want to get ahead? learn in public

by Stephanie Coates

This whole blog project stemmed from others’ efforts to level up and learn in public. Thank you to Shawn Wang, Cory House, Patrick McKenzie, and Tania Rascia for the inspiration.

How to learn something new:

  • hear/read/see it
  • practice it
  • teach it to others

Over the past year, outside of my day job, most of the programming-related learning I did fell within the first point.

This is better than doing nothing (I could watch youtube for HOURS), but most of the stuff I consumed didn’t stick around in my brain for long.

The key is to follow through with the last two points.

I have three objectives with this blog project:

For potential employers and clients: keep documentation and proof of all the cool stuff I’ve learned.

For myself: challenge myself to learn in public and have physical proof to remind myself that I am not, in fact, an imposter.

For other engineers: When I graduated from a bootcamp in January 2019, I knew how to mimic. I could write a fullstack JavaScript application using a very narrow set of technologies I was taught, but was severely lacking in my foundational understanding of programming.

What’s Webpack’s purpose? What are all those scripts in the package.json? What even is Node.js? How the heck did this application actually get deployed, aside from me haphazardly clicking around the Digital Ocean interface?

…I don’t know, but it works, right?

I’ve always been curious about what happens under the hood in programming. And the more foundational knowledge I learn, the more efficient I become at my existing skillset, and the quicker I become at picking up new technologies. Hopefully some else stumbles upon this and benefits as well!