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Full-Stack Struggles #1 - Can AI Teach Me Web Development?

March 28, 2023
April 5, 2023
Episode Number:

Can an AI chat bot like ChatGPT teach a junior developer web development from scratch? What about an experienced web developer looking to update his skills on a new framework? In this premiere episode of Full-Stack Struggles, Matt documents his experience getting situated with Svelte + SvelteKit. As a beginner, he found himself needing assistance quite often and instead of reaching for a blog post, or some documentation, he instead reached for an AI chat bot - namely Bing AI. With the recent advancements in AI technology (especially chat bots), they've been the talk of the internet with how useful they can be as an alternative to Googling and sifting through countless results. Was chatting with an AI enough to answer all of Matt's questions?


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Show Notes

What is Full-Stack Struggles?

Website creation encompasses more areas of expertise than just web development. Websites need administrated servers, designers that choose brand direction, and networking specialists that manage traffic. Each of these areas can command so much attention that the specialists working within them, may work alongside web developers every day without knowing what React, or Svelte is. Similarly, between Matt and Mike, the responsibility on who does what is split. Matt runs the small to medium business client accounts, assisting them with WordPress, Webflow, email, and DNS. While Mike does more "web development stuff" creating custom websites with Svelte, Vue, and React. In order to break out of his "shell of knowledge" Matt has decided to challenge himself to create a full-stack web app capable of tracking passive income. This project aims to teach Matt the basics of using Svelte + SvelteKit, an undecided method for user authentication, and a how to deploy a modern web app onto some hosting. These Full-Stack Struggles episodes aim to be a glimpse at Matt's learning journey, hopefully shining light on how difficult modern web development is for anyone learning similar skills.


  • Overview of the passive income project
  • Getting started with the project
    - Setting up the developer environment
    - Dealing with updating/installing npm and nvm
    - Installing Svelte + SvelteKit
    - Research into authentication methods and other facets of the project
  • Asking Bing AI for help getting started with Svelte + SvelteKit
    - Gives direct answers (no sifting through forum posts of similar issues and then extrapolating that research onto my situation/question)
    - Some solutions that the AI provided did not work as expected, telling the bot what the problem, resulted in it generating some code with the fixed in-place
    - These solutions are great for someone that is able to dissect and modify the code that is provided by the bot
  • Asking AI for help is great for a lot of things, but it can be a disservice in some situations
    - Someone who knows nothing about coding, or has minimal technical ability may rely on the results that AI provides...and may not realize that something isn't working properly
    - Sometimes the AI provided an answer that worked, but wasn't leveraging the framework(s) at hand as much as it could have (ie using vanilla JS when Svelte has something built-in)
  • Asking a human for help (asking Mike)
    - I reached out when I wasn't sure how to engineer a solution properly, and therefore wasn't sure how to ask the AI the right questions
    - Engineering the "ideal" or "perfect" solution may not be possible, but the most inefficient method may work just fine...but would be a bad habit to learn
    - In this particular situation the lack of experience would mean that if the AI provided a working, but horrible, solution...I would have no idea it was problematic