I started learning computer science / programming a year ago (December 2010). This past week, I've built two very different web apps and everything is clicking.
I'll write more posts on the apps when I launch them but one enables people to give away cool product/app/website ideas and the other (in collaboration with Chris Maury) is a data visualizer for Reddit users (shows them what subreddits give them the most Karma).
I built both projects in Node.JS and used these other tools:
- Express (MVC framework for Node)
- MongoDB (NoSQL database)
- D3 (data visualization tool)
- Twitter's Bootstrap (web design)
- Jade, Stylus and countless other Node plugins
A few techniques I've picked up along the way
- Using (and understanding!) callbacks in Node for asynchronous functions
- Using http.request() to pull JSON from Reddit and using recursion to keep getting info from Reddit (this was fun!)
- Creating/transforming JSON objects into the perfect form for data viz
- Intermediate jQuery for all sorts of DOM manipulation
- Quickly digging through documentation to understand 3rd party modules
- Using GitHub (for collaboration w/ Chris)
Everything is clicking and it feels great. I've had a lot of fun and now feel like I can build just about anything I dream up.
It's hard to believe it's already been a year of coding... can't wait to see what I learn in the next one.
Stay tuned for posts when I launch the new projects... They'll also be up on GitHub.
Update: you can find the post about the Karma App here