I am not a writer. Sometimes I like to think I am, but that’s hardly the case. These entries will serve as something of a record. Aside from my experiences at the Iron Yard, I’ll add content related to design and other aspects of my life (I’m also not a phillospher). I’m more than just a designer after all. Now that’s out of the way, let’s continue.
August.24 2015 was a big step on my path in the design field. I’ve worked in design before, but I’ve yearned for something more than the graphic design I’d been doing. On that day, I started The Iron Yard’s User Interface Design immersive. I made sure to do my research on this non-standard school. The Iron Yard is well recognized for it’s graduates, and I had difficulty finding negative experiences - from students and hiring managers alike.
Week one kicked off immediately with web development. Prior to The Iron Yard, I had minimal experience in web design. I had only used editors with WYSIWYG interfaces. Maybe I would add in a few lines of custom CSS after doing research and psyching myself up to realize a mistake could wreak havoc. Also, I had spent quite a few hours with Team Treehouse’ online learning courses.
I figured it would be a challenge, but it was harder than that. Hiking Pikes Peak quickly turned into an attempt to summit Everest. The shear amount that I learned about hand-coding a website was phenomenal. Every day it was new tags & attributes and properties & values. I felt I had a grip on it, and my code didn’t seem too bad. My first project was coming along, but it wasn’t there yet. I understood it needed to be responsive, and was ready for the next step. Media Queries.
Media queries, it turns out, are lovely bits of CSS to help your site adapt to various screen sizes. They help to shape the site to best suit the viewport. I spent my first weekend coding several break points and learning how to adapt a site to different screen sizes. It is an eye opening experience and built into our course was a lesson of why “Mobile First” is more than just a talking point.
Towards the end of the first week, I went to a meetup where I was introduced to SASS, or more specifically SCSS. Our instructor, Abby, gave a rundown of setting up SASS and was followed by Una Kravets showing the capability of SASS. I left with a firm understanding that this tool would revolutionize the way I’ll code CSS in the future.
We’re in the middle of week 2, and I’m working through SASS and grid systems. It’s a lot to onload so once my brain has cooled down I’ll get post two up.
There’s an uneasy feeling knowing that I’m just scratching the surface of web development. Understanding the concepts, technologies, and the people that work in those environments will be paramount to my success as a UI designer. We are just getting started, but one thing is clear — my education does not end in November. My appetite has returned and I plan to stay foolish and stay hungry.