Bench Mark: What I Learned

I wanted to do a quick check-in to log what I learned in my second year of full-time work as an engineer.

My first year was mostly focused around JavaScript, CSS (SASS), HTML5, and getting familiar with some of the tools that support my work (transpiling, compiling, uglifying, module building, browser dev tools, github, Sublime Text).

This year has brought major changes.  As my company moves into a microservice architecture and doubles our engineering team, I’ve needed to grow as well.  This year I became a part-time nodeJS developer, learning a bunch of the tools that come with that — docker, async unit testing (jasmine), MYSQL queries.  I also dabble in PHP when the need arises.

Instead of being a front-end person on a large team, I’m now the only front-end person on a team of 2 engineers, so if I don’t know how to do something, I have to figure it out.

The biggest change is just this feeling of confidence.  The number of unknowns has gone down so much that there is no longer a nebulous cloud of questions around every bug.  Now I can systematically check through every possibility (environment, settings, versioning, error in current application, error in outside application) to hunt down the root cause.

Interested to see where I’ll be a year from now.  I’m reading up to become much proficient with the shell and to keep growing my SQL ninja skills.  I’m creating a list for my team of some best practices we can adopt that will make our  microservices less cumbersome to test.

Other than that — we’ll see.

Culture Shock

IMG_0441When I say coding is ‘overwhelming’, I’m aware that this description is not very specific. There are so many things about coding that are overwhelming, and not just the ‘language barrier.’ I’m in brand new territory, filled with all kinds of new entities, new programs, new means of navigating around the screen, new means of breaking my computer without meaning to…

Here’s a sampling of some of the new programs I’ve needed to download/learn since I’ve started coding:

  • The Terminal — allows for navigating around your computer’s file structure and creating/modifying files using only keystrokes. Has its own language, with commands similar to the MS Dos commands I used growing up.
  • VIM — a pre-mouse text editor program. Has its own interface.
  • Sublime Text — a text editor program, probably the one used most in the coding world.
  • FileZilla — app that allows you to connect to both a local and remote repository in order to upload files to your website.
  • GitHub — website that allows multiple people to work on a project at once and take it in different directions.
  • GitHub app — helps users manage and upload local changes to GitHub website.
  • Go Daddy’s phpMyAdmin — SQL database manager that lets you view, create, and edit data structures on the back end of your website
  • — The wiki-answers of the coding world! Any question you’ve ever asked has already been asked and tackled on

Looking at this list, you’d think my Number One problem would be not knowing how to use these applications.  And yes, that is definitely an issue.

But it’s really irrelevant because I can’t even remember my password for half of these!  Every one wants a different number of characters, a different number of capital letters, no letters at all. …  Yeah.  I am so screwed.