OACAA Self Sufficiency Calculator

The Self Sufficiency Calculator

We’ve all been there. We get a project and realize there is a piece to it that we don’t know how to solve. In the world of web design, this can be terrifying. A quote from Chris Pine says “programming isn’t about what you know; it’s about what you can figure out.” 

This might be a common truth, but when you have a client relying on you to build a program, it suddenly becomes frightening. In these moments, it is imperative that we take a few deep breaths and lean on the knowledge that we already have and the confidence that comes from experience and the ability to learn from others. 

The problem: 

A little while back, our team faced a project that was beyond the current capabilities of what our developer had done. Looking back now, it was a simple solution, but being new to the field, it took some researching, learning and a lot of googling! 

The project was for an organization called OACAA and involved building a self sufficiency calculator. In this calculator, a person can input certain information such as age, location, number of people in the household and then get a breakdown of the income they would need in certain categories, to remain self sufficient. 

Our web design team was used to working with CMS system such as WordPress and Squarespace and hadn’t had a lot of real life applications with hard coding. This calculator project presented a great opportunity for our team to utilize those skills. 

The solution: 

Our team used Javascript and JSON specifically to build the backend of the program and calculations and we are elated to say that it was built successfully and now lives at https://oacaa.org/self-sufficiency-calculator/


You might not know everything now, but that’s okay. Web design and development is about finding out what you CAN do. Everything can be solved and with the amazing resources such as Stack Overflow or W3 Schools you can collaborate with other developers who know more than you and then use what you learn for future projects. 

The main lesson here is, don’t be afraid to not know everything and don’t be afraid to learn!