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Tagged with “fixate” (2)

  1. Understanding the basics, with Jonathan Snook | Fixate

    Published Nov 30, 2017

    Jonathan is the creator of the influential SMACSS methodology for writing scalable and modular C-S-S. He has worked his magic at Xero, Yahoo!, and Shopify, and has appeared on stage at conferences such as Generate, CSSConf, and the Smashing Conference. With 3 highly-acclaimed books, Jonathan has - a - knack for influencing devs around the world and earning the respect of the top people in the industry.

    Time Stamped Show Notes

    1:56 – Everything feels like an evolution of what came before. Jonathan loves the creativity and design of his work, rather than all the new things that will inevitably come out.

    4:48 – Recognising when you’re not behaving ok is the beginning of how to create an environment where everyone can do the best work they can do.

    6:04 – Jonathan loves Vim. He mentions that there are editors like Atom or Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code that bring a lot to the table, but Vim is his comfort zone. Likewise, when it comes to using Git, he is most comfortable with the command line.

    7:20 – Jonathan likes the ease of use that tools like MAMP being, where running an installer will set up your environment, and there’s very little configuration after that.

    8:02 – Procrastination or “busy work” gets in the way of getting work done. Blocking out social media using the Self Control app helps Jonathan to focus and get into a state of flow.

    10:03 – Larry mentions that he uses a Chrome extension, Kill News Feed, that blocks his Facebook feed.

    10:10 – Jonathan has started reading Deep Work by Cal Newport.

    10:49 – Jonathan has written a blog post in which he describes his approach to learning.

    First level: just take everything in

    Second level: implement an idea that you’ve discovered during a project. If you don’t get the opportunity to try something out on a project, come up with your own project and test out your ideas

    Last phase: teach people what you’ve learnt.

    Check out the full post here

    12:46 – To get to an implementation stage Jonathan will come up with his own projects that take a few hours that allow him to test out one idea and understand things better.

    14:44 – Jonathan explains the importance of understanding the basics. Because of all the libraries and frameworks available, people tend to jump into things at a higher abstraction level. Because he learnt to code before those things existed, he was forced to learn the underlying concepts first. He believes he is a better developer for it.

    15:05 – Jonathan contrasts his learning experience with devs who start with Rails and the built in ORM – he learned by writing SQL queries directly. Jonathan feels the need to understand datasets, joins, and the underlying concepts about how things are done.

    16:09 – Having the underlying knowledge allows Jonathan to write better code

    Quickfire Questions

    17:16 – Best advice about programming

    Understand the basics.

    17:29 – Habits for writing better code

    Good sleep and proper rest help you write better code.

    17:52 – BookScalable and Modular Architecture for CSSDesign Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by The Gang of Four

    18:52 – Inspiring devsChris Coyier. Not only is he a genuinely nice guy, but he also does a lot of great work and pumps out great content.

    19:41 – How to learn code from scratch

    Jonathan says that the best way for him to learn is to have a project. If he had to learn to program from scratch, he would pick up a project and start with the basics.

    20:55 – How to work smart

    Stay focused, whether it’s by blocking out social media or using time management tools like the Pomodoro technique.

    Tools, Tips, and Books Mentioned

    Vim

    Atom

    Visual Studio Code

    Docker

    Vagrant

    MAMP

    Self Control

    Kill News Feed

    Deep Work

    Rails

    SMACSS

    Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

    Contact Jonathan

    twitter: @snookca

    website: snook.ca

    http://fixate.it/podcast/understanding-the-basics-jonathan-snook/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. Pragmatism and fundamentals, with Harry Roberts | Fixate

    Published Nov 23, 2017

    Harry Roberts is a heavy-weight in the world of front-end architecture. While working at Sky, Harry began developing approaches to writing manageable and scalable CSS, revolutionising the way people think about front-ends. Harry now consults for a long list of companies like Google, The UN, The BBC, and Deloitte.

    Time Stamped Show Notes

    1:55 – Harry loves anything to do with the outdoors. He enjoys hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, and cycling.

    2:36 – About ten years ago Harry and his best friend started a graphic design company. When building their company site, he realised he was way better at code than he would ever be at design. That’s when he decided to get into front-end development.

    3:43 – In 2011, Harry started working as a senior developer at Sky, a broadcasting and multimedia company in the UK and Europe. This was where he got into large-scale performance architecture. He then got a job building the UI’s for highly-trafficked websites making hundreds of millions of Pounds a year. From there, he moved on to do the same for other companies. For the last three and a half years or so, he has been working for himself.

