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Software Developers Journey Podcast

#76 Wes Bos was born a teacher

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Wes Bos 0:00
So I did like an entire WordPress one day course with all these people who are really excited to learn WordPress. And that was really fun. And people said, like, wow, like, I really liked the way you teach, like you explain things. So simply. And I thought, like, oh, like, I have no idea how to teach properly. I just know how it makes sense in my head. And I'm just saying that.

Tim Bourguignon 0:28
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey. The podcast shining a light on developers lives from all over the world. My name is Tim Bourguignon, and today, I receive West boss. Wes is a full stack developer from Canada. He creates web development courses on CSS and JavaScript, and hosts a podcast called syntax.fm. Wes, welcome to dev journey.

Wes Bos 0:52
Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Tim Bourguignon 0:54
So let's roll back all the way to the beginning. When did your journey into software development begin in the first place?

Wes Bos 1:01
Oh, a long time ago, when I was, I don't know, maybe grade five or so. I was just kind of putzing around on the internet trying to learn how to make websites. I created a website for the PlayStation two, which was let me look it up. Station two released a came out March 4 2000. So I've been creating websites for probably 2020 years now. And I made this little website about PlayStation and I kind of liked it. And I made my own little website with HTML and frames for just like pictures of friends and I. And I always kind of had an interest in that. But it wasn't until like, I got into high school and MySpace started coming out in MySpace was a huge social media network. And the kind of cool thing about MySpace is that you could skin your profile by pasting CSS into the like bio input line, like you could just go in and dump some CSS in there, you could go grab a bunch of these pre made themes, it was pretty cool. So I started like learning a lot more about CSS and how all of that worked and, and how I could tweak it and change colors and adjust padding and swap out background images, things like that. And I really started to like it. And sort of at the same time, I was also like really enjoying graphic design, and designing CDR, I did a lot of T shirts, and it was all within the Canadian hardcore scene, which is like, like, just like bands that come and play hardcore music. So we I started like, kind of get involved with all these bands. And they would ask me to build my spaces for them, they would ask me design CDR t shirts, things like that. And then as my space started to fade away or as as they also wanted websites, we they asked me to come build them like just legitimate website so that MySpace love it sort of cut my teeth on on HTML and CSS. And then I was able to take it a step further and just start building out about websites. At that time, I had gotten into university, I went into Information Technology Management, it's a program it's not no sorry. It's now called Business Technology Management. And it's a it's a business degree focus on like management of large technology corporations and focusing on things like telecom and IP addresses and systems and building out large systems within companies. And it wasn't a coding class. So I had taught myself to code and all through university while I was doing this business degree, I was just building websites teaching myself more and more and just taking on like paid freelancing work. And it came time to to graduate. All through school, I did these like co ops where you go into different businesses and work for them. And I had decided I didn't like any of the coops. So I tried to let them Co Op for myself. So I like kind of hired myself and I just went off on my own and ran my own business, which is pretty cool. I got like $3,000 from the Canadian government and I bought a laptop with that money. I made some business cards. By that time, I had been really involved in Twitter in the in the Toronto tech scene. So I had met a whole bunch of people and I had been teaching myself WordPress for a couple years as well. So I was sort of just set up I had like the skill of WordPress that I was learning. I had all these clients from there used to be in hardcore bands or they're part of the Toronto tech scene. I had all these people that knew I built websites and I kind of like just took it from there. And said, like, you know what, I'm gonna do this. And then I did the co op, I kind of just like, just got through the rest of school, I had a year left of school and I was like, I'm so sick of this, I'm just gonna, just gonna pass my marks were not amazing. Like I didn't like just like, flunk through it, I still had to get decent marks. But I knew at that point, I'm like, I'm so over everything they're teaching me in, in this fourth year. And like, I had learned a lot about business and marketing and things like that. And I finance as well and appreciative of that, but I was just like, so gung ho is like, I'm gonna run my own company. And I'm going to make websites and I'm going to design things, and it's going to be awesome. And, and that's what I did. And probably that was, I don't know, maybe eight years, 10 years ago, that that that happened. And I had just been a freelancer for probably six or seven of those just building stuff for people. And so that's like, pretty much my whole coding journey. And then I have this other part of my life that is teaching people to code. So as I was a freelancer, I was always in love with like, just like blogging and doing these YouTube videos. So I was very early on in, not in blogging, I saw a lot of people like smashing mag and CSS tricks and code drops, and all these big blogging publications just blowing up building tutorials online. And I had tried a bunch of those, and they did pretty well. And I also had done a bunch of YouTube videos. And by kind of putting myself out there and writing these blog posts, I got noticed by the sort of upstart in Toronto called ladies learning code, where it's, like a weekend one day thing for women to learn technology skills, and they had brought me on for learning how to do WordPress. So I did like an entire WordPress one day course with all these people who are really excited to learn WordPress. And that was really fun. And people said, like, wow, like, I really liked the way you teach, like, you explain things. So simply. And I thought, like, oh, like, I have no idea how to teach properly. I just know how it makes sense in my head. And I'm just saying that. And that was like a huge thing for me, because like, I was like, oh, man, like, maybe I can, like do this more. And I started doing more and more. And then that turned into they, they had an offshoot of this thing called hacker u, which is like a boot camp. And we did night classes, and a boot camp and, and part time classes and all this stuff. And I built all the curriculum for those initial ones as well. And all this time, I was like kind of freelancing, I was doing these things. And I was trying to write blog posts as well. And then I just had these a couple blog posts on Sublime Text. And they blew up like getting tons and tons of traffic, way more than I had ever seen to any of my blog posts. And I thought like, I hit a nerve here. So I took that and I said, Hey, I'm writing a book on Sublime Text, and a whole bunch of people sign up for it. And then over the next year, I wrote a book on how to use Sublime Text, as well as a couple videos that came along with it for like, kind of a bonus thing. And turns out, I really liked doing the videos. So I sort of took my whole teaching skill and shifted into somebody who, obviously, I've been doing YouTube for a while, but I sort of just double down and started to make these free and paid web development courses. And that's been the last, I don't know, five years of my life is just creating web development courses. I've got some on grid and Flexbox, and a bunch on react and JavaScript and node and things like that. And that's how I make my living now as I sell these online web development courses, and it's really cool, because I get to teach people how to code and how to level up their skills and how to get better jobs. And it's pretty neat.

