Learning to Code September 22, 2020

What Are You Learning? Where/How Are You Learning It?


Code learners: what are you learning (or thinking about learning)?

How and where are you learning it?

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    I'm learning about building out a modern client-side app in Javascript. I've been doing server-rendered PHP for almost 5 years. The last client-side app that I worked on was built using in-house infrastructure at my previous job. So I want to see what a Facebook-type stack feels like to develop in: React and Relay backed by an Express server

    1. 1

      Where/how are you learning?

      1. 1

        I started off by trying to recreate the build configuration of create-react-app for the default project that it generates. This taught me a lot about npm, yarn, webpack, plugins, loaders, etc.

        Next, I started with a small example GraphQL app that could add and edit data to the server, and render it on the client. I'm already super familiar with GraphQL (just not in Javascript), so this was less of a lift than it sounds.

        Now, I'm trying to build a webapp that has moderate complexity (a startup validation worksheet), and using the exercise for learning how to piece together state management features. This is mostly trying to implement small incremental functionality, and doing a lot of searching online when the way forward is not obvious.

        I have enough experience as a developer that I trust my instinct about tutorials -- for example, I was curious about implementing "global" modals this morning (i.e. having a single component that can represent a modal, regardless of where it's requested in the application). I rejected 4 or 5 tutorials until I found an example that seemed reasonable using React.Context. When I left off this morning, my rendering code was giving me errors about not being able to find a DOM node. Now I get to learn some more about React rendering tomorrow!

        The common piece is that I'm trying to give myself a continual stream of incremental wins. Most of the incremental projects that I worked on could be finished in less than an hour, and none have taken more than 5 days yet.

        1. 1

          Very cool :-) So you prefer to find the tutorial for the task vs finding a course and going through it, yeah? Also, it seems like you're a little bit of a dive-right-in and use the documentation, StackOverflow, forums kind of person?

          Do you prefer video or written courses?

          1. 2

            Yeah, when possible, I try to read the most-appropriate source. If I'm trying to figure something out about how an individual CSS property works, I'll read the spec. If I'm trying to learn how to achieve something in CSS, I'll look for working examples. If I don't even know enough to get started, I'll look for a written course or a book on the topic

  2. 2

    learning game programming (Unity C#)

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      Where/how are you learning?

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        I try to learn from unity tutorials and youtube tutorials. But it didn't work for me. I think for me the best way to learn is just to learn what I need.

        I determine the scope for what I want to do to learn to keep me motivated. This is really important to be cool and relaxed. Otherwise you lost yourself in big chunks of knowledge.

        I just started to develop a board game similar to chess. The goal is not to finish the game. The goal is to solve what problem I have to solve at that time of development experience. That's all. When I solved the last problem, the game showed its face. Better to focus mini goals one by one than to focus the big one as a whole.

        Long story short, I prefer to be task focused over the goal focused. I know that will drive me to the goal in a cleaner way.

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          So, when the unity tutorials and youtube tutorials didn't really work for you, you went with an approach of diving into a project that you scope out for yourself, correct?

          When you don't know how to do something, do you look at the Unity documentation? Do you search StackOverflow? Look at Unity forums?

  3. 2

    I'm learning a little bit about machine learning! So far I haven't done anything "deep," but instead I've just been listening to podcasts where people talk about broad topics and applications. Eventually I'd like to do some machine learning stuff for Indie Hackers itself.

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      Any podcasts that stand out for you yet that you'd recommend?

  4. 1

    I've been learning Rust lately... I have chosen it as my future language for heavy lifting and performance improvement as it is a more reliable alternative to C/C++. I plan to translate code that I want to make faster or more efficient to Rust.

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      So you already know C/C++? You're translating that code to Rust?

      Where and how are you learning Rust? What's your learning approach?

      1. 3

        I don't code in in C/C++. Rust is a good alternative as a compiled low level language for running backend tasks that require more speed and efficiency than serving HTML web pages.

        I read e-books... That's the only way I can learn anything... I don't have enough patience to listen to people's explanations or to watch videos for hours; I find text faster and easier to understand.

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