Why learning to code makes me joyful and smarter

Published by Cristina Pana on

Learning CSS and HTML

I’ve recently started learning to code CSS and HTML as a side learning project. Although I played with a bit of CSS on DOvelopers website, nothing compares with starting coding on a clean canvas. Firstly, I stated my “Why”, so that it will be the fuel for this journey.

I want to gain new skills and be relevant in a tech oriented world.

Learning by coding will enhance my logic thinking and creativity. And for sure will help me empathise better with developers in our future learning and coaching programs.

Secondly, I decided to work on an existing product. I choose to refactor the frontend of an point of sale system. A POS is the place where customers make a payment for products or services at the store. The product was designed by Eduard many years ago and is currently running smoothly in 3 coffee shops.

Functionality wise it works great, but the design is a bit retro. Thus a great opportunity for me to learn and experiment. And even better, Eduard can help me, be a mentor and review my work.

Learning to code
Demo view of SoftdeMagazin first version

I know I have no time or budget constraints, so I plan to focus more on the scope and quality. Let’s see how that goes :). Also, I planned to code once a week or watch a course / tutorial to keep things moving forward.

First thing first, understanding the product is a must. Therefore, I drinked good coffee and I watched how the guys from Cappuccino Story use the product. This was the easy and joyful part of it, because coffee is life and the guys are fun and easy to talk to.

Than it was back at the drawing table.

I decided to design first the selling screen, because it was most used interface. For wireframes and prototyping I used Adobe XD. I choose web first, a size of 1024×768, imported the needed kits and plugins and started designing.

Being a selling point, I knew that the numeric keyboard, categories/products and payment buttons should be accessible and easy and big enough to be tapped, if used on a tablet. Thus, the second prototype (nevermind the first, nothing to see there…) looked like this:

SoftdeMagazin prototype v2

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”

Said very wisely Mark Twain before Agile was a thing. It took very long until I started coding. I fell in to the trap that the design is not perfect, so I got stuck. Asking for feedback and talking to Eduard helped me move forwards.

The thing is that it will never look perfect and it is fine. Once I start programming and test how things look in the dev environment, I can add improvements in the design. Changes are welcomed anytime during development if it brings value to the product.

On the other hand, designing was a very fun part, because I love playing in Adobe XD. I used Dribble, Behance, Dashboard UI Kits and some UI templates (Google, Apple). It was great to work with this tool, because it made me understand in a practical way the thought process of the user and the order of actions.

About how I continued learning to code, using Github and first panic moments (that seem funny now), you can read in a future article.


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