Break Diver Robert Chen
  • DIVER: Robert Chen
  • CATEGORY: Coder
  • Level: 1
  • REQUIREMENTS: Level 1 (Know the basics of HTML & CSS)

When and Why Did You Decide to Pursue This Dive?

I started this dive when I was in eighth grade. I wanted to start making websites and HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) & CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are the meat and bones of websites. I decided to learn HTML & CSS at the same time as I decided to start pursuing Javascript. To be honest, those three languages are almost like a package deal!

How Long Did It Take For You To Accomplish This Dive At This Level From The Day You Decided To Pursue It, And Why Did It Take That Long?

HTML is one of the easier languages to learn. It took me around a week to have a basic understanding of how it works. A lot of things are very intuitive and can be easily picked up by a beginner. Compared to other languages, the XML design, (“<html></html”, “<body></body”) is a lot easier to pick up. CSS is also pretty easy to understand, but only once you get the hang of it. Becoming comfortable with CSS took me much longer.

What Was The Hardest Part About Achieving This Dive Level?

There are a lot of things to memorize with CSS. For example, I still don’t fully remember all of the different possible CSS modifiers, and maybe I never will. For example: float, text-align, flex, the list just goes on and on. Sometimes I find myself forgetting these and having to play around in the Chrome development console in order to get the CSS to work properly.

What Was The Easiest Part About Achieving This Dive Level?

Learning the basics of HTML and CSS is relatively easy. There are a lot of online resources for anybody to learn from. If you have any question, it’s really easy to simply go online and look for the answer.

What Is Your Advice For Someone Who Is Pursuing This Dive And Level?

Have fun. Making websites is one of the most fun things to do for me. I really enjoy doing it in my spare time and it makes coding a lot more enjoyable. I think that one of the most important things in life is to do things that you enjoy. Only then can you truly improve.

What Are Some Of The Best Resources You Recommend to Those Pursuing This Dive at This Level, And Why Do You Recommend Them? Please Include Relevant Weblinks, If Applicable.

One of the best resources (not just for HTML and CSS but in general for coding) is Stack Overflow: While this website might seem a bit confusing for beginners, once you get used to their format, Stack Overflow provides an invaluable question and answer resource for coders of all levels, for all coding languages.

If you ever have your own questions, you can also ask them on Stack Overflow. A better (and more friendly) resource for more beginner / intermediate questions is Break Diving:

For learning HTML and CSS, I’d recommend using w3schools. They have a wide range of tutorials:

Tell Us A Story Of One Of Your Adventures While Pursuing This Dive.

Here’s a story about learning how to use the CSS attribute “flex”.

Flex is one of the more modern features. It has only recently been added to browsers in the last couple of years. It’s also of the more powerful features. It can be very useful when aligning objects.

However, I just couldn’t understand how flex worked for some reason. I read up on a lot of online tutorials, trying to figure out how flex worked, but none of the tutorials made any sense. It was very frustrating because I really wanted to learn and use this powerful new feature.

One day, though, I came across something called “Flexbox Froggy”. This free online game made it both fun and easy to learn how flex worked. Unlike many of the other tutorials that are purely text-based, this one was interactive, and played like a game. And it worked for me! You can find the tutorial at

In summary, I learned flexbox by playing an online game!

How did you prove you met the requirements for this level?

I work on the Break Diving coding team, and helped build many of the front-end features on the site. The staff at Break Diving all verify my HTML and CSS coding abilities.

Will you be pursuing the next level?  If so, what is the next level, and what is your plan?  If not, why not?

Yes I will continue to learn HTML/CSS, and look forward to submitting for Level 2 soon!

And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Robert Chen is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: CODER – HTML/CSS – LEVEL 1.  Congratulations Robert!  Thank you for being an inspiration to others!

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