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How I want to become a better programmer in 2022 - First Quarter

At the end of January, I started writing about how I want to be a better programmer in 2022. If you haven't read it, you should check out my first article of the series first.

Since not much has happened in the last few months, this article is coming later than intended, but now seems like the perfect time to do it.
Now let's see what I've accomplished so far, what's changed about my plans, and what I've had to adjust.

What I wanted to focus in the first quarter

(and what I actually focused on)

  1. FreeCodeCamp and FrontendMasters to deepen React
  2. TypeScript
  3. Redux, SCSS
  4. Java Springboot
  5. Scrum and Project Management

My plans to focus on above changed due to the project I have been working on in my company since January. Since the project is in its final phase, I have mainly been doing bug fixes related to the user interface with SCSS and accessibility (a11y).

It was very stressful, so that I had hardly any strength in the evenings and on the weekends to deal with programming in my spare time. πŸ˜ͺ It just seemed like too much and I really wanted to avoid any kind of frustration, burnout or other feelings that would get in the way of my improvements.

Therefore, I could only focus on 2 items on the list: SCSS and Scrum and Project Management.
Through this project I was able to gain a lot of experience in Scrum and project management as well as Git and its workflow. So I won't invest any more time in it, as it is now part of the daily project workflow.

The right time to focus on the other things starts now πŸ€“

Let's get started!

The current project will end on May 31 and a new chapter will begin. The next project I'm participating in will use ReactTS, Redux, Microsoft FluidUI, Storybook, NodeJS.... , and I'm already very excited about it. It will be much easier to deepen my knowledge of React since I will now be working with it on a daily basis.
Not only will I gain a better understanding of React, but also software architecture, design patterns, CI/CD, and much more (I'm already on the team to discuss these things).

Also, a11y will play a big role in the next few months (and my future as a developer in general). Check out my recent article about my journey to accessibility.
I will have to study for IAAP (Web Accessibility Specialist) to get certified. This will be a big deal, as it is not very common in Austria to get certified in this field. So I will be one of the few to have this amazing certificate and gain a lot of knowledge about this very important topic.

To get involved with a11y at an earlier stage as well, I started taking the Google UX Design Training on Coursera.

Furthermore I will take the certification for OCA (Oracle Certified Professional: Java SE 11 Developer) in the next weeks. The cost of these certificates will be covered by my company. It counts as training and I will prepare for these exams during working hours.
❗OCA, as well as Spring Boot, is something I need to be proficient in to some degree due to my contract, but regarding Spring Boot I won't invest any time until I need it for a future project. I want to focus solely on becoming a front-end developer.

To keep everything on track, as I mentioned in the first article, I work with Kanban board in Notion and additionally with GitHub projects in terms of documentation and for my private projects.
Also, I mentioned in my last article that I feel GitLab has a lot more features than GitHub, this has changed a lot in the last few months. We will also be using GitHub for my next project for the same reasons.

πŸ’‘ Sooner than I thought, when I wrote the first article about my journey to become a better developer in 2022, I started contributing to open source. This was possible thanks to the great EddieHub community.

What I will focus on starting from June, 01

From June I will

  • start to learn for the IAAP Certification in June/July, which should take me about a month since I am already experienced in it and we do have a special training at my company
  • start to learn for the OCA Certification in June/July, which should take me about a month due our special training at my company
  • deepen my knowledge of ReactTS and Redux by working on a new project in my company starting in September
  • continue to take the Google UX Design Certificate, on the weekends just for myself

My future is becoming clearer and clearer; I sort of have an idea of where I want to be at the end of 2022. I want to call myself an Accessibility and React Frontend Developer by the end of the year. That makes the next few months even more exciting.

And now let's get going and make progress. See you at the end of the next quarter πŸ‘‹


Thank you

Thanks for your reading and time. I really appreciate it!

Discussion (19)

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larsejaas profile image
Lars Ejaas

You sound very ambitious. But I think it's great you are flexible and been prioritizing some additional rest when your job turned out more stressful.
I think the A11y part sounds super interesting! I'd wish more devs would prioritize this!

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yuridevat profile image
π•π•¦π•π•šπ•’ πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» Author

Thanks, Lars! Yeah, I wish so too!

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larsejaas profile image
Lars Ejaas

Please share your experience with the A11y course once you have completed it! Sounds really interesting.

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yuridevat profile image
π•π•¦π•π•šπ•’ πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» Author

I will for sure!

