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Cover image for #5 | CodeNewbie Study Group Cohort - Looking For Study Mates!
Robert Lin
Robert Lin

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#5 | CodeNewbie Study Group Cohort - Looking For Study Mates!

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."


For Week #5, I wanted to try something a little different. Instead of contributing to a random open-source project this week, I thought I'd try to set up a study group here on CodeNewbie. I have no idea if it'll actually work, but let's give it a whirl!

For this study group, I'm thinking:

  • Anyone can join; it is more newbie-oriented which means you're trying to learn something new. Any topic/language/domain is welcome. HTML/CSS/JS/Python/Go/React/Firebase/etc-- come one, come all! šŸ¤— My only request: please, serious learners only! šŸ™
  • This study group will be capped at five members, total.
  • A study group runs for thirty days.
  • If you're a member of this group, you're expected to contribute ONE "card" every single day.
  • A "card" is simply a GitHub issue that that you open in this project. (For example, here's my card that I submitted for today, Monday (5/3).)
  • The card can contain whatever accomplishment(s) you achieved that particular day. Feel free to include pics or video too. It doesn't need to be a long entry; it just needs to be "best-effort"; we're just working on an honor system here. šŸ™‚
  • You get "two strikes" in this thirty-day sprint. (There's gotta be punishment to keep folks from slacking off!) If you miss more than two days of contributing, you get booted from a study group and whoever's next "on deck" will take your place.

If you are interested in joining:

Please submit a card here. (Note you won't be able to categorize your card; don't worry. After you submit it, I'll categorize and label it accordingly.) For the format, you can follow the outline I laid out in my card that I submitted today. At the moment, each daily card has five sections:

  • Motivation/Problem Statement šŸ’­ā“:
    Why are you sitting down at the computer today? What is motivating you to action today?

  • Today's Goal šŸ„…:
    What are you setting out to learn/achieve today? If you succeed, what are you hoping to accomplish?

  • Result šŸ“šŸŒšŸ‰:
    The fruits of your labor! Screenshots, videos, text, welcome!

  • Observations & Next Steps šŸ”­šŸ‘£:
    What are some conclusions from your readings and findings? Are you happy with your results? What might you refactor or change in the future?

  • References šŸ”—:
    Link any useful resources you may have found throughout the day.

Again, I have no idea if this'll work. But I see there are other folks doing "30-day" or "100-day" coding challenges. So I felt like it might be nice to consolidate everyone's "daily updates" into a single spot. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Let's keep each other accountable! We learn best when we learn together! šŸš€šŸŽ‰šŸ„³

This Tuesday's Random Thought:

In 2021 and onward, I think the future of the web are private spaces. In the first two decades (2000-2020), there was a mad rush as the web was seen as a brand new frontier. Similar to the gold rush, tons of pioneers set off west seeking gold, fame, and eternal glory. Now, two decades later, the web has matured. Desktop/laptop usage of the web has already been declining for years now as smartphone and tablet usage has surged. And obviously, with the smartphone revolution, everything moved away from "websites" and more towards "apps."

enter image description here

Here's Zuck on the subject in 2012: "The biggest mistake we've made as a company is betting on HTML5 over native."

Aside from just better performance though, the other draw for apps is it's secure/private nature. Virtually all apps require you login from the get-go; it's simply the default behavior. But with the web, owing to its open beginnings, people were largely used to just navigating to a web address and seeing the contents, whether it be blogs, news outlets, Wikipedia, or even Amazon. Sure, over time, paywalls (especially to news outlets, Patreon pages, or Substacks) have popped up. And for e-commerce, you obviously need to login with your account before you can buy anything. But from the beginning, people think of the web as "open" and apps more as "closed."

But moving forward, from 2021 onwards, I think this is going to change.

As platforms have matured, I think people are increasingly going to retreat to private and more intimate spaces. Increasingly, no one wants to publicly post on their Facebook or IG wall because that content is so public. Who wants to live in fear all the time, constantly in a perpetual spotlight? While "shouting into the void" will always exist, I think the future of the web lies increasingly in establishing more specific niches and subcultures. And I don't mean subreddits which can contain thousands of people. I mean really small groups. Ten people or fewer, for example.

The dream of the internet was always that we'd use it to connect with wonderful strangers from all around the world to find a sense of community. The reality, unfortunately, is that signal is incredibly difficult to find amidst all the noise. And it just takes a few bad actors to sour the experience for everyone.

Additionally, an astounding proportion of internet users operate only in "consumption mode". They just read, watch, and take but never give. Think of YouTube, your favorite blog, etc. Tens of thousands of watchers and readers. But only a relatively tiny fraction of commenters. And an even tinier fraction of original content creators.

Of course, the reason for this ginormous asymmetry is because most of the monetization strategies on the web rely on ad-dollars. Eyeballs seeing YouTube and banner ads. So for two decades, we've incentivized clickbait headlines and thumbnail pics.

But what if we could imagine an internet free from advertising? What might that look like and what behaviors would that incentivize? I'm genuinely curious what folks think-- please share your thoughts! šŸ™

Top splash cover from ogunyemimd

Top comments (8)

mccurcio profile image
Matt C

Hi Robert and Anita,
You put a lot out there, where do I begin.

I have to smile because I look back to the real old days when your father talked about BBs and listserves. That was the only way to communicate with others on the net. The vast majority were small groups by today's std. And for the most part, one could actually be anonymous.