Tim Bourguignon 8:53
Awesome. That's really cool. Yeah, a bunch of things. So, yeah, let's go back a little.

Wes Bos 9:02
None of that was planned, either like that, if anyone's listening, like, that was just constant course correction, of like, Oh, this is working, this is working, this is working and being able to, like, just kind of follow follow your nose as to what's working and what's not.

Tim Bourguignon 9:18
Allow me to to go back to the beginning. It sounds as if you were and the, if you had the entrepreneur mindset from the very beginning, I'm already trying to to do stuff with whatever you have and try to, to make a living out of it. But the Create and and, and, yeah, be an entrepreneur. Yeah. Um, what was your idea into going into this, this curriculum at university, which sounds way formal, way more formal, way more enterprising, if I understood well,

Wes Bos 9:50
yeah, yeah, it is. It was very enterprising. Almost everybody who graduated from our program, either goes to work for a big bank, they become consultants. For like Deloitte or Price Waterhouse, Cooper, like companies like that. And for me, it was really just taking a look at, it was very enterprise II. And that was okay. So like going into it. I just like loved computers my entire life. And I didn't, I didn't really realize that like working for myself would be a thing. Like I always, like, I looked at these huge companies, I remember just like walking downtown and seeing these office buildings that just sprawled into the sky. And I was like, oh, man, like, wouldn't it be cool to work there and like, be able to, like, have a wicked office and, and to work on computers all day. And like, that was cool, but, and then that's kind of what I wanted. But I did always have this entrepreneurial mindset, I've got tons of stories about being the kid who picks pears and sells them on the side of the road, or we sold chocolates when I was in school, and I like think I made like, $40, I sold like 20 boxes of, of like, I sold hundreds of these little boxes of chocolates. And I always had that bug, but I also just really liked the idea of working for a big company. And then by doing those co Ops, which is like a six month placement in these different companies, I realize like, I hate working in companies and like, I hate working for these big, huge companies with this old outdated tech and nothing moves fast enough. And it's not really interesting to me and, and also like, I'm like, I'm making like some good cash, just building these websites on the side. Like, why don't I just keep doing that?

