Phewwww who can believe it is already Q2? My first quarter of the year taught me a few things about technology, friendships, and life.

I’ve added a few to the inspiration page and have a few updates below!

Q1 Updates


TopicProvider: TitleLengthCompleted?
Coding PracticesSafariBooks: Code Complete 2
35 Large ChaptersChapter 10
SecuritySafariBooks: Threat ModelingShortIncomplete
Critical ThinkingSafariBooks: Critical Thinking for DummiesMid-size (halfway completed)Incomplete

I didn’t do well on the tech books this quarter because I was hooked on two others: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume 1 and Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***. They have been worth the time.

In Mark Manson’s book, there was a section on friendships that really made me think differently.

Moving to another state challenged me to really stay in contact with people in my life, to the point that I was using the amount of contact as a measurement of the strength of that friendship. The book has a story of Mark doing the same thing with his brother, but in reality, his brother just didn’t use that as a way of showing his bond to Mark. He was upset with his brother based on the amount of contact they had (which was lacking), while his brother had no idea. Once he figured that out, their relationship was much stronger.

Thinking on that made me realize that I was using my own judgments on relationships when others weren’t. That’s just a bit asinine.

So thank you, Mr. Manson, for the enlightenment. I believe we should have baselines for respect, trust, and integrity, outside of that the means by which people show they care really differs and it is up to you to learn and accept that for the people who are within your inner circle.


QuarterProvider: CourseLengthCompleted?
1Coverity Training3 HoursCompleted
Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS)
35 HoursIncomplete
1PluralSight: Javascript Path20 Hours (skipped beginner courses)Complete
1Wes B: CSS Grid 24 video course
4 HoursComplete

From the table above, I was able to complete 75% of my training goals in the first quarter. The Linux one is tough because of its length, and you will see that it will be carried over to this quarter as well! Let me go through some of the top learnings I’ll be taking with me to Q2.

Top 2 Learnings

Personal training plans are very helpful to keep up with the pace of the Web Dev industry. I learned more than 2 things, but these I felt were the most interesting.


Destructuring, fat arrows, template strings, spreading, modules, iterators, and so much more. The cleanliness of the code and new language features are awesome. The rapid ES6 (part of the JS path in the table) course was spot on and I will definitely be trying to use these in my development going forward!

I reiterated a few of my understandings of prototypes, scoping, and design patterns (like object revealing, façade, or pub/sub) with Javascript in the path as well. The PluralSight courses were well done, so kudos to them!

Looking forward my big lesson from this was to sign up for more weekly javascript updates to stay in tunes with ES7/ES8 as they come!

CSS Grid

Reddit introduced me to a top Web Developer this quarter, Wes Bos, who was sponsored by Mozilla to release a course on CSS Grid. I took the 4-hour course and feel ready to start using it when appropriate.

The functions, like minmax(), and the ease at which you can place items within the grid was stunning. I’ll be looking forward to utilizing this as soon as possible! Grid made sense, it was easy to wrap your head around, and Wes did a great job putting the course together for us. Thank you Wes, and thank you Mozilla.

Wes Bos has a nifty page here: that introduced me to a few new productivity tips. You can find his courses on that page as well. Take a look if interested!

Mental Model Dictionary

Admin Screen

After finishing up the MVP of my mental model dictionary, to add new entries required manually adding JSON into firebase. That just wasn’t going to work long-term for me, yes, programmers are lazy.

Firebase made authentication easy for my Google account, and I added a new view for editing Mental Models which you can see in the gallery below.

It works well and the funniest part was sending over the link to my friend, who then watched me edit a mental model real time (of course I made one with his name and a joke, who wouldn’t?). You could say I’m a fan of Firebase after that.

I’m hoping to implement URL paths for individual mental models in Q2 while adding new entries throughout. This year is mostly about entries, less about UX. Next year – a different story shall unfold.

Personal Updates

I was able to make a trip back home for a surprise birthday party and visit all of the VA crew. I ended up making an impromptu speech, and dancing way more than planned (my girlfriend can be blamed for that)!

My colleague and I began our new lifting regime (which isn’t that serious, mostly for general health) through the week and do our best at keeping each other honest. We sit so much these days with all of the technology at our fingertips, and having an accountability partner has helped even if we’re not perfect. The squats have perfectly made us sore with ease.

The last notable event of Q1 – Monk! Monk is on Amazon Prime video and has been a great distraction, sometimes too much, but the show is fantastic. It’s a subtle reminder that we all are so different in this world, yet possess our own talents and perspectives – my recommendation, use it to better the world…just like Mr. Monk.

That wraps up the first three months of the year, so what is in store for Q2?


Q2 Training Plan


TopicProvider: TitleLengthCompleted?
Coding PracticesSafariBooks: Code Complete 2
35 Large Chapters
SecuritySafariBooks: Threat ModelingShort
Critical ThinkingSafariBooks: Critical Thinking for DummiesMid-size (halfway completed)

I’ll be keeping this the same for now, and if I can’t make it through code complete, then most certainly will update the list.



QuarterProvider: CourseLengthCompleted?
2PluralSight: React Path32 Hours
Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS)
35 Hours
2PluralSight: CSS Path27 Hours

This quarter I’ll be taking on a bit more training than last, but that is OK. I’m excited that we will be using React in a new project coming up, and look forward to taking the courses in the path! I’m adding CSS to the list, but it is the last priority compared to the other two. Let’s go!

Q2 Project

The last thing I wanted to mention in the quarterly update is the introduction of a new project this quarter. It is small but I’ll keep it under wraps until it is finished! It could take more than one quarter – no worries – it is for fun!

Concluding thoughts

Hard to believe another 3 months have gone by already. It means that another 3 months are on the way – let’s knock them out of the park!

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