This episode of Developer Experience is about Developer Education. It’s a wonderful time to become a developer: the demand has never been higher, and there’s a literal ocean of free and paid content to kick start a new career in tech. This firehose of educational content is a side-effect of such a high demand for developers, and it makes it difficult to spot actual quality content that’s worth investing in.
- What makes really great educational tech content?
- How do beginner and advanced developers want to learn today?
- And what does it teach us on communication and reaching clarity?
To answer these questions, Sarah Dayan is joined today by Jason Lengstorf, VP of Developer Experience at Netlify, where he and his team ensure that developers make the most out of the platform. You may also know Jason from his dozens of lessons and workshops on Egghead.io, Frontend Master, and as the host of Learn With Jason, his fantastic developer show where he learns new technologies in 90 minutes with experts from the field.
So being dogmatic about tools is just a, you know, to me, it's a , it's a shortcut to having somebody say, but wait, you're saying this now two years ago, you said the exact opposite. And then you have to explain why, like, why did you flip flop ? Well, because all the tools change, ah , so right. It's, it's this very like time marches on and the tools are gonna progress and we gotta be, be flexible enough to recognize that tools are good for certain things and not for everything. And they will change week to week or month to month . And we shouldn't pretend like any of 'em are silver bullets. As, as Sunil PI says, silver bullets only work on wear Wolf shaped problems. And, and most of our problems aren't wear Wolf shaped.Speaker 2:
Hi everyone. And welcome to developer, explore a podcast by Algolia . We chat with guests who build products for developers about their developer experience, strategy, what it means for them and why it's important. On today's episode, we are going to talk about developer education. It is a wonderful time to become a developer. The demand has never been higher and there's a literal ocean of free and paid content to kickstart a new career in tech. And this fire hose of educational content is a side effect of such a high demand for developers. And it makes it really difficult sometimes to spot actual quality content that's worth investing in . So what makes really great educational content? How do beginner and advanced developers want to learn today? And what does it teach us on communication and reaching clarity? So my guest to discuss this today is Jason Langster. Jason is the VP of developer experience at the neti where he and his team ensure that developers make the most of the platform. But you may also know Jason from his dozens of lessons and workshops on egghead IO , front end masters, and as the host of learn with Jason, his fantastic developer show where he learns new technologies in 90 minutes with experts from the field. Jason, welcome to the show. I'm stoked to have you here.Speaker 1:
I am stoked to be here. Thanks so much for the invite.Speaker 2:
All right . So let's dive in. Jason, can you give us maybe a one minute pitch of what is learn with Jason's full listeners who are not familiar with it?Speaker 1:
Sure. So learn with Jay is a live stream show that runs twice a week on Twitch. And in it, I bring an expert from the community on to teach something and it can range from a new tech tool or a new way of doing something that we've always done, like image optimization or web performance, or it can be something completely off the wall. Like I've learned how to make music or play Minecraft. And this happens in 90 minutes with a live audience and a lot of user interactivity. And I have so much fun just getting a chance to, to meet all these folks from around the community, learn something, live, interact with folks who are, are learning along with me. And yeah, we've, we've been going for multiple years now. We've got hundreds of these episodes at this point, which is pretty wild to say out loud.Speaker 2:
Yeah, absolutely. I've actually browsed a list of the learn with Jason episodes down to the bottom. And I saw, so you have over 200 episodes definitely right now. And the first one aired in September of 2018, if I'm correct. I was about , uh , AWS amplify. So if my math is right, you've been doing this for like, well over three years. So then you have to account that it is a twice a week podcast, not even a podcast, it's a video show where you do life coding. And so, and the show has become quite successful. So I'm assuming like you probably received quite some feedback, probably adjusted the show over the years . So I'm interested in knowing in light of your experience with learn with Jason, what are your key takeaways on how developers like to learn new technologies today?Speaker 1:
I think what I'm seeing is that devs are learning in a variety of ways. And what I'm excited about is it feels like we're able to meet those needs in ways that were really difficult to do even five years ago. Because I think the learning path that I had when I was early dev was very text based . I bought books, I went to forums, I read articles and blog posts. I looked at source code, but there was there wasn't a lot of interactivity. You know, I was in a small town in Montana. There weren't a lot of people doing web dev there. So my learning was pretty much limited to the text I could find online that would teach me things about dev. And that's really not how I learn. I learn in a very hands on way. I like to try it and see it break and then have somebody point at what I did wrong and then, you know , try again. So I think my show is for people who are more tactile and visual learners, people who learn by