A Question of Code

A Question of Code

aquestionofcode.com
A newbie coder and a seasoned veteran discuss the questions that always come up when someone begins learning to code.


85: Top Tips review: why should you build your own website?
Oct 19 • 10 min
Looking at some of the repeating themes from our guests’ Top Tips for new devs. This week: building your own website
84: Why should you own a rubber duck?
Oct 12 • 24 min
Being stuck sucks. Unblock yourself by explaining your problems to other people (and maybe to inanimate objects, too?)
83: How do you get started with a new framework?
Oct 5 • 25 min
What’s it like to try a new framework for the first time?
82: What is semantic markup?
Sep 28 • 25 min
When writing markup, there are more things to think about than you might expect.
81: What is an API?
Sep 21 • 27 min
“API” is a common term. But what are Application Programming Interfaces, and where and why would you use them?
80: What’s it like behind the scenes of a podcast?
Sep 14 • 26 min
This week we go behind the scenes of the podcast to see how it’s made!
79: How important are CS fundamentals? (with Vaidehi Joshi)
Sep 7 • 46 min
The core concepts of computer science can be intimidating and hard to learn. When, how, and why should you learn them?
78: How can developers get better at design?
Aug 31 • 26 min
Devs should know a bit about design. You don’t need to make it beautiful - focus on making it “not ugly”.
77: Should you use boilerplates?
Aug 24 • 24 min
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every project. There are plenty of tools out there to give you an early leg-up.
76: CSS Revisited (Rapid Fire)
Aug 17 • 31 min
Ed puts Tom on the spot again with some more tricky CSS conundrums
75: Why do you need a website of your own? (with Chris Coyier)
Aug 10 • 51 min
What does the frontend hiring landscape look like right now, and why is it important to have your own site?
74: How do you get started with testing? (with Brian Okken)
Aug 3 • 50 min
We finally get a testing expert onto the show to set us straight about some of our testing misconceptions.
73: Why is Python a good starting point for learning to code? (with Michael Kennedy)
Jul 27 • 43 min
Python is really approachable for beginners, but has enough depth (and career opportunities) for experts.
72: CSS Extravaganza!
Jul 20 • 34 min
Blasting through as many of Ed’s questions about frontend coding as we can in 30 minutes.
71: How should developers market themselves? (with Shawn Wang)
Jul 13 • 55 min
When it comes to your own career as a developer, it’s easy to overlook an important skill - marketing yourself (even if you don’t want to be a “celebrity”)
70: Is “become a developer” still good advice?
Jul 6 • 23 min
This advice is often given without thinking. But is it still valid? Is telling someone to become a developer still a good idea?
69: Why bother with side projects?
Jun 29 • 26 min
Developers are always banging on about side projects, but are they really worth having?
68: Are bootcamps worth doing? (with Kirsty Simmonds)
Jun 22 • 43 min
A detailed look at the process of taking a coding bootcamp from someone who has actually done it.
67: How can developers help fight climate change? (with Natalia Waniczek)
Jun 15 • 36 min
What impact does web development have on climate change? And what can we do to make things better?
66: How do you get started in data science? (with Tom Sainsbury)
Jun 8 • 39 min
What options are there for scientists who want a career in tech? Data Science could be a great route into programming.
65: Should new developers get involved in open source? (with Jeremy Walker)
Jun 1 • 64 min
A chat with one of the co-founders of Exercism.io about open source participation and tech mentorship.
64: How do you get started with Pandas? (with Boris Paskhaver)
May 25 • 33 min
Pandas is a library for dealing with data in Python. It also makes for a great introduction to coding in general
63: What is i18n? (with Eli Schutze)
May 18 • 38 min
Internationalisation is often cited as one of the really hard programming tasks. What does it involve? And is it really hard?
62: What is it like to have a mentor? (with Amber Wilson)
May 11 • 50 min
A fascinating first-hand account of tech mentorship
61: What questions should you ask in an interview?
