Updates on my coding journey, 6 months later

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HEY SAM, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

When I started this blog in December 2016 (almost a year ago), I pledged to write a post weekly. Some followers on Twitter told me that this was bold and that it was hard to be consistent. They were right. I kept my weekly pledge for 6 months, and then baby #3 was born. Life has been a storm since. 6 months later, baby boy’s still not sleeping through the night. And since my wife has finished her maternity leave and has resumed her medical residency, I’m the sole night watch. Do you imagine blogging while not having a single straight night for 6 months?

But I’m not seeking any excuses. Blogging is hard because it never seems a priority when life gets in the way. At the end of the day, regardless of how little I slept or how little margin I had left in my days, I could have found 1h per week had I really tried. So here it is: since my pledge was public, I publicly acknowledge my failure. And I won’t renew it. But I’ll still try to dust off my blog a little and bring it back to life a bit.

The first step will be to bring you up to speed to where I’m at in my software journey. A crazy lot has happened the last few months.

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Improve your coding skills with Free Code Camp’s bonfire challenges

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Two months ago, I shared my first steps building static web pages with Free Code Camp (FCC). The two little projects I mentionned were useful to get a first grasp of HTML and CSS and their interactions (as well as the Bootstrap framework).

However, I’m personally much more interested by the Javascript part of web development. It’s the logic and behavior aspects that get me on fire. That’s why I just did the minimum required to validate the static pages little projects so that I could move on to the Javascript part.

And I was not disappointed.

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Review on my first tech conference – MiXiT

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Back to blogging after a short leave

In my initial post on December 27th 2016, I pledged to write one post a week. Which is what I did without a single miss until April the 3rd, keeping my promise 15 weeks in a row. But those of you who follow carefully realized that I didn’t post anything since. By the way, I want to thank those of you who called me on this for caring enough to do this.

The reason behind these misses is that my (growing) family is in the process of buying our own home for the first time. And next to a full time job and a busy family life, this project has been taking all my free time since we made an offer that was accepted. We’ll be signing the deal at the end of this week, and now need to find the best deal for our mortgage. Each little win can mean thousands of euros in gain, so I’m working hard on it.

However, my wife rightfully pointed that life will always throw new urgent and important tasks at me. If I start making excuses, it will be much harder for me to keep blogging. So here I am, back to the task.

Now let’s talk about MiXiT

Today, I want to share with you some thoughts on the tech conference MiXiT 2017, which took place in Lyon Thurday and Friday of last week, and was the first tech conference I ever attended.

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A tribute to my “secret mentor”, Quincy Larson

quincy larson and his family

Two weeks ago, I shared my first baby steps in web development. Thanks to the advice given by Derek Sivers, I read two useful books from the Head First series (HTML & CSS and Javascript & HTML5 Programming), and was encouraged to join the Free Code Camp (called FCC below) community.

There exists dozens of websites and online communities aiming at helping people get a foot in the door into the web development world. The first thing I asked myself was: “What makes FCC distinctive, and why should I follow this curriculum instead of any other?”

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Jan, Senior Software Engineer at Mozilla, on Clean Code

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A few weeks ago, I shared a post giving the answer to the question “What is clean code?” by five of the most respected software engineers in the industry. I concluded the article by saying:

I’ve also planned for the coming weeks to ask this question to some developers I respect in order to share their answers with you, with my comments.

Well for today’s article, I have the privilege to share with you the answer by Jan Keromnes, who is a senior software engineer at Mozilla. If you’re not aware, Mozilla is one of the hottest companies for which to work for as a developer, together with other big names such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. The selection process to get in is incredibly competitive, which means that only the best software engineers make it. And those who know Jan are actually not surprised at all that he’s one of the few who’s made it (and quickly became “senior”, on top of that).

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My first baby steps with web development

Last week, I explained how I decided to focus on web development (HTML-CSS-JS). I ended my post saying that even though I knew where I wanted to go, I had no clues where to start.

If you type “How to learn web technologies” on Google, you easily find hundreds of websites telling you that they have the best solution to make you a pro in a few months only if you follow their plans and courses. And when you don’t know where to start, going through them one by one to make up your mind can be quite tiring. You can also check many discussion boards on websites like Quora and Reddit, only to find yourself more confused and dazzled by the myriad of options available.

As a busy young dad, I didn’t want to waste any second and wanted to make sure that my way of approaching the subject would be as efficient as possible. But I also didn’t want to waste too many hours researching this most efficient way…

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Which development ecosystem to choose?

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Last week, I shared my one-year plan to become a remote & freelance developer. I ended my post saying that the next step for me would be to choose a development ecosystem to focus on.

Today, being a “software developer” doesn’t say much about what kind of work one is really doing. The daily work of someone coding the behaviour of a factory robot or a flying drone looks nothing like the daily routine of a mobile app developer working in the banking industry. The tools and languages used are very different, as well as the constraints and the skills required. Actually, there exists almost as many different kinds of developer jobs as there are developers!

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