JSJ 338: It’s Supposed To Hurt, Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone to Master Your Craft with Christopher Buecheler

JavaScript Jabber


Special Guests: Christopher Buecheler

In this episode, the panel talks with Christopher Buecheler who is an author, blogger, web developer, and founder of CloseBrace. The panel and Christopher talk about stepping outside of your comfort zone. With a technological world that is ever changing, it is important to always be learning within your field. Check out today’s episode to learn more!

Show Topics:

0:00 – Advertisement: KENDO UI

1:08 – Aimee: Our guest is Christopher Buecheler – tell us about yourself and what you do.

1:22 – Guest: I run a site and help mid-career developers. I put out a weekly newsletter, too.

2:01 – Aimee: It says that you are a fan of “getting comfortable being uncomfortable”?

2:15 – Guest: I am a self-taught developer, so that means I am scrambling to learn new things all the time. You are often faced with learning new things. When I learned React I was dumped into it. The pain and the difficulty are necessary in order to improve. If you aren’t having that experience then you aren’t learning as much as you could be.

3:26 – Aimee: I borrow lessons that I learned from ice-skating to programming.

3:49 – Guest: I started running a few years ago for better health. It was exhausting and miserable at the start and wondered why I was doing it. Now I run 5 times a week, and there is always a level of being uncomfortable, but now it’s apart of the run. It’s an interesting comparison to coding. It’s this idea of pushing through.

5:01 – Aimee: If you are comfortable you probably aren’t growing that much. In our industry you always have to be learning because things change so much!

5:25 – Guest: Yes, exactly. If you are not careful you can miss opportunities.

6:33 – Panel: You have some ideas about frameworks and libraries – one thing that I am always anxious about is being able to make sense of “what are some new trends that I should pay attention to?” I remember interviewing with someone saying: this mobile thing is just a fad. I remember thinking that she is going to miss this opportunity. I am worried that I am going to be THAT guy. How do you figure out what sort of things you should / shouldn’t pay attention to?

7:47 – Guest: It is a super exhausting thing to keep up with – I agree. For me, a lot of what I pay attention to is the technology that has the backing of a multi-million dollar company then that shows that technology isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. The other thing I would look at is how ACTIVE is the community around it?

9:15 – Panel: Is there a strategic way to approach this? There is so many different directions that you can grow and push yourself within your career? Do you have any kinds of thoughts/tips on how you want your career to evolve?

10:00 – Guest: I am trying to always communicate better to my newsletter audience. Also, a good approach, too, is what are people hiring for? 

11:06 – Aimee: Again, I would say: focus on learning.

11:30 – Panel: And I agree with Aimee – “learn it and learn it well!”

12:01 – Panel: I want to ask Chris – what is CloseBrace?

12:17 – Guest: I founded it in November 2016, and started work on it back in 2013.

14:20 – Panel: It was filled with a bunch of buzz worthy words/title.

14:32 – Guest continues his thoughts/comments on CloseBrace.

16:54 – Panel: How is the growth going?

17:00 – Guest: It is growing very well. I put out a massive, massive tutorial course – I wouldn’t necessarily advice that people do this b/c it can be overwhelming. However, growth this year I have focused on marketing. I haven’t shared numbers or anything but it’s increased 500%, and I am happy about it.

18:05 – Panel: Are you keeping in-house?

18:13 – Guest: I think it would be cool to expand, but now it is in-house. I don’t want to borrow Egg Head’s setup. I would love to cover MORE topics, though.

19:05 – Panel: You are only one person.

19:08 – Guest: If I can get the site creating more revenue than I can hire someone to do video editing, etc.

19:35 – Panel: I think you are overthinking it.

19:45 – Guest.

19:47 – Advertisement – Sentry.io

20:47 – Guest.

21:30 – Aimee: There are SO many resources out there right now. Where do you think you fit into this landscape?

21:44 – The landscape is cluttered, but I feel that I am different b/c of my thoroughness. I don’t always explain line by line, but I do say how and why things work. I think also is my VOICE. Not my radio voice, but the tone and the approach you take with it.

23:25 – Panel: I was trying to copy folks in the beginning of my career. And at some point I realized that I needed to find my own style. It always came down to the reasons WHY I am different rather than the similarities. Like, Chris, you have these quick hits on CloseBrace, but some people might feel like they don’t have the time to get through ALL of your content, because it’s a lot. For me, that’s what I love about your content.

24:46 – Christopher: Yeah, it was intentional.

25:36 – Panel: Good for you.

25:49 – Guest: I am super device agnostic: Android, Mac, PC, etc. I have a lot of people from India that are more Microsoft-base.

26:28 – Aimee: I think Egghead is pretty good about this...do you cover testing at all with these things that you are doing? It’s good to do a “Hello World” but most of these sites don’t get into MORE complex pieces. I think that’s where you can get into trouble. It’s nice to have some boiler point testing, too.

27:18 – Guest answers Aimee’s question.

28:43 – Aimee: We work with a consultancy and I asked them to write tests for the things that we work with. That’s the value of the testing. It’s the code that comes out.

29:10 – Panel: Can you explain this to me. Why do I need to write tests? It’s always working (my code) so why do I have to write a test?

29:39 – Guest: When working with AWS I was writing...

31:01 – Aimee: My biggest thing is that I have seen enough that the people don’t value testing are in a very bad place, and the people that value testing are in a good place. It even comes back to the customers, because the code gets so hard that you end up repeatedly releasing bugs. Customers will stop paying their bills if this happens too often for them.

33:00 – Panel: Aimee / Chris do you have a preferred tool? I have done testing before, but not as much as I should be doing.

33:25 – Aimee: I like JEST and PUPPETEER.

33:58 – Guest: I like JEST, too.

34:20 – Aimee: Let’s go to PICKS!

34:35 – Advertisement – eBook: Get a coder job!





Chris F.




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