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Coder Catchup 100 Episode Questions

https://twitter.com/adamstac Adam is the host of Founders Talk, and Founder & Editor-in-chief of Changelog Media. Prior to Changelog (and during, depending on the year) he lead product development for a non-profit called Pure Charity

If you were starting fresh, what would you primarily focus on? (e.g. as a new web designer/developer)

That's easy. JavaScript — for the simple fact that JavaScript is synonymous with the web. It's the language of the web and that's not going to change anytime soon.

The million dollar question article after article attempts to answer is where to start with JavaScript. Vanilla JS or a framework or library? ES6 JavaScript? I'm not going to attempt to answer that here. But what I can tell you, is that if I were starting fresh, I'd attach myself to JavaScript and hold on for dear life cause it's moving fast. It's the future of the web.


What is one piece of advice you think is most important for web developers/designers going forward?

Invest in getting out and meeting people. Go to local meetups or a conference and make some friends. I can rewind where things started for me, and all roads lead to connections and friends I've made going to conferences — meeting people face to face.


What would you do to get out of a slump or plateau with your web career?

Figure out what you are really passionate about and pursue it every day. You can't excel if you're not passionate about what you're doing. Talk to the friends you made at the recent conference you attended and ask them for advice. Whatever you do, don't be an island.


What is 1 thing you would like to see web developers/designers doing more of?

I'd like more people to say this with me "Not an imposter." You are not an imposter. You belong here. You're not a fraud. Don't believe the lie. You are worth it.


One piece of advice of your choosing.

Head to changelog.com/master. Click subscribe. Don't miss a show.

Chris Coyier CSS-Tricks, Codepen https://twitter.com/chriscoyier

  • If you were starting fresh, what would you primarily focus on? (e.g. as a new web designer/developer)

Building websites. The ShopTalk Show mantra (http://shoptalkshow.com/mantra/) is "Just build websites" for a reason. Learn what you need to learn to build what you need to build.

  • What is one piece of advice you think is most important for web developers/designers going forward?

Literally the same as above. Plus persistance.

  • What would you do to get out of a slump or plateau with your web career?

Going to a conference might be a little jumpstart you could use. Maybe take a vactation. Maybe change jobs.

  • What is 1 thing you would like to see web developers/designers doing more of?

A real commitment to performance and death to bullshit (http://deathtobullshit.com/ by Brad Frost) would be nice.

  • One piece of advice of your choosing

https://quotesondesign.com/bill-tregles-dad/

https://twitter.com/jerodsanto Professional binding.pry typer. Also @changelog, @objectlateral, @interfaceschool Jerod is Managing Editor & Partner of Changelog Media

1. If you were starting fresh, what would you primarily focus on? (e.g. as a new web designer/developer)

Beginners shouldn't focus much, I don't think. This is why many 101 level courses are surveys of an entire field. It's important to get the lay of the land before focusing in on one or a few things. How else can you get a sense of what's worth focusing on?

In web development, I think that means learning how the web works as a system. Clients, servers, DNS, HTTP(s), and HTML are the underpinnings of the web that should be understood first. Then, I'd try to use that knowledge to publish a website, soup-to-nuts. Once you can do that on your own, the opportunities really open up for you.

2. What is one piece of advice you think is most important for web developers/designers going forward?

Generalize. Technologies come to fame then fall from favor faster than boy bands. If you gained expertise in Thing A by burying your head in it and ignoring Things B, C, and D, your skills may be quite marketable today and completely irrelevant tomorrow. On the other hand, if you keep your eyes on Things A through D while working with maybe B and C, you stand a much better chance of remaining valuable as things change.

If we look at our ongoing education in terms of breadth and depth, my advice (and practice) is to go for breadth habitually and go for depth when the need arises.

3. What would you do to get out of a slump or plateau with your web career?

This depends on what you mean by slump, but I'll assume it means waning interest in the web and my work on it. In this case, I've found that side projects are great slump busters. Working on a side project that I care about energizes me and helps me power through times of low motivation, especially if they're challenging and push me outside of my comfort zone. Frankly, that's one of my favorite things about working on Changelog. Producing awesome content for developers is an entirely different challenge from writing software itself. Plus, it usually means hacking on a few things along the way!

4. What is 1 thing you would like to see web developers/designers doing more of?

I'd love to see web developers and designers focus more on the fundamentals and less on bleeding edge features and new techniques. Get the basics right: quality content, ease of use, and speed of delivery. The rest is just icing on the cake.

