It’s time to declutter your learning to-do list

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What to do next? Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.

How many courses, tutorials, and articles are waiting on your to-do list? If you’re a bit like me, the answer is dozens. I’m a passionate learner who is interested in a wide range of programming subjects. But lately, I started to wonder which courses are worth my time and which are just a distraction.

A T-Shaped Trap

If you’re trying to develop your career, you probably encountered the idea of T-shaped people. They are experts in one field and have some expertise in other domains. …


Be ruthless. Cut out the noise and focus on the essentials

Person carving a piece of wood
Person carving a piece of wood
Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

What do you do when you hear about a new hot thing in programming?

If you’re like me, you probably read a bit and quickly decide it sounds cool. You bookmark a few websites and maybe add them to the learning to-do list.

Sometimes you may even learn — watch a few tutorials, skim the documentation, play with it.

Usually, before you can master it, the new shiny thing appears, and your attention shifts.

The conclusion is simple — there are just too many things to learn; how could you master it all?

You can’t.

You don’t have unlimited time. You don’t have unlimited attention. You can’t learn everything. In fact, you should learn fewer things than you think. …


Feeling stuck in your journey to becoming a better programmer? Try these tricks to unleash your creativity and get going

Sign that reads “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX”
Sign that reads “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX”
Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash.

Napoleon Bonaparte famously said:

“For war we need three things — money, money and more money.”

It resembles what you need to learn to program — to code, code, and code some more. That’s the only viable way to get better.

You probably already know that, and maybe you’ve been coding for years. But I bet sometimes you get stuck. You may be involved in a long project with few challenges or still looking for a job and not knowing how to stand out from the crowd.

Whatever it is, it feels like you’re coding more and more and can’t progress. Every project is similar. …


You can code but can’t find a job? The solution: Don’t just respond to job postings. Be proactive

Woman walking through a field
Woman walking through a field
Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash.

This is not advice on how to get a FAANG job or working for another huge company. Big companies have complex recruitment processes and need different approaches.

This is advice on how to find one of the millions of software developer jobs at smaller companies.

The advice is simple: Look for the company you want to work for and apply there — even if it’s not recruiting.

My Story

I’m a self-taught software developer. In 2015, I quit my job and bet on learning to code. After ten months, I had spent most of my savings and had no job.

I felt like I knew how to code, but I couldn’t seem to land a job. I was sending many applications and had a few interviews and even one workday trial. All for nothing. There was always a better candidate, and I was on the brink of depression. …


Common mistakes when learning to code and how to fix them

car speeding by a line of stopped buses
car speeding by a line of stopped buses
Photo by Karl Bewick on Unsplash

Learning is the most important skill you can have. It allows you to change careers, get promoted, or pick up a new hobby.

And it allows you to become a software developer.

You know how to learn, don’t you? After all, you’ve been doing it for years. Despite this, your intuitions about learning may be wrong. Even worse, you could have picked up some bad learning habits in school.

Let’s discuss common learning mistakes and how to fix them.


Easy way to make reusable React components out of SVG without fancy tooling — just React, ReactDOM, and JSX.

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Image for post
Image by Magda Waksberg

You’re working in React, just got an SVG, and want to use it in a project.

How do you approach it? Make it a component!

What are the benefits? You’ll be able to reuse SVG in different React components, and you’ll also have control over its properties. Also, it’s easy.

So let’s get started.

What are we building?

We’ll be building a small SVG component. We’ll be able to control its size, color, and gradient color. …


The programming market is larger than ever. You have to stand out to get noticed

Bull’s eye
Bull’s eye
Photo by Mihai Lazăr on Unsplash.

What do you want out of your professional life?

To find your first job? Earn more money? Freelance or build a product? Whatever it is, the easiest way to achieve your goal is to specialize.

Specialize at the Beginning of Your Career

The need for specialization for beginners is stronger than ever. The number of software development jobs and tools is overwhelming. You can learn hundreds of different languages or frameworks and use them in a myriad of domains.

You can’t learn it all. Even if you could, no one will believe you did.

You shouldn’t learn it all.

What you should do is make a plan. Find something you want to learn, check the typical requirements for the position you’re aiming at, and learn it one thing at a time. …


Why you need to get past courses and how to do it

Notebook and laptop on a table
Notebook and laptop on a table
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash.

You want to learn to code. How do you approach it?

You can go to university to get a Computer Science degree or enroll in a bootcamp. But the former takes years and may cost a lot, while the latter is surely expensive. Are you ready to spend thousands of dollars learning to code when you’re not sure if you actually want to be a programmer?

Wouldn't it be nice to learn at home for free — or at least cheaply?

I’ve got good news: You can. There are thousands of courses and tutorials.

I’ve also got bad news: It’s not easy. …


Things to look for in 2021

The number four inside a circle
The number four inside a circle
Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash.

I know it’s just November, but many of us want this year to end, so let’s take a peek at what may be the most important front-end trends in 2021 — and one trend that I don’t think will prevail.


Many small tricks I learned the hard way in the last five years

Ways to improve as a programmer
Ways to improve as a programmer
Image by Magda Waksberg.

1. Learn How to Learn Effectively

It’s the most important skill in your life. Seriously. Software developers learn all the time. And even if programming is just a hobby to you, you still need to learn efficiently.

The basics are quite straightforward. To learn effectively, you have to build a habit — preferably learn every day. Additionally, use these three techniques:

  • Active recall — Try to retrieve information from memory instead of rereading it. You can use flashcards or some similar tool.
  • Spaced repetition — Cramming doesn’t work in the long run. …

About

Szymon Adamiak

I build stuff and help frontend developers to kickstart careers. Follow me 👉 twitter.com/s_adamiak Get free chapters of my book 👉 www.frontendunicorn.com

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