Tim Bourguignon 11:39
Make sense? Yeah. How did you did you stick to your studies for it was for five years. While not enjoying it so much.

Wes Bos 11:50
Um, I, I liked it. Like the finance stuff was interesting. To me, it was hard. The like, projects of like, we had a lot of like communication classes, which I thought were pretty cool. And I probably am very good at writing emails and communicating things to people and change management. So like, it was all interesting to me and to how it works. And a lot of it was just centered around big business. So I liked it. It was just at the end where I was just like, I was kind of like ready to move to the next step, which was like building my own. Like I was engaged. And I was ready to like, just start my life and like start building like, I just had no time to build websites. And I wanted to build websites all day long. So that's why I was checked out and ready to do it.

Tim Bourguignon 12:43
You said yeah, your your list of phone of customers already. And when you exited University, you are ready to go. Those customers were the ones you you gathered through the years and always the same. Are you getting? Or were you getting at that time new customers already? And how?

Wes Bos 13:00
Yeah, so I was on Twitter very early on. So Twitter was a much different place like 10 years ago. And it was very much entrepreneurs and techies who were excited about this thing where you could tweet at people and there was no politics. There was not hundreds of people, there was no like, I remember Leo Laporte, who's like the the this week in tech podcaster, he had the most followers 10,000. And he was the top of the like Twitter charts, right? Like it was very, very early days. And because of that we had these things called like tweet apps where you'd like go for beers with random people on Twitter. And that was really exciting. And you just I just met, like so many people who were starting up companies, and they're all very well connected. So once you build two or three really good websites, you get a reputation for someone who is reliable, and can get the job done. And that's extremely hard to find in somebody who's a freelancer. So like, once it's, it's same with any trade, anyone who has a good electrician, anyone who has a good contractor to work on their home, they almost don't want to tell you what their name is because they don't want to be too busy that they can't do any work for you. And that's the exact same thing happens to people who are working on working on websites, right, like good people are hard to find. And I feel like I wasn't like an amazing developer, but I was like, trustworthy and I got the work done. By the time I would set it had good communication skills, because the probably what I learned at school, so I think that was a big part of it. And the work just kept coming in coming in. Because I think because I focused so hard on being visible to those people, right like I didn't like once the work came in, I didn't stop. I still was blogging. I was still doing these workshops, things like that. I tried really hard to make sure that I was always visible once a few more

Tim Bourguignon 14:59
years. Time has been on.

Wes Bos 15:02
Um, it's hard to say because it's for me, it was mostly just being on Twitter. And that is not like a Twitter's not something I sit down and say like, now it's time to do the visible work, you know, like, it's, it's just something I do, it's just part of me. It's part of my personality is part of what I do love to interact with people. So for a lot of people that feels like a chore to them, and they think like, oh, like, do I have to put in like, an hour a day and like, then I'm, then I can be done. You know, like, to me, it was just, it's just part of it. So I honestly have no idea I was just keeping up with what was going on in the industry.

Tim Bourguignon 15:39
Fast forward to today, you know, a big part of your work is teaching and doing videos, but you're still programming websites on the side, right?

Wes Bos 15:46
I'm not doing any client work anymore, probably about two or three years ago, I sunsetted. My last client, which I was a little bit bummed about because I like doing, I love doing client work, there's always something different I feel like, because of all those years of client work, I have like an amazing. Just like I'm able to like look at things from different angles, because there's all kinds of different teams, they're all in, they all have different business needs. They all have different tech stacks. So being able to solve that problem, in different ways is important. So So these days, I have my course platform, which is a giant node and react JS application. And it handles everything from selling the courses, marketing is doing affiliates handling views, people can log in and watch the courses and and see what they have. So there's a lot that goes on there. And that's sort of how I keep my skills sharp these days is just hacking on that thing, and then building it out.

