Merry Christmas! As you can see from Zach, Francesca, Veronica, and Eliza’s posts, we’re all equally busy preparing ourselves for the thrilling upcoming semester of building Ivanhoe. Like my fellow Fellows, I too will be practicing my HTML, CSS, and PHP, because as project manager I need to understand the challenges the group faces in coding and designing Ivanhoe. (I also find these computing languages fun–so why not?) Besides this practice, I am currently in the process of coordinating a group post for New Year’s Day–perhaps with flashing dinosaurs. This post will show off some of our new CSS skills–and hopefully some PHP. So stay tuned.
Although things have calmed down a bit now, before leaving Charlottesville for Winter Break, I had several very busy days in the Scholars’ Lab meeting with Bethany, Jeremy, and Wayne about various project management issues. Bethany schooled me in being an administrator on the SLab WordPress site–a skill I’m now wielding in publishing Praxers’ blog posts. Eliza described our meeting with Jeremy to wire-frame Ivanhoe in HTML. To do this, we needed a tutorial on collaborating in GitHub–cloning, pulling, pushing, forking, etc. Wayne and Jeremy both advised me in laying out a schedule for Ivanhoe construction next semester (more on this in the Spring). Finally, I compared Doodle Polls for all Scholars’ Lab and Praxis people, sent a flurry of emails to coordinate meeting times for next semester, and–laptop in tow–drove home to Charlotte, where I now sit contentedly drinking a glass of eggnog.
I will be working to familiarize myself with WordPress, as well as gain proficiency in setting up GitHub repositories and coordinating collaboration on Git. Our team’s New Year’s post will be the result of my first self-organized Git project! Setting that up took quite a while, involving a combination of recall from Jeremy’s lessons and trial-and-error before I successfully created a repository that would display as a webpage which our whole team could work on. (Veronica mentioned that learning PHP involved breaking things; well, I set up and deleted three different repos before achieving success.) I also needed to describe the process of cloning a Git repo to a teammate who had been absent for Jeremy’s lesson but would need to clone over break. Teaching something is truly the best way of solidifying your own learning, which is convenient, as I have a number of friends who want me to teach them HTML over the holidays for the purposes of building their own professional web pages. To all coders everywhere, teach your friends, and spread the joy in this festive time of year!
So ultimately, my break is about learning a multitude of bits of computer/coding knowledge so that I can be competent in prioritizing, scheduling, and reporting back on our progress next semester. I look forward to cracking CSS with my chestnuts, HTML with my hazelnuts, PHP with my pecans, and WordPress with my walnuts as I work through my mixed bag of skills–and nuts!–this winter.