Staying at the edge of your coding game.

It’s Saturday, today is when I usually crack open my MacBook and I run through my coding exercises. Yes, coding exercises. I do this twice a week for about four hours. A lot of times I am brought on for standard HTML, CSS and jQuery as well as some Wordpress projects. I don’t get to flex my advanced coding muscles as often as I would like. I am trained to use Ruby on Rails, Laravel and AngularJS. If you don’t use it, you lose it right? With all of the frameworks and tools at our disposal. How do you keep up with it? You can’t possibly use it all at the same time.

Twice a week, I build from scratch a fully user authenticated CRUD package in each of the frameworks I am most comfortable. I’ll do very basic schema files for the database migrations. For the front end, I have my FrankenSite. It’s a beastly and ugly thing with a massive Gulpfile attached to it. That thing gets bigger every day. Here I play around with different idea’s, colour schemes, grid / flexbox positioning, animation with jQuery and Sass, I also add in component based frameworks to test out idea’s as I come across them. This also gives me a chance to test build tools to see which should go, remain or be added as part of my Gulp workflow.

Somewhere through the week, I set aside an hour or two to catch up on my YouTube subscriptions. I follow DevTips by Travis Nielson, LevelUpTuts by Scott Tolinski, CodeCourse by Alex Garrett, LearnCode Academy by Will Stern. I have a paid subscription to Laracasts by Jeffrey Way and soon to be joining Egghead.io by John Lindquist. These are all fantastic resources for often and frequently updated content. If you haven’t met them already. There are already countless hours of amazing content to get you started and keep you very busy.

I am curious, I’d love to hear what other developers are doing to keep on top of their game. Share a comment on what type of practices you have adopted to remain current, how you keep on top of what you already know while making room for new tools.