2021 New Years Resolution

I’m a little late on this, but better late than never. For 2021, my goal is make sure I’m practicing my programming skills. Either by taking some training courses or just fiddling with personal projects. Noticed with 2020, I was dealing with depression which was really impacting my motivation. Still dealing with depression, but wasting my time isn’t doing me any favors. As another personal project, I finally started to learn how to play the guitar. Nothing to do with development, but I realized how much learning how to play the guitar was helping me feel more motivated.

Taking that same idea, I remember seeing a 100 Days of Code challenge on Twitter last year. Not going to necessarily commit to 100 days of coding specifically; but I’m going to work on fitting in some coding each week whenever I find myself just wasting time (which is quite a bit of time at the moment still). Something I did happen to catch while reading some of the posts was a link to Learn HTML5 and CSS3 From Scratch – Full Course YouTube training course shared via freeCodeCamp.org. I know I said I’m going to focus on C#; but considering I want to do web development, I need to also make sure I have a solid grasp of HTML and CSS for that front-end development. Won’t do me any good if I’m proficient in the back-end development if I don’t actually have a site to showcase anything.

The video is 11 hours and 30 minutes, so not going to blow through in one sitting. Just going to break it up into smaller sessions. Fortunately, the video itself is from a course that was originally broken up into small parts, and the the first pinned comment breaks up the timestamp for each section start. Will most of this is all a refresher so far, never hurts to re-review the basics to make sure I have them down. Made it through the first 15 parts today so far. I might watch more tonight; but if not, there is tomorrow. Just as long as I’m working on them consistently.

Fall 2020 School Update

So, finally wrapped up my final course for the year. Only one more year to go and I’ll finally have my bachelor’s degree. I have to say, my original focus heading into my bachelor’s program at DeVry wasn’t Web Development and Administration, but I’m happy that it is now. The primary reason I switched was because my original degree program went away while working on it. It was a degree program more focused on business application programming and was the closest to a pure programming course DeVry offered. When they updated all their IT degrees, they dropped that one and replaced it with something that would have resulted in pushing my progress back. The only course program at that time that wouldn’t result in delaying my progress was Web Development and Administration. A blessing in disguise to be honest.

With only four classes remaining, I have to say that I’m extremely comfortable with ASP.NET/C# website design. Chances are, there are still elements of ASP.NET that I haven’t been exposed to, but I can guarantee it won’t take me long to figure them out at this point. Just need an appropriate use case for me to play around with them. I learn so much better writing out code then just reading about it.

Next up, .NET Core MVC website design. A change from using Forms but looks interesting. That, and I’d rather get more familiar with architecture less platform dependent. The fact that .NET Core works across Windows, OSX, and Linux is far more appealing to me then limiting myself to just the .NET Framework and Windows. Not to say that knowledge is wasted; but I prefer the flexibility.

ASP.NET and Web Development

Been a while, but I can’t say I haven’t been busy. Getting oh so much closer to finally getting my bachelors degree in web development and administration. System administration with Windows I’ve got as that is one of my jobs at work. Web development has become interesting.

While I can work my way though HTLM and CSS, all of my advanced classes have been purely ASP.NET. I can’t completely complain considering I manage an ASP.NET site at work, but they are focusing more on the C# code-behind elements. I need to make sure I work more on my HTML5 and CSS skills, which I can use with ASP.NET. Will have to do that on my own time though.

I have to admit, learning ASP.NET has been fun at least, and very easy to get started with. Helps that I already know C# and I use C# at work; but those Web Forms make this so easy, in my opinion. Especially when using Web Forms and Visual Studio with the GUI. Granted, I remember Dreamweaver working similar, just been a while since I’ve used it.

At this point, I’ve built/worked on a few full ASP.NET websites. A bit rudimentary as these were for a class and they aren’t publicly accessible. So while I did implement user login and user access, it was very basic and not the most secure. Can’t imagine using a Session variable that holds “A” for administrator being all that secure. Not to mention, not enforcing a secure connection between the database when validating credentials is also not ideal. At least I’m aware so I know what not to do on a production site.

At least with all said and done, I can develop and maintain an ASP.NET website using C#. FYI, don’t ask about Visual Basic. I try to avoid that at all costs. Just not a fan of Visual Basic.

HTML and Centering Block Elements

Someday, I’ll eventually figure out how to properly position elements on a web page. Always seems like when I think I know what I’m doing, and then I get something that I just can’t seem to display where I want it to on a page.

Case in point, I was trying to center a <section> element that contained three images side-by-side horizontally. Had no issues getting the images to display how I wanted them in the element; but didn’t seem to matter what I did, I couldn’t get the <section> to center. Did some digging and found the most common answer I came across was to use this CSS style for the block elements like sections:

margin:auto;

So, I added this to the style for my <section> element containing the photos, and nothing. After looking at a few other examples, it finally clicked. Technically, my <section> element was “centered”. It just happened to be the full width of the page with the images left justified. Without defining a set width for the block element, it defaults to the full width of the page, not what is in it.

Sure, I could have tried to center the images within the block element, but still figured centering the block element would be easier. So, I set a defined a width for my <section>, just enough so the images remained side-by-side, and bingo. All three images are now centered in the page.

section.imgcenter {
    width:775px;
    margin:auto;
}

Granted, I then came across https://www.w3.org/Style/Examples/007/center.en.html, and thinking I could have just used left and margin-right styles set to 50% and -50% respectively to get the same effect. This just points out I have to keep in mind the default behavior of each element.