AltSchooler Diaries: My Second Month Learning FrontEnd Engineering at AltSchool Africa
Deborah “Debbie” Okonu, Frontend Engineering Student at AltSchool Africa

Hi! 👋 Deborah Okonu here again, documenting my journey learning Frontend Engineering at AltSchool Africa’s School of Engineering!

Weeks ago, I published an article where I shared my experience learning at AltSchool Africa. I wrote all about my first month in school and you can read up on that HERE. I actually think it’d be great if you read that before you proceed with this post so you have a clear enough picture of where I’m coming from and maybe where I’m headed 😉.

With that out of the way, let’s continue from where we left off! 🚀

The last time I was here, I asked you to do me a favor; I asked you to grab some wine and maybe something else to munch on and remain glued to your screens. I mentioned that it was going to be a pretty long journey but also promised that it would not be a boring one. Remember?

Well, we’re back at it 🚀

Image from Google

Month 2: Things are heating up!

So, we officially started our first semester this month 🥁 and we focused on Frontend Engineering. Every AltSchooler had to take this course.

Wait! Did I mention that the School of Engineering at AltSchool Africa has three learning tracks? If I didn’t, let me list them really quick:

  • Frontend Engineering
  • Backend Engineering and
  • Cloud Engineering
Month 2: Week 1

Week 1:

The journey just started.

We took an 'Introduction to the Web & Servers' course. There, I learnt how the web works and how clients and servers communicate.

We were also introduced to HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and guess who learnt how to create an HTML document?

Me! 😁

It was exciting! It felt like….magic 😂

Moving on, we had our first town hall meeting with our Community Manager, Tabitha Kavyu and other faculty members; Jerry Uke, Rukevwe Onuwa, and Adedeji Oshinojo.

There were also two live lecture sessions this week. Though I couldn’t attend the second one because of an emergency, the one I did make it to was really good.

Kudos to Setemi Ojo, our tutor for the live class and John Ajeigbe, our Tutor on the LMS.👍😁

Learning Circles

AltSchool introduced learning circles to help students easily connect with each other and stay active. Think of it like a mutual, “peer-to-peer accountability system.”

Overall, I think Week 1 was basically to welcome us to Month 2. It wasn’t as packed as I had expected.

Week 2 Notes

Week 2:

So, this week wasn’t so bad.😏

We dived into CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), learnt the basics and also put what we had learnt into practice. It was fun getting to see different colors and ways to style.

On Wednesday, we had a live session where our tutor took time and touched on all we had learnt so far that week. By Friday, we were having a great time at the AltSchool Africa Fun Friday session.

We had Emmanuel Bakare speak to us on software engineering, and answered most of our questions concerning that. One thing I learnt from it was;

"Pursue consistently rather than Perfection"📌

Something interesting also happened this week🤸🏼‍♀️

Remember the learning circle we were added to in Week 1? Well, we were to choose a team lead and co-lead for our different learning circles. And by the grace of God, I was chosen as the lead for my learning circle! 💃

I am super excited and also nervous. I hope I do well as team lead.

Week 3

Week 3:

Whew! It felt like week 2 didn’t want to end😂

Well, Welcome to Week 3!

This week on the LMS (Learning Management System), we learnt about CSS layout; block & inline, CSS grid, and CSS flexbox. Quick question for the programmers reading this; which do you prefer to use? Personally, I’d take the CSS grid over the CSS flexbox anyday.

As usual, we had two live classes this week too. Again, it was really good. I will always commend our tutors.

Something interesting happened this week too; we were given our first assignment for the semester. Let me give a hint of how the assignment was using emojis: For a beginner it was 🥵😓, for someone with prior programming knowledge, it was 😁💃🥰

It's not that it was so hard. It was just challenging. We were asked to create a portfolio website for ourselves and design a static calculator which we would make interactive, probably when we learn JavaScript.

Deadline for submission: 23rd May.

Oh, wait! How could I forget to mention? Friday was our Community Manager, Tabitha Kavyu's Birthday!💃. We celebrated her during the Fun Friday we had this week.

If you’re reading this, Happy Birthday in arrears to you, Tabitha Kavyu! Thanks for being an amazing community manager at AltSchool Africa.

Week 4 here we go!🥁🚀

Week 4

Week 4:

Wrapping up with CSS, we learnt about CSS media queries and some other tips and tricks on how to create a responsive web page. After going through this week’s course content, I decided to re-do my assignment and design a better and more responsive portfolio website for myself.😁

As usual, we had our live class and it went well. This week’s live class was very interesting and more interactive than other weeks. I guess it’s because of the assignment. We now have actual experience in what we’ve been learning so we all could relate better😊

To wrap up this month, we had a software engineer at Cobiro, Wayne Gakuo, speak to us about his tech journey during our Fun Friday. Something I learnt from this was that;

“You learn best when you teach and you teach best when you learn”

Something interesting I learnt this week:

Credit: Ebenezer Don

The saying, “Life is short” has pushed a lot of people into making poor decisions which have resulted in huge losses.

What am I trying to say?

As a newbie in tech, especially if you’re active on social media, it is very easy for you to stumble on the profiles of more experienced people making it big in tech, earning some cool dollars and all. You might then begin to “force” yourself to learn as fast as you can just to be like them or to start making some cool cash in a few months. You then begin to overwork yourself just to learn these skills. Before you know it, you get sick, anxiety and depression sets in because you think you’re not getting what you want.

But did you ever take time to do some research into how and when these people started? Did you look into how their tech journey has been? How many years it took them to get where they are now? All the challenges they faced?

If you did, you would realize that you just need to; take your time, calm down, prioritize, learn, network, and don’t be in a hurry.

You shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone! It’s okay to be motivated by someone’s journey but comparing yourself to that person or wanting to be that type of person without putting in the work simply cannot work. Truthfully, the only person you’re allowed to compare yourself with is your former self. Don’t allow social media or your peers to put undue pressure on you.

You’ve got this! You can do it!💪 Soon you’ll be telling your own success story😊

Image from Google

Thanks for going through this month’s journey with me. Don’t forget to top up your wine! We’ve still got more months ahead of us.

See you next month!❤️

This article was written by Deborah Okonu, a student at AltSchool Africa’s School of Engineering studying FrontEnd Engineering.

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