Finally realizing the importance of Project Planning

Well, it’s taken me all five phases of the flatiron software engineering bootcamp, but I finally have learned to utilize a skill taught on day one. No big deal, I mean who doesn’t want to make an already challenging task harder than it needs to me? Anyway, as a true Aquarian, I tend to be a little scatter brained. I have lots of ideas and I want to do all of them, unfortunately at the same time. I always have a plan though, but executing said plan has always been my biggest struggle.

So naturally, switching career paths into one which requires a great deal of organizational skills was where I decided to head. Every project seemed near impossible for me to complete, even though I felt like I understood the lessons and concepts pretty well. As it turns out, it wasn’t the concepts I wasn’t grasping and I also wasn’t an idiot, which was a reoccurring feeling throughout my time at Flatiron. It took me all five phases, but I finally utilized a tool that was taught in the first week, and trust me — USE IT!

It’s called draw.io. It’s a flowchart maker/online diagram tool, and it is an actual lifesaver. I could have saved months worth of time by NOT restarting every single project at least 13 times, for no reason other than a new idea popped in my head or I didn’t create my app the way I wanted from the start. Trust me, the actual project build out will take you no time at all if you really take the time to carefully map out your project in draw.io first. So here we go:

Type in draw.io in your google search and you’ll find this:

Type draw.io in your browser.
To create a new project: click create new Diagram and this will pop up next.

I just used the Blank diagram, I found it easier to create/edit a flow chart as new ideas came to me that way although feel free to play around with whichever diagram suits you!

Everyone will find what shapes/charts/arrows/designs are better for their projects but I scrolled down to Entity Relation and selected the “List” option, shown in the next two photos.

Add a few of the List tables (one per model you plan on having in your project). Really comes in handy to use as a reference point when you’re building out both front and backend applications! Life, time and sanity saver all in one! The arrows also help to visualize your Active Record relationships. Where the items are is where you can type out your attributes along with their data type. You can also write out what functions you may need. These don’t have to be in code, pseudo code will work just fine for your chart. Now when you go in to build out your project it’s like you have a cheat sheet!

I honestly cannot believe I didn’t use it until now. It’s very easy to fall into so many rabbit holes on YouTube during projects. While it’s cool to learn different approaches to the same end goal, all that will do is mess up your build flow and make it seem impossible to complete. It’s not, just make a plan, then stick to it. You got this, happy coding!!

This is just the start of an idea but so you can see what I mean!

My name is Erin and I am super new to the tech world, and also so excited and eager to become a part of it. :)