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Sunday, 15 July


Weeks and Years Cassandra Rankin

Sometimes a weekll come at ya and it just wont quit and youll get to the end of it feeling a bit pummeled about the head and neck and then when you think its all done, news will come that could near knock you to your knees but you remember You remember that no matter []

Saturday, 14 July


How to set up a short feedback loop as a solo coder freeCodeCamp - Medium

Ive spent the last couple years as a solo freelance developer. Comparing this experience to previously working in companies, Ive noticed that those of us who work alone can have fewer iterative opportunities for improvement than developers who work on teams.

In order to to have opportunity to improve, we need to embrace the concept of a short feedback loop. This is a process of incorporating new learning from observation and previous experience continuously over a short period of time. This process has to be manufactured by people working mostly alone, instead of, as is often the case, adopted when you join a team.

In this post, I hope to share what Ive learned about setting yourself up to improve quickly and continuously as a solo coder.

About feedback loops

United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd developed the concept of the OODA loop, OODA being an acronym for observe, orient, decide, act. In military operations, this illustrates a process of decision-making based on the constant ingestion of new information:

Observe: Obtain raw information about unfolding circumstances and the current environment.

Orient: Put raw observations in context. Consider such things as relevancy to the current situation and previously gained knowledge and expertise.

Decide: Make a plan for moving towards your goal.

Act: Execute the plan.

Since its a loop, the act stage leads directly back into the observe stage. This is the critical feed back concept that enables increasingly successful iterations. Its widely applicable beyond military operationsyou may recognize it as the origin of the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) method.

I like the OODA loop, as its a succinct illustration of a general feedback loop. Many concepts and working methods build on the idea of feedback loops, including DevOps and agile software development methods.

Development team feedback loop

Lets look at what some components of a feedback loop for a developer on a team might look like:

  1. Direction from product owners or reviews from users
  2. Daily scrum/standup with whole team
  3. Prioritization with developer team
  4. Individual coding and testing
  5. Peer code review
  6. Deployment and performance monitoring

Implicit in these steps is the support of co-workers and managementin other words, someone to answer to. How can a solo freelance developer create a similar environment of accountability...


So youve signed up for another online course how do you make the most of it? freeCodeCamp - Medium

Last year, I fortunately got the chance to read a special report in the Economist that discussed how important life-long learning is in the age of automation. At this point in time, everyone seems to be afraid of the notion that AI and machines might ultimately replace their jobs. But the Economist argues for the significance of self-learning and self-development in general.

One valuable source for self-learning is MOOCs (Massive Online Learning Courses), which are gaining incredibly widespread awareness. Thanks to their flexibility, availability, and increasingly affordable pricing, many people have found MOOCs to be an important tool to either refresh their skillset or pursue a career move.

How about the developers out there?

No matter whether youre a newbie or a seasoned developer, you probably have gone through several online tutorials. In this article, I will not discuss the importance of MOOCs, as this has been covered widely. Rather, Ill share my personal experience as a self-taught developer who has attended a few MOOCs and show you how to get the most out of them.

How to get the most out of a MOOC

Please, dont memorize those code blocks

Theres a very common mistake that you may have heard of a million times, and that I saw myself making when I first started diving into tutorials: I thought I could somehow memorize the lines of code I was working with.

Soon, I realized that this not only take tons of time but also overwhelms and prevents you from moving forward. Let me show you why.

Almost everything you see instructors doing on the screen will move in to your short-term memory. No matter how thoroughly you grasp the concept at the time, if you do not practice it frequently, its never going to sink in deeply inside your memory.

Its just how the human mind works. In order to quickly pick up something to use instantly when needed, we need to practice it frequently ourselves, and not just watch somebody doing it.

Not being able to memorize code snippets you see might negatively affect your self-esteem at first. However, if you look at the bigger picture and analyze how much youll need to learn, youll realize that its not necessary to try to remember every bit of syntax or snippet.

Dont get me wrong. There are things that you absolutely have to remember. Youll be heavily using them, and it will save you time later on. However, the point is, almost everything is searchable. You could quickly find those code blocks later on, so all you need to remember is what it is used for so that you know what to search for.

Hence, deciding what you need to remember is pretty imporatnt, but its easier said than done. Remember, your time and mental capacity is limited. Save your brai...


How to write a good software design doc freeCodeCamp - Medium

Photo by Este Janssens on Unsplash

As a software engineer, I spend a lot of time reading and writing design documents. After having gone through hundreds of these docs, Ive seen first hand a strong correlation between good design docs and the ultimate success of the project.

This article is my attempt at describing what makes a design document great.

The article is split into 4 sections:

  • Why write a design document
  • What to include in a design document
  • How to write it
  • and the Process around it

Why write a design document?

A design docalso known as a technical specis a description of how you plan to solve a problem.

There are lots of writings already on why its important to write a design doc before diving into coding. So all Ill say here is:

A design doc is the most useful tool for making sure the right work gets done.

The main goal is to make you more effective by forcing you to think through the design and gather feedback from others. People often think the point of a design doc is to to teach others about some system or serve as documentation later on. While those can be beneficial side effects, they are not the goal in and of themselves.

As a general rule of thumb, if you are working on a project that might take at least 1 engineer-month or more, you should write a design doc. But dont stop therea lot of smaller projects could benefit from a mini design doc too.

Great! If you are still reading, you believe in the importance of design docs. However, different engineering teams, and even engineers within the same team, often write design docs very differently. So lets talk about the content, style, and process of a good design doc.

Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

What to include in a design doc?

A design doc describes the solution to a problem. Since the nature of each problem is different, naturally youd want to...


Computer Science Courses Helped Bhakti Land a Job Coursera Blog

Its been over a year now since I started using Coursera and I can say with certainty that my computer science skills have vastly improved. Im pursuing a Bachelor in Information Technology from Mumbai University. When I started using Coursera, I was interested in job opportunities as a software developer and was hoping to get interviews at the top multinational corporations that visit our campus.

Companies usually start visiting our college campus every June to offer full-time positions, so that pushed me to start preparing for interviews. I decided to use Coursera as one of my tools. I took Algorithmic Toolbox Specialization, Data Structures, Algorithms on Graphs, and Programming for Everybody.

These courses were instrumental in arming me with the knowledge I needed to truly understand core concepts. They were descriptive and the assignments were challenging. The content was high-quality and the course structure ensured good flow and understanding by building on previous concepts. All the knowledge from world-class instructors being made available to millions of people across the globe is truly amazing.

The computer science courses I took on Coursera helped me land my dream job as a software developer at a FinTech company. It was a really proud moment for me. Im going to start working there full-time after I graduate.

I would like to thank everyone who teaches on Coursera for the incredible service theyre providing that Im sure is helping thousands of other students like me.

The post Computer Science Courses Helped Bhakti Land a Job appeared first on Coursera Blog.

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