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This summer I am focusing on my web-development skills by creating a website with search, login, animated images, and filtering capabilities. Whilst prior to my internship I only wanted to focus on the back-end I have found pleasure and a newly rooted passion in creating websites with HTML, CSS, and various JavaScript libraries. To take my skills further I will be learning some React on my own. I have a lot of knowledge of back-end languages like python, java, and C, but I have not yet been into web design and development frameworks.

What have I been doing so far?

I began learning HTML and the semantic side of it. Previously I looked at HTML code and was taken back by the complexity it seemed to create. How do I know where to add metadata, what tag to use, or what attributes I could even add? Two LinkedIn Learning courses later I began seeing the pattern and logic behind the semantic mark-up of a website. The aspects of accesibility of a website increased my interest and passion.

I spent time researching Aria roles that help to add semantical meaning to a website. The courses I took talked a lot about trying to avoid divs and span elements; however, once I began looking into CSS, the importance of divs and spans started to make sense. Sometimes there are design choices one wants to address that need a div to wrap around elements we want to target. However, I am trying to avoid using divs unnecessarily. The most important reason is the semantic information of a website for a person who needs extra help accessing the site.

Personal growth

At the end of my semester, I felt that coding is about working alone and figuring it out by yourself. I believed that there is a natural hierarchy and that working in teams is unnecessarily exhausting. Instead, I found comfort in working with a team, I found ways to practice being humble, and I found that I can learn so much from my peers.

I learned how to use GitHub in a more advanced manner, I learned the importance of version control, I have understood the importance of Jira, and understand the benefit of knowing how to find efficient solutions by looking at external libraries. I have so far been using snap.svg for animations and Split.js for web development. Whilst installing those to the project and beginning to use them, I started to wonder about the security and how the usage of external libraries could be made safer. What standards are there? How can we fight for some malware that can be hidden in between the code somewhere?

Just two weeks ago I was not able to express myself when it comes to GitHub, front-end development, or even talking about the industry of computer science. However, now I understand a lot about the industry, I feel comfortable working alone, and I value working in a team. I have found that success lies in working together, not competing. It is about solving a problem, not creating new ones by competing with each other.

Going forward

I will be looking into CSS and Bootstrap a little more. One of my teammates recommended creating our own HTML elements to increase orthogonality, so we are working on this now as well. I love the idea of seeing the results of our labor. I cannot wait to have login functionality, a search engine, and more animations. Did you know that even deciding what color palette to use and what part of an image to animate, you have to consider psychology? Every single element on a page has an effect, but what is the best way? Is there even the best way? Most likely it deeply depends on what you want to offer as a company.