Potluck - Working with designers × Is WordPress Crap? × When to stop working × More — Syntax Podcast 086

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Wes Bos

Wes Bos

Full Stack JavaScript Developer. Creator of really good web development courses. BBQ enthusiast.

Scott Tolinski

Scott Tolinski

Web Developer, Creator of Level Up Tuts, Bboy, Robotops Crew and Youtuber

Playing: 086: Potluck - Working with designers × Is WordPress Crap? × When to stop working × More

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Oct 26th, 2018

Potluck - Working with designers × Is WordPress Crap? × When to stop working × More

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It's another potluck episode in which Wes and Scott answer your questions! This month - working with designers, criticisms of WordPress, avoiding burnout, time management, and more.

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Show Notes

5:05 - How can you help a designer understand how styling works and how layouts work in the web? In other words: How do I explain my boundaries as a front-end developer to a designer?

  • Work closely with the designer
  • Allow the designer to push your limits
  • You can help them understand by:
    • Showing them poor performing websites
    • Showing them things that usually are taxing on the GPU to paint - rotations, background images, drop shadows, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to let a tough design push your boundaries

13:23 - How do you manage your time for learning new things when you have children and a daily full-time job?

  • Those who figure out how to make it a priority will win out
  • Family first - talk to your spouse
  • Ask your boss for time to learn and grow
  • Find ways to get paid for learning

19:45 - How do you deal with burnout in this constantly evolving front end tech ecosystem?

25:00 - Do you code at night (past 9pm)?

  • Start your wind-down time earlier
  • Let your brain wok on problems while you sleep
  • Get it out of your head
  • Listen to podcasts, audiobooks, etc.

29:23 - How do you compress your videos/audio for your courses/tutorials?

  • Handbrake Fast 1080
  • Use presets
  • Output from video editor, rip from YouTube, or compress directly from video editor

33:10 - It seems like in the web dev community, a lot of people give WordPress crap. Any idea why?

  • WordPress is dope - people just like to complain.
  • WordPress is often one of the first things people learn and have bad memories of it
  • It's easy to write bad code with WordPress
  • It can be slow
  • It can attract a certain type of developer

33:10 - What are some of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are learning programming and what's the best way to overcome them?

  • Don't focus on too many things
  • Don't worry about picking the right technology
  • Focus on the fundamentals
  • Let your curiosity and excitement drive you
  • Celebrate wins

40:29 - What are your best tips for writing documentation?

43:08 - What are some good questions or techniques to better understand a client's requirements?

  • How does your business work right now?
  • What are people coming to the website for?
  • Questionnaires are good - they get people thinking
  • It’s your job to understand what a client want out of a website - what problems they have and need solved

45:38 - Do you guys have any tips for taking over maintenance and development of existing websites where the previous developer is no longer reachable?

  • Take time to asses the codebase before writing anything
  • Learn what’s there any and why
  • Don't start ripping out code without understanding what's really going on
  • Don't leave it worse than you found it
  • It depends on the stack, but it's probably worth giving it an honest go before re-writing the whole thing

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