My wife and I are going to Europe in a few weeks! I'm beyond excited and a tad overwhelmed. We bought the tickets back in October, before I knew I would be attending code school. And since I have been studying and coding for the last 4 months, I haven't planned the trip at all!

Author's profile picture Jacob Burkhart

A Code School Graduate

I graduated from The Iron Yard code school last Friday! It’s been a wild, exhausting ride. I’m very thankful for the new knowledge and relationships I have acquired during this program.

Author's profile picture Jacob Burkhart

Text Editors - A Newbie's Opinion

Ah yes, the text editor. Dare I say, your number one companion as a coder? As a new web developer, (in the game for 2 months), I’d like to share my opinion on the four text editor’s I have tried. This is not intended to be an endorsement, simply just my observations on the four I have used. So here we go….

#1. Sublime Text. 

   Right out of the gate, I will start off by saying Sublime is the #1 used and the go-to text editor for the majority of programmers. It simply gets the job done. I have yet to hear of any of my peers having an issue or bug with it. A key component to the success of Sublime is it’s large fan base and community of users. These users have made thousands of plugins and themes to completely customize your Sublime experience. And did I mention Sublime just works? Yes. It is as stable and reliable as can be. 

#2. Brackets

  Brackets is made by Adobe, the brains behind the ever-so popular Photoshop suite. That alone may give you and idea of what this text editor is geared towards. Brackets has amazing design and front-end capabilities. It comes with a live preview feature that shows you a preview of the page you are building while you are creating it. This editor has huge support for Photoshop. It has a feature called Extract that gives you design info from imported PSD files including colors, fonts, gradients, and measurement information. How cool is that?

#3. Light Table

   Light Table touts itself as the “next generation code editor”. This is a pretty bold statement, and it may very well be true. However, I feel as though I was unable to tap into it’s full potential. One of the main features of Light Table is to be able to evaluate your code while you are typing it. This sounds pretty neat, but I was unable to get this feature to work correctly. I fear this code editor maybe isn’t too newbie friendly or I was just doing something wrong. I will say however,  I much prefer the aesthetic of this editor. The minimal, lightweight design is beautiful. 

#4. Atom

   Atom is currently my text editor of choice. It’s made by the fine folks at Github, and is backed by a growing community. Atom looks similar to Sublime from the start and has the same amount of reliability. Also, it’s updated religiously. I would say once a week. They have a team that is constantly finding bugs and ways to improve the application. That’s something I love and support. Atom is extremely customizable and I love it’s easy to understand user interface. You can search for new plugins and themes very easily, and see what plugins and themes have been downloaded the most/are the most popular. 

   So there you have it, my two cents. I will continue to play around with all of these editors and report back if I have new substantial findings. I have no doubt new editors will come out as well. But, for now, Atom has my attention!

Author's profile picture Jacob Burkhart

Getting There

I am getting there. 

Attending The Iron Yard is the best decision I have made in a while. I am loving what I am doing with coding. I am learning to build stuff! I am learning how the web as we know it is built and its extremely exciting. 

Just like most of you reading this, I have used the internet for some time but never truly understood how this all works. How does the text get put on the page? Where do the colors come from? What makes the submit button do stuff? And that’s the fun part to me. I am getting that info and a glimpse at the history of it coming about. 

But there is SO much to learn! It is taking time to sink in. Every Friday and with every touch-base I have told my instructors: “The things I have learned last week are finally starting to sink in this week.” This seems to be my theme and motivation.

Some of this stuff is really confusing, and if you blink during lecture, you miss it. Sometimes I learn something, but that newfound knowledge is not reinforced until days later. But rather than get discouraged by this, I choose to embrace it. I just see it as my pattern and learning speed and I know that I am getting there.

Author's profile picture Jacob Burkhart

What is THIS?!

Today at the Iron Yard we dove into a loved (and equally hated) word. That word is THIS. Yes, this. A simple four letter word that we use often to describe something we point at or have in our hand. Today I learned how it can be implemented in Javascript, and even make my coding life easier!

To break out down as simple as possible, this is a handy shortcut. It allows us to type the word this in place of the full variable name, when accessing parameters of an object. For example:

var MyName = {

firstName: Jacob, 

lastName: Burkhart


Can be called upon like so:

console.log(this.firstName + ” + this.lastName);

In this example, this is taking place of the MyName variable. It’s the same as typing out MyName.firstName, etc.

However, while this is a fun tool to use, to make coding quicker and more efficient, it has it’s nuances. This is where scoping comes into play. It is important to make sure that the use of this is inside a function where this is defined. Using this at the top of your code, then again at the bottom, does not necessarily mean the the same thing. It is only used within the function that has defined it.

I know it is a confusing subject, and to be honest I haven’t completely grasped it. This feels like a facet of Javascript that may take a few mistakes to learn from. But, from now on I will be looking for opportunities to use THIS in my code!

Author's profile picture Jacob Burkhart