Tim Bourguignon 16:45
How did you find those topics? Are you zooming on knowing react

Wes Bos 16:50
for react? I just knew that it was something that was up and coming. But that's not my really advice to people this People always ask me, they're like, Hey, I'm thinking about doing a course on this, do you think it will sell? And that's the wrong question to ask because like, I'm just one person. And the reality is that like, what worked really well for me is that I had been blogging for a couple of years, and they were doing okay, but those Sublime Text blog posts that I did, were huge success. And that's just a testament to trying lots of little things, those blog posts took me three or four hours to put together YouTube video takes you a couple hours to throw up. And if you do, I don't know, 30 or 40 of them, one of them is going to be it's going to strike a nerve, and people are going to start asking for more of that. And it's going to get a lot of us and I think like once you hit that, then that's how you know what it is that you want to you should make something on. And then past that I people had just started to like me. And I was really into react. And I thought like, this is a brand new language everybody's sort of coming off of jQuery on to react jazz. So it was his I just I kind of knew that this would be a big thing for me. And luckily I timed it right because I released it just as react started to get popular.

Tim Bourguignon 18:14
Did you manage to own to understand why you this blog post about sublime experiment?

Wes Bos 18:20
Um, because it was something that everybody used, but not everybody, hardly anyone was really good at. And this idea of like one of the pics the big cells for it was like, you're like wasting time being unproductive in your editor? Like, why are you spending time on your tool when you should be spending time writing code? So plus, like, you look like a wicked coder, when you're just flying around on the editor, keyboard shortcuts and stuff like that, like everybody wants to get better at that, right? Like, it's frustrating when you can't code as fast as your brain can think. Right? So just being able to get good at that. I think that's why and I may never know why. But I do know that it was a need that was really kind of unfulfilled out there. At maybe at the time, there was a lot of other blogs, books about Sublime Text, but the way that I explained it are the things that I surfaced something hit a nerve there and they did super well. So I I took it and ran with it. Was

Tim Bourguignon 19:27
it an introduction to sublime or more advanced how to work tweaking reads and writes plugins and stuff.

Wes Bos 19:34
It wasn't plugins, that's the only thing it didn't include. It was more like different things like here's how to get really good at selecting and moving text. And here's a bunch of things to do with your lines and your cursors. And here's how to work with JavaScript a little bit better. And here's some some plugins that you can use to to get auto hinting set up way better. And all of this stuff was kind of hard to do in Sublime Text. So Or it just wasn't apparent to people how to do it. Like, if you just look at the editor, there's no, there's no manual, things like that you just have to hunt through the hunt through the menus at the top. And most people didn't do that they rather read a blog post or watch a video on it. Is it still your ID of choice? No, I switched probably three years ago, I switched to VS code. So I probably will, people have been asking like crazy for probably will build some sort of VS code course at some point.

Tim Bourguignon 20:32
migration from sublime to two years ago.

Wes Bos 20:35
Yeah, well, I've almost everybody has has moved from arm to vs. Code already. But there's just a lot like, every time I release a video, people are always asking, like, how did you do that? Or like, what plugin are using? Or what theme is that? Things like that. It's kind of interesting to people

Tim Bourguignon 20:53
is a particular reason why you moved to LA two years ago,

Wes Bos 20:57
yeah, the sublime for like, for like a year, people didn't know, if the creator of sublime had abandoned it, he there was nothing, nothing from them. Like the the website wasn't updated, there was no new releases, emails would go on answered. And people sort of were just like, oh, like, not sure what the future of this editor is. And there was like things that we wanted added, people were passionate about it, and they wanted things added to it. And at the time, Adam started to gain popularity, but it was kind of slow, and the VS code came out. And they have just cranking out the features. And they added just so many nice features, and so many, it's like the right balance of UI, and just letting me have my code, you know, like some editors are a little bit too UI heavy, and they've got buttons for everything. And then like something like in Sublime Text, just the tooltips, you couldn't write a good tool tip. For the life view, there was no ability to do that. And VS code just gave you all these options to do it. And to theme it and it just worked well with things like es lint and prettier. It just worked well out of the box. So just a whole laundry list of men, this is 23% better in this aspect than then Sublime is and because of that, I think a lot of people made the switch.

