Should you dive deep into one front-end framework or try to learn all of them?

How do you know if you’re ready for a senior engineering position?

What should you even be working on learning?

These questions are extremely common in a field as rapidly changing as software engineering, and particularly front-end development, and answers are hard to find.

Existing Resources on Engineer Careers

Luckily, there’s some great resources out there — a bunch of top companies have published their engineering career roadmaps that we can look to as guidelines for how careers progress.

And Jonny Burch, a designer from the UK, has done us…


Jerod, Feross, Divya and I recently had a conversation about communication skills for software developers on JSParty #93.

This is a topic that has come up a lot on JSParty, so it was great to do a whole episode focused on tips and best practices, and the results were too good to leave buried in a show transcript so I thought I’d pull them out into an article.

Feross did a great job explaining this one:

You don’t want the comments to be at the same level as the code itself. Repeating the code obviously is not useful to anybody…


Have you ever tried to convince someone of something and they looked at you like you were crazy?

Or had someone try to explain something to you that was so full of buzz words that you couldn’t understand a word they were saying?

The problem is one of perspective.

Everyone has their own perspective

Whenever you are listening to someone, your understanding of them is filtered through your own perspective, formed of your experiences, knowledge, and goals.

The simplest element of this is purely around understanding words and acronyms. …


Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week, filled with fun and learnings, and are going into the weekend ready to relax and enjoy.

This week what really struck me is we have a ton of articles (and some new videos from Mozilla) that highlight how incredibly powerful vanilla CSS and JavaScript have gotten. I love the new styles, I was blown away by the pure CSS pixel art, and Iearned about a ton of new JavaScript features this week.

Best,
KBall from ZenDev

P.S. I just launched a new project called SpeakWriteListen to help engineers and other technical…


The halo effect is a universal human bias that is important to understand to master communication.

The effect is simple: If I feel positively about you in one dimension, I will feel positively about you in others.

If I think you’re attractive, I’m more likely to think you are smart, skilled, and honest.

It also goes the other way: If I think you’re mean, I’m more likely to think you are dishonest, stupid, etc. Going that direction it’s referred to as the horn effect.

Connect as a human first

The halo effect has a very important implication for communication: If you want someone to listen…


One of the keys to becoming an effective communicator is to understand the limitations of the person you are speaking or writing to.

And one of the limitations that impacts ALL of us is the limit to our short term memory.

One of the most highly cited papers in Psychology is called The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information, which found hard limits to the number of independent items that we can hold in our working memory.

Some people could hold as many as 9 independent things in their working memory…


[Ed note: I got behind on republishing to Medium, so this is coming out here a week late. Sorry!]

Happy Friday! I’m traveling again, enjoying some fun monsoon weather in Phoenix, Arizona. Hope you’re having a great end of summer/early fall wherever you’re at.

The articles that stood out to me the most this week are a pair of articles that focus on the impact of small changes at scale. You’ll find them as the first 2 links under ‘other awesome’. There’s also a couple of great articles looking at uses for the box-shadow property, a delightful look at how…


[Ed note: I got behind on republishing to Medium, so this is coming out here a couple weeks late. Sorry!]

Hope you’ve had a great week! I got derailed towards the end of the week with a small family emergency, so we’re a little short on articles this week, but still some great stuff.

I particularly recommend 2 CSS articles: the one on custom properties and animations, and the one on CSS architecture. In the JavaScript section the optional chaining article shows off a very exciting addition to the language. …


Happy Friday the 13th! Hope you have only good luck and no bad, and your weekend plans are entirely excellent. :P

This week we’ve got a number of great articles, but what caught my eye are the announcement about TypeScript 3.7 and the related article about using types in JavaScript. The fact that 3 of the 5 major features in the next version of TypeScript are features coming straight from TC39 and the evolution of JavaScript reminds me that these 2 languages are in many ways joined at the hip. …


Hope your week was amazing, and if you’re in the States that you had a great Labor Day holiday.

This week there were two themes standing out to me: 1 was looking again at the right way to do testing in the frontend. I include two articles, one on state-machine based testing that blew my mind (in a good way!) and another more traditional unit testing article. Worth looking at the two side by side.

The second theme was a growing push/pull on the subject of tracking between browser vendors (Firefox and Brave) and advertising companies. Google is the elephant…

Kevin Ball

I help people and teams improve their Front-end development practices. @kbal11. https://zendev.com

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