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Jaime Panaia-Rodi
Jaime Panaia-Rodi

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Re-schooling with Scrimba

In my past life I worked as a front-end web developer holding many jobs in a variety of industries (media, non-profit, grassroots, start-up tech). I even taught Ruby on Rails (including HTML & CSS) to adult beginners in my favorite gig. Now, after a 4 year break to raise a small human, I scoured the internet for online web design and development courses that would bring me up to speed.

Right away Scrimba captured my attention as a great starting point for brushing up on skills. Not only do they have a ton of excellent courses (and plenty free ones), their unique video format (they call them "scrims") allows interaction with the screen so you can program right along with the instructor, copy/paste and run their actual code, and the resolution is crystal clear - a welcome change from squinting at YouTube videos and trying to quickly type out the code.

So far I've taken 2 courses: Build a Color Tool in Vanilla JavaScript (which scratched my design itch) and Learn Javascript for Free (which was great for basic DOM manipulation). Both used the same teaching style: demonstrating the code or concept, then allowing the student to try it out. For the practice exercises I coded right in the screencast but for the larger projects I coded in my own editor (Brackets at the moment) so I could more easily debug and own a copy of the code.

Here are some of the projects I built:

I also built a Leads Tracker Chrome Extension which was interesting and super fun. I can't wait to create my own Chrome Extensions in the future!

Scrimba is my new favorite thing to talk incessantly about (apologies to my wife) because it's not only a place to learn it's also a vibrant community. I've joined Scrimba Discord server and connected with students of all ages all over the world! There are channels like: announcements, weekly challenges, help channels, study buddies, i-built-this, i-got-hired, career chat, and my favorites for accountability: today-i-will and today-i-did.

Next I (re-)dive into the world of React and brush up my single page application chops! Stay tuned...

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