Tim Bourguignon 22:23
Are you missing some some features in VS code nowadays? No, no, I can't think of I can't think of anything. I know PHP developers are still on sublime, because the PHP support is not great in VS code, but I never write PHP hardly anymore. So I don't have a problem with that. Switching gears a little bit. You said when you when you started teaching, you gave this this one day tutorial or workshop on WordPress. And you got some really good feedback about that. Where do you think you got the vibe from for teaching before that before that point in time

Wes Bos 22:57
thing, however, there is my enthusiasm. Because there are so many, you've probably seen it, there's lots so many YouTube videos out there where people are like, Hi, welcome to this, I'm gonna now code up this list of things and then loop over and it's just like your sleep in 30 seconds. And trying to have a bit of enthusiasm, trying to be funny, things like that go a long way in keeping people interested. And I think that matched with my explanations of things are not bang on with what the like, the docs would say, like my I don't necessarily use all the right language and, and things like that, which is funny because they often causes the people that are much smarter than me to say like, Oh, well actually, you're incorrect in that situation. And then you get all these people that are beginning coding be like, thank you. That's the best explanation I've had. Like, I understand that I'm, I'm not necessarily digging into absolutely everything and using all the confusing jargon, because it is exactly that it's confusing jargon. And if I'm able to relate it to a silly example in real life or something like that, it goes a long way in helping people understand it. And I think that just comes from me remembering how how it was when I learned over the years. Oh, dude, you improve your skills in there. Since then, you do some things, um, my skills in development or in teaching the teaching side. Um, a lot of it is simply just talking to people just hearing, hearing what they're having trouble with. Just like, like it's frustrating learning how to code. And if you just ask, like, what are you having trouble with, or if you just simply read the emails that you get from people where they're having a hard time getting up and going, that goes a long way in sort of putting yourself out in their shoes as to where they're at, and not in some developer who's been at it forever, and is absolutely amazing at it, because quite honestly, some of these really, really smart people, like, it's the people that build these frameworks and libraries. There's super smart, but they're not the best at getting down to the level of somebody who's new at it, and explaining to them, so I just just talk to people a lot here, hear where they're at, like, I'll give you an example. My JavaScript thirty.com course, is 30 days. Each day is a new example. It's a new core, it's a new, sorry, what's it called? It's like a new little app that we build, whether it's speech detection, whether it's a slideshow, just something like that, right. And that came from my in person students saying, like, hey, do you have any more examples? Or like, hey, like, what should I do to get better at coding? I won't just keep building stuff and like, what should I build? And I was like, oh, not everybody has like, unlimited ideas of fun things, they could build. Water, I like it, throw them together, put a nice design on it. Record, like, obviously, it was the course there's a bit more than that. But that's really it at its core, it's just people need examples, or people need to be told things to try to build. And that's how you get better.

Tim Bourguignon 26:23
Where do you get your inspiration for for thousands things to build?

Wes Bos 26:28
I just have like a running list of my computer. And anytime I think of Hmm, that would be fun to build. Or, or if you're on a website, and you see like, like stripe stripes. navigation is one of them. I'm like, Oh, that's a cool nav, I bet we could build that. And that's exactly what we did. We said, Okay, this is a cool now, how do we build this ourselves, and we just implement it ourselves. So anytime I have an idea, or anytime I see a neat thing, whether it's a UI that we want to rebuild, or whether it's a cool way to chunk up an array, I want to put that on the list. And we'll build that at some point in one of my courses.

Tim Bourguignon 27:07
And how important is the the right click View Source on the web to to explore those ideas that you see and see Oh, I do that.

