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Top 5 DEV Comments from the Past Week

peter profile image Peter Kim Frank 惻1 min read

This is a weekly roundup of awesome DEV comments that you may have missed. You are welcome and encouraged to boost posts and comments yourself using the #bestofdev tag.

Replying to When Stack Overflow Goes Offline..., @nektro offers her response. For more context, check this post regarding the recent "10x" Twitter thread:

And The 10X programmer didn't realize it had gone down.

The You're not worth hiring unless... thread produced a ton of great comments. @walkhard13 talks about a fairly arbitrary task they were given in an interview:

I was asked to convert from decimal to binary on a whiteboard. It's not a difficult algorithm, but it makes no sense to expect someone to have that algorithm memorized. What possible use would I or anyone else have for being able to regurgitate that during a real project?

@codemenatalie offers a number of thoughts in reply to Why is streaming while you're developing not so popular?:

I think streaming how you code is not popular because of couple things:

  1. viewer can't stop the stream to analyze your code or check the definition of something you just said
  2. if a viewer is not watching the stream from the beginning he will be lost in concepts you explain and won't understand them
  3. for you one problem can be trivial and you won't explain it good enough for the viewer so he will leave the stream
  4. it's not exciting. People watch streams to be entertained more than to learn something.

I think it's because of above things people choose to watch youtube tutorial than stream.

@codemouse92 wrote an incredible reply in their own AMA, titled I've Trained Programming Interns For 6+ Years, Ask Me Anything! :

This definitely comes up a lot, as most of our interns are full-time students as well. Truth is, everyone gets the same 24 hours a day, and many people balance full time jobs and hobbies or side projects.

Here's a few tips:

1: Scale your expectations.

Even accomplishing four hours of work in a week on your project is progress. You don't need to put it all in at once either. An hour here, 30 minutes there, and you're still making progress.

2: Schedule your time.

I tell many interns, "time left unscheduled is time that will fill itself." You should deliberately schedule times to work on your side-project, time for family, time for housework, time for gaming or catching up on DuckTales. It is important to actually SCHEDULE both productive and relaxation times, or one will take over the other!

You can (and should) still be flexible, but having a regular framework for your schedule helps you "gear up" for the next task, and makes it possible for you to guard that time proactively: "I'm sorry, I can't do X right now, I promised myself I'd spend half an hour on my side-project. I have an opening tomorrow at 6, though!"

You can also swap things around this way. If your best friend wants to meet with you for coffee at 1 pm on a Saturday, but that's when you work on your side project, find what you'd be okay giving up that day ("DuckTales can wait"), move your side-project into that slot, and go for coffee.

That reminds me, you should never answer "when can you do (...)" with "uh, iono". Have your scheduler handy. Pencil something in. It's better to reschedule or cancel (in advance) than to leave something hanging indefinitely.

3. Maximize your productivity.

Give yourself a few minutes to transition from one task to the next. Establish a dedicated workspace if you can, like a favorite nook in your living room, or the corner coffee shop. Figure out your ideal environment for working on your side-project. Use Mynoise.net or your favorite music to help you focus. Block out distractions. Shut off social media. And then just work.

4. Rethink your approach.

All that might seem pointless if you're already exhausted, but there are still things you can do:

  • Consider becoming an early bird (YES, you can do that!) and setting aside some side-project time before work! Then you can get to the office still riding the high of doing something you love.

  • Part of your lunch hour may give you time to work on your side-project. I know many developers who do this, and they find it's a great way to refresh halfway through the day.

  • Look for other ways to reduce stress at work. Do you need to set better boundaries? (Read Boundaries by Henry Cloud) Should you rethink how you structure your workday?

  • Consider whether your side-project itself is contributing stress. If it is, you may need to restructure that as well. (See The Cranky Developer Manifesto and Why Is It Taking So Long??!?).

In short, it is possible to do this, but it may require you to rethink how your life is structured...and that's okay! Side-projects can be a good opportunity to improve your time management and life boundaries.

I myself run two companies, write both fiction and non-fiction books, and am a frequent fixture here on DEV.to and Freenode IRC. I also play music, volunteer with my church, and take care of the house (yep, I'm fully domesticated). Yet my life is typically in pretty good balance. I use these tactics myself.

Replying to Why I Became A Front-End Web Developer At Age 35 @nicolaerario shares that they're in a similar position to the author. The entire associated comment chain is really wonderful:

Iā€™m trying to do it at 40... Iā€™m crazy??

EDIT on 28-04-20: I would like to thank everyone for the encouraging messages!

Today, almost a year after my comment, I'm about to start a front-end bootcamp to become a full-stack;
unfortunately I still don't have a job so if someone needs ... I don't dislike job offers ; )

See you next week for more great comments āœŒ

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Peter Kim Frank


Doing a bit of everything at DEV.

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You should write a post about it. "Top 10 Reasons I Hate Lists" šŸ˜‚


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