Web Developer Monthly Newsletter 💻🚀

Andrei Neagoie
Andrei Neagoie
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62nd issue! If you missed them, you can read the previous issues of our Web Developer Monthly newsletter here.

Web Developer Monthly Newsletter - August 2023

If it’s your first time here, welcome, keep reading. If you're a long time reader, welcome back, you can skip to the next section to dive right into this month's newsletter.

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 interesting problems.

One of the hardest parts? Staying up-to-date with the constantly evolving ecosystem.

Of course you want to be a top-performing web developer, coder, programmer, software developer, but you don’t have time to select from 100s of articles, videos and podcasts coming out every day.

This monthly web development newsletter is focused on keeping you up-to-date with the industry, without wasting your valuable time.

I curate and share the most important articles, news, resources, podcasts and videos of the month.

Think the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) meeting the Software Development world. What’s the 20% that will get you 80% of the results?

Let's dive in. Here's what you missed in August 2023 as a Web Developer…

D.N.T It's Dynomiiiiite 🧨

Bonus points if you got that reference. Anyway, back to the newsletter... Deno team announced dnt.

dnt is a build tool that transforms Deno modules into Node.js/npm-compatible packages. Not only that, the transformed package:

  • supports both CommonJS and ESM,
  • can work in Node.js, Deno, browers,
  • runs tests in both CommonJS and ESM,
  • supports TypeScript and JavaScript

Again, everything the Deno team builds is great.

P.S. For the last 8+ years, the JS ecosystem has been undergoing a slow transition towards using ES Modules ("ESM") as the default approach for publishing and using JS code.

Similar to the Python 2->3 transition, this has been incredibly difficult and painful to deal with... if you want a deep dive history lesson here it is.

React News 💎

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

  1. Is there a React Bubble, is React falling behind? This is a fantastic read: Things you forgot (or never knew) because of React.

  2. The new React docs now have a section on how to add TypeScript to your project. P.S. ZTM just released the most comprehensive TypeScript course you have ever seen.

  3. What if you could build a universal Design system with React and use it in any web application or framework? React + Web Components. This is how.

Weekend Project Idea 🍭

This is just beautiful: Coding the stars - an interactive constellation with Three.js and React Three Fiber.

You can thank me later for this awesome addition to your portfolio.

Project IDX 💻

Google has released an exciting new project (wonder when it will be shut down?!). Project IDX is a browser-based development experience (online IDE) built on Google Cloud and powered by Codey, a foundational AI model trained on code and built on PaLM 2.

It’s designed to make it easier to build, manage and deploy full-stack web and multiplatform applications, with popular frameworks and languages... give it a try here.

Every HTML You Ever Wanted 🎡

Someone decided to write a blog post with every single HTML element. Someone get this person a coffee! As the name suggests, here is a blog post with every HTML element.

JavaScript Is A Big Boy 🎊

JavaScript has really grown over the years. It is now a big insertwhateverworddoesntgetyouoffended. Most people don't realize that we no longer need libraries like lodash or underscore which used to be standard back in the day in most JS codebases.

JavaScript can do it all kind of.

An Architecture Story 🗼

Sure, that title may put some to sleep, but this is a great article on architecture and how a simple decision can have a massive impact on a product.

The Dropbox engineering team reduced the size of their JavaScript bundles by 33%.

This is how.

JavaScript Anti-Debugging 🗽

Debuggers serve as invaluable tools that empower developers to halt code execution and thoroughly analyze its behavior at any given moment. By utilizing a debugger, developers can efficiently identify and resolve issues within their code, making it an indispensable part of their toolkit.

This article talks about a new possible approach using the ticket_debugger keyword.

Interesting Underground World 🕳

This is a not so fun story of how this author discovered the underground world of credit card network exploitation. JavaScript, Stripe and a few other things allowed them to get to the bottom of it.

WebLLM 📺

You can now play with a Language Learning Model on the web. Everything runs inside the browser with no server support and accelerated with WebGPU. This opens up a lot of fun opportunities to build AI assistants for everyone.

