WDI week 5: individual project week

Week 5 was the week of our first project. Given that we'd only started the course a month ago, and were now tasked with concepting, designing and building our first complete full-stack web app, getting this done in a week was quite an intimidating prospect for me!

I knew what I wanted to build, but I had no idea how to do it, what to use, or where to start.

My idea was a vocabulary builder, to let you look up words you didn't know, learn their meaning, then store them until you were comfortable using them in conversation.

I knew I would need some sort of dictionary data, and after some mooching around the internet, I found the Wordnik API which looked like a stable choice and came pretty highly recommended. It also already existed in the form of a Ruby gem, so that was handy.

I decided to use Zurb's Foundation as a front-end framework, as I'd already used Bootstrap quite a bit in previous projects before the course and wanted to try Foundation for comparison.

I used Devise for my login system, which is a gem that takes care of the password encryption bit for you, plus a whole lot of other functionality such as emailing users who've forgotten their password.

So I began planning out my models, writing the logic to interpret the data I wanted from the API, and assembling it into something resembling my idea.

We had to present our projects on Friday, and sadly, I wasn't done. By the end of the week, what I had was basically a functioning dictionary. You could look up words and find their definitions, and you could also create an account, but you couldn't yet store anything. Ah well.

I'm not going to link to the project yet as it's not finished, but I will go back to it when I have some time, as I think it could be awesome, and it's a product I've been personally wanting to use for a long time.