The little things

As I continue through my programming journey, I learn more lessons every day. Prior to Launch School, I was always looking at job descriptions and looking at what is hot and what’s not. I’d often see things like React, Rails, and AngularJS.

What does this all mean? These are just tools to help speed up production. I spend a lot of time each day focusing and keeping my fundamentals sharp because none of these things above mean anything if you don’t have your fundamentals in place.

Chris Lee, our instructor, once tweeted,

“Learning to program with a framework is like learning to cook with a microwave. You get a meal, but you still won’t know how to cook.”

Let me put it to you this way, I went to a meetup, which was a casual office hours and I asked this graduate from a top tier bootcamp to help me with an exercise that required basic ruby with high level problem solving. She was completely lost and I actually figured out the solution and ended up walking her through it.

The moral of the story is focus on the little things that don’t change and frameworks like AngularJS and Rails will become easier.

I’m a tennis player and I grew up watching Roger Federer play tennis. This guy focuses on every little detail in his stroke fundamentals instead of focusing on advanced tactics.

The fact that he focuses on his fundamentals allows him to play at a high level and react instead of thinking about how his strokes are during a rally.

His high proficiency in stroke fundamentals allows him to be more creative with his shot-making and play instinctively.

The main takeaway from this example is that focusing on the fundamentals allows you to code at a higher level and can open you up to a lot of things, because your brain will be able to handle the little things, while you can give yourself more flexibility to try new things.

If you can spend about an hour a day on the fundamentals to keep it sharp because you’ll be surprised how much better you will get at programming.