Articles

Why you shouldn’t reassign values in JavaScript

In JavaScript, you can reassign values to variables you declared with let or var.

I used to reassign values a lot. But as I got better with JavaScript, I realized you shouldn’t reassign values if you can. This is because:

  1. You may change external state by accident when you reassign values
  2. You create more complex code when you reassign values

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Dealing with overwhelm

It’s easy to feel overwhelm as developer. We have so many things to learn.

We need to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, accessibility, animations, frameworks, dev tooling, and new things that pop up every now and then.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re overwhelmed. I feel overwhelmed too. Every single day.

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Why you learn when you teach

The best way to learn is to teach.

You’ve heard many people say this. But is it true?

I knew teaching had benefits. For example, if you teach, people will know you exist. People may be able to learn from your experience. But learn? I was skeptical.

But I realized the statement is true. You learn best when you teach. I can vouch for it after teaching frontend development for many years.

This article explains my thoughts on why teaching others help you learn.

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Dealing with confusion

It’s normal to feel confused when you’re trying to learn something new.

Some people hate this feeling. I know I do. But it’s important to feel this confusion.

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5 things I learned from Infinity Wars

Infinity Wars was amazing. I recommend you watch it—even if you think the plot, the cast, or even the ending sounds silly.

I learned five things from the movie. I want to share these things with you (and talk about how they relate back to life, coding, and learning).

Note: there’s going to be spoilers.

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Finding time to learn

You know learning is important. You want to do it, but you can’t seem to find the time.

You’re drained after work. All you want to do is relax on the couch. On weekends, you want to spend time with friends and family.

How do you find time to learn?

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Which should you learn first? Frameworks or JavaScript?

One question you may have when thinking about learning JavaScript is whether you should learn JavaScript first or frameworks first.

You may have heard both sides of the argument.

If you learn JavaScript first, you’ll learn the basics, but it might bit slower, and it might be abit more painful before you can build components.

If you learn frameworks first, you’ll be able to use frameworks, and you’ll be able to build things quicker compared to using JavaScript.

Which one should you choose?

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Results of the restructure

A month ago I told you I made a major decision for Learn JavaScript—to restructure the course materials I created—and I’m here to update you on the results!

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How I’m going to teach authentication

This article is a response to a question I asked last week. I wanted to know if I should teach authentication in Learn JavaScript. Since I’m building Learn JavaScript for students like you, I wanted to hear your opinions.

I read through a hundred responses. I gave myself a week to think through it. And I came to a conclusion.

I’m going to teach authentication in a separate course.

I want to share why I made this conclusion.

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New CSS features that are changing web design

There was a time when web design got monotonous. Designers and developers built the same kinds of websites over and over again, so much so that we were mocked by people in our own industry for creating only two kinds of websites:

A tweet by Jon Gold asking: “which one of the two possible websites are you currently designing?”
On Twitter, Jon Gold is asking: “which one of the two possible websites are you currently designing?”

Is this the limit of what our “creative” minds can achieve? This thought sent an incontrollable pang of sadness into my heart.

I don’t want to admit it, but maybe that was the best we could accomplish back then. Maybe we didn’t have suitable tools to make creative designs. The demands of the web were evolving quickly, but we were stuck with ancient techniques like floats and tables.

Today, the design landscape has changed completely. We’re equipped with new and powerful tools — CSS Grid, CSS custom properties, CSS shapes and CSS writing-mode, to name a few — that we can use to exercise our creativity.

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Is your code good enough?

Do you worry about the quality of your code? Are you afraid of writing bad code? If someone reads your code and they say it sucks, how would it make you feel?

Would you feel like shit?

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Should I teach authentication in Learn JavaScript?

I ran into a problem while writing Learn JavaScript. This problem is about teaching Ajax.

I’m deciding between three possible solutions right now. Since I am making Learn JavaScript for people like you, I want to hear your thoughts before I decide.

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Are you a real developer?

Has anyone asked you whether you are a real developer? Has anyone ever told you in your face that you’re not a real developer?

The important part is not what they think. It’s what you think.

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Avengers, Star Wars, and learning code

I’m a weirdo. I’m always working (either coding or teaching you how to code). I code on during work, at night, and even on weekends. I can’t seem to separate myself from work.

Recently, I learned to relax. I discovered that one of my favorite activities is to watch movies. I only watch some of them though. For example, I chase after every movie in the Marvel universe (for Avengers), but I don’t watch anything related to Star Wars.

But why? Are Marvel movies better made than Star Wars? Do they contain more compelling stories? Do they have better actions and effects?

Not exactly.

I wanted to know why I watched some movies and not others, so I dug into my own psychology (like I said, I’m a weirdo; forgive me for doing weird things). I found a surprising reason. I can even use this reason to explain how I learned to code 😂.

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My experience at CSS Conf China

I had an exciting experience three weeks ago—I gave my first Chinese talk at the 4th CSS Conference in China, in Xiamen, on March 31st.

I learned a lot from this experience—both about myself and about the chinese development scene—and I want share my learnings with you.

Let me begin by introducing the organizer duo.

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Why I restructured Learn JavaScript

Hey, it’s Zell. Today I want to tell you about an update to Learn JavaScript and a big decision I made.

I made a decision to restructure Learn JavaScript. That means I took whatever I wrote—about 9 chapters (and 60+ lessons)—and rewrote them in a different format.

This was a difficult decision because I wanted to complete and release Learn JavaScript by July 2018. If I did the restructure I won’t be able to complete the course.

Second, I’m afraid I’ll portray the image that I don’t complete projects by the deadlines I set, which in my mind, means people who invested in the preorders don’t get the products in time. I’m afraid that you’ll think badly of me if I do the restructure.

But I still went ahead with it. The question is why.

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Traversing the DOM with JavaScript

A good JavaScript developer needs to know how to traverse the DOM—it’s the act of selecting an element from another element.

But why do we need to learn to traverse the DOM? Isn’t document.querySelector enough for most of our needs?

In this article, I’m going to show you why traversing is better that document.querySelector, and how to traverse like a pro. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the article!

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How to handle the “bad experience” question

Hey, it’s Zell. Today, we have a question from a student from prefers to remain anonymous. I’m going to call this student May.

Here’s her question:

May freaks out whenever a recruiter asks her to talk about a bad experience in an interview. She had a complicated situation; she didn’t want to blame the company she was at, and she didn’t want to say she lacked experience (and therefore sucked).

She tried to answer the question, didn’t get positive results from her answers, and she’s now considering lying about the bad experience to find a job.

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