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🥷🏽 Notes From an Imposter Programmer

Hi! I'm Rob Conery and I help self-taught programmers like me overcome doubt and build their career. Join me and over 15,000 other programmers who are learning new things, every day.

I taught myself to code in 1998 and within 7 years had a client list that included Google, Microsoft, Starbucks, Ameritech, KLA-Tencor, PayPal, and Visa. In 2014 I decided that I really needed to understand core Computer Science concepts, so I dove in, using the free resources from MIT and Stanford. In 2016 I shared what I learned with The Imposter's Handbook.

Featured Post

The Happiness and Terror of Shipping

You would think that after years of development, the act of shipping something would be nothing but joy and relief. In the moment, however, "pushing send" is terrifying and feels like running naked into traffic. That's what I'm feeling right now because today is the day! After two years of planning, research, writing, and editing - it’s ready to go: The Imposter’s Roadmap, essential practices, tools, and skills for self-taught programmers. If you click that link, I've thrown in a 20% discount...

22 days ago • 2 min read

Most people aren't aware of the power of constraints in a database. They're there to enforce data rules, and you're probably familiar with a few of them, including: The null constraint, which won't allow null values. The unique constraint, which ensures a record is always unique. The primary key constraint, which I don't need to explain. Assuming you've used these before, let me ask you a question: is this business logic? I think it's fair to say that some logic is being used here in the form...

about 1 month ago • 4 min read

The subject of this email is a quote from Steve Martin, one of my favorite people. I grew up in the 70s, listening to Wild and Crazy Guy religiously. I could quote just about every joke from that album, and I was only 12, which caused problems for my parents. One of my favorite jokes was about meeting a lady and falling for her cat... I won't repeat it here but I didn't stop laughing for hours. Here's a link, but volume down and be wary of little ears. Anyway, I just finished watching the...

2 months ago • 4 min read

In my last post I mentioned that I have been reading a lot of personal growth and business books, which I enjoy. Finance, emotional health, non-slimy marketing, etc. A few weeks ago I started listening to listening to Take Control of Your Life by Mel Robbins because my niece recommended it. To be honest: I didn't really want to listen to this. The title is too broad and, if I'm being extremely honest, I highly doubt a single book is going to enable me to feel like I've gained "control" of my...

3 months ago • 5 min read

Retirement is one thing, being where you want to be and doing what you want to do when your current job is finished in another thing entirely. What’s your exit strategy? It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself, at a startup, or in a massive enterprise environment: knowing what you’re going to do when it’s over is incredibly important to your career. I work at Microsoft currently and before I started there in 2018 I pondered my “end game” – where do I want to be when it’s over and what do I...

3 months ago • 5 min read

Reviewing someone else's code can be frustrating, but also a learning experience for everyone. Let's see how Stephen King might help us. I was talking with my friend Tess Ferrandez at NDC London just over a month ago and we started talking about code reviews. She was about to go on stage, and that was the subject of her talk (I can't find a link to the recording), which was ironic because it was also the chapter I was outlining for The Imposter's Playbook, which I'm getting near to finishing....

3 months ago • 6 min read

Personal growth books claim self-sabotage holds us back. Business hustle books frame it as a necessary thing. Which is it? I've been listening to books about business and personal growth over the last month and I noticed something interesting when it came to the idea of self-sabotage: the entrepreneur/hustle culture thrives on it while the more "emotionally intelligent" people regard it as a blocker to personal growth. Well then. Climbing a Mountain Let's start with the personal growth stuff,...

3 months ago • 8 min read

I am so, so happy to let you know that the Accelerator videos and book are final and ready for you! You can download the books and code here (expires in 2 days), and you can see all the videos here once you login (be sure to use the same email). I finished up the case studies and put some polish on the book, including a editorial review (grammar, spelling, etc) and I do hope you enjoy them! This has been a lot of work, but tons of fun too. I might add another case study if there's a demand....

10 months ago • 1 min read

A super quick note to let you know that just yesterday I finished the Playwright case study recording, which is the last case study I plan on doing. Playwright, if you don't know, is a fascinating "end-to-end" testing tool that let's you script out DOM interactions so you know your site is behaving as it should. I also finished up the Firebase case study, where we roll the entire project over to a Firebase back end. And just now I pushed 4 more videos to the site which you can see right here....

11 months ago • 1 min read
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