Structure, discipline, and balance, with Aimee Knight

  1. 20 - Aimee Knight Larry Botha 22:39

Before becoming a full-stack Javascript developer, Aimee spent 15 years as a competitive figure skater. The grit and hard work required for her former career has made Aimee a force in the web development world. With her work on the JsJabber podcast, creating developer meetups, and speaking on stage, Aimee is passionate about helping junior developers make careers for themselves.

Time Stamped Show Notes

1:41 –¬†After her career as a figure skater, she worked in marketing. Aimee got hooked on code when she was forced to update the contact details on a company’s expression engine website.

2:38 – The developers she worked with in her marketing and project management role encouraged her to pursue programming. She found programming to be very intimidating.

3:09 –¬†Aimee loves the community aspect of developing.

3:24 – Aimee enjoys the rush from producing work someone is pleased with.

3:54 – She is a big fan of Kyle Simpson. She likes how he deep dives into JavaScript. Aimee is trying to deep dive into CSS.

5:02 – When first working with CSS Aimee found it frustrating to systematically debug or figure things out with CSS like she could with JavaScript.

5:52 – Aimee says when using CSS your thinking needs to be different from when you’re using a programming language.

6:26 – Aimee is a very structured and disciplined person. She didn’t enjoy working in a start-up environment, where features were pushed quickly. She doesn’t like writing code without doing tests.

7:53 – The start-up Aimee worked for used cutting-edge technology. She believes, when producing software for an organisation it’s not always a good idea to experiment with new technology. Rather focus on building a solid product and writing tests. Use your time wisely. Don’t spend your work hours researching a new technology.

9:31 – Aimee can’t live without her morning runs. She uses this time to focus on solutions for any code she is writing that day.

10:38 – Aimee is really excited about the CSS development called Houdini. It’s a task force being organised by various browser vendors. They are working on creating a set of APIs to hook into the rendering engine process. You can use Houdini to normalise cross-browser differences.

12:13 – The Houdini team is working towards support for all major vendors.

12:46 – Aimee thinks it’s important to learn how to learn.

13:08 – Aimee is moving away from front-end and will be focusing on full-stack development. Her goal for 2018 is to learn Rust.

13:55 – As her career has progressed she’s found better balance. She tries to step away from her computer on weekends like a “normal person”.

15:08 – Being a woman in the tech industry has taught Aimee to speak up and be more assertive.

15:32 – Programming has taught Aimee to be more patient.

16:14 – Functional programming has changed the way Aimee thinks about and writes code.

16:24 – Newer developers should experiment with functional programming as it helps keep code clean.

16:38 – Aimee believes you should learn functional programming and object orientated programming. Learning both will help you be more rounded.

17:00 – In the dev industry people like to speak in absolutes. Programmers like things that are ones and zeros or in black or white. Life isn’t like that. There are always going to be trade-offs.

Quickfire Questions

18:23 – Best advice about programming
Don’t shy away from communicating about trade-offs. There aren’t black and white solutions, everything is a trade-off.

18:45 – Habits for writing better code
My morning run!

18:54 – Book
The “You Don’t Know JS” series by Kyle Simpson. Aimee loves how Kyle breaks things down and delves deep into JavaScript theory.

19:24 – Inspiring devs
Kyle Simpson! For his technical content, how he challenges people’s thinking, and how he thinks outside the box.

20:06 – How to learn to code from scratch
Start with JavaScript. Learn the basics and then learn the framework. Try the many classes available and read Kyle Simpson’s books.

20:59 – How to work smart
Make sure you have a healthy balance. Writing good code is not about how much information you can cram in your brain. Be smart about it and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Tools, Tips, and Books Mentioned

Contact Aimee