Making the most out of up-skilling: An Elm Case Study — Part I

As X-Team’s remote developers have the privilege of working within the #unleash program, we grow and up-skill continually in areas of interest to each of us.

I have found some ways I like to make the most of this up-skilling time and I would like to share them with you in this short four-part post series: An Elm Case Study.

Target audience of post series

  • Someone interested in learning more about Elm
  • Junior Developers looking at how an experienced developer views up-skilling
  • Front-end designer / developer competent using Bootstrap looking to up their game with the addition of a front end framework

Skill-spotting

When choosing an area to up-skill in, I look at each choice from 3 different perspectives, in order to evaluate my decision to take this new path.

Components of an Ideal Skill
  • Make me better at my job and increase job satisfaction
  • Personal benefit outside of workplace
  • Ability to become more involved with a community

Not every choice has to contain elements of the above, but whatever you choose to up-skill in, the more of these areas are addressed, the more likely the choice will be a good, long lasting one.

An Elm Case Study

Choose Elm

I went with Elm over the last few months and here’s why.

  • Helpful compiler
  • Small but motivated community
  • Functional programming language

Being functional by nature makes it easier to test. It compiles to JS, so can interoperate alongside other JS. There are said to be no runtime exceptions.

All of this sounds great to me, but here is a more in-depth look at Pros and Cons of Elm: Thinking and Choosing Elm.

Choose a project

Once the technology was chosen. I thought about how to make the most of this.

Work: We have many projects coming in at X-Team, and Elm is currently a hot topic. When more Elm projects come in, I will be ready to take them on.

Community: The Elm community is small and open. If there is anyway I can help along my path, this will be encouraged. It will make the community and myself stronger.

Personal: As I work in my other life as a yoga instructor, I needed to make a new website for my yoga school — the project selected for this case study.

What comes next?

Taking the yoga school project as an example, I will add a new post every 2 weeks showing how:

  • a suitable Elm based repository was chosen to work with for routing and outputting a simple Bootstrap template dynamically — Read more…
  • contributions back to the open source community were made along the way, and
  • what was learned from the project and what the future holds

See Part 2: Routing and using Bootstrap: An Elm Case Study — Pt II