Wes Bos 27:17
I don't usually do that. Because first I don't want to just like rip off their code. And I kind of want to like, see if I can do it myself. Right? Like I want to see if I can do it from scratch. So very rarely do I ever inspector view source on how something works. I'll just try to build it, build it out myself. And sometimes I'll go back and say like, is that how they did it? But quite honestly, not that important. The View Source of the web is getting harder and harder. Like if you inspect element on, like any modern application these days, you can learn a little bit of CSS here or there. But everything is so obfuscated and minified. And scoped that it's kind of hard to actually dig into it

Tim Bourguignon 27:59
through some of the translation and going from one language. Yeah, it's getting harder and harder. But that's fine. That's so also something I'm seeing I have a whole bunch of ideas of things, things I want to build. And actually, time is a problem. But never the the ideas of what to build, but that's true. I always meet some people. What can I do? What you mean? Yeah. Let's, let's assume, for instance, there's a there's a new framework that could replace react. That's not called a view. But let's say there's, there's something else coming after what, how would you would you go about and, and evaluated and and ask yourself, if it's, if it might be the next thing you should be teaching? How did you come up with some new material like this,

Wes Bos 28:48
I always tell people like, I don't predict, I just react to things. So like react was out for a couple years before I even tried it. And by the time I had tried it and got really into it, it had been gaining momentum. So like I kind of just like let some let something sit for a while and see if it's going to go anywhere. Like view was a good example, like, view came out a while ago, and now after maybe like three years is here to stay. And it's a serious contender in if you're going to pick one of these frameworks, right? And right now, there's another one, it's called spelt. And it's gaining some traction is starting to become popular. You hear a lot about it, but I'm sort of just sitting on my hands and waiting to see is it really going to be something that is worth doing a course on or something that's worth investing a lot of time on. And if it is then what my process for that is basically just like building a whole bunch of apps, making sure that I understand it, talking to experts about it, talking on Twitter about it, and just kind of just immersing yourself in that framework or that language Sure whatever it is, so that you can become somewhat of an expert on it.

Tim Bourguignon 30:04
Do you ever go to a scenario or something that you build over and over to compare frameworks to compare the way you build things?

Wes Bos 30:14
No, there's, there's like a to do MVC that does that. And that you just build a to do list and everything. But I honestly just tried to build something in like, I don't know, whenever I have a little app that aim to build myself for a little idea, something like that, I'll just just pick it up. So it's not always the exact same thing. I definitely make sure like, make sure this includes fetching data, storing data, user interactions, paging from one patient, like, you got to make sure you hit all of those. But the actual app I built might be different from from app to app, I'm

Tim Bourguignon 30:51
looking looking toward the future, where would you see your your business going in the next years.

Wes Bos 30:56
Um, I think just making more courses, I'm really happy with where I'm at right now. And I'm just making courses, people are really enjoying them. It's supporting me and my family, which is really cool. I get to do a lot of free courses, I get to release a lot of free content on YouTube, I tweet out a lot of these hot tips I call them or it's just a couple lines of code and explain something. And like, that's kind of like the perfect world for me is being able to like make money. And but also, I guess, support the community and teach people things. So react the reality of what's next. It's it's not creating this massive training Empire. It's not hiring a bunch of people out it's kind of just making courses and keep teaching people things that I think they should learn, you should use it to trigger words. Now. Let's speak it. Let's speak the signal. First, you said not hiring, a lot of people are used to working alone, do you

Tim Bourguignon 31:51
have people,

Wes Bos 31:52
I have an assistant who handles all of my support. So a huge burden on me is email, I get hundreds of like legitimate emails a day. Some of those are technical in nature. And those usually get diverted to my Slack channel. And then there is like a whole bunch of just like billing and invoicing for things like conferences and workshops and responding to questions and making purchase orders, things like that. That's that stuff is just busy work. And I have my assistant come and do all of that. All she handles all my email before it hits me. And then the stuff that needs me, it gets passed along. And I have another developer part time who helps me on my course platform, just implementing features, things like that. But but that's pretty much it. I'm not all that interested in becoming a manager, and and managing people and things like that. I just want to be able to sit down and sling some code

Tim Bourguignon 32:56
for you. Yeah, no, the trigger word was that was community. Yeah. Which communities? Are you? Are you involved?

