Web Developer Monthly 💻🚀 March 2021

Andrei Neagoie

Andrei Neagoie

33rd issue! If you missed them, you can read the previous issues of our Web Developer Monthly newsletter 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 hard thing, 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 curate and share the most important articles, news, resources, 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?

If you want to be the first to get next month's issue of Web Developer Monthly and receive other exclusive ZTM content once in a while, subscribe below 👇

Let's dive in. Here's what you missed in March 2021 as a Web Developer…

What Is Tail Call Optimization? 🦚

I'm sure you keep hearing this term but if someone asked you to explain it to them, would you be able to? No? If that's the case, then you should learn all about it in probably the best tech talk I have ever heard to date. Enjoy.

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. Fancy looking avatar pack
  2. Google Fonts website now has Icons
  3. Nice little color discovery tool
  4. Generate all the blobs you can ever dream of
  5. Mesh everywhere
  6. Create your own VS Code Theme and be unique

For those of you who don't know, the ZTM team and I list our all-time best free resources here for you. Or... you can go back and read all 32 of the previous issues (wow, we're almost at 3 years of WDM!) of Web Developer Monthly. That's a joke. Don't do that!


HTTP is great. However, with any sort of technology that is developed before all its use cases are realized, there is going to be some WTF moments. This is what this article is about. Fun read.

Also a reminder that nothing is more WTF than humans.

React News 💎

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

  • 8 Ways to write clean React code. Nice little tid bits in there.
  • Loved this article: the history of the React API. Great read for all developers interested in React and learning how we got to where we are now.
  • There are many articles written about React performance optimizations. In general, if some state update is slow, you need to:

--> 1. Verify you’re running a production build. (Development builds are intentionally slower). -->2. Verify that you didn’t put the state higher in the tree than necessary.
-->3. Run React DevTools Profiler to see what gets re-rendered, and wrap the most expensive subtrees with memo(). (And add useMemo() where needed.) ... but before you memo()....

SPAs 📟

No I'm not talking about a Scandinavian hot baths and great hot stone massages, but the Single Page Application world. The Development world is in constant flux, and what was one day "cool", may not be in the future. In this article, the author shares some of the things they have learned about SPAs along the way.

Don't worry, they aren't going anywhere! Just need to decide when to use them. There are always pros and cons to everything in this industry.

Brave Search 🕯

In order to compete with the dominance of the very intrusive Google Search, the Brave browser team are working on their own search engine. No IP addresses will be collected and the company promises no tracking, no profiling – and may even offer a paid-for, no-ad version.

Google is also working towards something called FLoC which will help keep your privacy better on google products... NOT (muahahaha 😈).

Interesting Question Of The Month 🕺

Why is Coffeyville, Kansas sending large amounts of traffic in Google Analytics? Why is Coffeyville so unique? Super interesting answer here.

2 Experts Walk Into A Bar 🥂

Everyone wants to be an expert. But what does that even mean? Experts don’t prove themselves by using every piece of the spec; they prove themselves by knowing the spec well enough to deploy syntax judiciously and make well-reasoned decisions. This is how experts become multipliers—how they make new experts. A fantastic read.

The Dark Side Of JavaScript 🌚

With a clickbaity title like that, I dare you not to click on this article. Here are 3 features of JavaScript that even if they’re still available for historical/backwards compatibility reason, you still want to avoid.

Font Loading Strategies 𓀂

So you need to load a font to a user's page? Here is the best font loading strategies and how to execute them. Not much more to say...

Weekend Project Ideas 🧰

If this is not the coolest project to build, then I'll be damned... Ever wanted to create your own planet? Share your creation with us by tweeting @andreineagoie and @zerotomasteryio. I'll be playing around with this, this weekend.

Recreating Real-World Planets With React, Three.js & WebGL.

JavaScript Ternary Juggle 🤹‍♀️

Everything you ever wanted to know about the JavaScript ternary operator in a nice article. JavaScript lovers rejoice!

Smells Like Svelte 🩰

SvelteKit is now in beta. Think of it like Next.js for Svelete. Sucks for everyone that was using Sapper... here is a tutorial if you're into the new and shiny.

Ps here is an article comparing React with Svelte.

What Are Generics? ⛳️

Have you heard of Generics before? It's a common discussion for those who love to compare "features" of a programming language.

A fundamental concept in programming is DRY - Don’t Repeat Yourself. Abiding by this principle means writing code that isn’t full of needless repetition. You can abstract common functionality in to utility functions that are then shared across many files. Generics are simply a tool that allows you to apply this principle alongside the types you are implementing. Here is all you need to know about Generics in TypeScript.

