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New episodes, every week!

Episode
288
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

CSS Browser Support: When Can I Use This?

February 13, 2024

Back in the days of Internet Explorer web developers struggled with keeping their websites compatible across various versions. This problem exemplified as more modern browsers like Firefox and Chrome were added to the mix, forcing many web devs to create websites that could utilize modern features and fall back onto old ones for users still on IE. Today, these problems are largely solved, but not entirely. There is still some feature disparity between Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox...and even now some developers need to continue to support Internet Explorer. It's also widely known that as newer versions of these browsers seem to squash more of these differences, users won't always have the most up-to-date version of the browser due to update neglect, or system compatibility. In this episode, Matt and Mike focus on CSS feature disparity between browsers and how to handle site development when your user base doesn't all have the latest features that you're utilizing. When is it safe to use a new CSS feature on a production website? 

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Episode
287
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Make React Faster Using Million 3 (Million.js) w/ Aiden & Tobiloba

February 8, 2024

React is a powerful tool that empowers web developers to create reactive websites and web apps. Unfortunately, sometimes projects built with React can struggle to reach their maximum performance potential. To solve this, Million 3 (million.js) steps in to help make your React project up to 70% faster. Million boasts a simple setup using an easy-to-use installer so that you don't need to spend hours installing and troubleshooting. In this interview episode, Matt and Mike discussed Million.js with Aiden and Tobiloba, exploring when Million should be used, when it should not be used, and what it helps with the most. With the release of Million 3 just this week, the guys learned about some cool new features that should help Million be even more useful than it already is.

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Episode
286
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Working with Junior Developers: Teaching, Training, and Mentoring

February 6, 2024

When a junior developer is assigned to your team, it's easy to give them the "new guy" treatment. You might give them jobs you don't like to do or play some sort of harmless prank on them, but take it a step further and you're in danger of becoming a toxic workplace. Handing over jobs that are simply too difficult for a junior developer and ridiculing them when they inevitably fail is one large example of how a team joke can take a dark turn, forming a habit of treating junior developers poorly in the hopes that they'll "rise to the challenge." In reality, most teams would benefit from having another experienced developer, so why not help the newbie grow into someone you can trust? In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed how to challenge and mentor a junior developer by giving them achievable challenges, avoiding a "trial by fire" that they will inevitably fail.

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Episode
285
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

The Hidden Costs of Web Development

January 30, 2024

Subscription fees are any household budget's worst nightmare, but they're not limited to just your favorite TV subscriptions. Web developers are also constantly bombarded by subscription fees for everything from development tools, analytics software, and WordPress plugins. Perpetual licenses (one-time fees) are almost a thing of the past and so everything you reach for at the paid tier ends up becoming a recurring cost that you'll need to make the most of to maximize value. Not only can these costs very quickly spiral out of control, but they're also a hard sell when dealing with a client. Every WordPress developer has surely come across a client that expects a feature-add for free, when the plugin to do so is behind a monthly subscription. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed the hidden costs of web development reviewing the dreaded ballooning monthly bill made up of premium WordPress plugins, SEO software, development tools, and more.

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Episode
284
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

More Tech Layoffs, HTMX is Real, Friends with Ideas

January 24, 2024

Three web development topics grace this episode's contents as Matt and Mike discussed the seemingly never ending tech layoffs that keep making headlines. The guys also discussed HTMX, a lightweight UI library that has taken off in popularity recently to the pleasure of some and dismay of others - is HTMX the "Tailwind CSS" of backend technology? Finally the guys discussed how to handle your family and friends approaching you with their ideas and wanting you to work on them. We've all been there, you're at a family gathering, and someone wants to work with you on their new idea that's sure to "take the world by storm" - or in a twist, sometimes they just want you to be their mentor...what do you do if you just don't have the time?

