This is for fnenu, who reminded me that I have yet to post this month!
OK, so I totally missed out on April Fools Day and had no time to create a fun fool-themed post (one of the many untethered ideas I come up with while commuting). So instead I'm going to talk about the first time I used code to solve an actual problem I was having. This was a very powerful moment for me because it took all this learning that was living ^way up here ^ in my mind, and brought it down to earth.
I've been trying to reorder checks through my credit union's website for months, but their partner site wouldn't allow me to edit the information (name and address) listed on the check. Even after I called my credit union to change the associated address, the partner site added a number tag to my name that was visible on the check in an uneditable text field.
I opened the console, located the div in question, and manually changed the text to be displayed just how I wanted it. When I proceeded to the checkout screen, the changes I made were reflected on the final product! Victory!!! I felt like a low-rent hacker. Which is to say, I felt indescribably proud.
I got my checks delivered today, opened them up, and sure enough, they are exactly as I wanted! (Side note: It kind of feels like, since it's a site tied to banking, maybe you shouldn't be able to do this so easily? But whatever. I got my checks to look right, so YAY.)
Thinking back to the last time I struggled to reorder these stupid checks a few months ago, I never would have imagined that I'd be able to overwrite what I saw on that janky web page with just a few short keystrokes. I think that's the most powerful part of programming -- discovering that there are SO MANY possibilities for doing stuff that you hadn't ever considered before, and knowing that there is real, non-magical code behind the page that you can access and manipulate.