How to Get Started with Technical Writing

    First Published: February 23rd, 2021

    Whether you’re doing dev rel as a full time job or just building your career, writing is going to come up a lot: CFPs for conferences, blog articles, even your bio. Some of these are technical, some of them are actually sales copy (CFPs are a form of marketing yourself 🤯). Heck, even tweets are a form of writing. We’ll start with a great format to get you writing quickly, then we’ll talk about…

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    Avoiding the Shiny Chase: How to Maintain Focus

    First Published: February 8th, 2021

    A few readers of Developer Microskills have written in and asked me about focus. They've asked questions like: Once you've picked something, how do you keep yourself from jumping to the next thing? How do you juggle projects that seem to have equal priority? How do you stay focused on the work that matters and not chase around the next shiny feature or topic? There are a lot of ways to slice the…

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    How and Why to Reduce Your Scope

    First Published: January 15th, 2021

    One of the steps of the Tiny Experiments framework is Reducing Your Scope 🔬. Once you Just Pick Something 🎯 you want to work on, whether it's a blog article, a new language to learn, or a health goal, you need to trim the dream down into an MVP you can deliver. Today I want to dive a little deeper into how to do this and why it's so important. Why Reducing Scope Works When I was in high school…

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    Document Everything: The Secret to Measuring Progress

    First Published: December 18th, 2020

    Do you ever feel totally lost? Do you ever feel unsure if you're making any progress? You're slogging along in your day job, or grinding away learning to code in the evenings, or putting in work on a side business, and you just have no idea if you're moving the needle towards any of your goals. This doesn't have to be work related, either. Maybe you're trying to lose weight or pay down debt and…

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    How to Ask for Feedback

    First Published: December 9th, 2020

    One of the readers of my Developer Microskills newsletter sent me this request: One thing you wrote was “Ask for help and get feedback sooner than you think you need it.” I would love to read your thoughts about HOW to do this. This is a great question and “asking for feedback” is a perfect example of a microskill. Why Asking for Feedback Fails Most of the time, our experience with feedback goes…

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    Seamlessly Switch Project Contexts with Keyboard Maestro

    First Published: October 22nd, 2020

    Switching project contexts causes needless friction and opportunities for distraction as we try to pull up related tabs and applications. I learned a trick from David Sparks on how to use the Mac automation software Keyboard Maestro to create palettes of shortcuts grouped by context. I already love Keyboard Maestro and use it to automate my screencasting workflow . I have palettes set up for…

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    Leveling Up Your Developer Career with Ambassadors Programs

    First Published: October 19th, 2020

    I'm actively developing this article and my list of ambassadors programs. If you've got a program you'd like me to add to this list, feel free to send me a PR for review. Whether you're looking to grow your developer career through writing and speaking or trying to become a developer advocate, ambassadors programs can be fantastic tools. Ambassadors programs are "extended dev rel teams" for SaaS…

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    Getting Started in Developer Relations Book Resources

    First Published: September 16th, 2020

    Hey there! Thanks for reading Getting Started in Developer Relations . I really hope you find it helpful. Rather than trying to keep an appendix in the book up to date, I've decided to make this supplementary page. That way I can add to it or update it whenever I need to and you'll always have the most recent version. Books 📕 The Business Value of Developer Relations by Mary Thengvall The…

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    Securing Your GraphQL Backend with JWTs: Talk Resources

    First Published: August 20th, 2020

    Thanks for checking out my talk "Becoming a Secret Agent: Securing Your GraphQL APIs with JWTs." I hope you found it helpful! You can find the most recent version of the slides up on Speakerdeck here . Here's the recording of the version of this talk I gave at GraphQL Asia 2020 : I've also got a fullstack example of this using Apollo and Auth0 you can check out, too: Habit Tracker: Apollo…

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    Building a Learning System to Stay Sharp as a Developer Advocate

    First Published: July 31st, 2020

    It's no secret that dulling or even losing your production development skills is perhaps the biggest risk of moving from a developer job to developer relations (abbreviated as dev rel , sometimes called developer advocacy or evangelism ). As I wrote in Managing Time as a Developer Advocate , dev rel requires sharpening many skills outside of coding: public speaking, writing, video production…

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    Navigate Between Routes in Angular with routerLink

    First Published: June 22nd, 2020

    Once routing is set up, we can add a new route by adding a new component and adding a path to our routes array in app.module.ts . But how do we navigate between the two routes? In this lesson of Angular Basics, I'll show you how to use routerLink to switch between the routes without causing the page to refresh. Here's the video lesson: Add a New Component with the Angular CLI To create a new…

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    How to Add Routing to an Existing Angular Project

    First Published: May 29th, 2020

    When we first create an Angular app with the Angular CLI using ng new , it gives us an option to add routing. Sometimes we don't know whether we want to add routing yet, so we say no. What do we do, though, if we decide to add routing later? There's no separate CLI command to set up the routing for you. In this lesson, I'll show you how to manually add routing to your Angular application. If you…

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    Managing Time as a Developer Advocate (Without Losing Your Mind)

    First Published: May 22nd, 2020

    I moved from regular full stack web development (C# and JavaScript, mostly Angular) to the world of content, developer relations, and developer advocacy in August 2018 when I joined Auth0 . It's a lot of fun, but no one tells you just how much stuff there is to do. At any given time, I could be: Writing a blog post Answering questions on Twitter, Slack, Discord, or various Discourse forums…

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    Use a Proxy with the Angular CLI to Fix CORS Development Problems

