Learning Developer Tools

In learning to program and think in terms of networked systems, services, and components, you can get by okay if you:

  • Can set up your local environment
  • Use a decent editor, a language server, and helpful plugins.
  • Have just enough command line and git skills to do what you need to.

There are always roadblocks that you can muddle your way through with snippets and quick tutorials. Yet when OS-level knowledge and skills are lacking like in bash for example, or how to be productive with your code editor, you get occasionally frustrated and just can't readily see how much time could be saved if only...x.

Though I picked up basic bash over the years, it wasn't until I purchased and mostly got through Small, Sharp, Software Tools in 2020 that I noticed this skills gap of mine. Participation in Dockyard Academy did the same. Though I'm very grateful AI assistants can now help me just when I need it, there's a lot farther to go and I'm taking the time to stretch myself further.

I started a course on developer productivity recently where the instructor is lively and got me going down a couple of difficult rabbit holes like learning how to use Vim, which is quite difficult. By getting the right plugins and working on small scripts and edits over time, I'll get better.

I've also learned about Ansible and Docker, which are cool but won't be useful unless I do some small projects where I can set up an environment with apps and be able to deploy them live.

With each step into unfamiliar territory, I can better understand and appreciate the role of system administration, effective collaborative software development practices, and how being able to at least use your daily tools better can give lots of little boosts.

Onward I go.