Web Developer Monthly 💻🚀March 2020

Andrei Neagoie

21st issue! If you missed the last few months, check them all out here.

If it’s your first time here… (otherwise skip this part)

Being a web developer is a fantastic career option. You have many job opportunities, you can work around the world, and you get to solve hard problems. One thing that is hard, however, is staying up to date with the constantly evolving ecosystem. You want to be a top-performing web developer, coder, programmer, software developer, but you don’t have time to select from hundreds of articles, videos and podcasts each day.

This monthly newsletter is focused on keeping you up to date with the industry, keeping your skills sharp, without wasting your valuable time. I will be sharing the most important articles, podcasts and videos of the month. Think Tim Ferriss and the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) meeting the Software Development world. What’s the 20% that will get you 80% of the results?

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What you missed in March as a Web Developer… 🦠


Simple Systems Have Less Downtime 🧨

As the title suggests, this is a common axiom that a lot of us already know. However, it is always good to be reminded of how simplicity is the key when designing something whether it is a product or a business. Enjoy the read.

Free Tools For Web Developers ✂️

Some tools and assets to help you build your next project since we are best friends by now (unless this is your first time reading my articles… in that case let’s take things slow):

  1. Free set of illustrations for your landing page
  2. Royalty-free, cleared for YouTube music
  3. Make real code into faux code
  4. Powerpoint slides to make your app presentation
  5. Landing page inspirations for your next startup
  6. Visual form builder that generates the code for you
  7. This artwork does not exist
  8. Remove video backgrounds...wow
  9. Obligatory gradient color tool of the month...aaaaaaand another one
  10. 400 SVG icons for you to use and a few more

React News 💎

Mostly everyone's favourite frontend library. What crazy things have they been up to?

Learn D3 With Observable 🔭

Observable is a great tool that allows you to run your code interactively. D3 is a powerful visualization and charting library. Combine the 2 and you have a perfect way to learn something that requires a lot of visual output. Enjoy this excellent tutorial on D3.

Blazor is Coming 🧪

Have you heard of Blazor? If you haven't, you should keep an eye on it. It allows C# developers to use their own language instead of JavaScript for the web. People are getting excited about it and this article explains some of the ways Blazor works. Even if you are not a C# developer, it is worth a read to understand how they make it all possible.

Facebook Messenger Update 📱

Despite all the flack I give Facebook in this newsletter, when it comes to the web and mobile, they are at the forefront because they are such an UI focused company with one of the largest user bases. Recently they made an update to their Messenger app. Some interesting tidbits: They re-wrote the iOS app in native code wherever possible, and used SQLite (no this doesn't mean React Native is going away). Have a read at an interesting way they were able to improve the app performance.

Also, have you ever wondered why Facebook is not in the cloud business?

Node.js Best Practices 🏰

I'm currently working on a Node.js course. But until that is done, check out this excellent resource that has compiled a list of Node.js best practices. May take a while to get through everything but a good thing to bookmark.

Netlify is $53 Million Richer 💰

With GatsbyJS raising money a few months earlier, and now the popular Netlify (which this website, zerotomastery.io uses as well), there is definitely a trend on the web towards a more static generated, microservices architecture (also known as JAM stack, but I think this term doesn't fully explain the proper trend). Speaking of which...

Keep An Eye On RedwoodJS ⛩

I don't usually get excited by things that are super early stages since it is rare that the hype actually meets the demand. So why do I care about RedwoodJS? It does a lot of things right that offers a real solution to some of the over complexity of developing front end applications. Imagine if React, Angular and Vue had a baby with all of their best parts and then added GraphQL and a backend to the mix. If you were ever a fan of Ruby on Rails this may bring back some memories.

Building A Remote Video App 🕹

Here is an excellent project idea to put on your portfolio using the twilio API. Build your own video conferencing app in just a few minutes using this tutorial.

Microsoft Loves NPM 🦉

Microsoft continues to try and dominate the programmer toolchain market by acquiring NPM. There are going to be some big implications here and it will be interesting to see how this evolves. If you are curious why Microsoft is interested in buying NPM, I explained their strategy in a past post here.

Wiki Loves Vue 📍

Big news out of WikiMedia (as in Wikipedia) that they are going to adopt Vue as their front end library of choice. Pretty big news for the Vue community especially since it's a big adoption from a non Chinese company.

Why Svelte? 🔮

I'm personally not sold on it just yet (RedwoodJS seems more promising), but this is a great writeup of the pros and cons of Svetle and when you might want to give it a try.

Bored Our Of Your Mind? 🛀🏾

With all of these lock downs around the world, you may have already watched every show and movie available online. If you're REALLY bored then why not read 190 pages of the history of JavaScript. If you actually read this all, please let me know so I can be amazed at your ability to focus.

Ok, but in all seriousness, this is probably a better read: The history of the URL

JavaScript Developers Learning Python 🛠

Want to be able to say you know 2 of the most popular programming languages in the world? Python and JavaScript aren't too different and you can learn some of the differences between the two using this great article.

Angular is On Thin Ice ⛸

An interesting report from somebody who has worked on Angular which brought on criticism of the Angular team and culture. Lots of backlash and people upset about this one.

Security Around the Web 🧶

Security is becoming a bigger topic every day. In that respect, this month saw a lot of improvements:

  • Brave browser now blocks web fingerprinting (a way for advertisers to identify you through your unique internet activity).
  • Chrome is removing the User-Agent string from browser headers (which were used to track users in the past) after people complained about this a few months back.
  • Apple is getting a lot of pushback for updating their Safari browser to clear caches in a way that may affect offline apps like PWAs. But they did this for privacy reasons for their users.
  • Zoom who is now seeing a spike in use due to everyone working from home and needing video conferencing, got into trouble for sending user data to Facebook. They fixed it.

Goodbye Android 🍸

Ok, Android isn't going anywhere, but this article shows the big issue when it comes to Android in general: Google has very little control over software updates, and Android users are basically at the mercy of their carriers and phone manufacturers. Software updates are usually one of the most important factors in keeping things secure. This article does a great job showing the difference in how iOS doesn't have this issue.

News Around the World 🗺

Libraries To Keep An Eye On 👀

Big Tech News 🏢

Completely useless to your career but still great 🙃

Enjoy feeling bad about your lack of CSS skills by admiring what this person did just with CSS.

Explore different art pieces from museums around the world from the comfort of your home.

Best Resource of the Month ✅

Although this isn't necessarily a resource directly affecting you as a web developer, it is one of the most incredible documentaries I have watched on the power of computing and where we are right now in the world. While you are in quarantine or at your house, take the time to watch this... you will not regret it.

Trick of the Month 🌗

  • Pretend you're a secret spy and send self destructing messages to your friends with https://burn.link/.
  • Stream radio of popular services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc...

And remember, dealing with isolation is not suppose to be easy. Stay safe out there and take care of yourself. This may help. See you next month everyone!



Well done, you’re all caught up for this month! If you haven't already, subscribe below to receive Web Developer Monthly next month and exclusive ZTM posts and offers. If you're already subscribed, please share it with someone (use those little widgets on the left) who might find it useful, they'll love you and so will we!



By the way, my full time job is to teach people to code in the most efficient way possible as the Lead Instructor of Zero To Mastery Academy. You can see a few of my courses below or see all of my courses by visiting the courses page.

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