Thursday, January 17, 2013

Coding introduction

I realize I shouldn't just splat: start in with a coding post. So here's my introduction of who I am and how and what I develop. I'm Katie. I had a quarter life crisis at 23 and decided to get a grad degree in "computers". My only knowledge of "computers" was because of this here blog. In fact, I just got distracted going back to the archives in 2005 to read about my decision to go to grad school and quit my job (I was a much better writer back then and so confused about life). Grad school showed me I love coding. I got a student job when someone took a chance on me and I've been coding ever since.

My first language was java. My second C#. After that I was working in legacy VB and old ASP. Some and C# when it was available. My student intern gig was promoted to full time. My department reorganized and I was a nobody floating in a sea of peoplesoft and .net developers. SharePoint was picked as our new CMS and 10 sites were slotted to beta in one else wanted to do it so it fell on me. And I've been a SharePoint developer ever since. I think you could say my sharp languages are currently javascript, C#, XSL and HTML at this point. And the SharePoint crap. Aside: i've dabbled in ruby on rails and python for funsies.

We use SharePoint at my organization in two main ways: front end websites and collaboration team sites. The team sites are cut and dry - no one really does much to them, development-wise. But the front end stuff is highly customized. We're in the process of reworking our front-end framework to be responsive. It is a challenge - not only is it hard to design a responsive site, but it's even harder to force SharePoint to respond in the way it should. Speed has to be fast (so that mobile devices with a bad connection have a great experience). We need the SharePoint editing tools themselves to still work, but at the same time to be creating HTML5. We need so much to be different than what SharePoint provides. Aside number two, I have a coworker who does all of the design work while I work with all the code doing fun stuff like minimizing HTTP requests and tricking SharePoint into not formatting pages by using tables. He writes CSS but no javascript, so that front-end dynamism is my bag too.

So what I'm going to be putting on this blog is weird stuff I've found in SharePoint as I've gone along. Stuff we've coded that I haven't been able to blatantly rip off of the internet (most development issues/questions are answered by google and Stack Overflow). And I'm going to try to start building a git profile for myself. We do interesting things and we should share them with the world.

If you don't know what any of this stuff I'm saying means, but you want to, let me point you to a few places. If you don't know what it means and don't want to, well, why are you still reading?

Responsive design, to me, is synonymous with Ethan Marcotte. Go to his site or read his book. I own it if you want to borrow it.

SharePoint is...a beast of a CMS. Oh, I guess I should say, a CMS is a content management system. I spend a lot of time on msdn most days, so I might as well link there.

GitHub is a collaborative code sharing community. I've used a lot of git stuff in my life. Probably the first code sample I'll share with you is inspired by a PHP git.

HTML5 and CSS3 are really what makes this responsive stuff possible. New standards that we developers live by. Not sure where to link for those except, you should just go read all of the A Book Apart books. Have them all, will loan.

Stack Overflow is a development help site/forum/thingy. Can be troll-y but usually is super helpful. Example question.

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