Weekly Notes 001 [February, 1st - 7th]

This is my 3rd week after quitting my fulltime job.

My daily routine is slowly getting solid and I have more clarity of projects I want to build. There's a lot of cool stuff I've learned this week. Let's dive in!

This weekly note was hugely inspired by Jim Nielsen’s and Matias Kinnunen's weekly notes.

  • I started the week writing my first note - Just In Time Learning (JITL) on this blog. The article was inspired Mike Crittenden's Learning a technology you don’t need right now is a waste of time. It's crazy that I'm familiar with the ideas of JITL, but thinking yourself out of situations like that are hard. I'm very thankful I stumbled on Mike Crittenden's article.

  • I started learning NodeJS for a little project idea. Learning NodeJS again gives me some nostalgia. I first learned NodeJS in 2018 and put together my learnings in NodeJS, the only introduction you'll ever need which has like 130k reads on medium and really went viral. Looking back, I was just a beginner dev, naive and knew nothing about anything, I don't know if I should be proud or feel like an imposter, but then, when people reach out to tell me how helpful the article was, I'm just like, fuck it all. It doesn't matter!

    Only NodeJS Introduction Stats

    • I've been learning with Academind's YouTube NodeJS course. My next goal is to refactor the app built in this course to use Typescript.

Podcasts

  • Tim Ferris podcast with Marc Randolph: There's a lot of wisdom in this podcast. Marc talks about his early days, working on random ideas and pivoting Netflix to a subscription-based business. My biggest learning from this episode is finding cheap and fast ways to test ideas. He talks about how ideas do not matter and there's no such thing as a great idea.
  • 448: Next Gen Bundlers with Jason Miller and Fred Schott: Chris Coyier & Dave Rupert talk to Fred Schott (Creator of skypack, snowpack)& Jason Miller (Creator of Preact, WMR) about modern bundlers. I really enjoyed this episode, except I was on a bus while listening and slept off near the end 😂😂😂

Stuff I'm reading

  • Don't use functions as callbacks unless they're designed for it: Jake Archibald gives a very interesting headsup about using functions as callbacks. This is very funny because it sounds like common sense, but many engineers (myself included) fall for it. A typical example of causing chaos by trying to write clean and succinct code.
  • The Unexpected Find That Freed 20GB of Unused Index Space: I came across this article from one of those weekly notes I told you about. I don't have a lot of DB experience, except at my last company where I was on the backend team. It was a .Net core stack with MS SQL/Server, I was exposed to indexes, SQL Queries, etc. One very important takeaway from this experience is that the larger the DB table, the longer the query time. Things can get extremely unbearable when you hit millions of records. This article exposes methods and techniques for freeing up space before scaling up more DB space.
  • Cargo Cult Software Engineering: "We call these organizations bureaucratic because they put the form of software processes above the substance." This article shares some insights about different ways of writing software and building products. The most important learning for me is that all these ways of working are just side-effects, rather than determinants of success. The 2 major methods discussed in this article are -
    • Commitment-oriented development: Hire the best people, give autonomy, motivation and demand their total investments.
    • Process-oriented: Carefully defined process, skillful planning, and best practices. At the end, it doesn't matter which you go with as long as they produce the desired result.
  • Finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. I think this is a great way to kick start my one-book-per-month goal. My biggest learning is that habits stick harder when they are obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying. The next book on my list is Deep work by Cal Newport.
  • I've been learning Typescript lately. My goal is to learn it deeply by writing a little TS guide. Stay tuned ! Typescript Deep Dive by Basarat has been incredibly helpful and I've learned a lot from it. I hope to finish it this week.
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason: I've heard a lot about this book. I found it at the bookshop this week and didn't buy it. I ran across the summary by James Clear and my mind is made up. I must buy this book!

Other Resources

I also added more software engineering case studies to casestudies.tech. Please do well to check it out. This is a high level overview of my week, I think it'll improve over time. Follow me on Twitter to get next week's notes.