Digital Journal Entry

by Ryan Zurrin

The Whole Design Phase

The process that led to this page

Final Project Concept / Analysis & Web Technology Assignment

Final Project Conceptualization:

I want to have a blog or web page that is about my journey into the digital realm and binary space of our worlds greatest invention ever; the computer. Not just about the computer of course, this is a personal less technical more real life adventure about the path that I have I have chosen to take and the obstacles I have overcome in my life in seeking to optimize not only the way my computers and software function, but to how I function and interact as a human being. I want to offer viewers inspiration first off and more importantly I want to have a place to showcase thetools that I use to obtain Frictionless interoperability in all my worldly affairs, and maybe even not so worldly affairs.

Some issues that could possibly come up are the fact that there are a lot of technical and student blogs already from programmers and up and coming developers and there are so many coding superstars out there already what is little old me supposed to really do or offer to gain the viewership and following of so many greats already? My answer is to straight up follow in their footsteps. If you can’t beat them then you may as well join them.

For the short term goals my hope is to have a few starter entries in the blog section and to establish some form of update schedule that keeps the information fresh and doesn’t put to much of a strain on my otherwork such as study time and school work. I also would like there to be a good reference page built with the links and pointers to the things I have used and am currently using to learn and to code. There will be a one page bio that outlines my past and how I have come to be the person I am today. Also for the immediate short term I would like to have a working contact form and maybe even a place to signup for what I hope to be a weekly coding challenge. Nothing too difficult only stuff that I am able to do myself will I put on the page this way as I get better I hope for the challenges to get more difficult as well. I was going to include a projects page which will have some cool raspberry pi and Arduino projects. If I could get a project or two for each up to start and then establish a schedule for addingprojects would be a good start.

The long term goal of this site is to hopefully grow more and more technical as I grow more and more technical and to offer a place for beginners to come and not be scarred away by technical mumbo jumbo but instead they can read up on my blog about what I learned when and maybe it could help someone else starting out. I was thinking of getting into freelance web design someday and I was hoping that I after I have built a few things maybe to use as a portfolio page / blog page / resource center. This is in my mind just going to be a personal digital space for me to share with everyone interested. I would like there to be a live discussion area for people to get help and keep ideas flowing and alive.This is just a pet project of mine and to see what I am capable of putting together here in class will be great.

This is something that I plan on continuing once this class ends so even if I am not able to fully develop all areas before the end of this semester,I am sure I will at least establish a good foundation and fulfill the final project requirements.


Determine Information Topics:

There will be a homepage; a Blog section; a Bio section; a Resource section; a place for projects big and small; a contact page with form.

Determine Functionality Requirements:

Being a blog mainly I will use a CMS to update content once I build a template with Drupel or Joomla the updating should be easy and straight forward. I will also begin using JavaScript for some simple jump menus on the blog page to allow the viewer to easily navigate to older blogs. I will get permission from various sites to use their links as reference materials in my reference section. I hope to include a few simple how to videos for basic things such as “how to align small logo images with your background h1 images or maybe once I’m more advanced I can show how to make a “web page dance” with a scroll. I may use other’s videos if I can get the permission. My real hope is to make my own how to video-series eventually.

Determine Environmental Requirements:

This will be a low impact site in that it isn’t going to be many intense graphics like you would see on a gamers site. This is going to be a minimalist style with a beautiful digital fengshui that carries you gracefully around the site. I will design it to be fully reactive at every level so you can comfortably view from phone or if you like to sit at your big flat screen 4k tv and use that as your monitor then you too can view in comfort and ease.

Determine Content Requirements:

I will have to create the content for the blog and Bio page as will and the contact page and homepage which will contain a brief “mission statement” and links to all the other pages. The resources page will be linking to content that is already existing, I may just need to get permission to use a few different things that I have in my mind to use eventually. The projects pages will include at first projects I have done with the Arduino and raspberry pi but these are just recycled projects from others at moment. Once I get better at programming and more advanced this project page will reflect that in the difficulty of the projects being presented. I hope to include programs eventually as I start taking more and more advanced computer science classes this should be a place I can share my progress and offer fun ideas to help other on their path as well.

