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October 15th, 2015

Project Two Recap - Resume Builder

So the video courses for project zero and one, the About Me Page and the Portfolio project were pretty straightforward and slow paced. Project two takes a quick leap forward and doesn’t really stop moving. It’s not that the content is extremely difficult, but if it is your first time being exposed to JavaScript (or any programming language), then you are going to have a hard time keeping up. I had previous beginner level knowledge and I still found myself wanting to slow down and just recap some basics before proceeding. The coures assumes that you have taken the Intro to Computer Science course provided by Udacity (one that I believe they are rather well known for) that teaches basic coding in Python. I went through most of the course a year or so ago and remember it being very thorough. It’s a long and tedious course but if you stick with it, you definitely learn a solid foundation of how to code in Python. Regardless, after finishing the video courses JavaScript Basics and Intro to jQuery that are provided for this project, I found myself wanting more information before starting.

Resume Builder Project


I’ve always enjoyed reading so I looked for an up to date book on Javascript and jQuery and found some great recommendations on the Udacity forums for one by John Duckett. It’s got a great layout and way of presenting the content so that it’s not just reading text from page to page. I’ve read some other more dated material on the subject and definitely recommend this one whether you are new to JavaScript or just need a refresher.

On To The Good Stuff!

Ok, so for the project itself, we are building an online resume builder. I chose to make my resume project based on someone else rather than myself because I didn’t really want to use this template for myself anyways. So who better than to make a resume for than All American Hank Hill from King of The Hill? Here is a picture of my finished project featuring Hank Hill in all his glory selling propane and propane accessories.

Hank Hill's Resume

It’s a bit of a weird project and it took me awhile to get my head wrapped around the whole thing. I haven’t gotten into a lot of templating or used any JavaScript frameworks yet so I don’t really know what to compare this to. However, you are basically working with two JS files on this project to build an HTML version of a resume. One file contains all of the variables for the names of the content pieces you will be filling in. The variables also contain the HTML tags for each element and the CSS file is already complete. So basically, you are creating an object for each section of your resume (bio, education, work, and projects) and variables in each one. Each variable you create will grab one of the variables with the styling already applied. You will then create a for loop for each object to loop through the object and append the content to the appropriate section of the page.

Below is a snippet of code showing the job object, variables contained, and the for loop that will go through each job contained in your job object. You then append each one of those variables to the page in reverse order by utilizing the variables you’ve created and the ones on helper.js that were given to you with the HTML and CSS formatting.

Resume Code Example

Wrapping My Head Around The Whole Thing

It’s quite simple when you look at it with total understanding of what you are doing and how the project actually comes together from the different parts. However, I can remember when first starting on the project being completely puzzled as to how each thing worked and why we were doing it the way we were. I think what threw me off the most is that creating this resume in the way the project requires seemed counter-intuitive to me. I could have just as easily (or much easier, actually) created this resume with just HTML and CSS. But it was a useful project to teach me some useful scenarios for looping through objects and arrays.

Once I got going on the project and read a few quick forum posts explaining some more details, it all began to make sense. In my team meeting I recall other members of the group being completely lost with the project and frustrated at the speed of the video courses. I think this is just an adjustment period more than anything else because the first few courses on HTML, CSS, and responsive images were fairly basic and slow paced. To be fair, I think the teachers did a better job filming those courses than they did the JavaScript and jQuery courses. The JS ones were very fast paced and seemed to jump around and assume a lot of knowledge.

I think in a program such as this where you are starting with basic knowledge of HTML and CSS for most people, they should provide a more thorough introduction to JavaScript so that the beginner level students aren’t as overwhelmed. I also look at it from another point of view though: it’s no different than any college or school you attend. Sometimes you just end up with a bad teacher and you’ve got to rely on some self motivation and extra studying to get the project finished.

Overall, The Online Resume Builder for Project Two was a success! On to the next one…


Philip Bowles