Olivia Massaro


Reflections


Writing for Code vs. Writing for Print

Writing for code differs from writing for other purposes, whether they be essay-oriented, writing for social media platforms, or blog style pieces. While I am writing for a professor in the modes listed prior, it has been a challenge to find a fluent way to communicate professionally on the basis of code. In terms of the portfolio projects that I have included on the page, I have two separate descriptions for each item. The first is a short, one-to-two sentence synopsis about the project. My initial goal was to be efficient in description and compelling in a hook statement. I love when there are quick-wit and caption-like lines to pull the audience's eye. I am more inclined to continue in an article, when there is a short tagline beforehand, therefore, this was definitely an element that I thought would be worthy to enforce on my site. The second portion of each write-up comes after you click on the portfolio project image. I felt that having the lengthier and more in-depth text on a separate page contributed well to the clean design of the initial portfolio page. As I continued to explore blogger’s websites, I found that too many words on home pages turned me off from the post altogether. As I was coding for my own personal page, I wanted each project to get their own linked window where I had the freedom to develop on the design process. As I elaborated in paragraph form I found I was reconnecting with writing for print and in an informative tone. I find that transitioning between these two styles can make for a page that is full of literary variety. I think that including the paragraph style was helpful in achieving a description that the audience needed for the project.

In terms of coding in the Main CSS listicle style, I see that this has similarities to the organization that goes into the prewriting process. By this I mean, before writing a piece for a professor or print, I typically have another document with a list of what the paper needs, such as introduction, body paragraphs and conclusions. Within each of these elements is another list with necessary links for textual support, main ideas, and a hook statement. The correlation that this shares with code, is that under each main element, such as {p}, {img}, or {figure}, there is also code that is necessary for the appearance of the page. This partnership of the main and supporting code is a direct link to the main ideas and supporting points of my usual pieces of writing.

Writing for code has opened a new channel for the way I approach, organize, and articulate writing for the web and writing for print. I find that it has been helpful to thus far been able to practice each for the means of my website as well as how I will approach writing in the future.

Progress Up To This Point

I have developed a keen interest in developing my code on a weekly basis thanks to a few things. In light of this crazy virus, class has permanently shifted to weekly Zoom meetings with Bill for 10 minutes. Not only is the one-on-one support much easier than asking vague questions in class, but being able to share the screen has worked out beautifully in my favor. These brief meetings are also a great forcing factor for me to really be on top of the code. It’s one thing to make up random questions to pass time of the meeting by, but it’s another to really take advantage of the narrow time slot with real questions. I have resolved 100% of my issues one on one in that time with Bill. This is something that I have not taken advantage of before the midterm. Open coding is essentially the same thing which I have also taken advantage of in this leg of the semester. Throughout the week, after my initial meeting, I will continue to code and curate questions to ask in open coding sessions.

The second thing that I have carried over from the first leg, is teaching other students how to advance their code in simple ways. Coding is tricky if you let it sit untouched for a while, therefore, catching students and friends up to speed has been helpful for them and even more helpful for myself. I am a firm believer that if you teach, you learn more yourself as well. Facetiming friends late at midnight has also been a helpful tool. I found someone that also works most efficiently at that time and we can really bang the code out. My sleep schedule doesn’t thank me as much but that’s ok!

Our story of learning has also boosted my drive for my weekly coding checkpoints. I want real tangible experience to flood my reflections and the only way to do that is with trial and error code to report from the week. This has been a great way to track my progress and set realistic goals for the following weeks' work. This will also save me towards the final reflection project in more ways than one. Maintaining this blogging skill is imperative for my overall grade but honestly, boosts the progress for my site and its physical appearance. I have made tons of stylistic revisions based off of what I see from previous screenshotted images included in earlier updates. If time permitted, I would have added some hyperlinks to the longer written portions however, this seemed to have gotten thrown at the bottom of the pile. As I learned how to embed videos and link my portfolio projects to another window, this may be something that I consider adding later.

I think that I stand closer to the top of the class in confidence and cleanliness of my page. I will always admit there is always room for improvement and can say that I have a long way to go until the overall site feels complete. However, I feel a lot more well-rounded in terms of the portfolio page and it’s appearance since mid term. I have finally found a more professional approach in terms of my design as it is closer to my design persona than I thought. I cut most of the green design elements which has made all of the difference...thanks Bill! In terms of coding I think that I understand how to manipulate code for main css and portfolio html but i need to get more comfortable with the div classes and how to use those exactly.