In July, I was asked to participate in a panel for GraphQL Summit and talk about JAMStack. I was so hype and excited!! I was going to have the opportunity to talk with some really cool people at a really cool conference. But there was 1 problem. I didn't know much of anything about JAMStack.
HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO LEARN JAMSTACK IN ENOUGH TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT AT A CONFERENCE WITH EXPERTS???????
Well there were a couple things I did so that I could hold my own in the conversation. Here's a quick run down of the resources I used and things I did to learn JAMStack fast.
These are all of the articles I read to get a good idea of what JAMStack actually was.
- What is a CDN? - Cloudflare
- WTF is JAMstack - Learn With Jason
- JAMstack Fundamentals - Smashing Magazine
- Can a SPA Be JAMstack? - Divya on DEV
Because I had a time constraint, I couldn't spend a whole lot of time compiling a bunch of articles to read and study. This forced me to stick to a small number of articles which was actually a good thing. No matter what you decide to learn, don't bog yourself down with a gigantic list of resources. Doing that usually prolongs getting your hands dirty and building stuff.
2. I watched the freeCodeCamp JAMstack course on YouTube
I admittedly didn't watch the whole thing. But I watched just enough to get me started with Eleventy. Phil Hawthorne explains things really clearly and despite being experienced, I think he also breaks things down in a beginner-friendly way. He makes sure to explain some of the terms that are unfamiliar to those new to JAMstack.
The only thing about this video is that it's really long. But there are time stamps in the video description so you can jump around if you want to. And you can always pause and pick up where you left off later. Or you can be like me and just not finish it. Whatever works best for you!
Or I should say, I started projects. If you watch the panel, you'll notice that I specically mentioned two projects I started: my blog and dayintheline.dev. I didn't have enough time to actually finish either of them before the panel.
My blog is done now (obviously) and I'm still working on dayinthelife.dev. Building a project allowed me to explore some of the different static site generators out there. (Eleventy is my favorite if you care.) I got to see how JAMstack works after learning what it is. Having this experience helped me to talk about JAMstack like I kind of knew what I was doing.
You might be reading this if you're interested in learning JAMstack. But I think my experience can be applied to any tech stack or coding language. There are a few things I did right in this situation that you can apply to almost any discipline:
- I stuck to a handful of resources and didn't get caught up in hoarding articles, courses, videos, and everything else out there
- I built something with what I learned
- I talked about what I learned (aka practiced learning in public)
That last part might seem intimidating since I was on a conference panel. To be quite honest, it was EXTREMELY intimidating for me. But speaking at a conference isn't the only form of learning in public. You can stream on Twitch. You can write articles. You can make videos. You can even talk to a family member or friend about what you've learned and built! Just take the opportunity to teach someone else what you've learned!