May 4 • 24 min
Questions are our stock-in-trade, and we’ve got some great ones that you should try to ask in any job interview.
60: What is a resilient website? (with Jeremy Keith)
Apr 27 • 48 min
How can we make the web work well for everybody?
59: How do you prepare to give a presentation?
Apr 20 • 35 min
We’ve both been doing a lot of presenting lately. What advice do we have? And what mistakes have we made?
58: How do you run a remote conference?
Apr 13 • 37 min
How do convert an in-person event into a 100% remote one (with hardly any time to prepare)?
57: Why is time so hard to work with?
Apr 6 • 31 min
At some point, every developer needs to deal with time in their code. Here are some reasons coding with times and dates should fill you with dread.
56: How can you make code habitable?
Mar 30 • 24 min
How do you write code that you (and your colleagues, present and future) can live in?
55: Any tips and tricks for effective home working?
Mar 23 • 26 min
Being remote comes with plenty of challenges and opportunities.
54: Why do people write “bad” code?
Mar 16 • 25 min
No one sets out to write bad code, but bad code does exist.
53: What are some good things to build?
Mar 9 • 30 min
If the best way to learn is by doing, what should you actually do?
52: What gear do you use?
Mar 2 • 25 min
Get two nerds in a room and you’ll have three opinions about technology.
51: What is a Minimum Viable Product?
Feb 24 • 28 min
How useful is an MVP, and how do they differ from traditional prototypes?
50: What’s so special about the command line?
Feb 17 • 30 min
What’s better; CLI or GUI? (spoilers: it depends…)
49: What is a build pipeline?
Feb 10 • 33 min
How do you get your code onto the internet?
48: Agency or product?
Feb 3 • 28 min
Is it better to work for a range of clients on projects with short time-frames, or work continuously for one company or a single application?
47: How do you build a blog?
Jan 27 • 30 min
A dive into the mechanics of building and hosting your own blog.
46: How do you apply to speak at a conference? (with Tony Edwards)
Jan 20 • 42 min
A peek behind the scenes of a tech conference, looking at how talks are selected and prepared.
45: Should you take a bootcamp?
Jan 13 • 33 min
Bootcamps can look very tempting, but are they a sensible option?
44: What is the difference between a framework and a library?
Jan 6 • 30 min
They’re often confused and can appear very similar, so what are the differences between code frameworks and libraries?
43: Yearly Themes: 2020
Dec 23, 2019 • 32 min
How did our Yearly Themes perform in 2019? And what are our themes for 2020?
42: What does a developer do all day?
Dec 16, 2019 • 30 min
Is there such thing as a ‘standard day’ for a programmer?
41: How long does it take to get a job in tech?
Dec 9, 2019 • 21 min
How long did it take you to go from knowing you wanted to be a developer to actually starting work at your first dev job?
40: Can you trust recruiters?
Dec 2, 2019 • 26 min
Recruiters, huh? What are they good for?
39: Do you have impostor syndrome?
Nov 25, 2019 • 29 min
Do you deserve the job you have? (yes. yes you do.)
38: If it’s not broken should you fix it?
Nov 18, 2019 • 23 min
Knowing when not to refactoring is just important as important as knowing how to refactor
⚡️ Help us, listeners. You’re our only hope
Oct 14, 2019 • 1 min
We’re hoping to do a “how long does it take to learn to code?” episode, but need more data points than just our own.
37: When are you ready for a coding job?
Oct 7, 2019 • 35 min
It’s hard to be sure when you know enough to be qualified for a career in programming
36: How do you keep track of your knowledge?
Sep 30, 2019 • 31 min
Good note taking is a crucial skill when learning to code
35: Do you git it? (What is version control?)
Sep 23, 2019 • 32 min
What is version control, git and why should you be using it everyday?
34: How do you learn a new programming language?
Sep 16, 2019 • 30 min
What is the best strategy to adopt when you have to master a new language?
33: How much tooling is too much tooling?
