My first project and how to pick yours

My experience making a blog and how to pick your first project

09 - 20 - 19

To start I would like to suggest that you make a GitHub. If you've already done this, skip to the next paragraph. For those who don't know, Git/GitHub is the most widely use “version control system” currently available. A version control system is a way to save a project in one place and have multiple people work on it without breaking the whole thing. Again, I highly suggest making a GitHub account and spending a day learning how it works. I will supply resources at the bottom of the article.

Once you have a GitHub it is time to start your project. Create it on GitHub and clone it to your computer. When I made my portfolio I implemented a blog into it; so naturally I decided my first project would be to make the blog into its own thing. Having learned a little bit of HTML and CSS, I decided it was time to learn JavaScript. Lucky for me I had learned Java in college so making the switch wasn't terribly difficult. JavaScript is what makes websites into interactive programs rather than static data displays. This will likely be the hardest part of your journey into software development but the payoff is huge.

How should you pick your first project? Well, the goal is to make it interactive. A classic pick is a shopping list with an input form and a submit button that adds an item to a shopping list. Another idea is making a “night mode” for your portfolio where you click a button and the background/text changes color. Anything that involves the user interacting with the website through JavaScript. A blog was an interesting pick for me. Without knowing what a single-page-application was, I essentially made one out of vanilla JavaScript which made it load instantaneously. Not only did I get to practice a little JavaScript but my website also got faster which was cool.

After I had a working blog that used JavaScript I decided to go back to my portfolio and make some changes, add features, and of course, add the blog to my list of projects. I kept improving my two creations through design and features. In my next blog post I will be talking about my experience learning real front-end development skills like design. Thanks for reading.

GitHub guides
Brad Traversy's JavaScript crash course
Codecademy's JavaScript course
Project ideas from Reddit