Lessons from 7 self-taught coders who now work full time as software developers

How can you stay motivated while learning to code?  Studying web development is a path with many ups and downs. You might have one day where you figure out a tough problem and feel absolutely amazing. But then the very next day, you get stuck on a seemingly easy problem for hours. You end up feeling completely defeated. It’s often hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But when you’re in those tough, dark spots, try to find the motivation to hang in there.

Remind yourself of your ultimate goal in learning to code. Maybe it’s to get a better job, to provide for your family, or to find a more purposeful form of work.

These stories are not just for those trying to program for the first time.  These lessons also apply to the old-guard coders who need to update the skill set they have.  There is a different set of challenges when you are a .NET C# coder and you’re attempting to learn the JavaScript, Express, Node, Vue, Mongo, etc stack.  Simple things like async coding vs sync coding can drive you mad.  As you get better at the new skill you want to just drop your current gig and move on.  Do it gradually, this is a not a turn-the-switch moment.

Do a simple project for someone who needs it and is willing to work with you while you learn the issues your new skill. You may have to do the first one as a freebie to get some street cred as a developer.

Via: Lessons from 7 self-taught coders who now work full time as software developers

 

 

 

 

Backlogger web app released to Github, it’s a Scrum thing.

2017-03-07 12.30.08.jpg

“Backlog” is one of those SCRUMmy terms used to identify features or functions that have been dreamed up or discussed for an application.   You collect these ideas into a list which is called the “Backlog”.  Then this list is reviewed (Sprint Review) and the ideas are refined (Groomed) and an estimate of effort (Story Points) is assigned to it.  Then folks get together and discuss which ones should be done in the next timeframe (Sprint).  To collect these ideas some companies use an issue tracking system or an off the shelf ticket system (Atlassian JIRA) and others just use a spreadsheet… gasp.

Sometimes all you need is a simple web application that all the participants can use to enter any ANY of the ideas that came up.  Even things like “The buttons should be colored blue.”  I needed a simple project to help me learn some technologies that are new to me.  Hence the “Backlogger” was born.  The whiteboard above shows the original concept.

Technologies used in Backlogger

  • JavaScript
  • NodeJS
  • Bootstrap
  • Mongo without the headache, neDB
  • jsGrid

Design Requirements

The design requirements were meant to be simple as possible to make this project something that could be done quickly.  They also needed to be flexible to allow for better learning.

  • Single Page Application
  • Open Source
  • No user logins, just a password, we are a big happy family
  • Self-contained application, no need for outside services or servers
  • Mongo database and Mongo queries
  • Allow for a maintainable list of people names who contributed ideas to the backlog
  • Allow for a maintainable list of functional areas to help groups the ideas
  • One time entry of an idea, no editing,
  • The editing of an idea will be done during the grooming
  • Filters that help find ideas quickly
  • Ability to backup and wipe the database (Mongo Documents)
  • Simple report that can be printed directly

GeekMustHave would like to thank Phoenix Learning Labs for the resources and funding to do this project.  GeekMustHave would also like to thank the MDHHS-DWIP team for the testing and feedback.

Open source, common components

What does it look like?

2017-04-02_13-19-46

Backlogger is an Open Source project available on Github.

https://github.com/GeekMustHave/Backlogger

Future

I’ve used “Backlogger” in one project so far but others who have seen it have expressed some interest in it.  That’s another reason why it’s Open Source.

Depending on the feedback I might do additional updates.  Maybe I need a “Backlogger” for the “Backlogger”?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MERN the new JavaScript stack

mern.png

TherModern Application Stack – Part 1: Introducing The MEAN Stack introduced the technologies making up the MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node.js) and MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, Node.js) Stacks, why you might want to use them, and how to combine them to build your web application (or your native mobile or desktop app). The remainder of…

via The Modern Application Stack – Part 5: Using ReactJS, ES6, and JSX to Build a UI (the Rise of MERN) — DZone Web Dev Zone

There has been some discontent when the migration from Angular 1/1.5 to Angular 2.o actually became a rewrite.  I switched to React after seeing some very convincing presentations and talking with some somewhat rabid developers. I am also looking at Vue as a replacement for the Angular / React part of the full stack.  I wonder how long it will be before we see the MEVN stack being discussed.

SQL or NoSQL what a tangled web we’ve weaved

ToSQLorNOSQL.jpg

Back in the days time four, I was a hierarchal database specialist.  Anyone remember hierarchal, flat files or indexed sequential access (ISAM)?  When relational DBMS took off, back in days times two, I became a relational convert and preached the benefits of SQL in all of it’s English like glory.  Then I suffered through DDL hell and mapping madness, but I stayed true to the cause.  Well,  now I’m a Not Only SQL (NoSQL) first level apprentice and speak the Mongo and Hadoop chapters of the Database bible.  What’s worse is that I’m a flip-flopper between the relational and document worlds.  What I’ve learned is you don’t have to pick the Right side or the Left side, you will end up eating both sides eventually.

Take some time to learn the NoSQL side of the database house.  Install Mongo on your system, get a few sample NoSQL databases,  use the Mongo command line just to learn some of the syntax.  There are a ton of YouTube videos and Udemy courses on this stuff.  Once you’ve created your first table (Document) without the Create Table… you might like it.  Mikey did, he likes everything.

This article from Lisa Vass is a good introduction as to why and when you should choose.  It’s not surprising that relational databases are not doing as much of the lifting as they have in the past.