2019 Edit: I am very gratified that this writeup continues to help people over a year after publishing! I have updated my thoughts in a new essay called Learn in Public.

In the last year (and a bit), I went from Hello World in Javascript, to deploying fullstack webapps, to getting freelance jobs, to interviewing at top tech firms including Google, and receiving multiple six-figure offers as a professional software engineer. Here’s how I did it.

What I did in a nutshell

  • Nov 2016: FreeCodeCamp Frontend Development Certificate (HTML, CSS, basic JS). Decide that I am going to do this with No Zero Days.

In honor of the death of DevBootCamp I put up a HN post offering to do a free phone call to exchange knowledge. I was pleasantly surprised by the responses.

I got a total of 8 bookings. Here is a list of the types of people that responded:

  • A Canadian developer working at a food related startup in SF, interested in making a side project to handle personal finances.

note: this tutorial uses Python for convenience but could be adapted for Node/other languages with minor effort.

Amazon has always been shameless about getting developers onboard the Alexa Skills platform, prioritizing quantity over quality. The latest Alexa Skills promo got me excited as it started handing out FREE ECHO DOTS for June 2017:

i liked the shirts, but this is too good to pass up

Incidentally I have been unhappy with the standard Coinbase-based flash briefing because it doesnt provide enough info and it is slow so I had been thinking to write my own flash briefing. So this is perfect timing to do a new skill.

The problem with writing a…

the whole universe was in a hot dense state…

In the beginning, there is a hot mess of undifferentiated stuff. As time passes, random results and conditions interact to create structure, and structure builds on structure, as much defined by what it is than what it is not. Structures grow apart, wildly and irrevocably so, and then die as entropy claims us all.

This is as much a description of the Big Bang theory as it is a great mental model for the maturity curve of any new field.

Stage 1: Collection

This is the fun stage where every new thing could be the next big thing. This is…

Applying PageRank’s ideas to identify the top 10 Stratechery Articles, Daily Updates, and Exponent podcasts

Why this was written (adapted from https://stratechery.com/2015/curation-and-algorithms/)

Ben Thompson writes a lot. Across articles on Stratechery, Daily Updates, and his Exponent podcast with James Allworth, he has made 931 distinct pieces of content to date, not including frequent guest appearances on The Talk Show and This Week In Tech. And that is only his tech stuff!

Why We Need PageRank for Stratechery

This can make things very daunting for anyone new to Ben’s world and trying to hang on to the most important threads.

For these people Ben has self-curated yearly reviews with the top pieces of content and a short summary:

2016 | 2015 Big Five | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

It is often hard to comprehend both the scale and speed of human economic disasters. The Hungarian pengő suffered an inflation rate of 41,900,000,000,000,000% in 1946 (prices doubled every 15 hours). The Republic of Nauru, once the world’s richest country by GDP per capita and a pioneer of sovereign wealth funds, is now bankrupt and its citizens face a 90% unemployment rate. …

subscribe at https://slashslashblog.wordpress.com or find me on Twitter @swyx

I have previously explained my thoughts on meta-competence and its importance, but I have rarely dedicated time toward -improving- my own admittedly extremely poor meta-competence.

how do i know i have poor meta-competence? I fell in love with finance in 2004–6, just before its peak, and then dedicated the next 10 years to moving up within finance instead of seeing how finance was shrinking and ossifying. Ted Seides this week conceded his bet with Buffett but still did not learn his lesson:

Link 1: The Bet With Buffett (http://investorfieldguide.com/bet/)

In the…

Collating some resources on setting onboarding practices in rough chron order

Hiring Manager

  1. Work: Plan first two weeks’ calendar — Learn the tools


  1. Visibility: Announce hire to company

I have been butting heads in forums on my usage of the Amazon Mechanical Turk program to get jobs done at half the US minimum wage. One side cries unethical, my side points to freedom of choice.

This is a perennial debate with international trade, and while protectionist sentiments are flowing right now, they are fighting last century’s wars while “internet-ional” trade is experiencing untrammeled growth.

Right now I see three ongoing trends that all tie together under the broad umbrella of “Global Arbitrage”:

  • Cost Arbitrage: High cost of living employers paying workers to produce in low cost countries for…

The smartest people I know don’t merely play the game. They play to where the game is going, if you will pardon the mixed metaphor. It is the existential imperative of social constructs to impose structure and compliance on human progress, but the irony is that progress too often involves disrupting and breaking outmoded structures and the construct becomes a hindrance to the very thing it was designed to promote. In short, rulebooks become useless when the rules of the game change. …


Infinite Builder working on DX @Netlify. Helping people #LearnInPublic @nycreact @eggheadio & r/reactjs. He/him 🇸🇬

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