Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

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I am a UI Developer at Forsman & Bodenfors. Previously, I was the front-end web developer for Jewish National Fund, where one of my projects won an award. In my free time, I teach code to high school students with ScriptEd. Some of my projects are on GitHub, because I learn more when others can critique my code. I blog about what I’m learning and random tidbits that catch my fancy.

Recent Work

The Story Exchange

NYC Farmers Market Locator

Quiz Web App

Shopping List Web App

Recent Posts

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Reflecting on my years of teaching web development with ScriptEd

A new school year means another year of teaching with ScriptEd. This will be my 5th year! I’ve been reflecting on how much I’ve grown since my first year with ScriptEd:

I had the worst stage-fright and could barely get through a 5-minute lecture without becoming breathless and shaky. Once I actually stopped in the middle of a lecture and ran out of the classroom, leaving the other volunteers to pick up where I left off. While I’m still no TED speaker (though ScriptEd’s co-founder is), I can get through a class without heart palpitations. I don’t have to read directly off the slides and it doesn’t completely throw me off-track when I stumble over something or when a student interrupts with a question. I’ve even given talks at QueensJS and DjangoGirls events.

I knew just enough JavaScript when I started teaching to read a simple function, mostly understand it and maybe edit it. I learned JavaScript by teaching. Nothing is more motivating than having students depend on me. I’m driven to understand the material at a deeper level and find engaging ways to help them understand it.

Now I write JavaScript almost every day at work. Over the past 4 years I’ve built websites with advanced animations (pieces of a car that fall into place as a user scrolls, a tumblr-style lazy-loading masonry page that scrolls forever and ever) and several applications using React.

Teaching has also improved my ability to communicate at work: I use similar strategies to explain technical concepts to producers and product managers so they understand what I’m working on, struggling with, or need clarity on.

I have more empathy, patience, self-confidence, and new friends among my fellow volunteers.

Teaching is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and its also an amazing way to learn.

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Things That Happened in 2017

Kyle and I spent two amazing weeks in Japan.
I traveled to Turkey and Israel for two weeks with my Dad.
One of my bestest pals from high school got married.
A friend brought her kid to NYC for the first time and I got to take a train-obsessed 6-year-old on his first subway ride.
I got my ears re-pierced.
Kyle and I saw Dropkick Murphys, Rancid and Bouncing Souls at Coney Island.
I participated in the Day of Dinners, and had some amazing conversations with cool people in my neighborhood who I haven’t heard from since.
During a round of layoffs at work, I didn’t lose my job.
I finally made it past the shin splint phase of starting to run again and went from a 16-min mile to a 12-min mile before it got too cold to run anymore.
Kyle and I spent the holidays with our families.
Many walks and foods around NYC.
I visited a friend in Miami, we went rock climbing, and the car died on the way home.
Another great year of teaching with ScriptEd.
Kyle and I took his parents to The Cloisters, which was my first time there not for a Medieval Festival.
I kept doing CrossFit, participated in the CrossFit Open, didn’t die, and have gotten much stronger.
My mom took us to see The Play That Goes Wrong, and my face hurt from laughing.
NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard!
I got to pet, hold and/or cuddle a ridiculous number of animals.
Both sets of parents came up from FL to visit. (Separately, thankfully.)
Kyle and I built our own coffee tables when we couldn’t find what we wanted.
I have continued to shave my head.
A trip to The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens.

And probably a lot of other stuff I can’t remember right now!

January 1, 2018 | Comments Off on Things That Happened in 2017 | Categories: Posts | Permalink

The Kenny Rogers Rule

The Kenny Rogers Rule states: When building anything, especially something as complicated as a robot, the build can sometimes turn ugly. If you try and just power your way through, you can often dig yourself into an even deeper hole. Frustrations can mount, and with it, mistakes, even accidents can happen. So here’s what you do: “Put the soldering iron down, Poindexter. Step away from the steaming robot entrails!” You’ll be amazed at what an hour away, vegging in front of the TV, rolling around on the floor with the cat, or sleeping on your problem will do. It almost never fails. Here’s a corollary: The extent to which you don’t want to drop what you’re doing and take a break (“I know I can fix this, damn it!”), is inversely proportional to the extent to which you need to take that break. Why is it called the Kenny Rogers Rule? ‘Cause as country Kenny wisely tells us: “You got to know when to hold, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run…”

From Tips of the Week: Silencing a Leaky Air Hose, Women’s Work Pants, and the Kenny Rogers Rule | Make:

August 4, 2017 | Comments Off on The Kenny Rogers Rule | Categories: Quotes | Permalink

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CSS initial Keyword

Note to self: The initial keyword is not supported in Internet Explorer 11 and earlier versions. Just use auto!

July 13, 2017 | Comments Off on CSS initial Keyword | Categories: Posts | Permalink