Back to basics after 1.5+ years of experience — Quarantine edition
The world is going through strange times. The pandemic has indeed brought everyone and everything to a stand-still. But, on the other hand it has opened multiple doors to new opportunities.
Being in tech, I can vouch that the industry has taken a blow, but not as severe as the others. All of a sudden, the entire world is working remotely and “remote working” is not just a luxury anymore that companies provide, it has become a necessity. Living and working in a metro city (New Delhi, India), I spent a substantial amount of time in commuting to work and back (~4 hours). All of a sudden, I have these 4 precious hours to myself and thus, I decided to make my foundation stronger!
A psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud” — also known as Impostor Syndrome. Yes, every developer in his/her initial stages of professional life experiences this — or at least I did. Therefore, I just wanted to get over this, once and for all.
Therefore, I decided to use the nation-wide lockdown to put the final nail in the coffin and get out of this strange but weird emotion.
Libraries, frameworks will come and go, what will stay is the language they all are built upon.
Have you heard of the phenomenon and belief that defines the experience of notably positive, negative, or improbable events — primarily known as LUCK?
The entire course is broken into multiple mini-courses, explained by some of the well renowned industry veterans. The content always followed KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) paradigm. Videos were concise and to the point.
Pursuing this learning path, I got to learn in detail about:
- Syntax and Operators
- Variables and Data Types
- Arrays and Collections
- Generators and Iterators
- Objects, Prototypes and Classes
Starting with the basics was painful. I knew a lot of thing already, but I forced myself to watch through every bit of it, though I watched the entire course on 1.2x speed!
And I am happy that I went through each video because there were instances (99%) when I got to learn 1 new thing about the topic I thought I already knew. As a result of this, I started taking notes on every topic — the old school way. Finished the first few courses in the path with notes taken on pen and paper, and boy I dreaded every bit of it!
A sample of my handwritten notes — ignore the handwriting!
To put myself out of my own misery, I discovered the power of MARKDOWN.
This was one of the main highlights while pursuing this course. At first I went old-school with pen and paper. But I soon burnt out and I realized it’s not worth the effort because:
- It was tiring
- It was time consuming
- It wasn’t portable i.e. I had to have access to my notebook every time I wanted to re-visit the concepts
- Writing code by hand was too cumbersome
- Writing code with indentation and comments in the notebook wasn’t serving the purpose
Therefore, I switched to — MARKDOWN.
I was using GitHub repository to code along the course, I thought I should use the Readme.md file for taking notes. And to be honest, it was the best decision ever! I just loved the whole experience of taking notes in markdown syntax. From writing code snippets to attaching screenshots, I did it all.
If you want to learn how to attach images in your Readme.md file with FREE image hosting — Click Here!
You can find all the notes on my GitHub profile. Some of these are:
- Iterators and Generators
- Objects, Prototypes and Classes
- Promises and Async Programming
The notes look like this:
I learned a number of things during my course. Not just the tech stuff (duh!), but a ton of other things as well:
I) Importance of saying “NO”
After a 10 hour shift, one is definitely exhausted and is not left with much to do. Either you can relax and play PUBG or you can catch up with your friends on call or you can pursue your course. Now every activity here will exhaust you even more so doing all 3 is out of the question. You have to say “No” to any 2 of them. You have to be polite, but determined/honest about it. Because if you say “No” and you still not study properly, then you are just bullshitting yourself!
It’s only by saying NO that you can concentrate on the things that are really important!
This also sets a sense of urgency and helps you build consistency. There were days when I just wanted to sleep but I pulled through it because I knew the clock was ticking. It was now or never. I had my weekends booked for the same!
III) Practice. Practice. Practice.
Most of these things will become concrete when:
- you use them in a project
- teach someone
Till then, all you can/should do is to just skim through them once in a month!
IV) Never underestimate the tutorial length
V) Kaizen — Continuous Improvement
But the thing is I am better as a front-end developer in May, 2020 than I was in March, 2020 — even if the improvement percentage is 1%.
Last 30 days in quarantine has helped me level up as a developer and as a human. From reading books to finishing the course, starting on a new tech-stack (Flutter), everything has been amazing. And this has made me realize if I complete just 1 course, with utmost dedication every month, I’ll be a polished developer by the end of 2020 and man I am excited for that!
If you have any queries/doubts/suggestion/advice, please feel free to hit me up in the comments below or reach out to me:
Originally published on adityatyagi.com