Potluck — $100k Dev Jobs × Sponsored Blog Posts × How To Keep Your Skills Up To Date × Libraries vs Custom × Dev Tools × More!


It’s another potluck! In this episode, Scott and Wes answer your questions about VS Code, JavaScript, $100k-per-year dev jobs, sponsored blog posts, how to use dev tools, how to keep your skills up to date, and more!

Prismic - Sponsor

Prismic is a Headless CMS that makes it easy to build website pages as a set of components. Break pages into sections of components using React, Vue, or whatever you like. Make corresponding Slices in Prismic. Start building pages dynamically in minutes. Get started at prismic.io/syntax.

LogRocket - Sponsor

LogRocket lets you replay what users do on your site, helping you reproduce bugs and fix issues faster. It’s an exception tracker, a session re-player and a performance monitor. Get 14 days free at logrocket.com/syntax.

Linode - Sponsor

Whether you’re working on a personal project or managing enterprise infrastructure, you deserve simple, affordable, and accessible cloud computing solutions that allow you to take your project to the next level. Simplify your cloud infrastructure with Linode’s Linux virtual machines and develop, deploy, and scale your modern applications faster and easier. Get started on Linode today with a $100 in free credit for listeners of Syntax. You can find all the details at linode.com/syntax. Linode has 11 global data centers and provides 24/7/365 human support with no tiers or hand-offs regardless of your plan size. In addition to shared and dedicated compute instances, you can use your $100 in credit on S3-compatible object storage, Managed Kubernetes, and more. Visit linode.com/syntax and click on the “Create Free Account” button to get started.

Show Notes

02:01 - Not so much a question as me saying thanks! I started web dev as a bartender/college dropout in 2017 when Syntax was pretty new. I rarely miss an episode, and this year I’m starting my first >$100k JS job! Your show has always been fun, kept my attention in the realm of web dev, and helped guide my interest — I think it has been extremely valuable to my career so far, and I look forward to more.

04:10 - How do I know when to pull in a package rather than write similar functionality myself? And is there a rule for when enough is enough, in terms of having too many packages? What I’m most concerned about is bundle size. It doesn’t seem to take a lot of packages before Webpack notifies you about large bundle sizes, so what would be best practice?

11:27 - What is your opinion of doing a sponsored post or guest post on your own site? And if you’re in favor, what sorts of terms, payment, etc. would you outline or charge for it?

18:20 - Do you have/know of any resources for those that want to learn more about selling digital products through e-commerce? The sources I’ve found (Scott’s e-commerce/Gatsby courses & Next.js commerce demo page) focus more on creating stores that sell physical products. Are there any gotchas when selling digital vs physical?

22:10 - Do you have any tips for keeping your skills up to date while taking a break from work? I’m a frontend dev currently six months into my year-long maternity leave and I feel like my brain has turned to soup. I listen to podcasts and read blog posts but it never feels like enough. Time and energy are very limited for me to work on personal projects!

25:11 - I remember you guys saying something about making your own UI component libraries. Do you use some CSS libraries like Tailwind or even Bootstrap or others for this, or do you write your Sass/CSS from scratch?

30:52 - Would be interested to hear some of the common ways you use dev tools (chrome dev tools, react dev tools, redux, etc.). I feel like there is a lot of information in there that I am not utilizing properly to help figure out problems during development. Would be cool to hear an overview of how you use the different tabs, some of the most commons things to look for, etc.

35:20 - I am graduating from a bootcamp next month and I feel severe insecurities/imposter syndrome. For whatever reason, I freeze up when it comes to coming up with code or writing things myself, mainly in JS. When in class, watching tutorials, following along, or viewing other people's code, I can tell you exactly what is going on, why it is being done, and I can change and add things and explain them. But when it comes to starting from a blank slate, I freeze, as if everything I know about programming has gone out the window. Do you have any advice as to how to get past this hurdle? I feel like at this point I shouldn’t be feeling like this, but maybe this is normal?

40:36 - Do you think developers have a responsibility to help reduce CO2 emissions caused by the web? A BBC news article stated that “HD video streaming on a phone generates about eight times more in emissions than standard definition (SD)” and noted that on a small screen, the viewer might not even notice the difference. Should the developer limit the resolution available to mobile devices, or should they let the end user choose?

47:53 - I was hoping that you guys could give me, and other listeners, advice on “knowing when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew”? Often I’ll be working on a project for fun, or possibly building out my portfolio, and I’ll continue to get excited about features that I’d like to add to my current app or what have you. At first glance, the ideas or features seemed reasonable enough to tackle, but hours later, I’ll find myself stuck, realizing that I’m in over my head, as I’ve tried to take on something that I’m not yet experienced enough to work with, or I’m lacking the man-power to complete it in a timely manner. At the same time, I want to challenge myself so that I can grow, but sometimes I feel that I’m not using my time wisely. So my question to you is, where is the line between challenging ourselves to take on new and difficult tasks and scaling back our current work to make it more approachable and less overwhelming?

55:01 - What is the right use-case for a database, and what is the right use-case for a headless CMS? Is a headless CMS just a database + a user-friendly way of entering data into that database? Is there a secure way of querying Sanity directly from the frontend if I have data that I want to be only available to logged-in users?

Links ××× SIIIIICK ××× PIIIICKS ××× Shameless Plugs
  • Scott: All Courses - Sign up for the year and save 25%!
  • Wes: All Courses - Use the coupon code ‘Syntax’ for $10 off!
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