Wes Bos 33:02
I think the web development community is like, I don't really know what they're called. But like people who like building websites, and that community primarily exists in a couple places. It's Twitter is where we talk day to day. Our podcast is, is fairly large, we get average 45,000 listens, per episode. So there's a huge community around that about listening and tweeting back questions after it's live, things like that. And then like conferences is probably another one as well, just meeting people at conferences and chit chatting with them having a beer, things like that.

Tim Bourguignon 33:41
Are you still involved with reason ladies learning?

Wes Bos 33:44
I am not right now. It's actually they've renamed themselves to Canada learning code, which is pretty cool. And then they have like kids and teens and women and it's pretty cool. I'm I moved out of the city, and most of the stuff was on weekends, and I'm pretty protective. About my evenings and weekends. That's family time. For me. At least right now. I just can't afford to be away from my family all that often. So I haven't been doing much of those.

Tim Bourguignon 34:17
The internet is waiting off. Do you have some resources that you that you follow along and things that you always go back to and and read or listen to or watch? Huh?

Wes Bos 34:31
That's, that's a good question. I think like, let me break that down into two resources. I think like one big resource is like what's new in CSS, and JavaScript. So that's, that's a big one for me. And how I keep up to date with those is primarily two aces. Follow key people on Twitter. And usually stuff gets talked about on Twitter when it is new when it's exciting things like that. I'll try to watch conference talks. on YouTube, I watched him at two x two times the speed, you can get through them nice and quickly, especially if you skip the whole. Hello, welcome and questions after, you can just like burn through when I want our talk in like 22 minutes, something like that. Another big one for me is just a release notes for browsers. So anytime a browser has a major release, they'll say what was added in it. Especially if you go to like something like Safari, they have a huge listing of what's new, what's been added, you can sort of dig into to that like, like a really good example is like, in the browser. And we have now have these ETL methods for formatting money and translating lists of things and sorting letters based on capital or not, there's just all these like really cool API's that will take into account the user's locale, or their language, or their country. And I just saw, like, a couple maybe a year ago that those were implemented in one of the browsers and they sort of just doubled down, I read all the documentation on how that works. So as you use MDN, Mozilla Developer Network for that, and then just get really, really familiar with it and and then I usually turn those into what I call Hot Tips, where it's just these little tweets of screen a screenshot of some code and explaining how it works and what it might be useful. So that's like my, like, resources for staying up to date. what's what's new in JavaScript? What else? Sorry, what was the question? I forget?

Tim Bourguignon 36:44
That's good. That's good. Um, do you have a book that you come back to? Every so often?

Wes Bos 36:50
Never I that's one thing about me is I have never let me think about that. I don't think I've ever read a textbook. In my entire career, I never read. I've never read the things in university, things like that. I remember having a I got a course in, in university on like Cisco. Like, there's this, like, there's this like certification that you can get like cc Nat, Cisco certification, something like that. And we had to, like do a test that was very similar to that. Talking, how about IPS get assigned and broaden, broadcast and like you're just networking in general with computers. And I remember just like looking at the book, I'm like, this makes no sense to me. And I found this like, guy on YouTube that had like a three hour long YouTube video of him in a piece of paper. And he just explained the whole thing. I was like, this is so much better. And like maybe that was like an early reason why I started to do video, but I hardly ever read books for anything, which is weird because I like I like gobble down audiobooks. I listened to them like crazy, but I almost never will sit down with a paper book and read it all the way through, which is kind of weird, but I hear it more and more often, especially with developers that are younger than I am and they're getting into the industry.

Tim Bourguignon 38:15
This is this video thing seems to be a trend, skipping the the formal things and getting down to the to the bare metal and the on the way to do it. And I'm not sure if it's the same word in English vocalizing meaning meaning making it accessible for everyone.

Wes Bos 38:33
Yeah, yeah.

Wes Bos 38:35
It's it's definitely interesting. I think that it is a good medium for lots of things. But I also know that it's not a good medium for everybody. Like I hear from tons of people. It says, I rather a book, sorry, I can't buy your course. I'm like, that's fine. That's like, I'm not trying to please everybody by doing video. I'm just trying to please, a small subsection of people who like video who also like the frameworks that I use, and who also enjoy the way that I explained things.

