Episode Summary

There’s no time for anything. At least that’s how it feels doesn’t it? No time to refactor that ugly code, no time to work on documentation, no time to actually live your life. But if you take the time to listen to this podcast, you’ll find yourself with more time for what’s important. Written by Bill Sourour: https://twitter.com/BillSourour Read by Abbey Rennemeyer: https://twitter.com/abbeyrenn Original article: https://fcc.im/2rqbKAp Learn to code for free at: https://www.freecodecamp.org Intro music by Vangough: https://fcc.im/2APOG02 Transcript: There’s no time for anything. At least that’s how it feels doesn’t it? No time to learn all the things you think you need to learn to stay ahead of the curve. No time to go back and refactor that ugly piece of code. It works (sort of) and there’s a deadline approaching. No time to write unit tests for everything. No time to write documentation or comments for the next guy who gets stuck maintaining what you wrote. No time to think. No time to breathe. No time! Well… if you take the time to read this article, I promise you’ll find yourself with more time for what’s important. I used to think that the only way to be a great developer was to work myself sick. My health, friendships, and family all suffered because of it. Understanding the following 5 truths about time management for a developer is what saved me. 1. You don’t need to learn every new thing in order to stay relevant. There is no question that a good developer should always be learning, but where you focus your learning can make a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to stay on top of your game. “The old thing is dead. Long live the NEW, about-to-be-old thing!” First of all, don’t get suckered in by headlines on dev blogs that announce a new standard every 37 seconds. Most new technologies, frameworks, and features will never get any real traction and you’ll never need to know them. Those that do emerge will take a lot longer to gain adoption than the blogosphere — and the vendors who hock these new technologies — would have you believe. Companies are invested in their tech stack and, other than a handful of tiny tech startups, they can’t just turn on a dime. So, relax, your career is safe. Focus your learning on three areas, in the following order of priority: Fundamentals — It’s a lot easier to pick up new skills when you have a real command of the underlying fundamentals. For example, if you understand JavaScript deeply, you can master any new JavaScript framework in record speed. If you understand Object Oriented Programming deeply, you can master new object oriented languages quickly, too. Deeply learning the fundamentals will 10x your learning efficiency. Always focus on improving fundamentals above all else. The latest version/feature of the stack(s) you use the most — There’s a stack of technologies that you probably use every day. These are the tools that will put food on the table for you and your family. When new versions of these tools are released, it’s worth investing the time to learn about them. In-demand tech that is backed by market leaders — if a big, well established company like Google, Facebook, or Microsoft puts out something new and it starts getting some buzz, it’s worth looking into. There were a hundred and one JavaScript frameworks all vying for attention and then Angular and React showed up and wiped them off the map. I’m not saying there won’t be disruptors that come from nowhere and become the next big thing but, more often than not, no-name tech is just noise. Learning time should be a part of your schedule. Set aside a specific amount of time
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