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ishelar profile image
Saurabh Shelar • Edited on

Waiting for your experiennce with the A11y course. Thanks for sharing as well.

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maxfindel profile image
Max F. Findel

I read the first article and I thought: "Is she full time learning these things? It looks a bit too much at once, especially doing it on the side" :D
I'm glad you deleted some of the things of the list. The remaining things make sense to learn together and should push you in the right direction on frontend development.
Keep up the good work and kudos for making your journey public and sharing it with others.

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yuridevat profile image
π•π•¦π•π•šπ•’ πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» Author • Edited on

Thank you, Max. Yep, it takes some time to figure everything out, what to focus on, what seems to be important or not, and especially what I am really interested in. I am getting there πŸ˜‡

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natescode profile image
Nate

Great plan. Don't go too wide and shallow. It is better to learn concepts and how to apply them then to know every library and tool poorly.

Be sure to actually build software rather than just learn to code. The tell tale sign of a junior developer is when they speak of all they know instead of all they've built.

Good luck and keep up the hard work ! You'll get there.

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yuridevat profile image
π•π•¦π•π•šπ•’ πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» Author

Hey Nate, thank you for your comment! You are right, concepts are what I should focus on, and I am. I shoould have been more clear in the article that I mean exactly that when I am talking about deepen my knowledge in React :)

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natescode profile image
Nate

By all means learn what you want! Just saying to make sure you have a good foundation. I'm constantly playing with different technologies myself 😊

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dragosnedelcu profile image
Dragos Nedelcu

Love your plan @yuridevat :) and love the fact that you are doing this public. Also, great effort you are putting in these articles, keep that up.

May I add some unsolicited feedback, or more like a questions. What is the main direction you are aiming for? Feels like mastering the Frontend side of things. I am wondering if the Springboot part and the Scrum part will really help you. I uderstand company is paying for it, yet your time might be more valuable. Same with the SCRUM as you probably already know enough to get by. Maybe putting that time into even deeper technical topics will allow you to get even deeper into the frontend (things like performance, architecture, scalbility). After that the next step what works really well for the developer we mentor CI/CD and REST API design.

Again, this is just what worked for our metees and myself. I like your plan (and the fact that your are doing this shows a lot of ambition and potential, I am sure you will get places, we need more people like you in software, glad to be surrounded by programmers like this) This are some thoughts that you might consider reagarding what worked for me and the people we help!

Keep up the good work,
Dragos

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yuridevat profile image
π•π•¦π•π•šπ•’ πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» Author

Hi Dragos! Thank you very much for your comment. I really appreciate your thoughts on my article ☺️

It also made me realize that I was not very clear at some point (which I will update immediately). You are totally right, I want to aim the frontend part (needed some time to figure everything out) and just doing trainings because the company is paying for it is not my goal at all.
In this particular case, I have to do the OCA and master Springboot to some point, it is part of my contract. For Scrum, I already did the PSMI (which was also part of my contract) and since I work with parts of the framework everyday I do not spend any time on "learning" about it any more.

All the other points you are mentioning is already part of diving deeper into React (at least in my head πŸ˜„) by stop using CRA and create a project from scratch, thinking about folder structure, design patterns, using ESLint, Prettier, Husky, Git Workflows and much more. My latest 2 projects are set up having all these professional stuff in consideration. So I am slowly getting there 🐌

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ddaypunk profile image
Andy Delso

A decent amount of disparate things in that list. I agree it is so hard to find time to work on programming outside of work. So I tend to build that time into my work by talking with my manager/team/etc. For my current position, I am focused specifically on Android test automation with Espresso in Kotlin, which plays very well to what I want to learn this year. So as such, at least every other day (except weekends) I spend an hour that morning working my way through Head First Android Development 2nd Ed.

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yuridevat profile image
π•π•¦π•π•šπ•’ πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» Author

Sounds like a good plan. Great that this worked out for you well πŸ™Œ

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atulcodex profile image
Atul Prajapati

OMG Julia,

You are trying to learn everything πŸ€ͺ
Please go one by one 🚩🚩🚩

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yuridevat profile image
π•π•¦π•π•šπ•’ πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» Author • Edited on

HI Atul, thanks for your comment! This is exactly what I will be doing! I do not want to achieve everything mentioned in the next month no worries! Baby steps, I will be getting there 🏁

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atulcodex profile image
Atul Prajapati

Wonderful, now I have to say "you can do anything"

Start coding

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dinerdas profile image
Diner Das

Great post!

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kelseyjj profile image
Kelsey Jones

This is helpful.