watching other people do people who learn by trying who watch a video and see something happen and then pause it , try it , them selves , and then hit play again. Once they get it running. That's not for everybody. I know a lot of people struggle with watching video. I've I've seen some people saying like, they wish that there was more written content now because we've seen such a swing to video and, and audio based education. But what I love is that the , the market is there to help devs learn no matter what their processing style is. And I really happy to see that it's gotten so much easier to do live coding or recorded videos on YouTube, or, you know, you can put a podcast up. It's so much more friendly to do any of those things. You don't have to become an expert in that broadcast medium. You can, you can just use a tool that's built for that broadcast medium and get live really fast to answer the question. More succinctly developers are learning in all sorts of ways. And I am very excited that we've seen the industry and the tech around developer education, expand to meet all the different media that people learn through.Speaker 2:
I think this is extremely interesting, especially like when I look your personal website, what I can read is Jason makes learning fun and approachable. And that seems like, oh yeah, well , uh , isn't everybody trying to do that? Well, no, it is actually very different from what it used to be like, yes, this is the vibe that I feel with , with you with , with many great folks like you who are putting like bigger friendly accountant, but not only like some of the learn with Jason episodes are touching on pretty advanced stuff or building affordable courses that are easy to follow, but like, it is a totally different vibe from when I got started in tech and it was over a decade ago and all my coworkers had computer science degrees and they gave me like those really thick books that really did not want to read. And, and you know, I'm not saying that, oh, one is good. And the other is, or that there is a right way and a wrong way. There are different ways. But what is interesting I believe is that we are acknowledging that not everybody comes from the same background. Not everybody has the same learning style. Not everybody can process the information at the same pace and that everybody can be welcome and that it's okay to want to learn , like to have fun learning. It doesn't have to be a chore and your learning is not better or more hardcore because you, you had to learn the hard way. I'd love to know what is your opinion on why the needle shifted. It's so much when it comes to how we ch teach programming and what makes boot camps and online courses. So enticing for people today.Speaker 1:
I mean, part of it is that, you know, especially in the United States, formal education is just so expensive and we've got a lot of issues with you just end up with, with student debt. And that's a big problem for folks. I know it takes decades to pay off your student loans and depending on the school that you go to. And so I think the idea of being able to go to a bootcamp for two to $5,000 as opposed to a college for 50 to $200,000 is especially if what you think you're gonna come out with is equivalent in quality. It's very enticing to say, well, I'm gonna put six weeks or six months or however long into this bootcamp . And I'm really gonna go all in on this. And out the other side, I won't have debt or I won't have as much debt and I'll be ready to get my job right away. College is, you know, a computer science degree is super valuable. Like having the depths of computer science is gonna help you a lot with the nuances of this job. I don't have a computer science degree. And when I work with my colleagues, who do they see different angles of the problems that I'm facing, and they're often able to point to a solution that I just, there's no way I could have known that because they have all the fundamentals that I never got. But I think the , you know, there's, there's the compounding problem too, of it is hard to learn from a book if you're not a book learner. And, you know, I think that that points to some really interesting challenges and, and one of the big things that we wanna learn is the practice of development. I think that when people look at education, they might immediately think, well, what I need to know is what are the commands in this language? What are the algorithms that I will use the formal controls of, of how to operate this, this programming language, but then there's all these other things that, you know, like the art of it and an that I use is why I watch cooking shows on YouTube. I know how to make a cheeseburger or how to make a steak. I can, I fundamentally understand you take a piece of meat and you put it on the grill and you, you know, you wait until it's cooked and then you eat it. Right. But what I don't know is the nuance of the practice. When you watch somebody, who's an expert, do something, they're still gonna do the same thing. They're gonna take the steak , they're gonna put it on the grill. You know, they're gonna flip it. And that's how you make a steak . But what you'll see is when do they season it? Why did they do it the way they did it here? How did they know when it was time to turn it over? What was the secret ingredient they added that really moved things this other way. And, and you pick up these little tips that aren't really the P point of the thing that you're learning. Like you are ostensibly learning this one skill, but what you pick up along the way are all these little habits and these little instincts that experts have that help you make better decisions on your own. And you start to build your own set of instincts and your own set of like, oh, I just know that that's gonna