So you’ve learned some React and built a few things. You’ve probably used create-react-app or react-slingshot to get off the ground quickly with minimal configuration. However, now you’re ready to venture out on your own with your very own React boilerplate.
react boilerplate freedom

WHERE. TO. START???

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portfolio

I recently shared my portfolio site with the Free Code Camp Nashville group and got some inquiries into some of the technologies and features I used to build it. So I figured I’d share all aspects of the site and some steps to utilizing the same tools I did.

Should I build my site from scratch?

When I asked this question to the ever helpful NashDev community I received a resounding “No” from Senior devs. This might seem counter intuitive, however, the overall thought process was if you’re just starting out, unless you’re looking to be considered a designer, then using something someone else has already done very well as the base of your portfolio is better than building it yourself. Concentrate on highlighting the things that you are going to be doing in a potential job, not on the overall layout and design of your portfolio site. I decided to go with a template from HTML5 UP for a few reasons. First, they’re FREE as long as you keep the attribution. Second, AJ who creates these amazing templates is based out of Nashville just like me and had in the past connected me with some solid people to have beer/coffee with and discuss my career. Third, it’s a static site. That is, it’s 100% HTML, CSS & JavaScript so I would have many simple options for hosting when I got to that point. Lastly, all of the templates are responsive so if a potential hiring manager clicks through from their phone they’re going to get a great experience.
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freecodecamp nashville

After taking a hiatus from our meetup for a month due to family obligations, Dave and I were back at it again this month for the freeCodeCamp Nashville meetup. This month we pulled together a group of technical recruiters for some Q&A. The premise behind this time together was that recruiters can be a valuable asset to people in the tech scene through their relationships with companies as well as their knowledge of how to best get past some common barriers. However, recruiters seems to get a bad wrap in general due to some bad apples in the industry. Those people who are required by a company or boss to get X number of calls or contacts in per day per position. I know I’ve personally received emails about positions that I know I’m not qualified for and anybody who took a few seconds to scan my LinkedIn profile would know as well.
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freeCodeCamp nashville

This past Saturday we had our monthly freeCodeCamp Nashville meetup at Nashville Software School. As always it was good times. We were supposed to have a guest speaker but they couldn’t make it at the last minute so our very own superstar and freeCodeCamp Nashville Co-Organizer Dave Harned stepped in and crushed it. He presented a Crash Course on NodeJS. You can find the repo here and excuse the work in progress readme. Like most things, it’s not perfect. Feel free to open a Pull Request and shore up those docs! I’m going to walk through what Dave presented on Saturday so you can see what you missed out on and come to the next one ;-). Honestly, so you can benefit from what I think is a well put together intro that’ll have you up, running, and playing around in no time.
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I think this picture is pretty accurate as to how I feel right now. A pawn crowned king. I passed my final assessment the first time through and have officially been a graduate of Flatiron School for a week now. I’m also lucky enough to have a full-time job right out of school. A full-time job looking for a job that is :-p. It’s amazing how in depth the job search can be. However, when you are provided with a solid framework to follow it’s nice to see the pieces just start falling into place. With my choice of the Full Stack Web Developer Program through Flatiron School, I receive a job guarantee if I follow some steps. Obviously there is a little more to it, like following my career coaches advice, but in general I must have 8 git commits per week to GitHub, write one blog post per week, and perform 8 job search activities per week (ie. apply for a job, meet someone at a user group, follow up thank you notes, networking outreach to meet for coffee, etc…).
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stairs

It’s been about 3 weeks since I last blogged. I put my head down and sprinted towards the finish line. I can’t say that I’m 100% done, yet, but I will be soon. I have completed my final portfolio project and have my assessment for it tomorrow. I must say, Redux threw me for one while working on this project. I hit many stumbling blocks building this project. I think my sprint was a little ambitious and I ended up not knowing the Redux stuff as in-depth as I wanted to. I definitely created some of my own frustration because of this. However, I hacked away at it and got it. I watched YouTube videos, Wes Bos’s Redux Course, and I even used HackHands a couple times thanks to the Github Education Student Developer Pack $25 credit I received.
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puzzle pieces

So I’m banging away at my jQuery project. I got hung up on some code tonight but got it working right before I stopped for the night! I was stoked! So what was I stuck on? In my app a user can create as many places as they want. Each place can have as many items as they want. A user can look at a specific item and see the name of it, the rating they gave it, any notes they wrote about it and where the item is available (the places they’ve added it to). I wanted to implement a “Next Item” button/link that when clicked will load the next item for the current user.
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