Shameful But True: Me, One Year After

When one doesn’t blog for so long, it would seem nothing has happened. Au contraire, too much has. An update is not only fitting but required.

I’m actually planning to move house, and I have been moving bit by bit, that is. This blog, I mean. I bought a domain that I decided would deal with my technological life, and I would just transfer this whole thing in there manually. No other way but that.

Surprisingly, my web dev education has been coming along fairly well. Well, I sort of stopped studying Javascript in the middle of it due to some, ahem, personal issues, but I plan to pick it up as soon as I’m, err, able. So yes, my non-blogging is due to being busy, which is a good problem, isn’t it?

“Hello, It’s Me” – My E.Life after Post 1

(Oh, here’s that Post #1, by the way, to jog your memory.)

Oddly, my reason for writing after such a long gap is prompted by a bad note. Literally (sigh). For that to make sense, you have to read that part in my Post #1 about how someone’s crappy comment on my work became the impetus to my re-entering the IT world and learning anew. However, let me start with the bad part just to get it over with.

I ended up doing the same thing to someone (sigh). Was I happy about it, of course not.  There’s a part of me that loves to depict me as the sort of person who   just doesn’t care, but heck, I admit now  it’s not always true.  I do realize now that there are moments when I do speak my mind – and it’s to those who I feel can do more and be more than who they were at the time, but are stuck. That’s because I also went through and still go through insecure and unconfident times when I question my abilities, and wished someone would care enough to kick my behind when I do that.

Amusingly, though, today, I also realized an amazing thing. If you know you can do something because it’s already inherent in you, why then would I need to say, ‘Ah, I don’t think I can do it and I give up?’ Pretty logical eh. So I guess it could mean a few things. One, maybe I’m just lazy. Meep. Two, I’m being impeded by outside forces beyond my control. But that’s subject to contention, though. If it’s inherent in me, I probably can control it in some way.

Anyway, then, what’s the good part?

The web 2.0 I aimed for? I got there. In fact, I’m already  on Web 3.0 and progressing. I started from zero, and now, I not only know HTML5 and CSS3, I’m studying Jquery. One of my goals is to get into Ruby in the near future. I used to helplessly just watch programmers, drooling, and shrugging enviously – and now I discover than I can actually code like one. Sure, I have a long way to go.

But thank you, Nameless Disagreeable Dude, I shall never cease to thank you for your good taste (haha) and rejecting my ugly work. One of these days, I know I can surpass the website you deemed acceptable, but more than that, I know I will be working not only because of envy, but this time, for the sake of genuinely loving it.

Stuck x Block (+ E-bservations) = goodPost

Observation #1. I find it funny how my blog name ends up being associated with masonry, e.g., freemasonry, of which my theme is anything but. I don’t mind, though, if my e-words get all bound up by e-mortar (snigger).

Observation #2: I find it awesome as well that there is a JS grid layout library called Masonry. Cool. Would be nice to try and use that sometime in the future, as namesake.

This is actually meant to be a placeholder post of sorts – it makes me flip my lip whenever I see how much time has trickled by without me updating at least a bit. The truth is this (takes deep breath). After some months of feverish data gobbling and key tackling, I found myself, well, stuck. Everyone’s favorite work word.

In the old days, the ‘stuck’ thing used to terrify me. I thought I was unique in my suckiness. Not until my net reach got wider and learned to my relief that I’m not alone. It’s the kind of ‘stuck’ any creative or techie goes through every now and then when things just don’t work out the way you want them to.

So, as is my wont to be appreciative of those who value hard work and generosity, I appreciate those who write articles that address these issues, and do so in a real-world-setting way.

My Rebuttal To “Why Learning To Code Is So Darn Hard” – {by Jose Kemp}

How To Survive The Desert of Despair in Your Code-Learning Journey – {by Roberto Rocha}

I noticed that what they say about setting goals is indeed true, and I discovered that it was my problem as well, but that it wasn’t insurmountable (nor unusual). I got so caught up wanting to learn everything at once, so it’s a swift kick-in-the-posterior for me to start streamlining my vision, so to speak.

After all, no one who’s an expert today started out that way. They all began as newbies, too. It’s a path we all take. They say there’s a huge need for people in IT now and in the near future. Here’s hoping by then to be at least one of them.

Being Open To Change Rocks, Too.

The best kind of attitude, in my opinion, for those who work in technology is being open to change. If you quizzically thought “that’s common sense,” I thought so, too. That is, until I jumped into the developers’ world and observed that it isn’t so sometimes, so it seems. Being faced with this stark reality is a good thing for me, though. It gives balance to my otherwise utopian view that all IT personages skip and hop together all the time.

At the end of the day, I realized maybe the best way to go about it would depend on your own perspective. Your individuality may work for you. If I, for example, choose to develop a more adventurous outlook, with an eye open to new things and a brain receptive to change, then I think I’d learn more progressively and quickly. Rather than being nitpicky and jealous over others’ work, I’d ask and see “how did you do that.” I’m thinking maybe if I do that, I’d open more doors to opportunities and gain more friends.

Positivity, after all, is also good for my physical health. So yeah, I guess I’ll just do that. Here’s wishing everyone a good day today, by the way. Hope your code validates. Tech version of “live long and prosper”? Haha.

Helping Each Other and Giving Back Rocks.

There was once a time when every little thing on a website needed to be done manually. All programmers did was teach you how to start HTML (CSS was a bonus) and it’s “You’re on your own, kid.” Nowadays, all one has to do is google-search and there’s a solution for even the tiniest element or function.

