Teach It So That You Understand It

It’s hard to understand new concepts let alone create with them. As a new developer there is always the feeling of drowning in information. I’ve been working on gaining a better understanding of concepts by teaching them to others.

Blooms Taxonomy tries to explain the different levels of comprehension that we have when dealing with a concept. It works really well when you think about developers, the best are working in open source creating, evaluating and analyzing.


Taking your understanding of a concept and teaching others is a great way of moving up this pyramid:

  1. Can you identify, recognize and explain this to others?
  2. Can you apply and demonstrate?
  3. Can you compare and contrast (callbacks vs promises?).

This is why Paired Coding and effective Mentorships work so well. It’s people working on this practice. Sometimes we find out we can CREATE but cannot EXPLAIN. When this happens we need to realize our gaps and work on them (I have plenty more gaps on the top of this pyramid).


Recently I have been jumping on Free Code Camps Gitter and offering to host Google Hangout lessons on concepts I am working on. The other night I showed people how to set up their first Nodejs server so they could work in a local environment. This week I am going to jump on and talk about “call backs” or maybe explain the “execution stack”. This isn’t about me being an expert, it’s about me demonstrating an understanding of concepts that will allow me to challenge myself through application and analysis.

This can help all of us (newer, new and old) developers by making us work through these phases of Blooms Taxonomy for true mastery.

Teach It So That You Understand It

Great Resources For Learning JavaScript

As a former teacher and coach and someone who is probably about 1500 hours back into development (lets not count college) I have a certain way of learning things. I need to really understand what is going on not just at the syntax level but the processes behind it if I am going to feel comfortable with it. Here are 3 resources that will change the way you look at JavaScript:

JavaScript Understanding the Weird Parts by Anthony Alicea

1000 hours in I had no clue what the “Execution Stack” was or how a “Closure” really worked. This changed the way I thought about code by making me think about how the engine worked. It’s $30 on Udemy and worth it.

You Don’t Know JS by Kyle Simpson

After digging through Anthony’s work I jumped into Kyle’s 6 (yes I said 6) books on JavaScript. One day I will meet Kyle, he will not know me but, I may just hug him (or buy him a beer). You could buy these or you could realize he is a walking saint and visit the GitHub page to access all of them.

All IT Ebooks

This one may be the best and worst resource you ever use. It’s hundreds upon hundreds of dev ebooks. Where do you even start?

Great Resources For Learning JavaScript