be easier because I've seen happen this way on, you know, when these people did it, you know, I've, I've seen little tips like that in cooking shows that have completely changed the way that I cook. And I've seen things on learn with Jason that were completely unrelated to the thing that I was actually trying to get done that were J it was a little thing that one of the teachers did. And they were like, oh yeah, just this. And I was like, you just blew my mind. Like, you've just saved me 15 minutes a day for the rest of my career, with that one tip that you just showed me. Right. And I think that's part of the, the appeal of these boot camps is you're gonna learn by doing, you're gonna be pair programming with people. You're gonna be in with a teacher and actually building stuff and, and spending a little bit less time on the book smarts and a little bit more on the, the practice. Um, and I think that's really a healing to folks.Speaker 2:
I think you pointed out something which is extremely important is to also accept a variety of learners. Some people love going to school for a lot of time and studying and starting from the very bottom of the problem, even though that's arguable, what, like what, what do you learn first when you learn computer science? What is the very, very first thing? What are the basics? You know, E everybody is always talking about, oh, start with the basics. What are they, what are the basics that you should be starting with depending on whether you're gonna make websites or you're gonna make, I don't know , embedded software, but some people love that. Some people have the freedom to go to school, have the financial and time freedom of going to school, some people, and that might be also different with the situation 10 years ago, 20 years ago. And more, some people , people are switching careers, they are 40, 45 50, and they're trying to figure out what they are going to do with themselves. Not everybody can afford to go back to school. Some people have families , kids, mortgage, whatever, but also I think we have become more sensitive. And that's really to the fact that not everybody learns the same way as in many people who have kids know it right now, like the school system. And I'm , I'm talking about my country, but the school system is a very one way street. Like everybody learns the same way. Like everybody has to eat the same big cake and you should be doing it because everybody do it , uh , in the classroom. But Hey, people have ADHD , not everybody process the information the same way. And I think while I fully fully recognize, it's really important to have someone around you who is really well versed in computer science, but you can learn what you need at the very moment you need it. And I think this is very interesting with PR practical learning is that you will learn what you need at the moment you need it. So it is a fully different way of learning it . It's not a, I'm soaking a lot of information that I will apply. Eventually later I am learning what I need right now to get the job done. And whether we like it or not, that is allowing a lot of people to make a living. And it is allowing a lot of people to get things done.Speaker 1:
And , and I think it happens on a spectrum, right? Because I I've worked with people who think they need all the information before they can start. And I've worked with people who are absolutely uninterested in , in learning anything that's not directly applicable right now. And I found both groups of people frustrating to work with what I really like are people who find the right spot on the gradient, where, you know, they're mostly interested in getting things done because that's what we're all here to do, right? Like we're not here to become the world's biggest, you know, mental map of the programming world, like who , who cares. But what we are here to do is do a good job at the work that we do so that we can make a good living and go live lives that we enjoy. And so practical application is huge there, but there's also this magic of learning for the sake of learning and learning for fun. That is just gathering knowledge for the sake of gathering knowledge. I always caution people against over-indexing on that, but honestly, that's a huge part of what I think has been my success is trying to mostly be practical, but then dedicate time to play. Like, I'm just gonna pull up this new tech and I'm gonna build a new site with it. I'm gonna refactor my personal site using whatever the , the latest like hot framework is just to see how it works and, and see what I like. And that little bit of, of learning for fun helps me make connections that might have been difficult. Had I been only doing practical work based on the , so like the tasks at hand, I'm a big fan of balance. Like mostly learn for practice and, and practical application, but make time for fun and exploration, because that's gonna help you see more of what's available and more of what you could do if you like, you know, look this way or look that way you can self direct your career a little bit more if you've got a better sense of the land game.Speaker 2:
