It’s time to declutter your learning to-do list

What to do next? Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.

How many courses, tutorials, and articles are waiting on your to-do list? If you’re a bit like me, the answer is dozens. I’m a passionate learner who is interested in a wide range of programming subjects. But lately, I started to wonder which courses are worth my time and which are just a distraction.

A T-Shaped Trap

If you’re trying to develop your career, you probably encountered the idea of T-shaped people. They are experts in one field and have some expertise in other domains. …

And how to avoid them

Cheese on mouse trap
Cheese on mouse trap
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.

Wikipedia lists about 700 programming languages. The real number is probably even higher, but let’s go with that. We’ve also got thousands of frameworks, tools, and libraries. That’s a lot.

How can software developers navigate this? What should we learn? What will pay our bills?

I’ll be honest with you — it’s hard. Betting on technologies is always risky. A few years ago, big data and data visualization were all the rage, and now blockchain is getting popular.

I can’t tell you if you should bet on a particular technology or not, but I can tell you about some common…

Learn how to stand out from the crowd of developers

You know how to code. That is great! This one skill can transform your life forever.

There’s only one problem — knowing how to code doesn’t guarantee you’ll find a job. It’s a prerequisite, but it’s not enough.

The competition in the software development market, especially amongst juniors, is fierce. In my company, we get over hundred resumes for one junior frontend development position.

Why choose you?

You have to stand out. That’s the only way. Your application has to be different than others. …

Learning to code is tricky

Question mark at the end of hallway
Question mark at the end of hallway
Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash.

In January 2015, I was depressed. I had been learning software development full-time for over half a year, and it felt like I wasn’t getting any closer to landing a job.

A few months later, I had my first job. Another few years later, I became a co-founder of a software house and started hiring developers.

Here’s what I’ve learned about software development from my failures and successes.

1. Focus Is a Superpower

The single biggest factor in deciding if I’ll learn something is focus. When I was focused, my productivity skyrocketed and my mood improved. …

So much to do, so little time. Save time by learning how to pick what to learn next and what steps to follow in front-end development.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Front-end development moves at a breakneck speed. To stay employable, you have to learn new things all the time. But there’s a problem — the number of things you can know is infinite.

At the top of my head, you can start learning a serverless, new framework, accessibility, performance, SEO, Typescript, design, data visualization, web assembly, state management, testing. And that’s just the beginning.

To help you navigate learning you can find many front-end…

To grow, you have to get your hands dirty

Person shaping a clay pot
Person shaping a clay pot
Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash

In his brilliant book, “Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” Ted Orlando told a story:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty…

The competition is fierce. Learn how to stand out

Woman running a race
Woman running a race
Photo by Nicolas Hoizey on Unsplash.

I’ve seen hundreds of junior frontend developers' resumes. In an average recruitment process, we get 80 candidates for one job.

What makes us pick you?

The sad truth is you have to stand out. If there’s nothing special about your skills or experience, you have to be lucky to get a job. And relying on luck is not a reliable tactic.

Fortunately, it’s not that hard to stand out. Most of the resumes are like carbon copies. The candidates finished the same bootcamps or online courses. They have similar projects. Sometimes, even their portfolio pages are indistinguishable.

Here are a…

Learning to code is intimidating. Let’s learn how to make it easier

Lit sign with the number 5
Lit sign with the number 5
Photo by ANIRUDH on Unsplash.

Learning frontend is hard. The field is growing fast and it’s easy to get lost in the dozens of frameworks, libraries, and tools. To grow as a frontend developer, you have to cut through the noise and focus on the essential things.

Here are five tricks that worked for me in my journey from layman to a frontend developer.

1. Make a Plan

You know your goal: become the best front-end developer possible. To achieve it, you have to make a plan. …

Sometimes our mental models don’t map the code at all

Ladybug on white surface
Ladybug on white surface
Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash.

It was a judgment day. I had been working on a feature for the last month. That afternoon, my team was to present the work to the CEO.

I felt fairly confident. The day before, a tester reported a few minor bugs — some obvious things to fix during my morning coffee.

One task was to show the companies' logos in a table. Fair enough. But it was weird. I felt like I had fixed it earlier. I even wondered how I could mess up simple logic.

Well, the only one who doesn’t make mistakes is the one who does…

Do you believe in unicorns?

Do you believe in unicorns?

I do.

I’ve seen them. Real frontend unicorns. The people who learned much faster than everyone else. The people who focused all their effort where it could provide the most value. The people who stand out.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them. It took me way too long to learn frontend development. I’ve made more mistakes than I could count.

Yet, I got there. I’m a professional frontend developer for more than 5 years.

And I want you to succeed too. Succeed and don’t repeat my mistakes.

So I reached out to my friends. We…

Szymon Adamiak

I build stuff and help frontend developers to kickstart careers. Follow me 👉 Get my book 👉

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