Mason Fish

PROJECTS

This page describes the projects that I've been working on in the last few weeks. They are not all computer-related, but I wanted to write about them anyway because it's fun to share my interests. Fair warning: I have written this in a conversational style, so please pardon the occasional bits of rambling...

This Website

Prior to this Holberton project, I had built only one other website which was for my ensemble, Mobius Trio. I am still a neophyte with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But since I did have some familiarity already, I felt comfortable enough to experiment and play with new ideas. My original plan was to build this entire site as an Angular app and use routing to swap out each page's content. I knew nothing about Angular except that it seems to be a pretty popular JavaScript library, but I watched a basic video tutorial online that was specific to Angular modules, directives, and routing, and I ended up actually making the site work like I wanted it to.

Unfortunately, I did all of this before going through the Holberton tutorial, so when I finally did go back and followed the directions, I found my dynamically-divided and route-powered site didn't know how to handle the plain JavaScript that was required by the tutorial. And I didn't know enough to help them to get along with each other without rewriting the plain JS in Angular. So I removed all of the Angular, and kicked myself for trying to jump ahead. You can actually still see the old scripts commented out in the script.js file of this site's resources. I'm sure I'll get to use it in a future project.

My next failure didn't teach me quite as much as trying to use Angular did, but I'm still glad I looked into it: I tried to break up my site into php templates. I think this would have worked fine, except that I couldn't get php to run on the server and was reluctant to install it. Still, as a result of my efforts, I learned how to check which version of Apache a server is running. That seems pretty useful.

After that I limited my experiments to the wide realms of CSS and JS. It was a lot of fun integrating several open source plugins that I was unfamiliar with, specifically the css animations (Hover.css) and jQuery mobile menu (Slicknav) as well as the FontAwesome icon library. I was previously unfamiliar with CSS Flexbox, which seems like it could make responsive positioning a lot simpler. So I was happy to learn about that too!

I really learned a ton from this whole project in the end. I have a lot of little ideas to make it better, but won't have time to do much more before the deadline. So I have cloned the whole site so I can host it somewhere else and keep working on it!

Comp-Sci

A little over a month ago I started reading and working through this book so that I could learn some computer science fundamentals. I started learning Python as a by-product of that investigation. My favorite part about this book is that it has so many fun and challenging programming exercises at the end of each chapter. I expect some course instructors who use this book might assign only a handful of these exercises for homework for each chapter, but I do every one of them. I really enjoy having specific exercises/projects to work on so I can practice new concepts. I feel like if I don't find a way to really practice something, then I will eventually forget it, even if I have a solid understanding of it.

I'm almost done with Zelle now, but I have also started another project-based Python book that has a similar feel to it. The discovery that I enjoy this kind of back-end programming in computers (and not just what little front-end web dev I've learned) is a big part of why I am so interested in Holberton School's full stack education.

Album

Finally, I have been recording a new album with my guitar trio! This is our second album and it exclusively features contemporary music which we commissioned from a bunch of incredible composers. It will also feature music only for electric guitars (and electronics in one case), which is a departure from our typical acoustic classical guitar focus. Since we record all of our instruments DI (direct-in), we have a lot more flexibility and forgiveness throughout the entire recording process. For this reason, we are self-recording most of the album. This process has given me a lot of practice with sound-editing software which has been a lot of fun too! Check out our website if you want to know more!