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Episode
283
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Building Your Web Developer Portfolio, Choosing Your Path as a Developer, and Making an Impact with Your Career

January 17, 2024

This week we revive an old episode format where Matt writes the show notes and interviews Mike without him knowing any of the questions or topics before recording. In this "blind episode" Matt and Mike explore building out your web developer portfolio versus a personal website that covers both your personal and professional life. The guys also discussed choosing your developer career path if you were starting out in 2024, what kind of project they would create if money were no object, and philosophically "look back" at their careers once they've come to a close.

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Episode
282
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Essential Gear Guide for Web Developers in 2024

January 10, 2024

It's a new year, maybe it's time for some new gear? If you're a web developer just getting started this year, or looking to maximize your productivity with the latest gadgets, this week's episode has got you covered. We broke up our gear selections into three budgets including minimum, moderate, and max. Matt and Mike discussed gear ranging from budget refurbished laptops that can help you get started on your web development journey, to fancy sets that can accommodate not only web development but gaming and content creation as well. Our gear guide is sure to help anyone out there wondering what they need to get started coding up websites in 2024.

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Episode
281
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Is JavaScript Enough?

January 3, 2024

We've all heard of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript - the latter being used in both frontend and backend technologies. Despite the utility and versatility of JavaScript, other languages still exist and thrive off of large fanbases such as PHP and Python. Why is this? Isn't JavaScript enough? In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed programming languages that you might find useful as a web developer (or other developer for that matter) other than JavaScript. The duo covered the pros and cons of each of these other languages as they discussed which ones you may be interested in learning after mastering the art of JavaScript.

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Episode
280
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Get Started in Web Development for Free

December 27, 2023

Learn web development for free with learning resources from all over the web including courses, YouTube channels, and written guides. 

The holidays are in full swing with many people spending their newfound free time trying their hand at learning web development for the first time. Some are even planning to learn coding as their new year's resolution so they can try their hand at a new career. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed a collection of free learning resources so that you can supercharge your learning without having to commit a small fortune to getting started.

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Episode
279
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

AI Prompts for Success as a Web Developer

December 20, 2023

AI tools have taken off over the past year touching almost every aspect of the internet, and web development is no exception. Chatbots like ChatGPT and Copilot (Bing Chat) can be used to help write code, troubleshoot, and learn web development in a way that is much more interactive than a traditional Google search. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed how they use these AI tools in both their learnings and production work. The duo covered how to approach these new AI chatbots as they're something that is well beyond the commonplace assistants that we have today like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri. Learn how to add AI to your web development toolkit and get work done faster.

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Episode
278
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

You’re Learning Web Development the Wrong Way

December 13, 2023

There are a lot of courses and guides out there to help you start learning web development. Despite this abundance, it's unfortunately very easy to fall into a common learning pitfall, such as following a tutorial that's out-of-date, or taking a course that glosses over important parts of the process. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed commonly learning pitfalls and how to avoid them. They also discussed how to go beyond courses to ensure you're learning as much as you can before landing a job.

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Episode
277
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Make Web Development Easy, Avoid Needless Complexities

December 6, 2023

Web developers have a lot of tools to build websites with, but this vast selection opens the door for needless complexities. Needless complexities weigh projects down and can make troubleshooting problems a nightmare. Unforeseen issues arising from tangled webs of WordPress plugins, third-party services updating their endpoints unexpectedly, and installed-yet-forgotten features have taken down more websites than we can count. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed how and why you should avoid needless complexities in your projects and why some complexities are necessary evils.

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Episode
276
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Learn To Use AI To Become A Better Web Developer

November 29, 2023

AI has been taking the tech world by storm for the past year or so as new chatbots and tools are created seemingly every day. These tools can help revolutionize the every day workflow for a web developer and Mike has been embracing these changes with open arms. In this episode Matt and Mike discussed this "AI revolution" and how Mike uses these new tools to compliment and enhance his every day tasks on the job. The guys also discussed the massive shake up that OpenAI had with their CEO Sam Altman being fired then potentially landing a position at Microsoft. Please note this OpenAI news is developing quickly so our comments may be out of date by the time this episode is published- original recording date can be found in the show notes for context.

