I did actually read all of React’s documentation on hooks and I’m here to tell you: Yes, it is actually good documentation! When I felt good with my hooks knowledge, I looked into Elastic’s component library (EUI) for some real-life examples.
A particular question I had in mind was around setState: is it more common to see one call to setState with an object representing state? Or more common to see multiple calls to setState, each with their own variable that would normally make up the state object?
I figured looking up a form would easily tell me that since forms usually have multiple variables tracked in the state. I found a form example and the answer to my question: multiple calls to setState!
Tarot side project
Before really diving in deep, I tried to give myself about a week off from stressing (guess what: stress still happened). During this time I at least found the space to be creative and came up with a fun project! In typical side project fashion, it is not finished at the time of writing this post but will hopefully be good fodder for a future post.
I wanted to build a tarot deck companion web app: you pull a card, the computer tells you what it means. The trick with future telling type stuff is to keep things as vague as possible so that was the route I took.
When I was interviewing, InterviewCake had an amazing deal to support folks who had been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic. It felt like a far more enjoyable read than some nameless interview books out there and it had interactive examples!
I had been wanting to move away from Medium for a while but didn’t want to over-engineer a personal blog. When I was interviewing for my current job, they mentioned that the project I’d be joining was currently written in Gatsby. Given those two facts and my free time, I figured it was time to play with Gatsby.
Building up my blog was really one of the first times during my interview prep where I felt like I was in a real React codebase—not just some toy interview question. It felt really nice to be back.
On the collective mind
One talk that I watched was The State of React State in 2019 by Becca Bailey. This helped me see how thoughts on state had changed since hooks came out. It was a great broad overview for me to get up to date.
I also watched Accessibility Is a Marathon, not a Sprint by Brittany Feenstra. When I was writing Elm, there was a strong push for accessibility to be a default. I was really interested to see how the React community was thinking about it. I was glad to see the push for not breaking semantic HTML since when I left, it was totally fine to leave divs all over the place.
Array.prototype has the given function. During practice interviews, I got to learn that people now lean towards
Array.prototype functions first.
One month in
In my first computer science class in high school, we were learning Pascal, something my CS teacher admitted was outdated for 2010. But my teacher told us something that has always stuck with me: focus on the semantics not the syntax. I’ve been able to hop around to different languages because I know my core concepts, learning the syntax of a language can come second.
I was hired because of how I think as an engineer, not because I can write a given language. And in the end, an employer with that order of priorities is the kind I want to work for.