Yes. It makes me think of this , uh , blog post. And I don't remember the title that definitely did not do my homework well from Sarah Rener, who used to be , uh , working with you at NFI a couple months ago. And she wrote this article on CSS tricks on the fact that yes, computer science degree is not necessary, but if you don't have it, then there are things that you will need to make up for. And that's okay. But these things are very important. And I will link to the blog post in the show notes. But I remember that she outlined, for example, the skill of learning to learn, because no matter what is the , the path that you take, the door that you open, that gives you access to the world of tech and gives you access to a career in tech. At some point you will have to learn things and you will have to develop that skill. And that is something that is definitely taught in academia. If you don't take that path, you will have to learn it on your own. And this is still very important. And yes, as you mentioned, curiosity will definitely still be important. At least if you want to be able to do things on your own and to grow your career , it is not only going to be okay. I just learn exactly what I need. And then I move on. Usually you will need to practice over and over. Not to understand not necessarily only what you need to do right now, but why you are doing it. So Jason, you don't only do learn with Jason. It would be a , a , a pretty nice life, but you're also the VP of DX at Nety. So your team makes sure that every developer using the platform can the most of it. And so I believe like you have the documentation team that is also part of the ex , so that speaks volume about what DX means for NFI and how much there is a huge education focus for it. And so I'd love to know how do you apply what you learn from teaching developers, how to, to teaching developers, how to use a commercial platform?Speaker 1:
Yeah, so I mean, a big factor in why I came over to Netlify is that Netlify is a platform for building modern websites, but it doesn't have any opinions on what you use to build them. We're just here to help you get your website out onto the internet. And what I love about that is it means that just about anything we want to learn and want to teach at neti is applicable to users of neti and typically one or two pieces of it will make sense to show on the platform. Um , in a lot of cases, we'll just build a website and we'll use nullify CLI to develop it so that we've got access to say the environment variables or so that we can quickly deploy it. And that helps nullify, but really what we're teaching is how to use , how to build, you know, a site in next or next or remix or angular or whatever the framework is that we're playing with. Or we can use any number of database solutions and we'll show you how to plug those into a serverless function, which is a feature net I offers and how to get that up on the internet. And to us, it's really fun because it just, it makes the sandbox huge, like where we can play what we can teach, because so much of what's in my modern web, the stuff that we're really interested in learning and that what we're seeing teams get really excited about, it's just easier to build and deploy on nullify than it would be if we had to stand up our own deployment processes and figure out dock containers and how to provision whatever server environment, like we can do that. But that always held me back from writing a lot of articles because I'd want to build this thing. And I was like, well, I don't wanna leave somebody with just a development box. I wanna show 'em how to deploy it. And then I wouldn't finish the article because I was like, oh , okay. So now you gotta go to AWS and you gotta , here's how to provision an elastic search instance . And then you gotta do this thing, and then you gotta do . And suddenly you're like 3000 words of deployment stuff that really wasn't the point of the article. And it , it just makes it, I don't know, it was just less fun to write, whereas as with a platform like nullify , and again, you know , this is why I chose neti as a place to work. I'm like, oh, I can deploy very fast. So I don't have to, like, my deployment part is, get commit , get push, and then like nullify in it. Oh, it's live right. And, and feels really good because now I can write all those articles and get ambitious without having to add the, the 4,000 words of how to deploy this at the end. Um, and you know, so, so a lot of what we're looking at is how do we make developers' lives easier? That is the core value prop of the platform that we put out there with net we're very big on workflow and convenience. And so when we're thinking of things to teach, we're, you know, we tie it back to that value. Is this gonna make a developer's life easier? Is this gonna help them build more powerful web apps? Is this gonna help them do things in a way that's easier for them to collaborate with their team? Is it easier for them to iterate? Is it year for them to recover from something that goes wrong? And if the answer is yes, then we just build that thing on Nety and that becomes the source of, of education. So it , it makes it really fun because, you know, we , it , it can flex everything from like I've refactored learn with Jason to be on remix as you're well aware because you helped me build that amazing command bar experience of putting Algolia on it. And that was a learning experience that turned into content that was useful to Nety . So basically, because I wanted to learn this thing , I was able to repurpose that, that effort into content full or nullify . And I think, you know, the , the , my hope is that if somebody who's going into developer education is gonna go to a company where they feel that way about the tool that they're gonna be teaching. If you're excited about the ways you can use it, and you, you see ways to connect the tool that you're gonna be teaching to the people you're gonna be teaching it to based on the valued to them, then you're gonna have engaging content. You're gonna have fun doing it. People are gonna get a lot of value and they're gonna feel like they had a great time. If you're looking at the thing you're supposed to teach and going, Ugh , I wish I didn't have to teach that it's probably not the right place for you, right? Like you wanna find somewhere where you're excited to teach. And I , and I think, you know, that's also like if you're running a company and you can't think about out how to connect your product, to making developers more effective, happier, stronger, you know, more productive, whatever the thing is, then you probably need to spend some time thinking about your core value prop. Like, why would somebody use your service before you focus on developer education? Because it's such a fundamental part of being able to authentically create useful content.Speaker 2:
