After a basic React course, I went on to learn some Redux, and chose again a Wes Bos course, both because I really liked the React one and because not only is free but also encouraged by the author to be taken just after the React one.
Learn Redux is a 2.5 hours course in which we'll build a simple Instagram clone by using React, React-Router and Redux. We learn how to use reducers, stores and connectors, reading initial data from some instagram JSON dumps but then operating with React state (using stores).
Again feels like magic how easy and simple everything feels when it's well explained. You can't beat the price, but still I think was more than worth the time to do it. Probably there are lots of advanced topics but I think I now kow the basics to build React SPAs.
React for Beginners is an online 5 hours video course by the great and funny Wes Bos. By building an online single-page application to manage fish inventory and create orders, we get taught the basics of React: Components, JSX, state management, props, modules... plus other interesting topics like how to deploy a React app, some ES6 features, using the Redux Chrome developer tools extension, how to work with Firebase (the backend used to persist data)...
I not only think it is a great course (it even felt short and I watched the 29 videos version!), but the way it is explained (clearly, with clean and understandable code, and full of tiny tips here and there) and even the funny author comments when he makes a small mistake or the small error debugging sessions make it a great resource to start working with this technology.
Few weeks ago the 10th edition of The MindCamp event took place. With 20 attendants (a third less than past editions, as the date was chosen with not much margin and some people couldn't assist), as usual the talks were great, the people better and we spent a nice weekend at a rural house talking, eating and even doing some coding.
As almost every edition, I prepared a talk, but this year I wanted something different, if possible related with videogames. I was thinking on talking about Microsoft's TextWorld, but instead tried something cooler, gym-retro, and decided to give an introductory talk to reinforced learning.
The whole talk is uploaded here: https://slides.kartones.net/028.html but what's more interesting is that I uploaded to my GitHub all the source code of the agents and miscellaneous instructions and tips I gathered while preparing the talk and the demos. Initially I planned to write all the details in this blog post, but then decided to improve instead the GH repository's README (not too much, but some quick tips to get started).
Don't expect anything incredible as I didn't used Deep Learning, so the agents are quite dumb, but the concept of the JERK agent is still interesting enough and adapting it from the Sonic videogame to Golden Axe (including the LUA script) was a fun mini-experiment.
Here are some animated GIFs of some of the agents, if you feel curious check the slides and the code, it's not rocket science :)
English Grammar Launch Advanced: Upgrade your speaking course from Udemy it is, as the name implies, a continuation of English Grammar Launch, which I already reviewed. This course is simply more of the same: 6 hours of video, transcripts and MP3s, but with more advanced topics like three-word phrasal verbs, passives, the more complex verb times, relative clauses, "unless", "whether" and other interesting lectures.
Although again it feels way too slow unless you set the speed to 1.25x, this is an example of a good online course to improve (or just train) your English skills.
Author: Dan Lyons
A real world story about a tech journalist who, at age 51, enters the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem by joining HubSpot, a company offering marketing and social media tools. It depicts a tale equally hilarious as worrying, of how a company could be burning tons of money and still aiming for an IPO, of how employees could have very aggressive goals to met (or get fired) but have "candy machines", and lots of scenarios that most normal people wouldn't believe to be real at a workplace.
While there are really funny moments, seems clear that the author had a very rought journey. He even had an abusive boss, and the fragments that tell it become grim and uglier, so it is far from being all bro-tales and crazy parties. But apart from the obvious fact that the book became a best-seller and that the author also helped in production of one of the early Silicon Valley seasons when he was at the end of his "adventure" (I wonder how many ideas came from the experience...), he got out of the company :)
I've also recognized some perks, attitudes and details that, in a normal scale, are actually applied not only to Silicon Valley startups but more in general around the world. Some of them, like the "fearless friday" (invest 20% of your time in different tasks/projects/ideas) are quite good when properly executed (in my opinion at least), but I can understand how the author just felt them stupid as taken alongside the rest looked absurd.
A great read to detect things not to adopt (or to flee from), written with a huge sense of humour considering the severity of the situation, and sometimes, similarities with a job you might have had.
This time the notes I've highlighted from the book are a mixture between jokes, terms and things learned, mottos and famous sentences, and crude but sometimes real statements about the startup world.