documentation: Week Five at the Iron Yard

This week we had guest speakers. On Monday, the speaker covered the work environment for a developer (writing code for the web). Tuesday and Wednesday the speakers covered features of es6 (a 2015 update of JavaScript). Thursday the speaker covered debugging JavaScript code.

This week, a particular challenge I had was to place the code for an input box in the html file (and thus on the web page), capture the value entered into it on the web page, and transfer that value into JavaScript for processing. I spent hours (literally) searching the web for a procedure that would do it. I would follow the instructions and get error messages. I would repeatedly see comments saying “just do this” or “this would do it,” but they didn’t work, and the meaning was not clear to me. After numerous failures, I finally tried some simple input and capture code, as best as I could understand it. With the help of a classmate, Hunter Hawes, I finally got it working.

Here’s the process in brief:

In the html file, the following code places an input box with a submit button next to it on the web page. After the user enters data in that box and the user clicks on the submit button, the data is placed in the variable “number” and the function GuessNumber in the JavaScript file is called and run:

Enter number: <input type=”text” name=”number”>
<input type=”button” onClick=”GuessNumber()” value=”Submit”>

..which shows on the web page as:

Enter number:


In the JavaScript file, document.querySelector puts the value entered in the box on the web page (stored in the variable “number” from “input’) into the variable mybutton:

var mybutton = document.querySelector(“input”).value

..and one can proceed from there. Why this concept was nowhere explained in clear and concise language in the sites I visited is a mystery to me. I’m finding a lot of the coding documentation on the web is not well-written or clearly explained. It appears that a number of contributors may be proficient at writing code, but less proficient in writing explanatory prose. This can become a problem when researching information.

P.S. A direct, one-line JavaScript capture code does exist:

var guess = prompt(“Input number between 1 and 100”);

where guess captures the data entered into a pop-up box on the web page which is labeled “Input number between 1 and 100.” However, most users prefer to avoid a pop-up box, and there are other disadvantages as well. It will get the job done, but may not be the most efficient way to gather information on a web page.