Sep 9, 2019 • 31 min
Now that Ed is a professional programmer, he needs to think seriously about his tooling.
32: How do you prepare for a new job?
Sep 2, 2019 • 21 min
Make sure you’re in the right frame of mind to face those first few days in a new role.
31: Should you pivot?
Aug 26, 2019 • 14 min
A career pivot is an incremental change, not a complete one.
⚡️ How much time do you spending coding in a coding job?
Aug 19, 2019 • 6 min
You probably won’t spend all your time writing code.
⚡️ How long should you spend on a take home coding challenge?
Aug 12, 2019 • 7 min
Take-home tests are an established part of the interviewing process
⚡️ Tabs or spaces?
Aug 5, 2019 • 5 min
What type of indentation should you use when coding?
30: What do you get from going to a tech meetup?
Jul 29, 2019 • 32 min
Networking can be gross, but meetups can be fun for everybody.
29: What’s wrong with developer culture?
Jul 22, 2019 • 37 min
Can toxic habits be excused by coding-talent?
28: How do you stay motivated?
Jul 15, 2019 • 38 min
Another look at time management and the usefulness of yearly themes.
27: How do you deal with crazy bugs?
Jul 8, 2019 • 35 min
Debugging is a crucial skill for developers. Maybe even THE skill.
26: What is functional programming?
Jul 1, 2019 • 34 min
A functional programming convert tries to explain his obsession to a skeptical newbie coder.
25: Do you need to be good at maths to become a programmer?
Jun 24, 2019 • 33 min
Maths and coding often go hand-in-hand. But can you do one without the other?
24: Should you write about what you’ve learnt?
Jun 17, 2019 • 35 min
Is documenting your coding progress useful for you or anyone else?
23: How do you write a good CV?
Jun 10, 2019 • 40 min
Refactoring Ed’s resumé before he applies for jobs
22: Why should you write tests?
Jun 3, 2019 • 40 min
Is it important to have a test suite for your codebase? TL;DR: yes
⚡️ What does it mean to be a full stack developer?
May 27, 2019 • 5 min
In this lightning question Tom and Ed discuss the term ‘full-stack’. What does it mean and is it even possible for one person to do all the things?
⚡️ How closely should you match a job description before applying?
May 20, 2019 • 6 min
In this lightning question Tom and Ed give you a quick overview of how many of your skills need to match a job description before you apply.
21: How do you get started with open source?
May 13, 2019 • 36 min
What is open source, and is contributing a good use of time for newbie coders?
20: What’s it like to attend a tech conference? (Live at Future Sync)
May 6, 2019 • 34 min
We took our mobile studio to the excellent Future Sync conference.
19: What’s it like being a remote developer?
Apr 29, 2019 • 31 min
Is the rise of the Digital Nomad all it’s cracked up to be?
18: What’s the interview process for a tech job?
Apr 22, 2019 • 32 min
In this episode Tom describes his most recent round of interviewing. What tasks and challenges did he find? How many rounds did he have to go through? And is any of this representative of interviewing in the wider tech industry? Find out all this and more…
17: How do you find a mentor?
Apr 15, 2019 • 34 min
Have our hosts ever had a mentor? Or been one? What does mentoring look like in the tech industry? And how should you go about finding a mentor? Find out in this week’s uplifting instalment of A Question of Code!
16: When should you specialise?
Apr 8, 2019 • 29 min
When should you specialise in your career? Is specialising even necessary at all? The week Tom lays down some hard-earned wisdom (which Ed is smart enough to unpick and not take too seriously). Does Ed feel like becoming a “specialist” yet? And has Tom…
15: What happens in a kick off meeting?
Apr 1, 2019 • 21 min
Ed and Tom kick off their new side hustle - as chosen by their rabid fanbase. The plan is to document the “behind the scenes” parts of programming: what does collaboration actually look like? And what actually happens at the beginning of a new project?…
14: How do you learn?