The advent of Facebook and all the ad-click companies showed the world that anonymity was dead. I am not sure I understand your argument about logging in to some site leading one to believe that it is more private or secure? Can you elaborate?

But I see that the search for privacy and smaller groups is a swing of the pendulum away from the indecent attack on privacy that most hi-tech companies were and are still doing.

However, I think there has always been a portion of people that want to attract as many hearts and minds(not to mention eyeballs) as possible, for good or bad. Conversely, there has been and will be a small section that wants smaller more intimate groups with more substantive conversations.

just my 2 cents :)

r002 profile image
Robert Lin

@mccurcio , btw-- I saw on your CN and GH profiles that you're interested in data science? Anita and I are interested in DS too! This morning, I was actually just corresponding with Anita about different DS roles in the industry. Would love to get your take on it if you're keen šŸ™! Specifically, are you interested in a data analyst role? Or more a data engineer or data scientist role?

mccurcio profile image
Matt C

Hi R,
Call me Matt ;))
Data Scientist/Analyst/Devops, yes, please.
I saw your note about forming a study group and was curious to talk about that too. I am a chameleon looking for a new home. Are you open to chat informally this weekend or next week?

As you know, if you follow me we can then chat privately and exchange digits or alphanumerics. lol

r002 profile image
Robert Lin

Hi Matt! Thanks for your comment! I totally agree-- I think the world is huge and there'll always be a place for all types of groups; definitely. To clarify, my take on it is just that moving forward, I think there's a kind of "fatigue" that has set in when it comes to public spaces. For example, I know Facebook likes to advertise itself as a "public square." And while a public square might be a fun place you visit every Saturday to hang out at the farmer's market or socialize, I don't think that's a space that actually fosters close and intimate connections. The vast majority of all FB connections are, I'm fairly certain, pretty shallow and weak relationships.

Personally (for me at least) Facebook is a great place for asynchronous communication. Like, my synagogue group can use FB to blast out announcements to all of its congregants and keep us up to date on the latest and greatest. But for more personal connections, I've begun increasingly turning to FB closed messaging groups or Google Hangouts closed messaging groups. That's what I meant by "more private and secure." Also, I like the idea of Reddit and FB "membership" groups where you need to be approved by some criteria in order to be admitted. Definitely not "secure" in any meaningful sense, but by including only a dedicated subset of interested people, I think that goes a long way towards building a healthy and productive community. (And weeding out trolls/bad actors!)

anitabe404 profile image
Anita Beauchamp

It seems everything goes in cycles. I feel like prior to the prevalence of the internet and social media, there was a lot of emphasis on privacy (at least here in the US).

With the boom of the internet & social media, we also began to share more of ourselves and our personal lives online. At first, sharing seemed liberating because it gave the regular person the opportunity to find like-minded people, build a platform, and make an impact quicker than before. Additionally, the internet spaces that were created felt safe and intimate; we were sharing with friends and family (or members of shared hobbies/identities). I don't think the average person really accounted for the digital paper trail that gets left behind or foresaw how their private moments could be exploited for financial gain or nefarious purposes.

I think the desire for and migration to smaller, more private spaces is a return to old values in a sense. After a while, people get tired of worrying about their online safety, being marketed to, and falling for the illusions of advertisers and influencers. It'll be interesting to see how things shake out.

I enjoyed reading your take on it.

r002 profile image
Robert Lin

Hi Anita!

Thanks for writing! Seeing your comment totally makes my day too! šŸ˜€

Haha, this day and age, it often feels like I'm just blogging into the void. So when someone takes the time to actually compose a thoughtful response, it honestly blows my mind a little (in a good way!) and is a pleasant surprise. šŸ„³

I totally agree with you though. I think the first generation (2000-2020; this includes me!) were the "digitally clueless." Now though, tweens and children are "digital natives" and so savvy with all this stuff. They've probably all installed ad-blockers already and don't even know what a YouTube ad actually is. (Only the olds see ads anymore, I think.) And moving forward, I'm pretty certain VPN technology is actually gonna get built into browsers by default. So totally anonymous browsing will become ubiquitous (which is why there's such a mad rush to apps, especially on phones and tablets).

Thanks for sharing your take though! I know in Europe with GDPR, they're cracking down on privacy even more. And China is essentially its own entire universe. Essentially, I think the dream of "one digital world" is slowly coming to an end. Of course, you'll always have Reddit and other supernational entities where people enjoy mixing and mingling. But increasingly, China (and India, and every other "internet-mature" country) of course want to reign supreme over their own digital landscape. Why on earth would Indians want to grant an American company like FB or Amazon digital supremacy within their own borders? It'd be total madness to just blithely let all those bajillions of dollars flow to some foreign company/national power. We actually already saw this play out a bit last year with the whole TikTok fiasco. It took a while but national borders have finally arrived in internet-land!

PS. Btw, thank you for joining the study group! So thrilled to have you onboard! šŸŽ‰

We're on our way! Also-- this morning I went ahead and updated our study group members list. Three spots left!

2motillintern profile image
A. Foreman

Are you still looking for study group members? I know I have to submit a card but Iā€™m interested.

r002 profile image
Robert Lin

Hi! Yes, we're still looking for study group members! So wonderful to hear you're interested! šŸ˜€

You can join at any time by submitting a card. Whatever day you start on, I'll use as your start date and your day count will start from then. Also, you can specify a duration that you're interested in, if you wish. For example, Anita's set a goal of "100 days of code" and I've set a goal of "30 days".

Would love if you joined our group! Learning is more fun together! šŸ˜„