Incremental Static Regeneration 🎟

Web developers come up with the coolest sounding names. This one comes from the marriage of Static Site Generator + Server Side Rendering. What happens if these two are combined to make a baby? You get Incremental Static Regeneration. This is how it works.

security.txt 🥋

A new proposed standard which allows websites to define security policies. Whether it takes off, only time will tell, but an interesting idea worth keeping an eye on.

Making Money With Emojis 💷

This article shows you the thought process of a person who has an idea, and how to execute it with your programming skills. Sometimes we get stuck in "what to build?" vortex where we try to just build generic projects. Hopefully this gives you inspiration to go beyond another Tic Tac Toe project.

Ps if you are weirdly obsessed with emojis, then enjoy this you weirdo.

Hide & Seek 🛰

Sometimes you want to hide content from the user on the web. There are many ways to do this... but WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY? Think about this, then click here for the answer.

While we are on the topic of CSS, how about learning about CSS Generators.

Railsification Of SaaS 🏎

Although this article is written to promote a software product, it does go over the history of software, where we are today, and where we might be headed. I found it super fascinating and I hope you like it too (I share these types of articles since I imagine regular Web Dev articles about new React tricks are everywhere). Articles like these really make you think... and hopefully it's why you keep reading my newsletter 😜.

Data Transfer Project 📡

Did you know about this? The Data Transfer Project was launched in 2018 to create an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform so that all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want. Think of it this way: you having to only create 1 profile across all web pages you use. The idea is that this will allow you to switch to competitors without thinking you will lose all those amazing instagram photos and 53 followers you can't live without. Big companies are part of this movement. Keep an eye on this.

Why would companies want to do this? Maybe they are afraid of Solid...

Press The Button 🖲

This article blew my mind. Learn everything there is to know about button design. At the end of the day, they may be the most important components of our apps as it is a sign of an action that we want a user to take. How can you make it better?

Deno Company 🦕

The world keeps moving along and Deno keeps getting better and better. These small incremental changes are behind the growing interest in the Deno space. It feels like every month there is more and more interest in the community. Exciting times! Deno 1.8 is here.

Also, Deno is getting some big money.

Catch this wave before everyone else is riding it by learning Deno here.

New Libraries and Tools 🗿

Just because we had a ton of these this month, I've added them into this section. Check out these shiny new/interesting things:

  • Gastby 3.0 is here! Gatsby v3 now enables by default new features that will only build pages or process images when your development server requests them (80% speed up for you).
  • Electron 12.0 that's 1 bigger than 11!
  • In order to ship new features and bug fixes faster to its users, Chrome is speeding up its release cycle. That means faster releases of V8 as well (that thing that a lot of JS runtimes use...like Node.js).
  • React Anime 4.0. Animate all things!
  • Amplication is probably the coolest tool I have found this month. I'm definitely keeping an eye on this.
  • Relay Hooks. The library that only Facebook really cares about released some updates... but hey, prove me wrong.

News Around the World 🗺

  • We have to talk about the Suez Canal block from this month...
  • PHP's internal git server was compromised... so they are going to just use Github instead of maintaining their own git server.

Big Tech News 🏢

  • Intel ordered to pay $2.18 billion in patent lawsuit. A lot of negative news coming out of Intel and how far behind they are lately. However, keep an eye on them turning things around in a couple of years. They're not going anywhere.
  • Okta buys Auth0 for $6.5 billion. Two giants in the security world becoming giant-er.
  • At least 30,000 organizations across the United States — including a significant number of small businesses, towns, cities and local governments — have over the past few days been hacked because of holes in Microsoft's Email software.
  • Almost a fifth of Facebook employees are now working on VR and AR: report.
  • Google announces that starting on July 1, 2021 they are reducing the service fee Google Play receives when a developer sells digital goods or services to 15% for the first $1M (USD) of revenue every developer earns each year (it used to be 30%). If you have an app on Google Play store, lucky you.
  • Adobe has come up with "super resolution".

Completely useless to your career but still great 🙃

Best Resource of the Month ✅

Generalists vs specialists - who has a greater chance of success? The React specialist, or the Full Stack developer? An interesting article explores this debate that echos beyond the tech world, into every parts of our life. The answer isn't as easy as you may think.

Once you read the above, then dive into this article to learn how to develop your personal "Talent Stack".

Trick of the Month 🌗

See you next month everyone!

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By the way, I teach people how to code and get hired 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 ZTM courses here.

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