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Episode
275
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Are We Expecting Too Much From Our Web Developers?

November 22, 2023

Are web developers required to do too much? Websites and web apps are getting more complex as some startups rely on web developers to deliver critical company infrastructure, marketing sites, and ecommerce stores. The problem with all these responsibilities is that the knowledge base for web developers has grown exponentially over the past decade, making it a struggle to keep up for existing developers and increasingly difficult for aspiring devs to break into the field. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed Matt's recent critique of the learning journey that web developers need to embark on to get job ready due to the vast amount of skills that are needed in the field.

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Episode
274
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Are Websites Eternal? The Longevity of a Website

November 15, 2023

When you deploy a website how long do you think it'll last before it needs some maintenance, or a design refresh? Will it keep running as long as the hosting bill is paid? This week, Matt and Mike discussed the longevity of a website and whether or not its realistic to assume that they'll run forever - eternally, if you will. Even though they're pieces of software, websites are susceptible to problems that require maintenance, and some websites need regular preventative maintenance to keep things running smoothly. Not to mention the need, or rather want, for design refreshes in order to keep up with the modern standard and competing websites. When clients ask for a website, but don't think they'll need to maintain it after deployment, are they running themselves into a risky situation? How do we keep website maintenance budget friendly?

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Episode
273
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Why Improving Your Focus Will Make You A Better Web Developer

November 8, 2023

Out of all the developer productivity tips, enhancing your focus is probably the most important because it can increase your work output, helps keeps you motivated, and can improve your quality of code. In this episode Matt and Mike discussed why focus and concentration is so important to developers and what you can do to help improve it through practice and habit forming.

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Episode
272
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

3 Web Development Projects | Full-Stack Struggles #3

November 1, 2023

Learning web development is difficult, even if you're already familiar with it and just looking to update your skills. In this episode, Matt and Mike discuss Matt's continued learning journey as he works towards understanding modern full-stack development through Svelte and SvelteKit. This time, Matt has taken a step back from his original project, a passive income tracker, and instead decided to change his approach. Instead of learning full-stack development, struggling through creating and deploying a web app, instead he's decided to break it up into three smaller projects. The first of which will be a modified to-do/grocery list app that will just be using Svelte. Followed by another project focused on backend technologies with SvelteKit. Finally, he'll return to his passive income tracker idea with all he's learned for the grand finale. With this new approach, Matt hopes that he'll retain more information and have a better understand of all the topics he covers, rather than struggling through each and every step of the passive income tracker.

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Episode
271
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Git in School, Good Code Reviews, Is PHP Back?

October 25, 2023

In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed a collection of web development topics including git in school, what makes a good code review, and the return of PHP. Git for version control is a major part of most web developers' toolkits although there seems to be a lack of git training in schools, the place where learning git basics could help future graduates' resumes look a bit more favorable. Code reviews are commonplace in web development teams, but they're not all cut from the same cloth - what makes a code review good? PHP has been called dead by many web developers (even though WordPress uses PHP and is a major contributor to content on the web), but lately it seems like people are talking about it...is PHP back?

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Episode
270
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Should a Junior Developer Work for Free to Get Experience?

October 18, 2023

You can't get a job without experience and you can't get experience without a job - a classic problem for many beginners across several industries. This problem also plagues web developers as junior devs are left handing out hundreds of applications sometimes failing to get an interview let alone a job. For some, the opportunity to work for free will come up as a low barrier to entry to get some experience, but this move is controversial. Not only are you missing out on money, but you're also providing value to someone else's business for free. Working for free with nothing but experience is nothing new though, as unpaid internships are apart of some college and university programs across many different degrees. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed whether a junior developer should work for free to get work experience, or if they should wait until a paid opportunity arrives.

