To Do List ScreenshotI’ve already been with Zooniverse for just over a month now – the time has gone so fast. This month, I’ve been learning lots of things that I didn’t expect to be learning, and having a lot of fun with the Zooniverse team!

For the past two weeks, I’ve been working on a To Do List app, built in Javascript. It’s been really fun to focus on a bigger Javascript project. A month ago, I was struggling with using Javascript to interact with the DOM, but this project has really helped me get my head around it and move on to new challenges (such as drag and drop functionality).

These past two weeks, I’ve also started to learn how much more to programming there is than just writing the code. One of these things is planning. In previous, more basic projects, such as Rainbow Poems, I hadn’t needed to really plan what I was doing. But with this much bigger project, I’ve needed to keep track of what it is I’m aiming for and what I want to add in. The Issues section of the GitHub project has been really useful, and pretty motivational too. I thought my days of planning and drafting were behind me with my English and German degree completed, but it’s actually a bit reminiscent of that.

Another thing I’ve learnt is how important communication is – and how hard it is! Several members of the lovely Zooniverse team have been helping me with the To Do List project whenever I’ve gotten stuck, but because the project has a lot more going on, I’ve had more to explain to them. I’ve actually found this really hard; when you’ve spent hours with your head one particular issue with the code you’ve written, you forget about all of the other features that you’ve written that build up to the one you’re currently on, but they’re all equally important to explain too.

This month, I also experienced my first Zoominar! On Wednesdays, a team member sometimes does a short seminar on something related to the Zooniverse. This time, Ali, who has sadly now left Zooniverse to move back to the States, showed us how to build a new type of project – with a mock-up project called Zooniverse Go, which featured lots of the Zooniverse team members. It was great fun and I’m looking forward to more Zoominars in the future (I also love how often we manage to get ‘Zoo’ into words).

It’s been a fantastic month full of learning, coding projects and amazing people, and I’m so glad there are still two months to go!

Beverley Newing (a.k.a WebDevBev)