Not only do you HTML5 (yes, I’m using that as a verb), you can also SASS or LESS the CSS (still using them as verbs). Not only can you self-layout, you can sometimes grab a boilerplate to act as a complete guide. Even a simple button link can be instantly generated by a good number of sites that offer such service.

I stopped coding right now just to write this post and toss a bit of a “thank you” to the programming community with a heart to give back to us aspirants. In the future, when we are much more able, we promise to give back the same way you did.

Strange Things Do Happen

Been just mucking around (flipping my lip) for the past couple of months since I decided (see 1st post) to do some serious study. #confessiontime. Something strange happened, though. Give take 2-3 weeks ago, I found a coding course which I never expected to finish at all.

I ended up, not only finishing it in record time – a week, I think – but the knowledge base got me started on my own other projects. New or old needing upgrading. Wha. What happened to me.

Although I wrote this post for documentation purposes, deep down, I want to remember how it got to me emotionally as well (sniff#sob). I think I’m getting past the funk I was in earlier and am grateful.

E-Life 1.0, and Onto 2.0

It all started with “I don’t like it” and I cried. Okay, I just a shed a tear. Or two. Hey, web design isn’t easy, you know.

I lived a life during Web 1.0. “Oh, so that’s what it’s called.” I didn’t even know that was the name for it, to be honest, until today when I did some research. (You can shimmy on down to this Web 2.0 Wikipedia entry and read the Web 1.0 part to get a better handle of what I’m talking about). After tiring of chats, I had one other preoccupation – I envied many a friend’s website secretly.

You’d be surprised that the sheer creativity of these guys. All that image slicing and html’ing. I marveled at how they were able to stretch and explore possibilities from such limited resources. I praised and complimented until I could take it no more and asked one of those friends, “how the heck do you do it?” To my surprise, she smiled and said, “I’ll teach you.” That, my friends, began my wild and wondrous adventure into the world of website design and development.

Unfortunately, I was pretty lazy. Lazy and coding don’t mix. After 20 years (has it been really that long), it’s only now I realized how much I missed a lot of things (sigh). One of which was, I wish I had the patience back then. I could’ve had something done then by now. To make a long story short, it was that nostalgia that made me long to begin again. We can never turn back time, I’m aware. I think it’s not too late, though, is it?

Continue reading “E-Life 1.0, and Onto 2.0”

On The Real Fun of Learning

Lately, I’ve been running into this quote a lot from some facebook pages who post it in their status.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

I’m not a fan of self help (nor of Zig Ziglar) but it sort of struck a chord in me because I recently stumbled on a video that presumably wants to help beginners in web development. Presumably so, because the speaker claims that “oh it’s easy” but rattles off stuff even I with some background hardly understood. I’ll try to be understanding and think that maybe that’s just his way but personally, that doesn’t seem to be very motivating.

I enjoy learning, I want to learn. However, unlike some people, I’m not unrealistic. I personally believe that learning is a process where you start from the very basic – which is sometimes nothing – and eventually, you climb your way up. Step by step. And yes, brick by brick.

This excerpt was taken from its Wikipedia entry : “Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. … Masonry is generally a highly durable form of construction. However, the materials used, the quality of the mortar and workmanship, and the pattern in which the units are assembled can significantly affect the durability of the overall masonry construction. A person who constructs masonry is called a mason, or bricklayer.”

The description is pretty straightforward, but if we apply the idea onto a different field, that is, the theme that goes into what my blog’s about, it does seem sound. No pun intended. You know, foundation, sound, err, anyway.

So the idea I cooked up of how learning technology is similar to masonry – and in this case, “e-masonry” (which is just an invented term, by the way, I don’t think there’s such a thing) – comes from just my basic desire to learn. As time passes, I shall then document my progress and see where it gets me.

My Barbaric Yawp

workEverything began when I was looking for a blog concept (as I said) and came across the phrase “hammer and tongs.” I thought it’d be a good one, considering my persistent novicehood (sic) in technology in general. I end up having to constantly start over and over when it comes to learning, studying or grinding anything that has to do with the computer. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just bottomline e-dumb. (I also suffer from a form of cyber-belatednes syndrome. Sic to that, too.)

Anyway. From what I read, ‘hammer & tongs’ meant something like, to work really hard on something with physical effort, and I thought it seemed spot on with what I had in mind. Until I saw an entry about it in the Urban Dictionary. If you’re familiar with this repository, you surely know what I mean when I say the phrase is also used to mean something taboo in nature. Icks. Since I want to stick to a GP rating, I’ll skip that.

However, I still wanted the concept of manual labor. So when I chanced upon a German word, “der Maurer,” which meant mason or brick layer, I thought, hey, that’s safer (whew). I should add as well that my blog has nothing to do with masonry a.k.a. that strange society. Or that javascript grid thing, which I discovered from Google, err.

I’ve always wanted to create a blog strictly related to IT and tech, and so, yey to me now that I have. My basic purpose, actually, is to document my daily life as a blue collar e-mason. Oh, the struggle of gurgling at the bottom of the cyberfood chain, being (mal)treated as an e-amoeba spitball, and oh, the challenge of how I could rise up from that virtual cesspool, to a place of some decent (and hard) flooring, at least.

So, um, please join me as I take my trowel (and towel) and lay the foundation of my study, brick by excruciating brick (weep).