April: Front-End Development and COBOL

A little late, but April is one and done! I feel like this month was probably my most productive so far, but a lot of this mood change is probably due to some changes in my own personal philosophies over the past three weeks. I’d like to start posting about books that I’ve read outside of programming, but I’m not sure if I’ll do that on this site, or on another, more personal site. Regardless, here were the goals for April, and whether they were completed or not:

  1. Complete the Network Monitor in full. (Not Complete)
  2. Complete the Front-End Web Development track on TreeHouse. (Complete)
  3. Complete the Beginner SQL track on TreeHouse. (Complete)
  4. Have a large chunk of Front End complete for ticketing system. Back-end is mostly finished as of this post! (Not Complete)
  5. Finish Murach’s Mainframe COBOL and our company in-house conventions manual. (Complete)

Work Projects

This months wasn’t all too productive towards work projects. With some minor setbacks and waiting on other things to come through, just not much got done. Plus with an added workload with recent changes, things have gotten pretty bogged down. I’ll aim a bit more realistic next month (plus, the setbacks should be done soon).

TreeHouse Learning

Enough with the negatives! TreeHouse learning went great this month! I completed the Front End Web Development track a week early, and have already been working on Full-Stack JavaScript for next month.

2017-04-24 16_54_02-Treehouse _ Tracks

Most helpful was learning Git on the command line, something I’ve put off time and time again, since the web GUI always worked for what I needed. But with the things I’ve been running into at work, it’s time to pick it up. Most of the time, the GUI within Visual Studio’s Git plugin worked fine, but like PowerShell it’s just going to make me 10x faster and more knowledgeable.


Photo Apr 24, 10 42 31 AM

COBOL learning went well, although I decided to tone it down and just get a general overview. I focused more on the in-house guide we have at work (aptly titled “ALL I NEED TO KNOW IS IN THIS BOOK”), using Murach’s as a supplement where the reading didn’t make sense or wasn’t in depth enough for me. I don’t have a working knowledge of the language, but I know the structure and function of it well enough that I should be able to pick it up easily if needed. I’ve also got a book on IBM DB2 that I have on retainer in case I need it.

So What’s Happening Next Month?

I’ve decided to pick up some books for reading in the next few months, and I’ll be starting with Martin Fowler’s Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code. I feel like this will be a great start for me, allowing me to get better at cleaning up my code, and typing it efficiently in the first place.

I’ll also be going through Learning the Vi and Vim Editors from Arnold Robbins. Since this is a universal text editor, it would be good to learn, and faster than most available. I considered getting UltraEdit, but Vim is free and already installed on Unix systems. For Windows I have GVim installed. Eventually I plan on moving towards Linux System programming, so it will be useful for each of my studies.


I’ll also try to complete the work projects as much as possible, while continuing my tracks on TreeHouse to get proficient at mainstream web development.

So in total, next month will see the following goals:

  1. Complete the Network Monitor in full.
  2. Learn the Vi and Vim editors and start using them.
  3. Complete the Full Stack JavaScript track on TreeHouse.
  4. Finish Refactoring by Martin Fowler. 
  5. Have a large chunk of Front End complete for ticketing system.