Cover image for Day 1: Yeah, Just Change It up a a Bit So It Doesn’t Look Obvious

Day 1: Yeah, Just Change It up a a Bit So It Doesn’t Look Obvious

caitlineelliott profile image Caitlin Elliott ・2 min read

In my younger and more vulnerable years, I didn't really want to learn to code. I just wanted results.

Through sheer repetition, I learned enough to bold and italicize text, sure. I knew how to put an image on a webpage, make a link. But the more complicated stuff, puhh-shaaa! I was far more interested in achieving the look I wanted at the time than gaining a new skill to use later.

Enter coding myspace and tumblr bloggers. My salvation.

I was an awkward teen who didn't want to tell anyone about her internet hobbies, and these pioneers saved me. These folks had already figured out how to do all the cool stuff on my blogs that I wanted, and all I had to do was just copy their code out of the tiiiiny scroll boxes they put it in and paste it into the editor on my websites.

From there, my work began.

My formative coding education wasn't in learning what tags or attributes meant and how to apply them, it was a hilarious mishmash of trial and error as I learned to reverse engineer code someone had written for a slightly different purpose to suit my needs. Sort of like the "Can I copy your homework?" meme.

That's why this first day of FreeCodeCamp has been so interesting. Today, I completed all the challenges in the "Basic HTML and HTML5" and "Basic CSS" modules of FreeCodeCamp's Responsive Web Design certification. I remembered a lot more than I expected to from my teen years, but it was exciting to, for the first time, stare at a blank screen and write code from scratch.

Now, if you'll permit me make a little list, trying out a bit of HTML I learned today...

That Sweet, Sweet Data:

  • Bootcamp: FreeCodeCamp
  • Modules Completed: Basic HTML and HTML5, Basic CSS
  • Time Spent: 1 hour 55 minutes

The spacing is wonky, but there is a list I made with code I wrote, so I'll call it a win for today, my friends!

Posted on May 31 by:

caitlineelliott profile

Caitlin Elliott


Future web dev who enjoys hanging out with my dog, running, and dystopian science fiction. She/her


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Keep it up @caitlineelliott

I am Write a book and poetry sometimes to take a rest when having a couple of lines of code. Then I repeat again to read my code just to make sure.

Just notes from me; "Code is a poem or sometimes like a novel, they have character, plot, and twist in all genres. So, I am just writers keep writing a good story and a good solution for my readers."

Keep the spirit!


I love that analogy! Thanks!


Don't forget to write your documentation or note for anything that you do with coding/things (likes Dairy). Maybe in the next month or year, you get stuck so you can read and memories than you can fell what you have done before. Keep your spirit on fire in your Dairy.

It's also a note to me!

Yes! I've been keeping an excel spreadsheet of all the new terms I'm learning and their definitions, and it's been super helpful!

I should include some reflections in there too!


A couple of months ago, I was trying to write some Terraform modules and copy-pasted some code from the Terraform website and didn't change the variable names either. The module worked fine but I got a comment on my commit on the lines of - change it up so that it doesn't look that obvious that you have copied from the HashiCorp Learn website. Phew! Lesson Learnt! :)


Enjoyed part 2 today Caitlin.

Something I'd suggest checking out/looking at. The Odin Project (TOP). I have done a number of introductory lessons on html, css and a little JS from places like Udemy, FCC, Coursera, Udacity and probably a couple others. TOP seems like the best one I've come across in this journey of being self-taught. I'm about 30%? into their Intro and I already feel like I've learned a ton. They want you to set up a Linux environment to code in (unless you have a Mac already) so that you're learning command line which feeds directly into learning GIT. Both of these things appear to be key but a lot of classes/learning outlets skip them. Another reason for Linux (or a Unix based OS) has to do with Ruby and Rails.

Whether you check that out or not, keep up the good work from one self-learner to another! I'm trying to take notes so I can start doing something like what you're doing, you've inspired me ;)