    10:33 – Harry explains that he doesn’t really use many tools. He says that he’s good at prioritising things, and tools or not, he gets things done. Harry runs his life on a “just in time” basis. He only completes tasks right before they are needed as a way not to frontload too much information. This technique prevents him from having to memorise things for too long.

    12:19 – Because he travels so much and is often in different time zones, Harry says that it’s difficult for him to develop a routine. Although he has known for a couple of years that he needs to address this, he isn’t sure how to go about it.

    12:51 – Harry admits that he’s bad with email. He knows he could fix this by implementing a routine, but he hasn’t yet. Also, he still uses Gmail even though he has heard that Inbox is better as it allows you to treat your email like a todo list.

    14:23 – Harry says that he doesn’t really use frameworks. He gets more excited about standard specifications. Service Worker is revolutionising everything.

    15:00 – Harry uses Web Components. He thinks they will allow developers to start moving things out of frameworks and into standardised specs.

    15:13 – “I really want the web to win so I’m just quite excited about the platform in general at the moment. I’m not working with a particular library or framework specifically at the moment – I’m quite agnostic in that regard.”

    15:48 – Harry says that he’s lucky to get invited to a lot of conferences. Last year he went to thirty! Even though it is work for him, conferences are also great opportunities for him to learn. He is constantly surrounded by people doing interesting new things and who are demystifying complex concepts.

    16:40 – Harry admits that he is genuinely in love with his industry. He is fascinated by what developers are doing, and browses Hacker News or Twitter whenever he gets the chance. He is constantly immersed in what developers are doing, but he doesn’t learn these things inside out. He just keeps a broad view of the industry. “You can just watch a 40 minute talk and think, “I understand enough about that to know that I don’t need it yet and when I do need it, I know where to start Googling”.

    18:58 – Encapsulation has had the biggest impact on how Harry thinks about code. In his experience, when a client’s CSS is in a mess, it’s usually because they’ve made it too complex.

    19:35 – “The first time you ever do anything you will probably get it wrong.” Understanding this, you should make sure that everything is undoable and encapsulated enough that you can decommission discrete sections of your code rather than having to rewrite everything.

    Quickfire Questions

    20:55 – Best advice about programmingOliver Reichenstein once told Harry, “never do it for money, but never do it for no money”. Developers tend to love what they do to the point that they will do it for free. This often leads to open source burnout.

    22:02 – Habits for writing better code

    Pragmatism and laziness. Not trying to write perfect code the first time you are faced with a problem.

    23:09 – BookHigh Performance Browser Networking by Ilya Grigorik. It has made Harry a fundamentally better developer because, after reading it, he understands how the internet actually works.

    23:49 – Inspiring devs

    Anyone on the Google Developer relations team. He mentions Alex Russell and, specifically, Jake Archibald, because he’s doing a lot of work with Service Worker. He also mentions Paul Lewis for his render performance work, and Nicolas Gallagher who made big waves at Twitter.

    25:29 – How to learn code from scratch

    When asked how he would go about learning programming from scratch, Harry jokes that he he might not want to, and that his dream job is to be a park ranger in a national park somewhere. He would like to “wake up and check that the eagles are ok and maybe release a deer trapped in a fence”.

    25:45 – If he had to learn programming again, Harry says he would probably take a similar approach to what he did the first time. He would reverse engineer things and pick them apart. However, this time he’d start with the fundamentals about the internet. After reading Ilya’s book, he learnt that you can learn all the HTML, CSS and JavaScript in the world, but if you don’t understand how it’s getting transported to users, then you’re probably making incorrect decisions.

    26:42 – Another inspiring dev

    Harry mentions Jeremy Keith as another developer who inspires him. Jeremy focuses on the fundamentals.

    26:56 – How to work smart

    Harry’s programming tip is not to memorise stuff you don’t have to. He believes that working smart is to devise a plan of attack, take a pragmatic approach to things, and become good at prioritising. Learn how to ask for help, and surround yourself with people who know more than you do.

    Books, Tools, and Tips Mentioned

    Service Worker

    Web Components

    Hacker News

    ReactJS

    High Performance Browser Networking

    Contact Harry

    twitter: @csswizardry

    http://fixate.it/podcast/pragmatism-and-fundamentals-harry-roberts/

    —Huffduffed by adactio