Tim Bourguignon 39:04
So since we are we're talking about University, and we're closing on the end of October. So we, if you had one advice to give newcomers that are slowly coming out of university today, what advice do you have before they get they get on with their professional life? What would that be?

Wes Bos 39:19
I think, I see a lot of people come out of university. And and then they go, Okay, now what I guess I'll take a course and like, I guess I'll take like a do a couple of YouTube videos, and I'll learn to code. And at that point, it's probably it's not too late for sure. It's not too late. But it's it's hard. Because you've got crushing student debt. You need to be making money. So like you have to like also get a job. And I hear from a lot of people who are like, three or four years into to their job and they're like, I don't really like this. I want to become a web developer. And then there's not a whole lot to show for what they've been working on. So My advice would be is like, start working in public, start joining in on the conversation. Start a little YouTube channel, even if you don't know what you're doing, and you don't think the work that you're creating is very good. Start putting it out there. Because that's going to leave a little bit of a trail you're going to get you give yourself a little bit of momentum. And before you know it, that's going to be a huge asset for whether it is you want to like go in which direction that you want to go especially forget, even if you just want to get hired by a company having this amazing, like, back catalogue of work is incredible. Amen. Yeah, thanks.

Tim Bourguignon 40:37
So, if the listeners wanted to, to continue the discussion with you would Twitter BTO the appropriate place to be?

Wes Bos 40:44
Yeah, if you want to talk to me, I'm usually on Twitter and I talked about that a lot. So I'm Twitter at West boss, w e. SPO. S, my website is West boss calm, you can take a look at that has, I'm on Instagram a lot as well. I'm more tack on on Twitter, and more just life. In general, like I've been, I've been hacking these little 12 volt like jeeps for my kids, like you know, like these, these little cars that the kids drive in. I've been like hacking them and buying them. I found a couple in the garbage and I fix them up. So like, like stuff that's like not developer, but it developer adjacent. Like if you're a developer you're probably interested in, in this kind of stuff. It's kind of cool. So that's on my Instagram, which is at West boss as well, um, do you

Tim Bourguignon 41:32
have anything coming up in the next month that you want to plug in?

Wes Bos 41:36
Yeah, I am releasing what I'm going to call beginner JavaScript. And it's been my life's work for almost the past year. And it's going to be a course that teaches JavaScript fundamentals from the ground up. And I've sort of taken everything I've learned about how people learn and, and what is interesting and making it fun. And making this massive course that is JavaScript from the ground up. So I'm pretty excited about it, I think it's gonna be like a really great resource that you can point people to, like, I know a lot of people listening might already know JavaScript. And if that's the case, then I'm sure you know somebody else that will be interested. So that'll be available at beginner JavaScript comm once it's launched, maybe by the time you hear this,

Tim Bourguignon 42:21
I'm anxious to see you in real life at conferences. Joe, do you have anything lined up?

Wes Bos 42:25
Ah, um, I just finished off my last one in New York. I'm not doing a whole lot right now. Because of I have. I just had a new baby boy. And I can't do a whole bunch of traveling. So nothing. I don't think I have anything on the books right now. But I usually will put them on my website if I've got something coming up.

Tim Bourguignon 42:46
Gotcha. Gotcha. Well, fantastic. Wes, thank you very much for this for this overview of your journey. Very beginning to all your courses and what's coming next. Fantastic. Thank you very much.

Wes Bos 42:57
All right. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Tim Bourguignon 42:59
And this has been another episode of developer's journey. We'll see you next week. Bye. Dear listener, if you haven't subscribed yet, you can find this podcast in iTunes, Google music, Stitcher, Spotify, and much more. Head over to WWE WWF journey dot info. To read the show notes, find all the links mentioned during the episode. And of course, links to the podcast on all these platforms. Don't miss the next developer's journey story by subscribing to the podcast with the app of your choice right now. And if you like what we do, please rate the podcast, write a comment on those platforms, and promote the podcast and social media. This really helps fellow developers discover the podcast was fantastic journey. Thank you.