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Episode
269
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

What I'd Expect From a Junior Developer

October 11, 2023

When you take your first job as a junior developer you may be nervous about what type of tasks you'll be assigned and the expected quality level of your deliverables. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed some of the types of tasks that you may be assigned as a junior developer. They walk through how and what a manager may ask you to do, and how much detail you're likely to receive before getting started. These tasks range from simple tests of your UI layout skills, through your ability to pull in information from an API and display it appropriately on the site. Every workplace is different and so Matt and Mike also covered some of the common struggles that junior developers may face in their new role including legacy codebases, lack of mentorship, and a toxic work environment.

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Episode
268
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

The Cost of Bad Documentation and How to Fix It

October 3, 2023

Documentation helps web developers navigate CSS frameworks, WordPress plugins, and helpful npm packages. Without it, we're left doing trial-and-error for hours, or left to community support from potentially dated forums. When documentation is bad, it can cost the documentation owner customers and trust from the community, but when it's good, it can save developers time and drive trust in the product. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed the price of bad documentation and what makes documentation good from the perspective of a web developer.

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Episode
267
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Sneak Peek at Svelte 5 | Learn to Embrace Change

September 27, 2023

Svelte 5 is coming and with it the addition of Svelte 5 Runes, a replacement for the let, =, export, and $: that we use in Svelte today. Runes replaces this old syntax with function syntax to achieve the same old things and more. In this episode, Matt and Mike discuss a brief history of Svelte before diving into what was shown off so far about Svelte 5 Runes. The duo then discuss the learning experience for those studying Svelte 4 and whether they should stop and wait for Svelte 5. This leads to a debate about keeping websites up and running with maintenance, and how updates like Svelte 5 can help or hurt a site in production.

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Episode
266
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

SEO for Small Businesses

September 20, 2023

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is how websites prepare and portray themselves to search engines like Google and Bing. The goal of SEO is to generate as much traffic (ideally organic traffic) as possible from the right people - namely prospective customers. The problem with SEO is that many industries and specific keywords are very competitive and require a lot of effort by someone that knows what the search engines want. In order for them to operate effectively they'll need to work with a developer and/or CMS to ensure good technical SEO and be given control over at least some of the website's content (ie blog posts) so that they can try and rank in as many relevant keywords as possible. For small businesses, having someone do their SEO for them seems like a massive gamble, so its a hard sell. If the small business tries to do their own SEO, they may find that their efforts aren't yielding any leads because SEO is not only time consuming, but can also get complex. In this episode, Matt and Mike discuss how to deliver the best possible SEO service to a small business that is on a tight budget, with minimal free time to dedicate to content and keyword research.

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Episode
265
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

Web Development Pitfalls: The Dangers of DIY Auth

September 13, 2023

Authentication is a critical part of modern websites and web apps. Everything from ecommerce stores through membership sites will almost always have some form of authentication for their users. As a web developer, creating an authentication system can seem daunting because of the security that's involved in storing people's passwords and sensitive account data. It's difficult to keep up with all the security threats out there when you're juggling a DIY authentication system, maintenance, and developing new features. Luckily, there is tooling available for web developers that can help them authenticate their users with minimal effort. Products such as Firebase, Lucia, and NextAuth.js all provide ways to help offload authentication from your developer to-do list. In this episode, Matt and Mike discuss why you would (or would not) roll your own auth, and your available options if you don't want to make your own.

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Episode
264
Interview
Web News
Tidbit

How to Choose the Right Stack for Your Clients

September 6, 2023

It can be difficult to choose the right tech stack for your website or web app because there are so many to choose from. There are more traditional stacks like LAMP, MERN, and MEAN...as well as new serverless stacks that use Vercel/Netlify, Next.js, and Planetscale (MySQL). Furthermore, if you're working for a client in an agency or freelance, a single tech stack might not cut it. It's not uncommon for a client to bring you in to work on their website, setup their newsletter, and code up a new web app. Projects like this might use LAMP w/ WordPress for the website, serverless technologies for the web app, and Constant Contact for the newsletter. In this episode, Matt and Mike discuss choosing your tech stack based on its pros and cons, the project's requirements, and how to avoid personal bias that could cost you money.

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