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Hacktoberfest

It's almost that time of year again! October is not far away and once again Digital Ocean will be running Hacktoberfest. I completed it in 2018, missed out last year, so definitely wanna get involved again this year.

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Next Chapter

Mixed emotions at the moment. I recently accepted a job offer and am about to start my last full week at my current workplace. A little over 18 months ago I started my first real dev job. I will be sad to go, but I felt the time is right and I am ready to start the next chapter in my career.

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Distractions

I have been on a journey to better productivity and mindset for a long time. A few years back I decided to delete my Facebook account and I have over time noticed myself slipping in terms of social media and other distractions, so I have now made some changes that I hope will lead to better focus and productivity going forward.

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The Power of Git

I have mentioned a few times that I have been helping a few people try and break into the industry. The main theme I have noticed is that many people work super hard for a while, but then once I suggest they should start looking for opportunities they slow right down or stop.

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Pushing On

I wrote a post about habits recently, I am happy to say that for the most part all of these habits have been continuing to go well, in particular my learning. I have often thought about working through growth slumps before. I asked my mentor Corey about it and he ended up writing a blog post about it, so rather than try recreate I figured I would share it.

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AWS So Far

I have recently been working on moving my personal site to a VPS instance, it has been a great learning experience. It is a lot more involved than it initially seems, so I figured documenting a brief overview of each step would be helpful for me to determine my level of understanding and also a great tool in highlighting any gaps in my understanding.

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Mentor

Any reader of this blog will have noticed me banging on about mentors a lot. I have been lucky enough to have a number of great mentors over the last few years and I attribute a lot of my career success to them, I have learnt and continue to learn so much from them. I have always wanted to give back in a similar way, but never really had the confidence to do so - until now.

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All things AWS

Since what feels like forever I have been interested in learning more of the operations side of the industry. I have dipped in and out a decent amount of times over he last year or so with help from my good friend and mentor Corey.

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Small Changes - Big Results!

2020 has been a particular rough year for many of us, outside of the global pandemic I have had a lot of personal things to deal with. I was reflecting the other day about everything and expecting to feel pretty rough afterwards. However in reality despite the struggles of this year a lot of good things have happened and I soon realised these have came from really small changes that have been applied consistently over time.

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Remote Working Guide

It seems my last post was way more timely that I thought. As I mentioned I have been seeing a switch toward remote working happening slowly but surely. However with **COVID-19** becoming so prevalent all over the world, a lot of governments are advising citizens to work from home where possible. Now, I am no full time remote worker, but I have worked a decent amount from home, so I figured I could put together a nice little guide for those who are new to **WFH**

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Freedom

Over the past few months I have started to feel really lucky in terms of who I work for. The life of a developer can be extremely different depending on the company. I know this sounds obvious, but I think when you are on the right side of this it can often be taken for granted.

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Opportunity Cost

When I got into development I always knew that I would constantly need to be learning, it is one of the things that attracted me to the industry in the first place. However from time to time it gets a little too much and you may find yourself conflicted, especially in the early days. Learning cool, new and interesting things is great, but at the same time, in the early stages of your career there is a rather large opportunity cost to doing so. Let me explain.

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Automation ๐Ÿ˜

Away from the day job I have been immersing myself in DevOps land, nothing major, just exposing myself to the power of scripting, automation and the importance of dev ops. I have to say, I am loving things so far, but it has been very challenging.

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OSS - Addictive, important & can make you feel great

Open Source Software (OSS) is something that I have been passionate about before, we have all likely used OSS many times, but maybe don't appreciate exactly how great it is. I mean, I use it daily, my life would literally change without it and it is developed, maintained and more completely free. How?, great question, basically people just chip in and make great things that they then share with everyone else - it's awesome!

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Being More Productive

I feel I have been lacking massively with my productivity lately. A month or so ago I was ready to take on the world, fitness, reading, meditation, pushing on with my career etc, but like most things, _motivation_ dies off quickly and we need to do something actionable to make progress, so that is what I decided to do.

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Momentum

Momentum is important in pretty much all walks of life. This kind of follows on from my last post about ignoring motivation and just doing things. Momentum, streaks, runs, whatever you want to call it really helps with that. The more we do something the easier it becomes to do it going forward. Humans are creatures of habit and having momentum creates habits quicker and makes them more likely to last.

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2020 Musings & Goals

I mentioned in my first post back blogging that I would not be posting so much, but here I am with my third post in as many days ๐Ÿ˜„.

