Learning JavaScript, for beginners

Some good links to get started with JavaScript:

Try not to use W3Schools!

Modernizer’s documentation gives really good context to why certain things are done today. I was just reading it yesterday and it got me thinking quite a bit. Skim through though! It only is meaningful when you encounter the cases before.

Interesting discoveries #08

Less busy this month.

1. Discovering Dev Tools

Google Chrome has one of the best debugging and development tools for the web development. Learn more by trying out the tutorials here. It’s really well down.

2. The Stockdale Paradox

Haven’t heard of this paradox till my director made a brief mention of it. The paradox states that while you must have faith that you will prevail in the end you must also act in a manner where you are aware of the current situation. In times of trouble, it can seem like being in denial while confronting the reality of things.

3. Stephen Fry

This statement makes me feel like tearing:

The strange thing is, if you see me in the street and engage in conversation I will probably freeze into polite fear and smile inanely until I can get away to be on my lonely ownsome. Make of that what you will.
– See more at: http://www.stephenfry.com/2013/06/24/only-the-lonely/#sthash.DkZYF7H7.dpuf

4. Optimism being just as dangerous as pessimism

There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway.” Either way, nothing happens. –- Yvon Chouinard

This could go real wrong either ways. The key is not to be too extreme in either ends. Know the types but don’t bother too much with the definition for you can’t categorically decide where a person fits.

5. Grunt.js

I’m using more of Grunt.js at work and there’s been a huge gain in productivity. These grunt processes are a little troublesome to set up but once they are there they made web development so much saner.

6. Our broken web development flow

And about sane web development, Kenneth Auchenberg articulated this situation well.

I can’t agree more to that, I’m using a combination of LiveReload, Sublime Text and Grunt’s JSHint plugin to make improve web development process. It is not perfect and there’s some resistance to introducing these workflow to my colleagues at first but they’re seeing the benefits gradually.

7. Shortcat app for Mac

Shortcat’s pretty cool. Get it here. I’ll leave you with a video to look at:

What is Shortcat? from chendo on Vimeo.

8. Dash app for Mac

I’ve been using Dash for Mac. It’s basically offline documentation. It’s great for people who are on the go. How many times do you need to check on something and the internet connection is just horrible or non-existent? This is a life saver for me. It’s a free app but the paid version removes the nag screens.

Overcoming the fear of rejection

I’m been thinking about rejection and I oddly come across this bit in James Altucher’s book Choose Yourself! (Which incidentally is a really good weekend read I will recommend.)

And he writes:

Since the beginning of humanity, we’ve looked for frontiers. It is only a myth that we have evolved to a point as a civilization where we can count on safety. The only truly safe thing you can do is to try over and over again. To go for it, to get rejected, to repeat, to strive, to wish. Without rejection there is no frontier, there is no passion, and there is no magic.

That resonated with me, I swear I’ve been just aiming to get rejected sometimes. As perverse as it sounds it allows me to be more daring and push the limits to things. You can’t imagine how much unexpected gains I received just by trying and believing I will get rejected.

By setting the expectation to a mere rejection, it hurts a lot lesser. I get rejected so often but I soon learnt the point is that I asked and I know why I got rejected. It made me stronger; it made me a sensible realist.

Don’t leave windows broken

Don’t leave broken windows (bad designs, wrong decisions, or poor code) unrepaired. Fix each one as soon as it is discovered. If there is insufficient time to fix it properly, then board it up. Perhaps you can comment out the offending code, or display a “Not Implemented” message, or substitute dummy data instead. Take some action to prevent further damage to show that you’re on top of the situation.
— The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

I can’t reiterate this more.

Every time I see a pixel off, a indentation wrong, a word mispelt, I just correct it. I couldn’t just watch things continue to be wrong when I know I can fix it.

And once everything looks tidied, your peers do want to make a positive contribution too. And hopefully, just hopefully, they perform a similar level of upkeep after a while.

The broken windows theory is a criminological theory of the norm-setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior. The theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments in a well-ordered condition may stop furthervandalism and escalation into more serious crime.
— Wikipedia

Singapore hires a lot of cleaners to sweep up our road sides. It’s quite the same idea, the theory is that once there is litter, people would mind lesser adding more litter to the roads.

And therefore, if you want clean code to look at, why not start with yourself.