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2 Years of Tea

Published 1/4/2017

Today, we celebrate two incredible years of Developer Tea! We're celebrating this year by launching a contest on CodePen. Listen for more details!

Today's episode is sponsored by WooCommerce. WooCommerce is customizable eCommerce built on WordPress. Powering over a third of all online e-commerce stores, with WooCommerce you own all of your data, forever. Use the code "developertea" for 25% off on WooCommerce.com.

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey everyone, welcome to Developer Tea. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and in today's episode we are celebrating two years here on Developer Tea. We're announcing the first contest that we've ever run for JavaScript January. I'm very excited to talk to you a little bit about some of the weird quirks of JavaScript. It really is kind of an intro to this month's overall overarching topic of JavaScript. Thank you so much for listening to Developer Tea over the past two years. If you haven't subscribed yet, make sure you go and subscribe. This contest, by the way, is my way of kind of giving back to you as the community, but also hopefully getting you excited and motivated about sharing your own work. I want the faces and the voices and the talents of the people who listen to this podcast to come forward a little bit more as a community. Let's talk a little bit about what this contest is going to be made up of. Then we'll talk about JavaScript a little bit later in today's episode. The contest for JavaScript January is going to be run on CodePen. In fact, the kind people at CodePen are sponsoring part of the prize. They are going to be offering three subscriptions, three pro subscriptions, two CodePen, and I will also be matching that prize. There are six pro-level one-year CodePen subscriptions up for grabs. All you have to do to enter is spend a little bit of time and create a pin. You can create more than one pin, perhaps a series of pins. The only rule that we have for these pins is that they need to be heavily reliant on JavaScript. In other words, you can't have just a couple of lines of JavaScript and get away with it. Really, what we want to do is build something that is primarily driven by JavaScript. Has some kind of interaction that is powered by JavaScript. Maybe you take this opportunity to learn a new framework or perhaps you want to use vanilla JavaScript. Again, the idea is to rely heavily on JavaScript so that you can learn more about JavaScript during the month of January. I've been writing JavaScript for many years now, and there's plenty for me to learn. There's new libraries, there's new technology that other people are building. There's new syntax that you probably don't have down expertly yet because some of it is as new as last year or perhaps the year before. There's a lot left to learn, and I encourage you to use this opportunity to learn, but the way that we're going to judge this is very simple. We're going to judge it based on the number of hearts that you receive on CodePen. Of course, the entry has to be valid. It has to be heavily reliant on JavaScript for it to be valid. The most heart on CodePen, and you're going to need to tag it, Developer Tea, and then tag it, JavaScript January. All one word for both of those. Developer Tea is a tag, and then JavaScript January. You can also do JS January for short. I will be looking for both of those tags. We may be announcing more prizes for this competition. I'm not entirely sure just yet, but certainly there will be at least six CodePen pro memberships for a year, and those will be awarded to the top six entries in this JavaScript January competition. If you decide to do more than one pin, by the way, let's say you do a series of pins. Maybe you write a tutorial or something like that. Maybe you do a daily challenge, that kind of thing. If you decide to do that, make sure you note that in the pin itself. Obviously, this means that you have a little bit more exposure, a little bit more likelihood that people are going to add hearts to your pins. That may be a way to game the system. I'm going to leave it up to you, but go and make something awesome on CodePen. Again, that's CodePen.io. Make sure you tag it, Developer Tea, all one word, and JavaScript January or JS January, all one word. Now, here's how the end of the contest is going to go. Since we are a few days late in January, I'm going to give you a few days into February to finish up your submission. Anything that is submitted before February 4th will count in this process. Now, remember, of course, the earlier you get done with it, the longer people have to actually go and click the heart button on that pin. It may be to your advantage to jump on this early. It may be to your advantage to wait until a little bit later on. That's totally up to you. However, you want to run your submission. That's totally up to you. Very few things are off limits with this, by the way. If you want to post it to your own website and collect hearts that way, that's a great way for you to get exposure. That's really my sneaky reason for doing this is to help you all practice and get exposure with these pins. It's a really powerful platform for that exact reason. A very important piece to this contest is that the winner will be announced in the spec Slack community. It's going to