Mar 25, 2019 • 27 min
How does Ed (a teacher) recommend you learn things? Did Tom do it right, even if it was by accident? And why are most teenagers wasting their time when they sit down to revise for exams? Find out in this week’s edifying instalment of A Question of Code!
13: Project Introduction
Mar 18, 2019 • 21 min
There are plenty of places you can go to see people coding “live”. But what about the non-code side of programming work? The admin, the logistics, the meetings?! In a break from the usual format, Ed and Tom kick-off a project to uncover all the hidden…
12: Should you get a CS degree?
Mar 11, 2019 • 32 min
Neither of our hosts have a degree in computer science. Does Tom wish he did have CS qualification? And would he recommend that Ed gets one? If not, what alternatives are there for someone beginning to learn to code? Find out in this week’s enthralling…
11: When should you change to your second language?
Mar 4, 2019 • 35 min
Ed’s reached the point where he needs to take on more than just Python. But it turns out he’s not that keen on JavaScript (much to Tom’s dismay). What should he learn next? And how important is it to learn more than one programming language? Find out in…
10: Is coding less fun when it’s your job?
Feb 25, 2019 • 26 min
Does working full-time suck the fun out of coding? Spoiler alert: coding is awesome and always finds ways to be inspiring and creatively rewarding. But there are inevitably times when work is, well, “work”. Find out more in this week’s enlightening…
9: Where do you find jobs?
Feb 18, 2019 • 34 min
For this week’s question Tom gives Ed lots of advice on where he should be applying to jobs. They discuss job boards and networking as well as many other places you can find jobs to apply to. Ed even gives Tom the opportunity to rant about recruiters (and…
8: When should you quit your job?
Feb 11, 2019 • 32 min
Some may call him brave, others may call him foolhardy. Ed has quit his job. Now that he has to find a job in tech, Tom and Ed discuss Ed’s plan of attack and why he chose *now* as the time to make the leap. Does Tom think his co-host has made the right…
7: Where do you learn?
Feb 4, 2019 • 30 min
Ed and Tom run through the learning resources they find most useful. Which of our hosts has never made it all the way through a coding book? Who cheats at tests? Why doesn’t Ed like watching video tutorials? Why does Medium mean Ed has to dust off the…
6: What tools do you need?
Jan 28, 2019 • 28 min
It’s easy to get carried away with tooling, but what tools do you actually *need* if you want to learn to code? Ed and Tom break down their setups into “essential” and “really like and find very useful” tools. But which of them likes Vim the most? And…
5: Which language should you learn first?
Jan 21, 2019 • 31 min
In this week’s episode Tom and Ed debate the best programming language to learn when you’re just starting out. They discuss the pros and cons of Python and JavaScript and give some tips for learning each of the languages, as well as some discussion on…
4: How do you manage your time?
Jan 14, 2019 • 26 min
How does Ed find enough time in the day to learn to code? Will Tom be able to take out the bins? In this episode Tom and Ed discuss the ways in which they manage their time, including time management tips (and philosophies), to do lists, and time…
3: Freelance or full-time?
Jan 7, 2019 • 18 min
This week Tom and Ed get to grips with freelancing and working full time. What are the pros and cons of each? Which is the best way to start a career? Is working for yourself necessarily better than working in a big company? Ed finds out which he’s going…
2: Frontend or Backend?
Dec 31, 2018 • 17 min
This week Tom and Ed discuss the differences between “frontend” and “backend” in the coding universe and what drew them to each. What is the difference between frontend and backend? How do I decide which path to take? All these questions will be answered…
1: Why are you learning to code?
Dec 24, 2018 • 15 min
This week Tom and Ed introduce A Question of Code, a new podcast answering the common questions that come up when learning to code. Ed’s a newbie coder who’s only been learning to code for a year and Tom’s a more seasoned developer having worked in the…
Trailer: A Question of Code
Dec 24, 2018 • 1 min
Why should you listen to our podcast? Check out our trailer with Tom and Ed!