It is really inspiring and thought provoking how neti and probably pioneered it and maybe I'm wrong and maybe other companies did it before. But with that kind of impact, I think neti really democratized this idea of we're not just providing a service. We're also teaching you how to build better things, using our service and other things. That's not something you saw in many, in , in many tech companies or tech services before Netlify came along. And I think, or maybe even Stripe or, or companies like that. And I think many newer tech companies picked on that. I recorded an episode with , uh , Adam from tailwind labs a couple weeks ago. And that was something we touched on, like when you are on the tailwind documentation and not only consuming tailwind content, it is not only teaching you how to use tailwind. It is teaching you how to build UI , how to build UI for the web it , and you might even learn CSS through tailwind. And this is really, really powerful because it is elevating the why of what you're doing. And not only the what, yes, sure. You could be saying, Hey , you know, that's not net's job to teach people how to use next JS or , or I don't know, Gadsby or whatever. J but by doing so, you are creating comfort. You are creating excitement for people who are trying to get things done. And there are so many things to do. Like if you wanna do an app today, if you want to do a website, there are so many things to think about to make sure that what you have is really topnotch production, ready , enterprise, ready, whatever that you are making a lot of people's lives easier. If you realize that, yes. If you are able to fulfill the why by doing a little bit extra work, that's going to make people excited about using your tool specifically, because now it's a no brainer then I think you definitely win.Speaker 1:
Yeah. I, I think that's, yeah . I mean, you put that really well.Speaker 2:
So is there any mistake you see tech companies do when it comes to teaching their products, something where you're like, there might be something that you need to change, and I'm not speaking about a specific tech company, but some practices or some ways of teaching where you're like, I wish it could be done differently.Speaker 1:
I think one of the things that is, is probably the most challenging is the , uh, the dogmatism that you see where people say, you know, this stack is the only good stack. Like this approach is the only good approach. And I'm gonna spend a lot of effort talking about why all the other approaches are trash. And what I'm finding is that every time I see somebody do that, if they've been in the game long enough, you can go back a few years and you can find them usually trashing the thing that they're telling everybody to do right now, because the web evolves, you know , what, what made sense in, you know, 2002, when we were writing J Qury code and, and all , you know, the , the way that we made apps back then it made sense that the way that we built things with J Qury was great when in that era, and then later people were like, oh, don't use J Qury . J qu is terrible. No, it's not J Cory's great. But the tooling evolved. There are additional tools. And , and now J Qury is not a one size fits all . Like it had to be when it first came out and there was nothing else to, to work with. And I think we see the same thing with people will say like, oh, you should never use this tool or never use that tool, but the tooling's gonna evolve. A thing that we think is not useful today. I can almost promise that all of these technologies will , will evolve and they will improve. And somebody's gonna find some breakthrough to make it, you know, easier to work with or solve some major shortcoming that it had three years ago. And, and then you're gonna have to like, okay, is it my identity to hate that tech, because that's what I've been doing for a long time, or am I gonna have to like, go back on all these things that I said about why they tech was terrible because it made big changes. And so what I love instead is, is more pragmatism. Like I am so excited about so many different pieces of tech, and I would use them for certain applications. And I wouldn't use them for other applications because they were built to solve different problems. I love 11 for a lot of reasons because it's, it's simple and it's elegant and it gets out of the way. And I don't have to think very much about what the abstraction is doing. And I love remix because remix is doing like a really nice, like combination of the platform and, and light abstractions over the platform and good, but I wouldn't use remix to build like a one page marketing app. It's a , it's a , it's not the right application. I wouldn't use 11 to try to build an app dashboard, like they're different tools for different purposes. And so embracing that and saying that the tools we have are good for the use cases, we built them for. I don't care. Like if you hit an edge case, that's not good for, for nullify. I'm not gonna try to like bend and nullify to fit your needs because that's that doesn't do anybody a good service. If I convince a customer to come over to Netlify and it's just a bad match for them, we're gonna lose a customer. We're gonna burn good. Will they're gonna burn a bunch of time. They're gonna think that we like, that's not how this should work. And I never