Basic Web Development

Tai Chi
Learning to code can be like learning Tai Chi.

Q: Web development—with the wide range of backend and frontend languages, frameworks, and all of the tools and dependencies developers deal with on a day-to-day basis building apps and sites—is inherently complex. What advice do you give folks who are just starting out in web development?

 1) When someone is getting started in web development, I usually focus on three things. First, you have to learn your foundations. Get good at HTML, responsive CSS3, and vanilla JavaScript. This will be of use to you no matter where you’re working.

2) Second, pick something and get good at it. Pick a single frontend framework and a single backend framework and get to know them well. Try a variety of projects in them; find the places they annoy you; get to know the communities; dig in deep; give back.

–by Matt Stauffer

The Smartphone is “Digitizing” More and More of the World

Quotes from a talk by Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson: A Lesson From Amazon’s Bezos:

I remember one of these all-hands meetings, somebody asked a question, and I don’t even remember what the question was,” said Lawson. “But I remember what Jeff’s response was. Jeff said, ‘We are a software company, just as much as that other company down in Redmond,’” a reference to Microsoft (MSFT).

What a great definition of what it is to be a software person: people who solve business problems with magnetic particles; not just developers, but people throughout a company who are able to see business problems who are trying to solve them through this lens. Software people fundamentally believe any problem can be solved once you pull that problem into the realm of software.”

And, “It’s a great time to be a software developer,” said Lawson. That’s because the smartphone is “digitizing” more and more of the world, bringing into into the domain of software.


DHH Rant and is TDD dead?

Is TDD Dead Discussion
Is TDD Dead Discussion

I watched DHH (David Heinemeier Hansson) rant about TDD being overkill sometime ago, and caught up on the chats he had with a couple of it’s creators, Kent Beck & Martin Fowler over the last week.

David had his point: creating multiple lines of test code for one line of real code is overboard, but that’s not what Kent had in mind when he created TDD for himself. It’s a much more nuanced conversation to hear the programmers talk it out.

It’s also interesting to note that I also listened to Kent talk about his time at Facebook, where no one was interested in his TDD method and extreme programming ideas, and he had to learn about Facebook’s different programming environment.

And Uncle Bob (Rob Martin) chimed in with a lot of insight (he’s delightfully intelligent) in another video I was watching over the weekend about being at the conference in Colorado where the Agile Manifesto was created–stating that it was the manifesto was due in part to a reaction to a previous generational event–because the number of programmers was doubling every five years, the waterfall process was invented to give discipline and process to the young guns coming out of college who didn’t know much about programming.