be announced in the developer T-Rum. We will probably also announce it in the general room, but certainly in the developer T-Rum. If you are not already in that Slack community, if you want to be able to accept your code pin pro submission, then you need to go and join that Slack community. Go to spec.fm slash slack. Spec.fm slash slack. By the way, there's over 1,000 people in the developer T-Rum, and there's well over 7,000 designers and developers in the spec Slack community, and it's free anyway. Definitely a good place to be, and you have to be there if you want to be considered in the running for this competition. Again, a huge thank you to CodePen for sponsoring this little bit of a contest. By the way, let's take a quick break to talk about today's sponsor for today's episode, WooCommerce. Then we will get back to our discussion about JavaScript. Today's episode is sponsored by WooCommerce. WooCommerce started in 2011, and it was acquired by Automatic last year. If you're not familiar with Automatic Go and look them up, and that will immediately help you understand how big of a deal WooCommerce actually is. But if you don't believe me yet, WooCommerce actually powers over a third of the internet online stores, well over a third of the internet online stores. It's the world's most popular e-commerce platform. It's built on top of WordPress. It's open source, and it's fully customizable. Unlike out of the box solutions, you can build unique stores to suit specific business needs. There's no limits here. This is perfect for a developer who is working in a client or an agency style environment. It's also great for developers who are looking to sell digital products. That's one of the things that WooCommerce allows you to do is sell digital products. You can also sell accommodation bookings, ticketing, and it also integrates with major payment gateways and e-commerce service providers like PayPal, Stripe, the US Postal Service, and Royal Mail. Go and check it out. Spec.fm slash WooCommerce. Of course, a really important piece of this, the last point that I have for WooCommerce today, is that you get to keep your data forever. It's yours. It's open source. That means that you have control of this from top to bottom. As developers, it's super empowering to have control over the systems that you are basing your business on. Go and check it out. Once again, Spec.fm slash WooCommerce. I almost forgot to mention WooCommerce is also offering you 25% off for using the code Developer Tea. Go and check it out. Once again, Spec.fm slash WooCommerce. Use the code Developer Tea for 25% off. Thank you again to WooCommerce for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. So it's JavaScript January. I promised I was going to talk a little bit about JavaScript. Give you an intro, a discussion about JavaScript to kick this month off as it relates to the language. Really, as I was thinking about how you can intro JavaScript, I kept on coming back to my early days with JavaScript. I started coding not too long after jQuery first came out. I was enamored by a couple of the sites that I had seen that used JavaScript animation, basically a set timeout loop and some inline CSS magic to move stuff around the page. I created my own little portfolio back then. I thought I was a photographer or some kind of designer. Really, I was neither of those things. I created a small portfolio using some JavaScript. Before I created that portfolio, I had never really built anything with code before. I went and Googled around about WordPress and I built a couple of blogs by copy pasting and really didn't even know the difference between an ID and a class in CSS. I just kind of poked my way until I found something that I liked. But when I encountered JavaScript, it kind of made me do a little bit more digging. Now, the key thing here was that it didn't make me do much more digging. There's an interesting small space that JavaScript filled, at least at that point in my career, and probably for many of you where you know just enough to get by. And this was true, especially when jQuery was kind of the dominant library in the JavaScript world. And when we didn't really have single page apps to contend with, really all we were doing was small animations or perhaps a little bit of behavior on the page. And while the purest developer that's inside of me can look back at the code and all of those experiences that I had and be disgusted at how horrible of a programmer that I was back then, I can also look at it as my first baby steps. And this is kind of an interesting piece of the puzzle when it comes to JavaScript. JavaScript's history, if you look into it, is a little bit haphazard. JavaScript to has built in such a way that it was designed very quickly. And then it was widespread very quickly. And if you've been coding with JavaScript for very long at all, you know that it is pretty forgiving in some ways and really not forgiving in others. Many of us are probably acquainted with Douglas Crockford's scathing yet very helpful discussion on JavaScript, the good parts. And many things that have come out since then, for example, you don't know JavaScript. There's so much about this language that is simple. And yet there's so much more about this language that you can dig and dig and dig and continue learning something new every time you sit down to use it. And perhaps the simplicity of