wanna have to back away from something later. Like, you know, we're, we're talking about the evolution of the JAMstack. The jam stack has always been a tool. It's a great default architecture for building websites. It's not the only way to build websites. There's a lot of things you can do. In addition to it that extend the JAMstack or sit on top of the JAMstack or know , replace the jam stack entirely. You know, remix is a good example of that. It's, it's an evolution on the similar ideas, but taking advantage of things like edge functions and stuff like that. So there are great ways to do the same things and will always see those evolve over time. So being dogmatic about tools is just a , you know, to me, it's a , it , it's a shortcut to having somebody say, but wait, you're saying this now two years ago, you said the exact opposite. And then you have to explain why, like, why did you flip flop ? Well, because all the tools change, ah , so right. It's, it's this very like time marches on and the tools are gonna progress and we gotta be flexible enough to recognize that tools are good for certain things and not for everyth. And they will change week to week or month to month . And we shouldn't pretend like any of 'em are silver bullets. As, as Sunil PI says, silver bullets only work on wear Wolf shaped problems. And, and most of our problems aren't wear Wolf shaped.Speaker 2:
That's a really good one. There are more tech block posts and podcasts and videos and courses that anyone could ever consume in many lifetimes. And I'm pretty happy that I have my experience that I , I don't have to get started today because I think I could be really overwhelmed. How do you assess yourself quality content? What for you makes truly great and educational contents?Speaker 1:
Ooh , that is a great question. The biggest thing that I'm looking for is somebody who shows me very quickly, that they're invested in the people using the content. There's a , a certain brand of, of education I've seen out there that is a little more built around moving people to your point of view, instead of connecting people to solutions, to their problems. And so if , if I'm reading something and I start to smell that they're, they're pushing me towards something, instead of just showing me a path to a solution, it starts to, I'm like, Hmm , this is probably not the post for me. So instead I'm looking for somebody who seems genuinely invested in, in saying like, what I , what I'll end up doing is I just Google the problem I have, I need to connect this tool to that tool for this type of app. Usually you can find somebody who wrote that article and they'll say like, yeah, how I connected X to Y and it on whatever platform and you can follow through and see what they did. And you can tell pretty quickly that they are either invested in teaching you something or invested in, in driving their point of view for absolute beginners. I think it's a little bit harder because you don't always have the, that instinct about whether somebody is selling you something or showing you a solution. So part of it, I think is just diversify your sources, make sure that you're learning from a , a variety of teachers and start to see where it doesn't feel like things match up or where somebody's feeling really absolutist about something beyond the lookout for that dogmatism. If you see somebody who's saying like, this is the only way you should absolutely do it like this, that tends to be more for the engagement. It's kind of engagement, baby . When you're saying like, all other things are terrible, cuz you're trying to start the debate. Right? And so I'm looking for people who, the content they're doing. I like , uh , a really good example of this is there's a teacher named Leon. He does a, a live stream as part of it's called 100 devs, I think. And it's , uh , it's called learn with Leon and he is effectively live streaming a bootcamp for beginners. And what I love about it is that he's not opinionated. He's just showing people how to do stuff and he's giving them exercises and giving them a , a hashtag that they can get on Twitter and share their work and people can see what they're building and you can. And I mean, I I've seen Leon's work around a whole bunch of places like he's part of , uh , resilient coders as well. And, and you can just tell through his body of work, Leon is super invested in the success of the people he's teaching and you can feel that in the work. And you can feel that when you look at some of the other teachers in the space too. So for beginners, I would, I mean, first I ask around , ask the people who are like one, two years into their careers whose content really helped you and, and lean on a network of people who have like read a lot of this content to get a , a better sense of things and also trust your gut. If something feels weird, it's probably weird,Speaker 2:
Right? Absolutely. I like what you said about goals and making sure that you are investing in people who invest in helping you like reach your goals. There's something I learned a while ago regarding creating content, especially educational content is that you don't sell people a product or a course, you sell them the person they will become after they take it. You sell them the better version of themselves. And I think like , and that's actually something that you can apply for people who want to make courses and people who want to buy a course and want to understand whether it's going to be like worth their time and money. I'm going to give you a really example of this for me, epic react by Ken C do so if you've ever done any react, you probably know that Kent is a pretty big character in the whole ecosystem. And so when you go on the website of epic react, the tagline is get really good at react. So it's