Weekend Review - Plodding along

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This week flew by. I don't feel I accomplished much, but that's the way things go I guess.

Extending Chrome

If you've ever wanted an easier way to share a particular section of a webpage, check out my extension - Generate Links for Headers. It adds a link next to headers that have IDs associated with them, which you can click to copy the link directly to that section. It's more of a utility, but it's one I'd meant to write for awhile.

This week I was fixing up a few minor bugs I knew about when I uploaded it to the store. I'd encourage you to try creating your own extension if it's something you've thought about doing before - it's fun to be in full control of the process, an opportunity most of us don't usually get at work. Just pick something you wish Chrome could do but doesn't currently, and then be the one who does it. You never know who might find it useful. I wrote one to hide all comments after finding so many sites full of vitriol, and it has about 60 users now. Not much, but it's neat to think that 60 other people wanted to do the same thing, and now they can.

Docking Containers

I also got a chance to get my feet wet with Docker this week. I've heard so much talk about it for awhile now, but didn't have a reason to learn more about it. I have to say, it's very interesting so far.

It's like creating a VM, but multiple partial VMs all layered on top of each other to create the final image, which then becomes your container. That's not doing it justice. I needed to create a container for a Java app that uses Maven, and since there's a Maven Docker image already available "out there", my job ended up being far easier than I could imagine. I don't know what all layers were needed for Maven; I just "ran" the final image to create my container and I was good to go.

Of course, that final breakthrough only came after a lot of experimenting and conversations with other people on our team. As usual, I ended up slogging through waist-deep muck for 20 miles before I could stand up at the end, turn around, and see the path in full clarity. That's the process of learning.

But not really...

Shareworthy Articles

I read a lot, and always have a handful of articles to share. Here are some of the ones that struck a chord with me this week - maybe they will with you too!

Tech Stack, Framework, Library or API: How Not to Specialize
Erik Dietrich writes draws comparisons between a doctor who decides to specialize in "scalpel", and developers who decide to specialize in technology XYZ. I challenge you to read it and not see the absurdity of how most of us behave.

"Learn at least one new language every year" is bad advice
I read a lot, and try new technologies when I have time. But it can be overwhelming to see how much I don't know. If you ever feel overwhelmed or even guilted about "needing" to continuously learn, Blaine Osepchuk wrote a thoughtful piece on why it's probably bad advice.. and unnecessary.

How writing 106 articles in a year has helped me grow as a designer
This hits close to home, as it probably does for anyone who's given thought to writing more. The difference here is I don't write as much as I mean to, and Tiffany Eaton has written a lot. Writing is great for documenting processes, reflecting on personal successes and failures, and even (hopefully) inspiring others.

Why I Quit Google to Work for Myself
I feel like there aren't a whole lot of peeks like this one into what working at Google is really like. I've heard they burn through people though. Michael Lynch shares his experience in trying to climb the corporate ladder at Google, while the rungs keep getting out from underneath him.

How I made $200,000 when I was 16 years old
Rodney Gainous shares his story of learning Java in his teens to write game bots, and how it led him to making more money than I would've known what to do with at that age. Like most stories of success, there was a certain amount of luck and good timing involved, but it was definitely a lot of hard work too.

Self-Deprecation Needs to 🛑
I'm guilty of this mindset too. But I think the solution is more articles like this, and tweets like Stephanie's (see the article), instead of reading yet more articles about imposter syndrome every other day. It is, in my opinion, a worn-out topic.

The best free online courses of 2017 according to the data
I really don't need this, awesome as it is. The long list of courses I'd like to take and books I'd like to read would fill several lifetimes at this point.

I signed up for the Spanish one anyway.


Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

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