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2019 A Year in Review

Somewhat strange to have a year in review post so early into a new blog, but it is not like I didn't have goals or things I was looking to achieve in 2019, so, although I don't have them written down anywhere I can construct them here and then talk about how I think I have done.

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Hello World --Again

Writing is something I have always had a passion for, I actually had a small stint making a living from writing before I got into development, more on that later - maybe!

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Terrible blogger is terrible...

Hey, I have had a much harder time maintaining a blog since getting into the industry, which is a shame as you would think I have a lot more to be talking about now, which I guess I do, but at the same time I'm a lot busier now, spend a lot more time in front of my computer now and in general try to make the most of the time I am not, which means some things have ot give and unfortunately this blog has been one of them.

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Feel Like I'm Getting the Hang of This!

I'm going to try and avoid starting every post with a - 'it's been so long...' - and in reality this blog is now really just my own musings, just somewhere for me to put down my thoughts. I can foresee this post proving valuable many times in the future as I am feeling really good at the moment, things are just clicking and going well, which is great ๐Ÿ˜„, the imposter syndrome is fading, the panic when being set a new task is dwindling away.

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I'm Back

Hey! Welcome back, it has been a long long time since I updated here, but I am gonna cut myself a little slack as there has been a lot going on.

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Reset followed by a BIG push

I've been a little quieter than I would like on this blog and with programming in general, the passion is still very much there, but as often is the case real life gets in the way. I've been super busy helping a family member with a new business, which has been great. It is nice to get involved with it as business is something that has always been of interest to me, seeing something grow day on day is pretty great. However, being involved with that and other things that are going on have meant I have had way less time to code, so I need to rectify that.

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Finally Made a Decision

For some time now I have been a little torn. From the outset of my journey into programming I have been using JavaScript with a keen interest in React, this has not slowed down and React is what I am most excited about right now.

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Freelancing

I have talked a little about freelancing on this blog before, it is often something that is recommended to new developers as a way of gaining experience, getting paid and getting started. We all know too well the catch 22 of every job needing experience, well, freelance in my opinion is the way to get past that catch 22.

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Applying to Jobs Before You're Ready

If you have done any research into getting a job as a self taught developer then you will no doubt have ready many times that you should be applying to jobs way before you are ready, which for many of us (myself included) is not that easy to understand.

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Laravel

Happy to report that since I have had a word with myself my productivity has increased. I've mentioned before now that PHP and Laravel are both in demand in my region, I have now committed to focusing on both for a little while, I think if I can add these to my tool belt I will be in a position to be employed as a software engineer ๐Ÿ˜„

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Back in the Saddle

I've been somewhat slacking since my first interview rejection, part due to being a little disheartened, part due to being a little confused in terms of direction and part due to being busy.

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The internet is a wonderful place with a ton of information, we are in an era where we can teach ourselves anything, a lot of us on the self learning path no this all too well. However the other side of the coin is that the internet can be a dangerous place, full of opinion stated as fact, full of people claiming that there personal experience and circumstance is the same for everyone, which I hope is pretty obviously false.

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Interview Reflection

My first every developer interview is complete and overall it was a great experience. I have been somewhat anxious about the interview for a while, so on the morning I actually felt somewhat relieved that the wait would be over and I could then continue with my studies.

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Give Me That Tee

Hacktober done and dusted, bring on the free Tee, hopefully I can keep going and get 15 PRs for the month.

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Hacktoberfest, Nerves and the Best Developer Community Yet

It's been a little while since my last post, not too much has happened. Since landing my first tech interview I have been kinda just floating through time without doing too much... This isn't great, but I didn't wanna fill my mind with lots of different things as I knew I would need to be talking about my recent project. However it has taken longer than I first anticipated, so I feel like I have wasted a lot of quality learning time.

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My First Tech Interview

I talked about the technical test I was given in my last post, I managed to get the majority of the requirements done and turn in the test. As the title probably suggests they liked it enough to invite me in for interview, but there are a few things I am a little disappointed with.

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Missing in Action

It has been a while by my standards since my last post here, I have been super busy with a really important project, it is pretty much complete now, so I figured I would give you guys an update to what has been going on.

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Mindfulness

So far on this blog I have not really talked about anything other than programming, so I thought I will change that a little and talk a little about my personal life and some of the things I'm trying to achieve. First off I should say a little bit about my better half. She is absolutely amazing - literally the main reason for me wanting to better myself - or at least that is what I thought. However it turned out that I wanted to be better for me and she just helped me realise that. My partner is a mental health nurse and is very passionate about her career. Naturally we talk a lot about her work and she is very aware of mindfulness and mental health in general. She often talks about the challenges she faces and the types of personalities she deals with, referencing different techniques that her and her colleagues will use to help patients. Mindfulness is something that comes up a lot and not something I ever really thought about until recently.