Check this out. I'm curious if anybody builds something cool with this (let me know): Enjoy.

New Libraries and Tools 🗿

There are a ton of shiny new libraries and tools every month which is why I have this dedicated section for them...

Ok... actually only one this month. This can't be real, can it?!

News Around the World 🗺

  • Everyone this month was talking about LK-99: a new material. Can it float? Can it be a superconductor and thus change the future of computing forever? Unfortunately it was discovered that it cannot be a new superconductor... but it was cool how fast the science world started experimenting with it and analyzing the initial findings.

  • A big attack vector for processors was discovered this month: The Downfall Attack.

Big Tech News 🏢

  • OpenUSD was formed with Pixar, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, and Nvidia. This comment explains it best:

*"This is a big deal. I used to work at Autodesk, trying to build software that made 3D blueprints available to everyone, everywhere. Rendering things on mobile is hard, in part because you need to writer bespoke renderers, and in part because the data formats for the assets are not aligned.

Pixar developed USD, and it should really help to standardize 3D tech. In particular, I hope that USD can help make it easier to build high-performance rendering tech for a variety of applications that might not receive so much attention from the 3D graphics people (this is one thing video games do quite well, from a CS approach!)"*

  • Firefox and Chrome are squaring off over ad-blocker extensions... since Google funds part of Firefox, it should be interesting to see what happens here. This is a great read.

  • YouTube experiments with AI auto-generated video summaries.

  • OpenAI released GPTBot: OpenAI’s web crawler similar to the Google Web Crawler. According to them, allowing GPTBot to access your site can help AI models become more accurate and improve their general capabilities and safety. If you don't want your website to be crawled, you can read on how to disallow GPTBot from accessing your site. OpenAI also released ChatGPT Enterprise specifically for these large companies that don't want to share their data with OpenAI. Built in privacy. OpenAI is saying "we are not going to train on enterprise's data... anymore".

  • Meta AI releases CoTracker, a model for tracking any points (pixels) on a video... this is very cool.

Completely useless to your career but still great 🙃

  • A.I Town - A MIT-licensed, deployable starter kit for building and customizing your own version of AI town - a virtual town where AI characters live, chat and socialize.

  • Can you clone the Mona Lisa?

Best Resource of the Month ✅

Have you heard of a Llama? The cute fluffy animal that looks like an Alpaca, but nobody actually knows if it's the same animal or different?

Now, if you capitalize the second 'L', LLama is an AI model designed to predict the next word. You can think of it as a glorified autocomplete... Llama (Large Language Model Meta AI) is a family of large language models (LLM).

It is Meta (Facebook)’s answer to ChatGPT... It's trained with text from the internet and other public datasets. LLama 2 is trained with about 2 trillion words.

Ok, but this is a monthly newsletter for developers. Why should you care?

It's because LLMs are now everywhere and no matter what, if you are in the tech industry, you will encounter them. So the best resource of the month is this: Beginner's Guide to LLama Models.

It will catch you up to speed to what the industry is doing right now so you can speak intelligently about it... or show off to others how smart you are. Up to you.

Bonus: I wrote a blog post this month sharing my thoughts on the never ending emails I get with the question: Will AI Replace Programmers?

Trick of the Month 🌗

wow reaction
  • I haven't tried this yet, but this looks promising: Cody based on this Hackernews user comment:

I have been using Cody in VSCode for a couple of months, and I am getting a ton of value out of it. The key things I love are:

1. It really knows how to summarize a code blocks, this can be helpful to review code in other projects, or provide a refresher to your own, it misses very little!

2. It is very smart when it comes to filling in gaps in log statements, error messages or code comments.

3. Copy and paste is mostly dead, given a small hint it fills in the gaps for common patterns and is way less error-prone, and follows my prevailing style once the project is up and running.

4. Writing tests, this really surprised me but a lot of trivial, and some not so trivial ones are generated by Cody.

Thanks for reading!

Don't be shy now... Share this newsletter with your friends.

See you next month! ❤️

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 our popular courses below or see all ZTM courses here.

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