Before Becoming Technical™, I had about a hundred ideas of what I would build. Something to automate this and that, something else to make this or that less painful. But as I became more and more technical, something insidious started to take root inside me. I became less, not more, confident in building stuff. It’s so bad that since graduating from General Assembly, I’d stopped working on personal side projects altogether.
I gained the ability to predict how difficult it was going to be to build something.
I became daunted by the time I would need to set aside to see through a project.
I think a part of me was also afraid to potentially discover that I’m not technically proficient enough to execute on the idea.
I recently had the privilege of introducing frontend testing to our code base at work. With 5 engineers working on different parts of the product at any given time, it finally made sense to add automated tests. I can foresee this helping us cut down time spent on debugging and improving the overall quality of the product.
Because our frontend stack was React and Backbone, we needed a test library that can test React components. Some deliberation later, we decided to go with Jest (by Facebook and used internally at Facebook) and Enzyme (by Airbnb and also used internally at Airbnb).
As a programmer, you probably get a little carried away once in a while. You know, getting engrossed in the sophistication of another developer’s implementation, be it beautiful or ugly (or both) and having an engaging conversation with your colleague about it. Yeah, I can tell you know what I’m talking about!
But I recently realised that that can sometimes happen at the expense of good user-centric development.