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Go Make Things

Over the past few weeks I have gotten into kind of a rut and have been managing my time poorly. I sat and had a think about things last night and I realised that this whole programming journey is consuming a big part of my life, which I'm fine with, happy with in fact, but I have realised that the majority of time is not spent writing code....

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Escaping Tutorialand

For the past month or so I have been somewhat in limbo, I feel comfortable following along with tutorials and can get things working with relative ease, but they are starting to feel less and less challenging and in turn less and less interesting. Once you have the basics down it becomes pretty tedious to basically copy and paste what someone else is doing. You soon realise you are not really learning too much at all and the things you do learn are harder to retain because copying somebody else is not challenging enough.

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You Time

So, ironically my last update was 7 days ago... I was saying how well everything was going and how great a month August was. The irony is because since then I have barely done a thing... I have had a lot on. A current freelance project is taking up a lot of my time, some changes at the day job as well as various family events have all caused me to be away form my javascript, challenges, daily log and Udemy videos. At first this was making me a little annoyed at myself and I felt like I had lost some progress and momentum. The latter point may be true in some regards, but honestly, it just doesn't matter.

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Productive Month

I have had pretty solid progress throughout August. Coding in some capacity virtually every day. I have connected with some great minds on Discord, LinkedIn and in my local community. All of which have had a positive impact on me. On top of this I have put some plans in place to ensure prolonged progress going forward. Mostly in the form of keeping records, as I discussed in a previous post.

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Looooong Day

So, as the title suggests today has been a super long day. Possibly the most time I have spent in front of the computer since learning to code! I got a lot done though and for the most part enjoyed it, so overall it has been a great day!

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Keeping Records

I was browsing r/programming the other day, which is a fantastic subreddit btw when I stumbled across a great link which led me to this BD article article. You should definitely go and read it and then join the Discord group like I did. It has turned out to be a great community led by a passionate guy who genuinely wants to help people.

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React

When I first started studying JavaScript I seen a lot of advice from people saying to learn vanilla JS as much as possible before moving onto any frameworks. I always new that I wanted to learn and use React, but I wanted to follow that advice and learn as much JS as possible beforehand. This has been somewhat troublesome for me as I have found a lot of JS pretty tough and no matter how much I did learn I always knew that there was more I could do. So, I do now have a good foundation in vanilla JS... I am by no means an expert but I figured I had held off long enough and I should start at least looking into React.

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Get In Touch

After my ZTM yesterday writing a review of ZTM I had a guy on Twitter reach out with some questions. I always wondered why people seem to really enjoy helping out others like myself on a regular basis and now I know! It really does feel great to help others, firstly being asked is flattering and means that they respect your opinion and secondly it really is an awesome feeling when someone goes away feeling happy after you have helped them.

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Discord

Following on from my last post I decided to make it easier for you to get in touch. I have created a Discord Server for people who are new to web development where I will offer as much help as I can. Hopefully long term this server can attract more experienced people who can help with more advanced topics and in time I will be able to do this also. As long as everyone does their bit to help others it should have no problem growing into a helpful little community.

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ZTM Review

I was recently asked on Twitter what my favourite sources for learning Web Development was and amongst others my top pick has been Andrei Neagioeโ€™s... The Complete Web Developer in 2018:Zero to Mastery course on Udemy.

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Make a Commitment

Commitment is super important in all walks of life. Learning programming is no different. I spend a lot of time going through the #100DaysOfCode community and see many people are getting started with programming everyday which is great.

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Get Mingling

I've been thinking about making this post for a while now. The number one piece of advice I could give to any new developer would be to reach out to other developers.

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Resources

Okay, so I know I said I was gonna write a post about cool resources next, but tbh there is so many out there that it might be a little counter productive, so I have decided to just link to one of my favourites.

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What You Should Learn

The title of this post is a little misleading, it would be impossible for me (or anyone for that matter) to try and tell you exactly what to learn. It will always depend on your goals, your location and maybe even your skill set.

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Hello World

Writing is something that I have always enjoyed, I have done it semi professionally in the past writing on various topics including online gambling, poker and football. Doing it on a somewhat professional basis sucked a lot of the fun out of it and (most likely due to my own lack of talent) inevitably I lost some of my passion for it and gave up pursuing it as a career and the nomad lifestyle that came with it.

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