5. One piece of advice of your choosing

Listen to more podcasts. :)

https://twitter.com/JoniTrythall Designer @appsembler, co-founder @elaconf, author of Pocket Guide to Writing SVG, teacher

If you were starting fresh, what would you primarily focus on? (e.g. as a new web designer/developer) When I started out I was a bit all over the place and still am to some extent. While I found myself feeling overwhelmed and without direction often I wouldn’t do anything differently. I am not entirely sure how I would have figured out where I need to be without experiencing this, even though it can be brutal.

One specific thing I wish I did realize years ago was that actual design tasks that may initially come to mind are such a small part of the job and communication and human relationships are everything.

What is one piece of advice you think is most important for web developers/designers going forward? Be someone other people love to work with. Be kind, be understanding, respect people’s schedules, praise a job well done, approach everything as a teaching opportunity, be humble.

Also, never feel unqualified to teach something that you just learned. Teaching allows you to retain the knowledge better and your words will resonate especially well with another beginner; you remember exactly what tripped you up and can speak directly to that.

What would you do to get out of a slump or plateau with your web career? I went through this earlier this year and it sucks but it is totally normal. I think it’s ultimately about adapting to and embracing whatever situation you may find yourself in. So while I found myself working on a project that was very uninspiring and perhaps even morally questionable, I used it as an opportunity to do what I enjoy the most, which is learn and teach. I happened to have learned a bunch about research and process during this time which was very exciting and valuable.

What is 1 thing you would like to see web developers/designers doing more of? I would like to see fewer people working in bubbles and just all-around having a more open, transparent process.

One piece of advice of your choosing I am finding it super challenging to select one so here are three:

  1. Force yourself to be uncomfortable. If you wait until you feel ready to do that thing that scares you you'll never do it and may miss the opportunity to discover a new passion.
  2. Don’t discredit your past experiences, they are more relevant than you think.
  3. Always leave the community a better place than how you found it.

https://twitter.com/codemiller Functional programmer. @facebook software engineer. @lambdaladies co-founder.

  • If you were starting fresh, what would you primarily focus on? (e.g. as a new web designer/developer)

I would focus on learning how to learn. Technologies change - a key skill that will help you to stay relevant is to know how to dive in and get started with something new. This means seeking out the right people to ask questions, having a nose for useful resources, and not being afraid to just tinker and see what happens. …

  • What is one piece of advice you think is most important for web developers/designers going forward?

Communication skills are as important as technical skills. You might be technically brilliant, but if you can't explain your ideas to others or thoughtfully respond to their feedback, you will not be maximising your impact. …

  • What would you do to get out of a slump or plateau with your web career?

Network. Go to Meetups, conferences, user groups, or other tech events, and find inspiration from what others in the industry are doing. You might just connect with someone who can offer a new opportunity. …

  • What is 1 thing you would like to see web developers/designers doing more of?

Building more diverse communities. We create technologies that change the world, and we should have people representing the whole world involved in that process. I'd love to see all developers seeking out opportunities to help make that a reality, and encouraging those around them who are in the minority. …

  • One piece of advice of your choosing

It really is better to build and ship something with some known flaws to get it in front of users and then iterate quickly, than to spend a long time trying to build the perfect product without that feedback. For perfectionists like me, it can feel unnatural to knowingly sacrifice quality in the short term, but ultimately it leads to better results.

https://twitter.com/robbyrussell Principal @PlanetArgon. Ruby on Rails dev. Creator of @ohmyzsh.

  • If you were starting fresh, what would you primarily focus on? (e.g. as a new web designer/developer)

If I were starting fresh, I'd work to identify a few mentors in the industry to follow and keep tabs on their writings. What types of problems are they solving, what tools are they using, etc. There are an overwhelming amount of programming languages, frameworks, and tools to get similar types of jobs done. If you're new to this, how are you going to make a confident decision that you're going to be working with a lasting solution? Standing on the shoulders of giants can help you go a long way.

I'd also encourage them to find a position in a company that has a lot of existing code. One of the best skills to pick up, early, is debugging. Rarely do we, as developers, get to start with a clean slate. Making things better is more rewarding than working from a blank slate.

  • What is one piece of advice you think is most important for web developers/designers going forward?

Communication skills are so critical. Learning how to talk, with others, through project requirements, bugs, strategy, and resolution is going to come in handy in the long run.

Again, don't underestimate how critical it is that you learn how to debug problems in an efficient manner. Consider working for an agency before you join a product company. This will help you dive into a diverse set of existing codebases, which will help expedite your development skills. As an agency owner, I'm biased about this. …

  • What would you do to get out of a slump or plateau with your web career?

