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Nevertheless, Andy Coded: Vocabulary list from my first weeks as a dev

andy1 profile image Andy ・4 min read

I started my first developer job three weeks ago. As my boss told me it would, the process has felt like trying to drink from a fire hose.

Drinking from a fire hose
I'm fine. This is fine.

There has been a lot to learn and it can be paralyzing. Sometimes I don't even know the words I need to ask the right questions.

So, I've been keeping track of all the vocabulary I've learned these last few weeks. In this post you'll find my working definitions of these concepts and the best resources I've found explaining them. I thought this would make an appropriate women's day post because LOOK AT ALL THESE THINGS I DON'T KNOW YET. And nevertheless, I coded.

1. Packages

In web dev world, there are a lot of words for "units of stuff." Other examples include "modules" and "bundles" and "crying jags" (units of developer frustration; used in a sentence: I was sent into 1.2 crying jags when searches for "what is a web development package" turned up nothing but video game results).

My working definition: a chunk of code someone else made that I can use.

For a better and more in-depth explanation, I liked this post by @shubheksha :

2. Dependencies

Someone asked me this week if I had experience with injecting dependencies. And I was like,

I'm not crying, you're crying
I'm not crying, you're crying.

The answer is, how shall I say...no.

My working definition: programs needed by programs I need in my web app. Clear as crystal.

I gleaned that info from this post in the askUbuntu help forum in Stack Exchange.

But for sheer catchiness of the title, my runner-up resource was Code Dependencies Are the Devil by Bill Sourour.

3. Observables

My working definition: An observable thing. Insightful!

I'll have to defer to Netanal Basel on this one. Check out his article, JavaScript - Observables Under the Hood.

4. Databinding

This came up when I took PluralSight's Angular: Getting Started course, which, fun fact, is narrated by Siri (at least that's how soporific Deborah Kurata's voice is).

My working definition: Being able to declare a thing somewhere and call it somewhere else.

Matan Lurey says it with much more eloquence: "Data binding, or updating the view (usually UI) from your application’s code is probably the holy grail of browser-based web frameworks." Check out his article, Building data binding in the browser.

5. Alias

One of my first tasks as a developer was to get AEM installed.

If there's something that scares me about web development, it's having to type long, strange commands into Terminal. I press enter while preying to Odin that I didn't just tell my computer to spontaneously combust.

A thing about installing AEM if you didn't already know it: the process is long, strange, and involves a million command line prompts. About halfway through my second day (OF THREE!) of installing AEM, one of my coworkers suggested I write some aliases to help myself with the process.

My working definition: Assuming the identity of an experience web developer to help me through feelings of inadequacy.

The better definitions and explanations can be found here: A developer's guide to using aliases.

And here: 7 super useful aliases to make your development life easier.

6. Bootstrap

In a stunning turn of events, something in web developer land is more confusing than it needs to be! Imagine my surprise when I learned that Bootstrap doesn't just refer to the prettifying code library.

My working definition: A program that runs itself.

For the best explanation, check out this Stack Overflow post from the Dark Ages (2009):

7. SPA

My working definition: Single Page Application.

The most soothing of the acronyms I've experienced so far (the least soothing award must rest with SCORM).

8. Webpack

I've been shadowing a team working on a web app that's been written with Angular. One of their big long-term projects is to move everything into React. In a meeting with the main dev in charge of that, the answer to every question seemed to be "because webpack."

Best resource here [EDIT]

I also really enjoyed @areknawo 's recent post about setting up a Webpack config file:

This vocab list could be about 1,000 entries longer but I think I'll leave it here. To summarize: coders aren't joking when they throw around phrases like "life-long learning." I'm excited and daunted to keep up this career of frantic googling I've chosen.

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