What to do if you’re struggling with a Bootcamp

Bootcamps are fast-paced learning environments.

Most people who enroll in a Bootcamp do quite well when it comes to HTML and CSS. But many people struggle with JavaScript. Some even get depressed about programming because they can’t understand JavaScript.

If you’re one of these people, I want to let you know that you’re not alone. I receive emails from people like yourself occasionally.

Here’s one I received from Seth.

Email says: I joined this coding bootcamp mid August and I was so much green to programming. I was really motivated and have been having so much interest in programming for quite a while now. I have been learning Javascript since I enrolled and I have grasped a little concept but right now I feel like QUITING, AM GIVING UP on coding. I don't feel the motivation anymore like I no longer get what the facilitator is saying. I really dont feel being in that bootcamp anymore.

Understanding Homebrew

Homebrew is a package manager for Mac OS. It lets you download binaries, packages, and applications with a single command.

In this article, I want to explain how to use Homebrew.

Protecting and syncing secret keys

You should never expose API keys or secrets. If you expose them, you might get into trouble. Once, I almost had to pay an excessive amount because my friend leaked my Amazon API key by accident.

What’s the amount? I can’t remember, but I think somewhere between $20,000 to $60,000. Thankfully, Amazon waived the charges.

It’s big trouble if you expose your API keys. So don’t expose them.

The best way to protect your API keys is to use environment variables.

Handling Errors in Express

I had a hard time learning how to handle errors in Express when I started. Nobody seemed to have written the answers I needed, so I had to learn it the hard way.

Today, I want to share everything I know about handling errors in an Express app.

What programming languages should you learn?

There are LOTS of languages. Picking one (or two, or three! 😱) can be scary and overwhelming at first. In this article, I want to share three things:

  1. What to consider when picking languages
  2. What NOT to worry about when you pick languages
  3. Recommendations for languages to learn

Style hover, focus, and active states differently

I’ve been styling :hover, :focus, and :active states the same way for years. I can’t remember when I started styling this way. Here’s the code I always use:

// Not the best approach. I'll explain why in this article
.selector {
&:active {
// Styles here

As I paid more attention to keyboard accessibility (and therefore paying more attention to focus), I began to think we should not style hover, focus, and active states the same way.

Hover, focus, and active states should be styled different.

There’s a simple reason: They’re different states!

Today, I want to show you a magical way to style all three states effortlessly.

Creating a custom focus style

When you create a custom focus style, you want to think about four things:

  1. Adding an outline
  2. Creating animations that contain movement
  3. Changing the background color
  4. Changing the text color

I wrote more about this in my article on designing focus. During my research, I found three kinds of focus style I liked.

  1. The one on Smashing Magazine
  2. The one on WTF Forms
  3. The one on Slack
Focus styles on Smashing Mag, WTF Forms and Slack

Today, I want to show you how to create these focus styles and use them effortlessly across your website.

Designing a focus style

Focus is important. It tells us what element we’re currently focusing on. Most developers suggest keeping the default focus style.

I think there are problems with the default style. I tried searching for inspiration to design a better focus style, but I couldn’t find anything on this topic. So I did some quick research by visiting sites I use and paying attention to their focus styles.

I want to document my research and findings in this article. I hope it helps you:

  1. Understand the problems with the default focus style
  2. Give you some inspiration to design your own focus styles

Using Async/await in Express

Have you noticed you write a lot of asynchronous code in Express request handlers? This is normal because you need to communicate with the database, the file system, and other APIs.

When you have so much asynchronous code, it helps to use Async/await. It makes your code easier to understand.

Today, I want to share how to use async/await in an Express request handler.

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