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Dev Journal - Oct 26, 2020

5 min read





I've decided to start a new segment of my blog, for dev journaling. The goal is to write a little every day, and share what I'm working on, any little tidbits I've learned, and generally how I'm handling this whole "becoming a developer" thing. Not entirely sure if this will be a daily thing, or how I want to display these on my main page if it does become daily - I still want to write some longer form posts that aren't journals, and don't want my other posts buried. But for now, the important thing is to write. So away we go!

Career Work

I'm doing a course this week on the Crash site called Crash Course. It's a walk-through to thinking through what kind of career you want, working with their platform to create "pitches", and a general "crash course" into using their system. So far it's been decent - the pacing feels nice, and I think I'm going to get some value out of it. I need to review it by the end of the week, so we'll see how the rest of the course goes!

I've been advised recently to really focus down on what exactly I want for a job, so the timing for this course felt perfect. Because to be honest, I'm still not sure entirely what I want. I know I want to work on a codebase, and be somewhere that's supportive of newer developers, and definitely less stressful than my last job. But otherwise - I'm pretty open. I don't feel a super strong pull to a particular stack or type of role. So I'm trying to really dig deep and get a feel for where I might like to start, so I can hone in on the postings I respond to and find somewhere that resonates.

JavaScript Learning

I'm currently working through Wes Bos' Beginner JavaScript course, and really enjoying it! I've been using JS for years now, but I still feel like I don't always have a good grip on things, especially some of the newer syntax. I've got his ES6 course as well, but when this one came out it felt like a good reason to go through and really sharpen my understanding. Plus, he promised small projects to build that I can use to showcase my learning, which I always love!

Today I went through most of the videos on Arrays. Arrays are probably the thing (outside of defining variables) that I'm most comfortable with in JS, so a lot of it felt like reinforcement. However, I did get some good practice in with using the spread operator, which always trips me up! That was nice.

The first set of exercises gave me some great ideas on little improvements to my site to build, or things to use on a new side project. So I'm really excited to have working examples of those that I can come back to when I'm ready to implement!

Rust Learning

I've been working my way through the Rustlings exercises with one of my Discord groups, and it's been very challenging but very fun! It's a whole new language to me. When I first started learning to code I took the CS50 Intro to Computer Science course, and we started learning in C. This feels very similar to that, with some JS similarities as well. Like you'll hear a lot of people say when they talk about Rust, I really like the compiler errors you get - they're helpful and informative, and they've made finding where the errors are (and most of the time, what they error is) easy to work with. There's just also a lot of new information, and not all of it makes full sense yet. lol

Today was learning about traits and generics. It's a way to provide a value to work with to something that needs a type, without having to specify the exact type. So if you want a function that works with numbers or strings, you can use a generic type instead of having to make two functions (one for each type). That's nice and makes sense!

The traits thing is a little more odd to me. The logic makes sense - it's a way to provide some grouped functionality for types that implement similar methods or properties. Just more new syntax to get used to. I got through the exercises today without too much trouble, so at least some of it sank in! Much better than the other day when I was working through the iterator exercises - those really threw me for a loop.

I started learning Rust because it sounded interesting, folks I know that I respect are working with it, and I wanted a new challenge. And so far, it's been all of that! I like that it can work with JS as well, which I think will be interesting down the road. Right now, I've got two chapters of exercises left of Rustlings, then I'm going to go through the CLI exercise in the documentation. I'm hoping I can build a little helper library to use while going through Advent of Code this year! Thinking about doing the whole thing in Rust this year, but we'll see how it goes. It might be cool enough to just have a little CLI tool I can use. Playing that one by ear and seeing how building out the CLI tool goes first. :)

Wrap Up

Overall, a very productive day! I've rededicated myself to the schedule I want to keep and thinking of all of this as "work", and making myself follow the plan I've set out. If I really want to get a job (which, honestly, I need to) and want to build fun things that help people, I've got to buckle down and make progress. So here's to a solid week of investigating and learning!

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