Compare the old approach to the New approach:

There are already many blogs and resources out there dealing with technical matters and programming in particular so instead of just doing a standard tech blog with current news I want to make it a little more personable and relatable with a good amount of humor to soften the technical jargon and I will use this platform to give the world a piece of myself as well. This isn’t just your every day tech blog, instead it’ll be more a home for the beginner to come and feel safe and able to learn. I don’t want to scare people away by being to technical, I mean it is fun sounding all techie and smart but if I can relate the same information in a less mind-numbing way then I plan on it. Though some things are just technical and the only way to talk about them is in a technical way and I understand this so I just hope to make it a easy place to get resources and inspiration.

Estimate Costs:

I have created and registered a new domain with a new host for this project at and then I added a few options as well and that cost me 71.88 for the year with cPanel so I am able to learn how to use all those tools hopefully. The big cost is going to be in time. I am guessing around 10 to 15 hours a week will be spent researching and doing JavaScript tutorials as well as learning how to use Joomla as a CMS will take many additional hours and then putting the pieces altogether is another whole story. I will be lucky if I complete this project in time. Real cost? My sanity!

Web Development –A Practical Guide (Video):

This was a very good video that covered a lot of different technologies and it offered up a decent roadmap as to when one should start trying to learn and apply these technologies and frameworks. He starts at the beginning with what tools to use that are good as well as explaining how HTML and CSS are the bedrock of the web as well as the only logical place to start. The first 15 minutes was mostly addressing what it requires to call yourself a front-enddeveloper which realistically there are 3 things you should know, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I am feeling comfortablewith my HTML and my CSS skills now and I know there is still so much for me to learn I would like to begin learning more about JavaScriptand maybe include a framework like bootstrap as well. I do plan on looking into learning about SASS as well once I start getting comfortable with the JavaScript.

He mentions about GIT bash as a terminal which I already have a little experience with initializing a directory to be git managed where I can add files to staging area to be uploaded to the root or head of or remote repository. The last 15 minutes is about what it will take and what you need to know to be a full stack developer this day and age. He explains more aboutsome of the Server-sideframeworks that are used like Node.js,PHP, Python to name a few. He gets into Databases and what they are, and do he recommend things like MongoDB and PostgreSQL. There is a real lot of information here and was a little hard to follow at times. This Is a really great video that provides a lot to think about. I would really like to learn more about the server side of things when the time is right. He does mention a little about CMS and he basically recommends using WordPress and I am interested in possibly learning this technology at some point, but I really want to do is take it one step at a time and not get ahead of myself. I may try out Drupel as a CSS to see how it goes but If it isn’t going to well,I may turn to WordPress. He also talks about development and testing as well and technologies that are used to build web apps and mobile apps. He goes into a lot of the different tools that are used to make these apps and test them. This is a lot to take in. My brain hurts.

Web Technology Focus Area:

I plan on learning more about JavaScript and would love how to use SASS and I will be doing a little bit with bootstrap and a CMS like drupelor or Joomla. I have a new host for this site and a new domain as well and really plan on learning how to use the tools within cPanel to help manage the features and tools I use to build my blog site which is going to be my digital home base. I do not have much experience with a CMS yet or with JavaScript either so the next few weeks are going to be very busy learning these new frameworks and technologies. I hope to continue with my learning and eventually become a full stack developer myself.

My project site will include the basics of course HTML5, and CSS3,as well and some JavaScrip tand bootstrap, and this will be managed easily by me creating a template to use with Drupel which should allow for easy adding of blogs and resource materials. I am really looking forward to getting time to work on this project and to learn the technologies needed to make this a successful site not only now but, in the years to come as well. I will also include basic responsive design elements like using media queries and em units and %’s instead of pixels. As well Bootstrap will be used to make it much more responsive then it would otherwise. I have some great ideas, now to just learn the tools and technologies to implement them.

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