Invest in yourself outside of your career. Keep an eye out for problems that you can help make a difference with whether they be personal or professional. Build friendships with people outside of your industry. Over the past decade, I've worked hard to build a network of friends who work in different fields. Keep things in perspective. Remember that your job is not who you are. You are not your job. Aim to succeed in a few areas of your life.

If you don't like your job, try to give it an honest attempt to make it better. If you can't, move forward to the next adventure but remember that the grass isn't always greener. Sometimes, we need to ask ourselves if we're a part of the problem.

  • What is 1 thing you would like to see web developers/designers doing more of?

Giving credit to their peers. We all want to feel appreciated for the work that we're doing. Once we learn how to applaud our colleagues and friends, we help lift them up. This is one of the greatest micro gifts that we can do on a daily basis.

Sarah Allen https://twitter.com/ultrasaurus Sarah Allen (@ultrasaurus) volunteers at Bridge Foundry, works on Firebase at Google

  • If you were starting fresh, what would you primarily focus on? (e.g. as a new web designer/developer) how do we find meaning in data? visualization if you like front-end/design stuff, machine learning if you like algorithms, distributed systems if you like infrastructure

  • What is one piece of advice you think is most important for web developers/designers going forward? The web isn't just mobile and desktop anymore, it includes tiny devices and backend services that work on your behalf and get back to you. Think about what web applications that go– beyond the page.

  • What would you do to get out of a slump or plateau with your web career? Get involved in a community group, teach or mentor someone who is earlier in their career, make something fun, just for fun.

  • What is 1 thing you would like to see web developers/designers doing more of? Contribute to open source — it's not just about coding, it's being part of a community. Blogging about some piece of open source software or tool that you just tried is a significant contribution. If you found the docs confusing (but you figured it out), fix them. Choose a group of kind, interesting, smart people who are making something that is making the world a better place, and help them make it happen.

  • One piece of advice of your choosing Focus on knowing a few tools/languages very, very well, but also at least 2-3 times a year set aside time to make a project that requires you to learn a new language/framework/tool or figure out how to build an app for a new platform or experiment with integrating audio, video, alternate display technologies and/or new kinds of sensors.

Wes Bos https://twitter.com/wesbos Fullstack Dev ❯ JS⚛ CSS Node ❯ https://ES6.iohttp://ReactForBeginners.com ❯ Lead instructor @hackeryou @learningcode ❯ Hot Tips

Tweet resonated with a lot of people: https://twitter.com/wesbos/status/802184913835462656

  • If you were starting fresh, what would you primarily focus on? (e.g. as a new web designer/developer)

We're in an age of specialization, so I would say spending time on something that you're excited about, something that you just love doing. I think being really invested in what your working is super underrated right now and it's worth taking some time find out what that thing is.

Now if you have absolutely no idea, JavaScript is the hot thing right now. And as much as people hate hearing this - I focus on getting really good at the fundamentals of JavaScript. Once you know the language you're able to hop from framework to framework with no problem at all. People hate hearing this because they want to be told to focus on react, which they then go and do, only to find out that it's a bit too hard if you don't have good fundamentals in JavaScript.

  • What is one piece of advice you think is most important for web developers/designers going forward?

Blog. Share what you know. Create examples, improve documentation. Just put yourself out there and show people that you know what you're talking about. Absolutely evert break in every door that ever opened for me it's because of either a blog post I've written or someone I've met on Twitter. It takes a lot of work to maintain a blog, but start now by posting something once every two weeks and in one to 2 years from now it's going to pay you huge dividends. Seriously just do this. I tell everybody to do this, and no one does it. Then they come back to me any year asking for more advice. Put in the work!

  • What would you do to get out of a slump or plateau with your web career?

You need to switch it up - first trying to just do more web development when you're getting sick of web development it's sort of like eating more pizza when you're just sick of eating pizza. Sometimes need a little break to do something that is a little bit more creative for you - whether that's exercising are picking up something else it can be very helpful to just take a breather from the stuff.

I've also found when you're sick of your current tech stack, it's really fun to dive into any framework or even any language where you're just having fun.

  • What is 1 thing you would like to see web developers/designers doing more of?

Work on their empathy skills. There's a lot of nice people in this industry but there's also a lot of people who have a hard time seeing things from other's perspective. Empathy is a huge skill and it's going to really help you advance your career. Just look at Dan Abramov (React, Redux...), he's doing amazing things and everybody absolutely loves him. A lot of that is due to him being a smart guy but I would say just as much is due to him having a ton of empathy for other developers.

  • One piece of advice of your choosing

Put in the work. Just do a little bit extra every single day and you're going to gain incredible momentum.

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