1. What excites you about coding? How do you think it can change the world?

a) i think it’s sufficient to describe what excites me about coding in one word: possibilities. but since one word is not likely going to cut it for the blog, i’ll describe it in 300!

code is as intrinsic to life as DNA; coding is not exclusive to computer screens. the effectiveness of language itself depends on code. the ability to dig deeper — truly deeper — into anything often requires constructing a lexicon that is referred to and elaborated into something that can often only be described as “great” or some such synonym. this to me is the true potential of “code.” coding is intrinsic to any kind of progress, and we are constantly engaging with it whether we are aware or not. our very habits are a type of codification of our values, which always trace back to some function that is necessary for any kind of meaningful… well, anything! i’m obviously becoming very redundant in my ramblings (such is the nature of talking about talking). for a more down to earth take, without stating the obvious fact that my goal is to parlay the skillsets of programming/coding into a means for accruing wealth… the thought of helping to envision a more sustainable future along with likeminded visionaries (i have no concrete ideas on this matter, just a very intuitive grasp of the reality of abundance vs. the illusion of scarcity and how digitizing materialism has infinite untapped potential for combating our materialism-obsessed milieu). ok that doesn’t sound very down-to-earth either. more concrete examples of what i find exciting about programming might be the thought of being able to help program a video game to match my expectations versus the shortcomings i perceive when i explore contemporary games. or maybe the thought of constructing some kind of program that helps people find obscure music they like (or improve on such programs). or maybe revive Winamp! i’m definitely rambling. so i guess it’s good that i can summarize my answer in one word (see sentence #1)!

b) as for how it can change the world in these ways… well that’s even more complex. but also even simpler, as it has already changed our world as much as anything except maybe the industrial revolution (and agriculture if we want to go back that far). and i say maybe only because it evolved out of that revolution so technically it can’t be “greater” but i would venture to say the internet and virtual reality (computers for short) have even more potential for change than — and ultimately fix the problems created by — the industrial revolution. examples include providing information for those previously unable to access it (like medical information, education resources, potentially less biased or corrupted news sources, etc.), connecting otherwise severed relationships, providing a voice for the disenfranchised or otherwise muted individuals or communities. i could go on and on.

it’s also only fair to point out that there are pitfalls created by this digital age, such as mistaking social media for social interaction, over-indulging on the flippant, the dangers and pitfalls of anonymity (cyber-bullying, trolling, getting “hacked” and so on), and simply creating obstacles to extroverted fulfillment. it’s worth pointing out however that these are all pitfalls of the self-fulfilling, imagination-gone-wild variety manifested by our own hubris, and that our very imagination is the guiding light of the change it can bring on.

i’ve certainly gotten too philosophical at this point, so i apologize if i didn’t provide the answer you were looking for!

2. What does doctype do at the top of your html file do? Why does this need to be specified?

from what i can gather from a rudimentary google search, the “doctype” at the top of the html file is to declare to the browser which version of html your code is in. i’d imagine this is necessary so it doesn’t read older html code as html5, but why the document wouldn’t just default to the newest html version unless otherwise specified is currently beyond me, and likely will make sense in a week or so.

3. Explain how a browser determines what HTML Elements match a CSS selector.

the browser reads the “link” tag in the <head> of the index.html file using the property “rel: stylesheet” along with the “href” property and the stylesheet file as its value, i.e. <link rel=”stylesheet” href=”./style.css”> in order to match the HTML elements with their corresponding CSS selectors.

4. What’s the difference between an HTML Element and an HTML Tag?

an html tag is the set of characters surrounding the content of an html element, i.e. <p>[content]</p> where the p denotes a paragraph, signifying the type of element containing its content. it is the language of html, and a set of instructions necessary to distinguish elements and their respective content within a webpage. an html element is everything from the beginning of the tag (such as <p>) to the end of the tag (</p>), including the content itself (<p>[content]</p>).

5. In your own words, explain the Cascade of CSS?

from what i so far understand, this is a pretty complex topic which i don’t yet find important to focus on the details of in order to take advantage of it. in my intuitive grasp of the rule, i simply think of it as “cascading priority” so that the first instance of an inheritance rule is the most important unless later specified, which then becomes the new rule, unless otherwise specified (this is where it gets more complex, with rules like “!important” and more that i don’t deem important at this stage.) since it is a very intuitive priority set, i’m just going to begin by trusting it!… until it betrays me and forces me to study its exceptions further (or until an instructor imparts upon me his infinite wisdom).

graduate of Austin Coding Academy. looking for a full-stack (MERN... with a flexible M) web dev position.