Acting like a professional

I’d like to thank Google, copy-and-paste…

Let’s get real…we’re college students. Yes, life moves fast. Yes, the production class makes it easy to get behind. In the hustle and bustle of trying to keep up with learning code, make sure you don’t lose that ever-important professionalism that will, you know, lead from being a student to becoming employed.

Learning hard skills is time-consuming. Don’t negate the value of what you’ve learned with stupid mistakes.

Formatting your code

The beauty of code is its function as a language for development. Think about it: you wouldn’t read a novel that had hideous grammar and inconsistent formatting, nor would you take a class in a romance language from a professor who isn’t fluent. Code is a language, and how you set it up in your editor determines not only how effective your project is but also how easy life can be for an organized coder.

Think your very first original day one HTML document. When you use a tool like Brackets, you get to add the basic HTML skeleton with the click of a mouse. Brackets automatically puts different components, such as <head> tags and <div> tags, in different colors. WHITE SPACE IS FREE…it’s a good idea to space things out as much as possible, and introduce <!– comments –> above any new function you add to make it that much clearer.

Help you help yourself.

look at alllll those colors…even spacing…how nice

Consistent file and folder structure

We touched on this a bit on the Files and Folders page, but just in case you need a refresher…

…files and folders are still the foundation of everything.

It’s not a good idea to go throughout your lessons without organizing your work. Yes, you can create various .html and .css files all over your desktop (or at least all over DropBox). It really doesn’t take long to create a folder for each of your projects. Keep your .html file alone in your main folder, and then create separate folders for .css, .js, and image files.

Don’t forget how to direct links to these files, of course.

Commenting your code

This one is easy: keep it simple!

Comments are there mostly to help you out…remember what a specific action or div tag is for, categorize your code for those who might be learning from your code (or grading it)…and that’s it.

Comments are not for decoration.

They’re not subtitles.

And you don’t need too much of them. Over-communicating the purpose of your code doesn’t exactly spell confidence for your ability to write.

NOT stealing your images

nobody says it like a Bluth

Look…you and I both know that the above GIF is from a scene in Arrested Development. But what’s important for the purpose of this lesson is the little URL at the corner of the picture.

Do you see how it’s barely there? Yet it accomplishes so much. I don’t need to go on too long about the importance of keeping your image sources, and there are plenty of ways to search for license-free images (Google Images has a setting for this purpose).

Don’t assume that just because an image is there, it’s entirely up for grabs. Somebody owns it, and just as you wouldn’t want someone taking away your hours and hours of tedium and claiming something as their own, you should give credit where credit is due.