Some Time Has Passed

I realized today that some time has passed since my last post. I don’t think I can go into great detail about what I’ve been doing in that time, but there has been a fair amount of new knowledge gained.

Working That Back Side

The most notable change in direction has been working with Node, Express, and MongoDB. I charged right through the FreeCodeCamp API Microservice projects and I’ve completed one of the full stack projects as well. Adding React into the mix was an interesting challenge, and I’ve still got a lot to learn in that regard.

One thing that I’ve found interesting in this part of the stack is how different the approach to problem solving is. For nearly any task I wish to accomplish on the back end, someone has created a library. This is not so dissimilar to the React ecosystem, but it does seem to take it to a whole new level. This has led me to a number of internal conflicts; am I wasting an opportunity to learn more by including these libraries, or would I be wasting time reinventing the wheel, so to speak, by trying to achieve on my own what these libraries are already capable of achieving?

Most talk of React and JavaScript fatigue come down to the ecosystem. To use React you need compilers, bundlers, this thingy and that thingy, and to learn React is to learn Webpack and Babel at the minimum, but more likely with Redux, react-redux, react-router-dom added in depending on the scope and complexity of your app. This is precisely how the back end feels. Sure, you can do most of it with just Node, but Express makes it so much easier. MongoDB is pretty straight forward, but why not use schemas with Mongoose? Sure, you can build your own authentication system, but Passport already has that covered. OAuth1, OAuth2, use existing social media credentials, more choices than you can imagine. At some point the sheer enormity of new libraries becomes a burden and I’ve found myself facing the fatigue that I never did experience with learning React.

So A Pause For The Cause

I took about a week off, writing no code and not really even thinking about it. Yesterday, I opened my Atom text editor for the first time in many days, feeling somewhat renewed and excited to tackle some new challenges. Today, I’m force-feeding some React into Electron, making my first desktop app. Don’t feel bad for Electron, I think it likes it.

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