Anthony J. Campbell

Lambda School - Week 8: Keep It Simple

Anthony J. Campbell
Lambda School - Week 8: Keep It Simple
Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
— John Woods

Asynchronous requests, AJAX, using APIs, and HTTP methods. To those in the industry, they're ubiquitous and used on a daily basis. To the majority of people, it might as well be Chinese. Remember when you first started off learning about transfer protocols? Then you might know what Week 8 of Lambda School felt like!

As a quick intro; I’m a student at Lambda School’s Full-Stack Web Development program. Lambda School is an online ‘bootcamp’ offering 30-week programs in programming that are free until you get a job. If you don’t get a job, they don’t get paid.

I do a write-up every single week about my experiences. If you're not caught up just yet, you can start with Part One right here, or just keep reading!


Have you ever stopped and wondered how miraculous our modern technology is? Have you ever pulled up a website that just worked? Well, it turns out a lot goes into it behind the scenes.

Every page you load, every link you click to submit a form, it all takes numerous processes under the hood to go off without a hitch. That's the beauty of it. You hit a couple of buttons, and an Amazon package arrives at your doorstep a couple of days later. Magic, right? Well, it takes a bit of work to pull it all off.

Days 1 and 2 were devoted completely to using React Router. React Router is the most popular package used for client-side browsing. In a nutshell, this negates the need for the browser to send a server-request when clicking a link or changing something on the page. It makes for faster, more snappier applications. Having played around with it for a bit myself, I worked through it rather quickly.

Days 3 and 4 were all about understanding the basics of HTTP and AJAX. It took a bit for us to get used to the new terminology and syntax. In a couple of hours though, we were making Axios requests like it was nothing.

Frankly, this week was relatively easy in terms of workload. To most, it felt like a breath of fresh air. This week was more about theory than anything else. Making sure you know exactly how the browser's history API was given greater emphasis than doing another coding challenge.

Screenshot+2019-03-04+at+22.17.43.jpg

This gave us plenty of time to work on side-projects. Some of us decided to dive deeper into APIs, while others wanted to brush up on their React or vanilla JavaScript.

Something of particular note is the Pokédex built by my fellow EU1 student, Connor. Using the Pokémon API, he built out the entire Pokédex functionality in an afternoon. It looks just like the real deal and has a surprising amount of functionality!


The More You Know

As always, here's a small overview of what we covered this week.

  • React-Router, Routes, Links, etc.

  • Nested Routes

  • Native-browser history() api;

  • ES6 Async functions, .then(), and .catch();

  • AJAX and making AJAX calls;

  • HTTP and CRUD;

  • HTTP Requests

  • Axios vs. native fetch();

In addition, I did some extracurricular work and research by myself:

  • Hot Module Replacement and its pros and cons;

  • Finished reading Robin Wieruch's ‘Road To Learn React’. It was a good way of getting a more nuanced view on opinionated matters. It also gave more theoretical backing than we got during class. There's only so much Lambda can cover in a few hours of instruction after all. They assume students will go out by themselves and explore.

  • Finished Weeks 2 & 3 of this free Princeton course on Algorithms. We'll be covering algorithms and Computer Science in greater depth later in the curriculum. It never hurts to be prepared, though.

  • Did some preliminary research on React-Native. I definitely want to learn how to build mobile apps and using React-Native seems to be the best avenue of approach. Already being familiar with React will be a major boon. Not having to learn two new programming languages for iOS and Android is a plus too.
    For now, I've got my eye set on these two courses by Stephen Grider, but I welcome any and all recommendations!


STATE OF THE LAMBDA UNION

Short update this week. A serious flu has kept me bedridden for the past couple of days. I'll make it up to you guys come next week!

Finally, if you’re interested in signing up for Lambda School yourself, please use this link. With it, you’ll receive $250 after you attend your first day and Lambda will give me $250 for sending you there! Win-win!

Au revoir!