Post Makers - Week 11

davidpaps profile image David Papamichael ・3 min read

This week for me was all about exploring tech that was same same but different.

At Makers you learn what I have come to realise are the most simple, easy to understand formats of tech For example as a language - Ruby is super accessible and that is the bread and butter you start with. Sinatra is the first taste of a web app/framework, rspec is the first test library you use, and .erb ruby/html files are the first taste of front end development.

These are all great introductions into these worlds, and I am glad they are what I started wit. They are easy to understand, fairly straightforward, and allow you to learn the basic concepts, and understand how they all stitch together. The problem however, is that very few jobs I have seen advertised in the 11 weeks since graduating require these technologies...and by very few I mean virtually zero.

I have applied to 50 jobs since graduating, and have seen 500 more descriptions of all levels...and aside from Ruby as a language, The other technologies that were our staples during studying have never come up again. Now this is not a rant at all, as I said above I understand the reasons we were taught those technologies, but it got me thinking about how I should evolve my skills and keep up to date with what is going on.

As I have explained before this, React has become more of a staple for me since the Covid project, and i feel far more comfortable using it now. JavaScript has replaced Ruby as my go to language as i find it more flexible and versatile, and testing libraries such as Jest and Jasmine have become normal. However the backend part of my skills ha pretty much stayed the same, anything that needed a database or a RESTful API use meant it immediately became a Ruby Sinatra/Rails app.

This week therefore became all about Node.js something I have seen in almost every single job application requirement. I never really even knew what node was, or how it is used. The more I read about this JavaScript runtime environment, the more I came to realise I would need to use another word that kept popping up - Express. This, it turns out would act as the server framework for Node.

The first thing I did was to build what I almost always do when I learn a new web app tech stack - build the tried and tested to-do list application. This is for many reasons, firstly it needs a simple RESFUL API structure, utilises a database, and applies the crud cycle to Create, Read, Update and Delete the content - a full stack application!

The more I researched about creating this, I found that a common tech stack using Node in this application was referred to as the PERN stack using PostgreSQL as the database, Express for the back end framework, React for the front end framework, and Node for creating the JavaScript runtime environment.

After wresting the intricacies of this tech stack, it YET AGAIN became apparent that Makers really laid the foundation for me being able to absorb this new technology. It all had a strange likeness to its 'Ruby starter kit' tech that i had learnt, and after identifying the syntaxes it was basically same same but different....marvellous.

The next stage for me is creating a Twitter clone using the same stack (yes a bit cliche, but it really does help the learning process!) except this time I am using the Jest and Enzyme libraries to TDD the application.This will be my next few days, then I hope to start a new project with Asia and Nic, using this newfound tech stack. Fingers crossed it will be as successful as the Covid Project!

As always stay safe during these crazy times!


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David Papamichael


Starting off my coding career, a big lover of climbing, food and problem solving!


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