On Self-Teaching Web Development:

There is a trick I “found”. Code alongs are useful and helpful in showing you how to solve certain problems. They also teach you how to actually do stuff. This is cool! During these code alongs, however, you don’t necessarily develop what I believe is one, if not the most, important coding skill and that is the ability to approach a problem by yourself. I’m talking about facing that “dog-in-the-middle-of-the-street-and-a-car-is-approaching-so-it-gets-paralyzed” kind of feeling you get when you’re staring at a blank text editor page. There is a “secret” to this.

Take that project you built with the code along and modify it. I’m not saying you tweak it in that same file. What I’m saying is, open a new project window and start building a variation. Refer to the code when in doubt. Modify a few things here and there. If you’re feeling brave, add a new feature. Then rinse and repeat with your variation. Do this about 5 times. Each time modify the variation of the variation of the variation…you’ll end with a different end product each time and you’ll acquire ,along the way, new skills, new knowledge, and the confidence to face that blank page because now, you know, at least, how to start.

On The Advanced Web Developer Bootcamp:

REACT! I noticed two things as soon as I started this section: one, I was excited (I think much of it has to do with the hype, but I don’t care and I’m still excited); and two, I think I’ve made it this far with the minimal amount of knowledge needed to understand and use React. The second remark, obviously, I can’t be sure unless I look back when I have more experience, but it’s just a hunch.

I do have to confess something: I didn’t do the final D3 project. Two things. One: I will do it, just not now. Second: the justification. The justification is simple: I would’ve had to go back, way back, to the starting building blocks. The upside? I won’t do the same with React. With the two React sections I completed today, I took the best notes I have ever taken in my entire life since I started taking notes when I was baby (I got way too excited there). But seriously, I’m really making sure I’m taking my time for these initial exercises.

Getting and setting the foundation as solidly as possible is crucial in programming. This is something that I’ve definitely learned at heart along the way throughout this journey. When learning a new technology, and specially if you’re following a course, take time to tinker with every point, letter, comma or whatever little detail you encounter. Break the code, find out what happens and how to fix it. If you wait until things get complicated, then it’s going to be harder because you won’t even know what you don’t know. Wholehearted tip: go deep in the beginning and make sure you understand it.

I didn’t do this with D3, but it doesn’t mean I won’t do it. I really like D3. And today we built some BADASS linked nodes force directed graphs. This is something I’ll come back to and hammer calmly. Why didn’t I do it with D3? Because of practical reasons. Given the present market, I can prove way more with React than with D3. Maybe I’m mistaken, but just let me remind you that I’m improvising in this path and my way is pretty much intuition-lead. I do promise you one thing: that by the end of this Bootcamp, React will be the technology that I’ll be dominating the most.