In staying in line with my goal for trying new things this semester, I have decided to try to have at least one new experience each week. Last week, I decided it would be to attend Spark SC’s Hack Night #1. I had heard about it from one of my friends, and we decided to both go because at least we would be newbies together. The most appealing part of the hack night was that it was to be kicked off with a beginner workshop on HTML and CSS, both of which I was a little bit familiar with but really wanted to work on proficiency in.
As soon as we got there, there were tables already full of computer science students typing furiously on their laptops. It was intimidating to the point where we almost turned around and walked out of the room. However, we decided to be stay and just learn as much as we could. That way, one day, we could be one of those students confidently typing away code. We sat down and waited for the workshop to start.
A well-spoken computer science student in an Apple t-shirt sat at the head of the table to address us, his laptop connected to the projector so that we could follow along to what he was explaining. He started with an introduction to what HTML and CSS are used for, namely that HTML is similar to the foundation of the building, giving it structure and layout, while CSS is the design and flourish that make the building aesthetically pleasing and unique, it’s all the furniture and color.
He went on to show us the basics of HTML script, which all have a head and a body. There are different elements, such as
which creates a new paragraph,
Next, he talked about CSS, and how it really gave a code writer the ability to personalize their page. He showed us how the CSS code won’t alter the actual content of the page, it will alter the appearance of the content. It can do things like adjust alignment, text size, color, font, the list is endless. A full list of CSS options can be found at (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/Reference).
Finally, he showed us that you can inspect the elements of any website, and play around with editing them yourself just to see what happens. Of course, none of the changes made will actually affect the website, so it can be a very valuable learning tool. On a Mac, to do this, you simply right click on the web page, and hit “inspect elements”. He used Google as an example, showing us to change the background color or change the search button text to say something hilarious.
Overall, the experience was wonderful and I can’t wait for Hack Night #2 this coming Thursday! Fight on and try new things!