Week minus 4: Off To A Good Start
The (unexpected) first decision I made was to not finish the 230 course of Launch School. It had only partly to do with the course itself which was as excellent as I expected. I initially wasn’t super stoked about working with the browser API’s, but learning about how to use the DOM, do network requests etc. was fun enough. The second part of the course dives rather heavily into jQuery, though, and I feel like making a deep dive into a library that has lost its importance for newer projects (which can easily use ES6 features to achieve almost the same result) is not the best way to spend my limited time.
Promise API and which problems that solved.
Promise works) to remove the time-dependency of nesting callbacks was a surprisingly interesting insight. If you take Simpson’s very opinionated talks with a grain of salt, he’s a good teacher.
Aside from that, I already got my toes wet on a bit more Node.js. Again, Kyle Simpson on Frontendmasters provided a course called Digging into Node.js. It has kind of an awkward mix of topics in it, but fits my current state of knowledge around Node quite well. I was especially interested in his (unfortunately rather short) introduction to Streams which seem to be the preferred alternative to almost any data processing and transfer once things get bigger than a small JSON payload.
For both topics I use my trusted method of creating extensive Markdown notes where I try to put everything I learn into my own words, create code examples etc. Once I get around to organize my stuff for the post-Launch School time, those notes will be available in a repository on my GitHub profile. I have to admit that my method of learning new things is still heavily in flux. Yes, even after roughly two years doing Launch School, I’m still not settled on a trusted set of procedures. I (kind of) wish that I had sticked with doing flash cards for Spaced Repetition, but I never reviewed them enough for it to have the desired effect. I might need to reconsider that once I start to amass more and more knowledge that I can’t immediately put to use.
Also, with December arriving, another year of Advent of Code is upon us! I’m not going to lie, I love this little programming competition. In 2018, me and two other Launch School students started out solving these daily problems and we found them to be hard. Earlier this year, we tried solving the Advent of Code exercises from the year 2016 and I found it way easier. Having spent time on algorithms and data structures in the meantime has definitely paid off, and - when applying the PEDAC process taught in Launch School - finding the correct solution never took too long. The great thing about Advent of Code is that it is such a fun mix of exercises, well-presented with bits and pieces of a Christmas story, and they often have a nice twist for the second exercise part: you might find yourself with a rather inelegant brute force algorithm for part 1, but realize that for part 2 this solution is not going to cut it, so you will have to optimize.