the design of the language or maybe the flexibility is a better way to put it. The flexibility of the design of JavaScript allows young developers like I was when I first started out building a little portfolio. It allows younger Developer To approach the language. And now more than ever since so many tools, so many libraries and so much content on the internet exists around JavaScript. Now more than ever, it seems to be a very approachable language. And yet we still have this mountain of learning to do. There's so many tools that it can be debilitating. We talked about this in a previous episode of Developer Tea. We talked about craftsmanship and we talk about going on a media diet. Sometimes it's good to limit yourself to a pre-determined number of tools. Sometimes it's good to simply make a decision and move forward. So we're going to spend this month talking about that mountain of complexity that is JavaScript. How it is so approachable for young developers and how you can get a lot done in a very short amount of time. But on the flip side, how mature JavaScript can be and how deeply you can go and how much of an expert you can become by continuing to study JavaScript. It's an interesting landscape and there are a lot of people who are using this language to do incredible, incredible work. There's probably quite a few things that JavaScript can do that you're not even aware of. And we're going to talk about some of those things this month as well. But I want to leave you with this single thought. You may be a new developer and you're coming to the show because you're interested in JavaScript or you're interested in learning how to code and maybe you haven't decided on JavaScript. And I'm not here to tell you what language to choose. Certainly JavaScript is an interesting option. There are plenty of things to consider when making that decision. What I am here to tell you to do is stick with it even when it gets difficult. Stick with it even when you run into a bug that you can't fix no matter how many different stack overflow posts you Google. If it feels like you don't understand what's going on and even if it feels like you'll never understand what's going on. If it feels like it is such a mountain of complexity in front of you and it's ever growing larger that you're never going to be able to climb it. I encourage you to stick with it. Stick with it for this month. You'll be surprised how much your stick with it this will help you learn. How much your fortitude will move you past barriers. And hopefully you can meet someone on the spec Slack community or you can talk to me or you can hear something on this podcast or one of the many other great podcasts on these subjects that breaks the barrier between you and being able to take that first few steps up that mountain. You know, we all have the same mountain to climb. This is exactly why this podcast has been around for two years and there's no end in sight. The complexity of being a software developer isn't something that you are alone in. You're not experiencing something that other developers don't experience. This is again, one of the other topics that we talk about all the time on Developer Tea. Imposter syndrome. You're not alone in the struggle. Developer Teaexists to help you level up in your design and development career. That's what spec FM is about to help designers and developers level up. That's why we exist. And that means leveling up no matter what level you're currently at. If you are on ground floor, haven't even touched code. We're here to help you level up to that first initial step. That's what this month is about. We're going to use JavaScript. We're going to talk about JavaScript most specifically this month. But certainly don't feel like the concepts that we're going to talk about this month are not applicable to other languages as well. Especially as a beginner developer, highly encouraged that you stick around for this month. Stick with whatever language you choose. I promise you that every step you take up that mountain, it's going to look a little bit smaller. Thank you so much for listening to Developer Tea. Thank you to those of you, especially who have been sticking around for two years. And for those of you who are a part of the specs, lack community, I'm so honored, so grateful for all of you who are there. At the time of the recording of today's episode, we've had just over 5,317,000 unique listens to this podcast. And that is something I'm so grateful for. And I can't wait for this year. I'm looking forward to it. Once again, when this episode comes out, the official date that we started was January 5th. Of course, January 5th this year is on a Thursday, so we're celebrating one day early. I hope you will join us in the JavaScript January contest. Remember, it is a pin on code pin that relies heavily on JavaScript. Remember to tag that pin, JavaScript January or JS January and Developer Tea. Both of those are all one word. Real quick, one more. Thank you to today's incredible sponsor, Wu Commerce, powering over a third of the internet's online stores. Go and check it out. Spec.fm slash Wu Commerce. By the way, you get 25% off for using the code Developer Teaon Wu Commerce's site. Go to spec.fm slash Wu Commerce. It'll take you straight there. Thank you again to Wu Commerce for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. And until next time, enjoy your tea.