2020 was a busy and challenging year; due to covid and downsizing, I had lost my previous job, and after more than two years, I had to start looking for a new job while the unemployment rate was sky high, losing my job caught me unprepared. When I was looking for a new job, I soon realized that even though I was practicing pretty modern and cutting-edge technologies, I still had many knowledge gaps. While searching for a new job, I learned a lot and caught up a bit, but I'm still not where I would like to be. During this period, any time I came across something I didn't know and wanted to learn, I added this to an endless list that just kept getting longer and longer. Thinking about where I see myself in a year and what knowledge I would like to possess, I refind the list while trying to be as efficient and realistic as possible at the same time. I hope to return to this post in a year and see that I have accomplished (hopefully most of it).
Why: when using options like create-react-app, you might not need that at all, but when you want the ability to custom and modify the build process, I find it necessary to understand these tools better. Most of the time, I had to tweak something, I just copy-pasted it without really understanding the full implications of what I was doing. Since webpack is the most popular one, this is the one I'm going to focus mostly on. After mastering one of these tools, the others will become more approachable and easy to get on board.
How: Reading the official docs, possibly watch a tutorial and dive deep into using it, try to avoid preconfigured builders like create-react-app, and try to write the webpack config from scratch. And most importantly, for any future project that I will start, I can try and configure the webpack by myself.
Testing: jest,mocha,react-testing-library, puppeteer and cypress
Why: I have a confession. I have never written a test in my life, not even a simple unit test. While I understand the upside of writing tests, I never really needed to learn this paradigm. As I'm maturing as a developer and understanding those processes better, I see the value of using tests in any project. Even on my small and relatively simple projects, I stumble on regressions and errors I know could have been prevented if I had some test implemented.
How: For starters, understand the difference between test types (unit test, e2e, etc.). What kind of tools to use for each, and finally start integrating tests in my existing projects, and obviously in new future projects.
Why: Quite frankly, I want to learn TypeScript to read and understand the source code of external packages. It's that simple. The best documentation is the source code itself.
Also, the fact that TS is gaining popularity is significant, from a nice to have ability to an almost necessity in the last few years.
How: You guessed it, implementing TS in my existing projects. No reason to get fancy here.
Why: When I need to write code that doesn't "live" in the browser, the obvious choice for a web developer is node.js. For developing backend servers, writing cloud functions, web scraping, and even IoT devices, Node.js is a powerful tool to have in your toolbelt.
Why: Well, I know git, but I can't say I have in-depth knowledge, pull, push, checkout, really the basics. I want to master it to the point where I don't have to use the GUI, just the commands and the complicated ones.
How: I plan to take the Frontend Masters Git In-Depth course and make the switch to use the terminal more heavily than the GUI.
Codewars: Codewars is a website where you can practice coding problem skills and algorithms for those who don't know. Over the last year or so, I laid aside my progress. I'm currently kyu(level) 6. I believe I can reach level 4 by the end of the year.
yakov.dev: (my blog) I started this blog a few months ago. I want to keep it active, so at least one post per month will be a sufficient pace, although I hope to write even more.
YDKJS (You Don't Know JS): I started this great series by Kyle Simpson a few months ago. I do plan to finish it sometime soon. When reading these books, I have encountered many complex concepts that make my understanding of the language much better. I recommend any web developer to read this series, I've learned a lot from it, and I only read the first two books out of 6.
Mobile Development: I found myself in need of some functionality on my android phone that doesn't exist. After searching for an app, I decided to develop it myself. It should be refreshing to try something new like Flutter for a small project and outside the JS ecosystem.
Chrome & Visual Studio Code extensions: I use Chrome and VS Code extensions daily, and it caught my interest in how those extensions developed and work under the hood. I'll start with one for each app.
Continue Develop my Side Projects I have a few ongoing projects that I try to expand and add features all the time. Although I don't have a defined road map for them, I don't want to neglect them while focusing on the other goals I have set for this year.
To conclude, think about where you would like to be in a year, what skills you would like to have, and set goals for yourself. I believe that in our profession, you can't rest on your laurels, always thrive on getting better, and expand your knowledge.
See you next time! 🏆