Responsive Design Example

Learning To Code – Week Five

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

“Working with CSS is like having a small child hitting you – it’s painful and there’s not much you can do about it”.

As our coach Roi this week described it. After learning Ruby and some JavaScript, working with something which is seemingly unpredictable has had it’s challenges when it doesn’t respond the way you expect.

There were a couple of positives;

  • being able to play around with the elements through the developer tools built into the browser.
  • being able to create designs that are responsive to the screen size (see the example in the picture which is controlled purely through the CSS.

I’ll be looking into developing my own ‘grid model’ which is a recommended way to harness CSS and help you create the design you’re after. It’s the principle that many frameworks like Bootstrap are based on. But there’s no substitute for real understanding, even if you do use these frameworks in the future.


Also this week we got stuck into JavaScript. Coming after having spent the previous four weeks focused on Ruby, I was slightly hesitant to start with a new language. However within a couple of days (and a number of times of writing the wrong syntax (eg. thermostat = instead of = new Thermostat();) it was relatively painless, though conscious there’s a lot more to it that the loops and if / else’s I’ve focused on so far.

Though it is less tolerant

One thing that was frustrating, but now feels helpful, is that JavaScript is a lot less tolerant on syntax than Ruby. Ruby has it’s ‘poetry’ mode where you can dispense with brackets and the like to make it more seem like  more natural language. But it does mean that individuals have a variety of styles of writing. Whereas in JavaScript it’s more strict which brings more conformity.

Ocado – Delivering Ground Breaking Technology

This week we had a talk from Paul Clarke, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Ocado. It was fascinating to learn that half of Ocado’s head office is technology focused with most of it being developed inhouse – mainly because no-one else had done it before – from routing vans, managing the warehouse picking (more automated than Amazon apparently), before even considering the customer website.

The amount of data available from the vans, understanding speed, gear selection etc. enables them to optimise their business.

This idea of sensor networks (fashionably called the Internet of Things (IoT), was also something touched on by another of our guest speakers – Inma Martinez, a serial entrepreneur and business advisor.

Soon to be Seniors

Also this week many of the new cohort, starting in February, came in for an open evening. It’s scary to think that we’ll soon be the senior class, but I am feeling more confident in my abilities, both in knowing more about coding, but also knowing more about how to learn to code that will continue long after the course.

Reading Week

This week sees us experiencing a ‘reading week’. After five really high speed weeks, I’m looking forward to having this week to consolidate where I’ve got to so far – revisiting some unfinished projects, tackling some challenges in my weaker areas and doing some wider learning around the edges.


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