Foundations

Blueberry smoothie and a page from Eloquent Javascript
My typical workspace. Blueberry smoothie and a smoothie-stained printout of Eloquent Javascript.

I recently completed Week 3 of Foundations, which is the remote course that makes up the beginning of the Grace Hopper curriculum. We are spending this time building a strong foundation of knowledge so that we can get started right away with the tougher and more interesting stuff when we arrive on campus.

In order to be accepted at Grace Hopper, you already have to have a pretty good grasp of the basics of programming (loops, arrays, functions, recursion) and be confident enough in your abilities to complete some tricky challenges in a timed test. So far in Foundations, we have reviewed those topics on a much deeper level than I originally learned them. I thought I knew what an array could do, for example, but I had only scratched the surface before now. The major themes so far have been object-oriented programming and inheritance, but I’m not going to try to explain that here, check out my links if you’re curious!

The structure of the online course is a combination of videos recorded by Grace Hopper and Fullstack Academy instructors, followed by coding challenges. One recent coding challenge involved rewriting some common methods that are built into JavaScript, which I found to be a really helpful exercise. There are also a number of outside resources that we are expected to complete. We all have access to Codeschool, which is an extremely informative (if a little dry) tool for learning a variety of coding skills. Codeschool has been our main source for lessons on HTML/CSS, and even though I thought I was relatively experienced in that area, I still learned a lot from the tutorials.

The foundations instructors have been very responsive and helpful. There is an online forum where we can communicate with them as well as with fellow students, and I’ve been able to get all my questions answered pretty quickly.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed foundations a great deal, but I can’t wait to get on campus and start learning around other people who will shame me if I spend too much time on Facebook or take a break to watch 3 episodes of Sex and the City.

p.s. One of our assignments was to make a simple guessing game to practice our html/css. I find it weirdly fun to play. Check mine out here!

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