    First Published: May 12th, 2020

    This week in the Angular Basics egghead collection , we're talking about proxying local servers for development. This was something that really baffled me when I was first getting started as a developer, so I'm excited to share it with you. When we first try to use a local server for our data in development, we get a rude error in the console and nothing works. What is that and why are we getting…

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    Automating Screencasting with Keyboard Maestro

    First Published: November 8th, 2019

    When I was recording the videos for Upgrading AngularJS , I was using a Windows 10 laptop. Every time I wanted to shoot a video, I had to remember to hide the taskbar, hide my other windows, open up my editor and browser, and probably other things I'm forgetting. It was really tedious. When I switched to Mac when joining Auth0, I started researching how to automate different pieces of my writing…

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    Speaker Stuff No One Tells You About: Applying to Conferences

    First Published: July 3rd, 2019

    I hate “hand-waving” in technical articles. You know what I’m talking about. You try to learn how to build a prototype with a new framework, or use a new feature of a language, or set up the latest and greatest build system, and the tutorial says this: Do a couple of trivial things. ??? (“This is out of the scope of this tutorial…”) BAM finished! That drives me NUTS! The whole reason I’m on your…

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    10 Life, Money, and Business Lessons from James Altucher

    First Published: November 3rd, 2017

    Over the last few months, I've been burning through a lot of material by James Altucher, including two of his books , his Altucher Report newsletter , many of his special reports, and numerous episodes of his excellent podcast . The guy puts out an insane amount of content on a daily basis. James is by and large a pretty likeable guy. He's really big on vulnerability; in fact, I first heard of…

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    13 Lessons I've Learned about Starting a Business from Ramit Sethi

    First Published: October 20th, 2017

    My friend Justin recently asked me about my experiences with Ramit Sethi and his courses. I was already planning on writing up an article about this stuff, but now I owe it to him to follow through on it. I've been following Ramit Sethi for six years, beginning with reading his book I Will Teach You to Be Rich in 2011. It was targeted at young, single people, but since I was working in…

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    I've stopped caring about finding my purpose.

    First Published: August 17th, 2017

    I don't care anymore about finding my purpose, finding "my passion." I don't think there is one monolithic "life work" I'm supposed to accomplish. Instead, I've shifted my focus to building side projects and businesses. Each of these side projects will help people in some different way by providing a service they need. It might be freelance work, video courses and screencasts, or writing a book…

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    The Painfully Shy Developer's Guide to Networking for a Better Job (Without Being Creepy)

    First Published: July 7th, 2017

    Look, I get it. A bunch of web developers, recruiters, and vendors standing around in a room eating pizza or drinking beer and making small talk might sound like complete and utter death for you. There may be a million things you'd rather be doing. "Uhh, don't I have a dentist appointment that day? At least then I won't have to talk." I get it. I'm an introvert, too. I get drained by being around…

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    Audio: My Found Connection Between Physical & Mental Health

    First Published: March 12th, 2017

    Note from Present Day Sam: While the things I talked about in this recording in 2017 really were transformative for me, I feel like I didn't do a good job of acknowledging that addressing deep depression needs the guidance of a doctor and often medication. You should know that even at the time of this recording I had seen many doctors and used many medications in my life, so please never interpret…

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    Run JavaScript on Cheap IoT Boards with Flasher.js

    First Published: February 8th, 2017

    Last year, I did a couple of posts and several talks on IoT and functional reactive programming, and I always demo'd my little Arduino photoresistor theremin as a good example of how they work together. Up until now, all of my work on IoTReX has been using johnny-five , which sets up a client-host relationship between the computer running JavaScript and the device running the Firmata firmware…

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    Lessons in Rewilding from a Wilderness Immersion Program

    First Published: December 17th, 2016

    In September, I started a nine month wilderness immersion program to learn more about bushcraft and living outdoors. Once a month, I go camping with about twenty-four other people on a property an hour outside of Portland. The culmination of the program is a week long trip in May where we only bring things we've made or traded for, nothing purchased. My original plan was to write about every month…

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    Read Analog Data Wirelessly with the Feather HUZZAH and Johnny-Five

    First Published: May 10th, 2016

    Want to get into IoT development but not sure how? Got a shiny new Adafruit Feather HUZZAH with the amazing ESP8266 chip? Want to control it with JavaScript? Well, thanks to the fine folks on the Firmata team, now you can. I got my Feather HUZZAH from the kind people at Losant in one of their builder kits and got inspired to try to re-purpose their temperature sensor circuit with the stack I…

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    IoTReX: Developing a New Platform for Hardware with Observables

    First Published: March 24th, 2016

    Some of my neighbors keep plastic dinosaurs on display in their yard (because Portland). I was starting to type out a title for this and realized that with the combination of IoT and RxJS it would just be irresponsible of me not to title it IoTReX. Plus, look at that symmetry, it's beautiful. Back in January , I wrote that I realized reactive programming would pair really well with IoT when I…

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    Turns out mid-January is the perfect time to learn survival skills.

    First Published: January 18th, 2016

    So I've been pretty busy since I posted my Crafting Manifesto a couple of weeks ago. I made a few more lights blink on my Arduino, this time in relation to temperature changes. The Makey Makey kit arrived and I started tinkering with it and seeing how I can make music with it. I took the safety orientation at ADX and got to use a chop saw and a table saw. Oh, and I started blacksmithing, and man…

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    Sam Julien © 2015 - Present