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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Learning Along the Way

2009 August 17 - Bonnie


It was like any other work day, the music of Outkast beating loudly against my ear drums and my blank face staring at the computer screen. When I got a message from Clint, my supervisor in San Diego, whom I like to think is a Clint Eastwood look alike, asking if I wanted to work on making a search widget. I replied my typical reply, "cool." I had no idea what a widget was or what working on one would entail. This was my first internship and my first run in with web development, but I figured if I googled enough and used what I had learned from my higher education, I would be successful...


Two Days Later:


"How the heck am I gonna do this?" I asked myself. I had searched the definition of widget and learned nothing from it. I had a starting point which was a 2008 presidential election widget of which I didn't understand 88.5% of the code, and my stomach was grumbling. I gave a sigh and did what I do best: tinker. As I assembled and reassembled the jargon, which was my base, I began to understand more and more: 22%, 30%, 35%, 27%, 32%. Yes, the 27% happened after the 35% and before the 32% because as many of you might know, when you tinker like an beast, in my case a coding beast, you usually end up thinking something does something for a while until you find out that that something doesn't ...

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