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What do you like to build when learning?

Omar White
Hi my name is Omar, I’m a software engineer that specializes in creating great front end experiences, primarily using react. When I’m not engineering I like to game and make music.
・1 min read

I think learning by doing can be really powerful and I’ve always thought having a go to project for evaluating a new piece of technology was a good idea. What’s you’re favorite thing to build when learning something new?

Discussion (5)

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Ben Halpern

If I have an existing project, sometimes I'll create a spike branch to play around with some new library in some way within that project, even if I'm not actually looking to build on it.

For example, I'm often working directly on forem so if there is some library I want to play with, I can whip up a branch and see how it could plug in quick-and-dirty to our code, as long as it is of the same ecosystem.

I always learn better when I'm building on top of something vs totally working from scratch.

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Omar White Author

That makes sense. I don’t have an exciting project at the moment, so I was thinking I could maybe invent one that I could come back to when I want to learn new things.

I figure having a familiar project to re-implement might also be a good alternative to starting from scratch every time.

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Ben Halpern

There might be a live open source project you could fork and keep around as your test ground. For example, you could essentially download DEV and use it as a playground for stuff you might try. Like "how would the sidebar look if I tried including tailwinds into the project and redesigned in?"...

That just came to mind, I'm not sure how well it would work if you're not invested day-to-day... but there must be similar living production codebases in a lot of domains which you could keep around as a test dummy that could help put the new thing in perspective.

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Craciun Ciprian

You can always try to build a todo app, even if you use vanilla js, or React or Angular or any other framework.

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Omar White Author

Yeah I thought about that, it’s certainly a classic.