Creating Your Foundation

Posted by Flatiron School  /  June 14, 2013

The following is a guest post by Joshua Collins and originally appeared on his blog. Josh is currently a student at The Flatiron School. You can follow him on Twitter here.

The three-week crash course in learning about computer programming leveraging existing teaching tools.

Initial Greeting and Background

Greetings and welcome to my technical blog. This is my first blog (ever) so bear with me on the initial few posts until I find the rhythm. I am currently in the second week of my twelve-week epic journey as a student at The Flatiron School in New York City. At the end of this quest, I aim to have the skills and mindset to be a Ruby on Rails developer. Before jumping into the post, I wanted to give you some background on how I ended up in a fully immersive coding course and put everything else in my life on hold.

My first experience interacting with technology (outside of surfing the web) came after I graduated college and was embarking on my first startup. We came to a point where we could no longer afford to pay our development firm to update our website. I dove into DreamWeaver and started to learn the ins-and-outs of HTML and PHP. The experience was a rude awakening and the first time I desired to really know how to make things work from a development perspective… but that phase was limited and quickly forgotten.

A couple of years later, I launched my second venture where technology was our core offering. I was still on the management side but exposed to the technology aspect of the following: working with a developer, firing a developer, dumping the initial code, learning about project management, understanding the conceptual framework of building websites, databases, learning the importance of user flow and user interface design, finding bugs, fixing bugs, and finding more bugs. It was too much, and I was way in over my head. Many times through the process I muttered to myself, “If only I knew how to code…” I wouldn’t have had to depend on outside developers or initial seed-funding to get my ideas off the ground.

Fast forward a few more years, and I found myself looking to start another company. Since I had still not found my much-needed technical co-founder, I decided to take things into my own hands and enrolled in The Flatiron School. I was honored to be one of the few accepted. Before starting the semester, there was a plethora of prep-work that was required of the students, amounting to over 100 hours. Through this process I was exposed to many various tools online aimed at helping beginners grasp the concepts of coding.

My posts will be in three parts split into three weeks and will pull from the various resources that exist online. This blog is written for those who do not have an experience with web development. I hope to provide a solid foundation from which you will be able to dive further into learning other development frameworks such as Ruby, Python, PHP, etc.


The Basics

TopicSourceEst. Time

| Website Basics | Treehouse | 1 hr. |

| Graphic Basics | Treehouse | 30 min. |

| Learning Shortcuts | ShortcutFoo | TBD |

| Aesthetic Foundation | Treehouse | 2.5 hrs. |

| Technology Terms | Skillcrush | 1 hr. |

Command Line // Terminal // Bash

TopicSourceEst. Time

| Getting started with the Console | Treehouse | 1 hr. |

| Command Line Basics | Treehouse | 30 min. |

| Bash Basics | Lifehacker | 30 min. |

| Unix for Mac OS X | Lynda | 7 hrs. |


TopicSourceEst. Time

| Web Fundamentals (Focus on 1-3) | Codecademy | 4 hrs. |

| HTML | Treehouse | 8 hrs. |


TopicSourceEst. Time

| Web Fundamentals (Focus on 4-6) | Codecademy | 4 hrs. |

| CSS Foundations | Treehouse | 15 hrs. |

Week 1 Review Exercises

TopicSourceEst. Time

| 3 for 5 (HTML5 & CSS3) | Code School | 6 hrs. |

| Build a Simple Website | Treehouse | 6 hrs. |