not to learn, react or yeah. Build something with react, it get really good at react. And so that, that PO that positioning makes it really tangible for people because it focuses on the deeper goals . Yes, you may want to learn, react, and maybe that's what you think, but deeper, you may be hoping to finally understand, react or get really good at react or land your first job as a react developer. And I think both for people making things and for people consuming things, going for content that are really concrete about what you will be able to do after you take that course is usually a good sign. Ultimately, you are spending time, you're spending money. So you need to have clear goals of what it will help you achieve. It's never going to be a guarantee obviously, and there is a lot of work that needs to come from you, but I tend to personally go for those kinds of courses because I think it avoids having content that casts a way to wide net and tries to, you know, teach you everything. Like if there was, if there had to be learn , course, it would probably need to be they and days of content. And ultimately that's what the react documentation is doing. And same for the view documentation. What is really interesting when you focus on something and you, you focus on a goal, lend your first job as a react developer is that you will learn things. And at some point you will hit the limits of what you learn of what you know, and you will want to dig deeper and you will , oh, maybe I need to understand what, how the state management of react works or how reactivity works. But by starting with a very clear goal, then you allow yourself, you're basically putting more coins for you to be able to learn more later. So we are arriving at , uh , the, the end of the show. And I'm going to ask you the traditional question before we , we wrap up, how do you define great DX and what is your personal level of expectations atSpeaker 1:
The end of the day? Great developer experience is using tools that feel like they're not there. I think that what we all want to do is we have an idea in our head or we have something that we've been hired to solve, and we want to get to that end state as fast as we can. And every time that I'm trying to build something, I find myself tripping over an error that I don't understand, or I'm, you know, wrestling with my tool to get it, to actually run on my computer or I'm reading documentation and it's it's incomplete or missing something. I'm no longer trying to get to my solution. I'm trying to clear roadblocks in front of my solution. And though are frustrating. Those are things that keep me from doing the thing that I want to do. They keep me from getting into a flow state and, and being able to do great work. And I think that extends all the way through to like collaboration and deployment. I want to be able to, you know, work on this idea and then to get feedback, I don't want have to open an email and send it to somebody and wait for them to take screenshots and put it in a word doc and, you know, do whatever it is that people do when they don't have good feedback tools. I want them to just like give me feedback. And I want to get that feedback where I'm already working and then I want to push the changes. And when they're done, I want those changes to just go live. I want the thing to be out into the world. And so developer experience to me is letting us as close to the goal and as , and making us manage as, as few of the things that make that goal possible. Like the boiler plate, the DevOps , the, you know, the feedback, workflows, all those things. Those should just be done for you. Like they don't change very much. Websites are all effectively the same with the way that they're being hosted. So we don't like, unless, you know, oh, you need to care. You probably don't need to care about those implementation details. So when you get stuck in 'em , it's really a bummer. I want it to take the laziest version of myself and make that dev successful. If I take every single shortcut, I don't change the defaults. I don't go and read the docs. I just like Intuit my way through this tool . I'm gonna get the best outcome. Instead of the example, outcome that needs a bunch of performance tuning or whatever that thing is. Um, to me, that's a really good developer experience is that you can lazy your way to a great outcome and spend all of your time focused on the, the solution and not the , the periphery of that solution.Speaker 2:
Fully agree. Great tools are the ones that make users look good and know when to disappear. Where can people go to find you online? Jason,Speaker 1:
I spend a lot of my time on Twitch. You can find information about firstname.lastname@example.org . I'm also , uh, extremely online on Twitter. So you can find me , uh , twitter.com/j Langor. And if you want more information, I have blogs and other links and things that I've email@example.comSpeaker 2:
Amazing. You can find me on front stuff on the score IO on Twitter, and you can find my firstname.lastname@example.org . If you want to learn more about Algolia , you can go to algolia.com and we are at Algolia on Twitter. Jason, thank you so much for chatting with me today. I know you have a very tight, very busy schedule, so I really appreciate it. I hope can have you again, many, many, many other times, listeners. I hope you enjoy this one and I hope you learn new things. Thanks a lot for following developer experience and stay tuned for the next episode. This was developer experience, a podcast brought to you by Algolia . You can find podcast on your favorite podcast platform. We are on Spotify, apple podcast, Google podcast, Pandora, overcast, everywhere. If you want to know more about Algolia check us out on algolia.com and we are at Algolia on Twitter.