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. …

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…

To excel as a developer you need more than just technical skills

Image of female praying.
Image of female praying.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

You may be the greatest software developer in your company and not get promoted. You may build the greatest applications in your market and still not get enough freelance projects. You may be the best candidate for a programming position and still not get a job.

To be successful during your career, you need more. You need to be able to cooperate with others, provide value, and grow.

These essential non-technical skills will help you thrive and expand your career.

Social Skills

Social skills is a term describing many ideas, but in its essence, it is two things: the ability to communicate…

Be ruthless. Cut out the noise and focus on the essentials

Person carving a piece of wood
Person carving a piece of wood
Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

What do you do when you hear about a new hot thing in programming?

If you’re like me, you probably read a bit and quickly decide it sounds cool. You bookmark a few websites and maybe add them to the learning to-do list.

Sometimes you may even learn — watch a few tutorials, skim the documentation, play with it.

Usually, before you can master it, the new shiny thing appears, and your attention shifts.

The conclusion is simple — there are just too many things to learn; how could you master it all?

You can’t.

You don’t have unlimited time…

Feeling stuck in your journey to becoming a better programmer? Try these tricks to unleash your creativity and get going

Sign that reads “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX”
Sign that reads “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX”
Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash.

Napoleon Bonaparte famously said:

“For war we need three things — money, money and more money.”

It resembles what you need to learn to program — to code, code, and code some more. That’s the only viable way to get better.

You probably already know that, and maybe you’ve been coding for years. But I bet sometimes you get stuck. You may be involved in a long project with few challenges or still looking for a job and not knowing how to stand out from the crowd.

Whatever it is, it feels like you’re coding more and more and can’t…

You can code but can’t find a job? The solution: Don’t just respond to job postings. Be proactive

Woman walking through a field
Woman walking through a field
Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash.

This is not advice on how to get a FAANG job or working for another huge company. Big companies have complex recruitment processes and need different approaches.

This is advice on how to find one of the millions of software developer jobs at smaller companies.

The advice is simple: Look for the company you want to work for and apply there — even if it’s not recruiting.

My Story

I’m a self-taught software developer. In 2015, I quit my job and bet on learning to code. After ten months, I had spent most of my savings and had no job.

I felt…

Common mistakes when learning to code and how to fix them

car speeding by a line of stopped buses
car speeding by a line of stopped buses
Photo by Karl Bewick on Unsplash

Learning is the most important skill you can have. It allows you to change careers, get promoted, or pick up a new hobby.

And it allows you to become a software developer.

You know how to learn, don’t you? After all, you’ve been doing it for years. Despite this, your intuitions about learning may be wrong. Even worse, you could have picked up some bad learning habits in school.

Let’s discuss common learning mistakes and how to fix them.

Szymon Adamiak

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store