An attitude improvement approach for college and beyond

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Photo by Reinhart Julian on Unsplash

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve developed quite a pessimistic attitude regarding traditional computer science programs in colleges.

Scratch that — I’ve developed a pessimistic perspective toward most, if not all, programs in colleges today. And that’s not without good reason, I think. Whether or not the arguments posed in articles like this agree with you, there is insurmountable evidence that our outdated and overpriced colleges are failing us time and again.

I have heard it said that:

We are 21st Century people, being taught by 20th Century instructors, using 19th Century methods on an 18th Century calendar.

Disclaimer: Although much of this article relates to the viewpoint of attending a college degree program, I believe it holds value for reflecting on how we approach learning through any avenue. …

And Other Truths We Struggle to Believe

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Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

One interesting fact that still tickles me to this day: in 2016, when StackOverflow let developers report on how they self-identify their roles, 7.4% of the responders noted themselves as “rockstars” (and nearly 10% identified as “ninjas”).

Due to the nature of online surveys, we can expect that a good percentage of these responders were inflating their sense of their own abilities (see Dunning-Kruger Effect). But even if we assume everyone told the honest truth, we end up with a fascinating curve to deal with here. …

I see a terrible trend here….

A row of Norweigan Homes
A row of Norweigan Homes
Photo by Michael Fousert on Unsplash

And I’m gonna keep it short.

Either we as a species have exhausted our ability to conceive lists longer than five bullet-points, or there is merely five things to note about every imaginable topic or controversy.

Why not 3 reasons? Or 6? Or 24? Or an even 100?

So many articles

By the way, my search for “5 Ways” turned up almost as bad as for “5 Reasons”:

Although it pales in comparison to others’ experience levels, I have been on this platform for roughly a year and a half.

Even in that short time, I have noticed a severe decline in the quality of the content I’ve found here. I originally subscribed to my membership because, as a software developer, I found many fantastic resources here from experienced coders who’d pioneered the way for me and my peers. I wanted to be a part of giving back to the community that gave me significant value. …

It’s not as hard as you might think

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Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

I have traditionally hated ESLint, Babel, Prettier, and the like. Don’t get me wrong, they are fantastic tools; it’s simply a nightmare to navigate setting up a new project with a conglomeration of these tools.

Last weekend I dug into the muck of how to bootstrap a decent JavaScript Monorepo, complete with code linting enforcement, testing support, and a decent build process.

If you’re like me at all, you’ve used Create React App for most of your prior React projects. It handles a lot for you, and it’s really quite good. But, what if you want to create a larger library using multiple distinct packages? What if you want tighter control over repository rules and scripts? Or just wanted to get the experience of setting up your own React environment from scratch? …

A quick guide to avoiding *some* of the potholes.

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Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

My team and I have had the mixed adventure of using AWS Amplify and its related ecosystem for the past 10 months of our current project. There are many wonderful features that commend this toolset to a variety of developers, but here I am going to discuss its current traps and how to navigate around them.

The Command-Line Interface (Amplify CLI) is not your friend, not yet.

Unfortunately, this tool has some issues that become unwieldy after consistent use. …

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Photo by Kiyun Lee on Unsplash

Disclaimer: This guide applies to the AWS Template Format Version 2010–09–09. I can’t speak to future versions of the CloudFormation templating system.


One of the more confusing aspects to figure out for our project was how to change our AppSync configuration so that we could accomplish two things:

  • Use a custom Cognito setup that requires only a name and email for new users to sign up.
  • Not break our current stack

I looked over the internet for a while hoping someone had already experienced this limitation and posted their process. StackOverflow, GitHub Issues, AWS Docs, etc. Nothing. …

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Photo by chivozol from Pexels

Wonder why your webpage takes so long to load these days?

I was fooling around on GitHub the other day, looking at some code libraries I’ve been learning about in greater depth this week. I was curious what these badges on its README page linked to, so I opened up the most fascinating one (underlined below).

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Photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

I’ve been attempting to use my free time better this past month.

As I’m sure everyone knows firsthand right now, it is downright addicting to be knee-deep into a few Netflix series at once. If juggling work and family and social life wasn’t enough, now you have this new set of entertainment-in-laws you must appease daily.

The real awakening usually happens the second you notice you finished a finale episode. There’s a quintessential “what now?” moment and a grasping for straws as you strain to account the total time cost of that season.

You see, Netflix/Hulu/StreamSmart/YouTube Red/etc. do not cost us a mere ~$10 every month. That’s the flat tax. We are actually paying slowly with our hours. How many do you spend a week? A month? A year? 8 hours? 50 hours? 600 hours? According to an article on TechCrunch, about 570 hours per year per account in 2015. With 109 million users watching 1 billion hours per week in 2017, the average has moved to around 480 hours per account. In either year, we are spending a staggering amount of time watching the Netflix catalog. …

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Photo by Cristiana Raluca from Pexels

The weekend before last I took my first trip back to my home city, Phoenix.

Despite my plane being delayed over 2 hours and arriving at nearly 10:30 PM, I was still amazed by the blast of heat that scorched me as I stepped outside. I never expected the weather to change, honestly.

The first late night set a good precedent of sleeplessness that I would experience for the entire weekend. I’d been spoiled by the easy AC in my small apartment.

It’s a funny sense of nostalgia that I got back in the city. My old room had already been taken, my friends busied by life, and my loved ones seeming somehow that much older. I have a nostalgia for how it used to be, not quite right before I moved, but for how it was maybe 7 years ago. When the world was fresh and most everyone I knew had unadulterated hopes. …

Or: Where to go when your education isn’t working

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Many doors… — from

Some context:

I just moved to Texas.

I recently received a job offer requiring me to move to the Dallas area (Frisco to be exact) in early June. It’s a little more than a hop and a skip from my home city: Phoenix, Arizona.

All this planning for the move had me pondering the past year of my life:

  • I never expected to be moving out of home and state at the same time, or, at least, doing it so early as 20 years old.
  • I never thought I’d be working as a full-time software developer before finishing my degree.
  • I never thought I would have any workable knowledge of a code language for many years. …


Daniel Cender

I love night photography, rainy evenings, VS Code, and almond milk cortados. Let's connect! IG:

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