by Kristoffer Andreasen

How modifying popular libraries can help you become a better developer

I have been learning additional skills within the past couple of years. Particular in the computer science area. In a few of these skills, I have achieved enough competencies to ship a product with a respective level of quality. However, the majority of my language explorations has led to little use.

I have learned a few important lessons in terms of acquiring knowledge. Today, the application of these has not led to a fast learning process but a more consistent one.

The approach

One of the more surprising experiences on my journey has been the creation of a CSS library. In this case, I created a small animation library. I knew before I started that Animate.css had become somewhat of a de facto standard for animations. This didn’t make me think twice about starting the project. The reason for this is that I didn’t set out to create something to be used by developers from all around the world. I set out to learn the world of animation in CSS.

I had read numerous tutorials, which all provided a good introduction to the subject. The downside was my approach. As it often happens when only reading material, I had trouble applying the skills to my projects. This is where I decided to look at the source code for Animate.css.

My animations do not have the same applicability to real world problems as Animate.css and other animation projects. It mostly just displays over the top animations, which displayed on a website would not contribute to the user experience. However, it did provide me with a solid understanding of the different concepts of CSS animation. I now use it to a certain extent in all of my projects.

If you really want to learn, get your hands dirty. Play around with the different values and watch how the result changes. This is what really makes you remember.

Apart from learning the basics of CSS animation, I leveraged the situation to familiarize myself with Git and Github Pages. This entitled how to create proper documentation on Github and setting up the project page. Furthermore, it gave me an opportunity to consider the optimal way of displaying the animations on the project page.

The project

Click on the images to see the Gitub Repo and the Project Page. Feel free to fork or contribute but I encourage you to create your own.

Github Repo and Project Page

Thanks for reading my story on learning through modifications to existing libraries. This is just another way of continuing the learning process. I have yet not tried to modify libraries in JavaScript, which will be one of my next projects. I can’t wait to get at it once I have established a better understanding of the language in general.

Happy learning!