I'm currently living in a small beach alcove in southern Thailand. It's a beautiful place but there are some limitations, the only Internet is available at restaurants and the power is on from 6pm to 6am. This has meant that I haven't been able to spend more than 2.5 hours a day working on my laptop so I've been using my free time to read lots of articles on Medium and Dev.to.
Here are a list (in no particular order) of some of my favourite reads.
One of the lines in this article is
Good Programming is a few brief moments of sublime elegance embedded in months of niggling, exacting, precise trivialities.
This really struck true for me, thinking back on the work I did at my last job. Most days I would write code and implement features but feel like anyone could write it. Then occasionally I would solve a problem or make a slight change to the existing code that just makes everything that bit better.
There are so many great quotable lines that I’ll just list them here.
Your job is to make it work, make it right and make it fast in that order.
Do the simplest thing that could possibly work.
It’s hard enough to find an error in your code when you’re looking for it; it’s even harder when you’ve assumed your code is error-free.
First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.
This list of quotes is a great foundation for the mentality needed to become a great developer and I will aim to follow them for the rest of my career.
This article was great for outlining the pros and cons for both Ruby on Rails and Node.js. I learnt a lot about Ruby on Rails but also learnt a few new things about Node.js.
Having read the article, I don't think that I will learn Ruby on Rails as a new backend technology. When I do decide to expand into a new language, I'm currently thinking that it will be Go or another performance based language.
This article was really inspiring. The idea of becoming an authority on a given topic whist helping educate others on what you've learnt. The fact that he explicitly states that you don't have to be an expert to create an authority piece, you learn some things and then share that with the world.
The last point that Beau covers is that you just have to work at it consistently. Whether its a tutorial series, writing an ebook or article posts, you just need to make progress on it consistently.
For me, I realised that I just need to keep making new things, using new technologies and learning every day.
Everyone wants to be better. Better at sport. Better at their hobbies. Better paid. But people don't seem to go for things 100%. That means fully committing yourself to accomplish something great, but fully committing is scary so people go for 98%. Cheat meals on diets, skipping a sports practice, smoking just one cigarette.
This article explains that it's harder to do something if you don't give it your all. It goes on to say that changing just one small thing every day compounds upon its self. These little changes Snowball into bigger changes and then into life changing differences.
It also explains the theory of expectations. You will never get more than you expect and you will never achieve more than you expect. For me, I had to ask myself whether I was aiming to achieve enough? Could I achieve more in the same time or reach my goals earlier than I planned? What would I have to do today to achieve my goals sooner?
This article goes on to talk about your environment and how it affects you. It uses the quote from Darren Hardy:
You can’t hang around negative people and expect a positive result.
I've been in situations at both ends of the spectrum. I've had times where the people around me are aiming for medeocrity, spending all their time watching TV and never investing in themselves. I saw the consequences as I found myself becoming lazier, putting off things I knew would be good for me. I've also spent time with an amazing group of super psyched people. You feed off their energy and they feed off yours. You push each other, challenge each other and have some amazing conversations.
I realised that I need to try harder to surround myself with people like that. I need to work on my environment, not just myself.
The article ends with the line
Your best self is only a few slightly better daily choices away.
Which I found really inspiring.
This article gives you hints and tips for how to make your life as a developer that little bit easier.
From using password managers to store all of your test password, credit cards, emails and more, to using specific apps to allow you to switch between applications (no more alt + tab). It introduces ingenious ways to use snippet tools and text expanders to shorthand common phrases or complex symbols. It also covers note taking apps and todo lists, stating that these should do their best to stay out of your way.
In the summary the article says that these tools are "clearing away organizational and mental clutter so you can focus your attention”. I’m definitely planning to implement a few of these over the next week and see how much of a difference it makes.
This was a very challenging read for me. Having lived in China for 3 months and talking with foreigners and locals about the Chinese citizen score (CSS). Its a system which gives you a score based on a selection of criteria (financial, criminal, social, etc.)
I started reading this thinking that the CSS was such a horrible abuse of power, especially over how the government use your Wechat conversations to judge how good you are (based on their criteria). This article turns the whole concept on its head.
Why are westerners complaining about a system that uses your personal data to change the way you interact with the world? We have Facebook, Google and amazon changing what we see online based on our personal data every day. We change what we post onto Facebook, Instagram and snapchat so that we get the most likes possible, whilst they write the algorithms defining how many people get to see the posts.
The Chinese citizen score isn’t as bad as we all think. They’re quite transparent with what they’ll use and how they’ll use it.
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