How to Deal With Developer Burnout

Everyone can feel tired, bored or exhausted from doing work. Why? Too busy. Your tasks are repetitive and unchallenging. Or you deal with people who drain you. You need to focus on things that you can control to help deal with developer burnout.

How to deal with burnout

Here’s a list of things to try:

  1. Take a day off and do nothing. Relax, sleep or go somewhere different.
  2. Change your sleep routine. It may need a bit of tweaking. You may need to change your nightly routine.
  3. Break a habit or pattern. Take a different route to work. Eat at a new place for lunch.
  4. Drink water. Stay hydrated during the day.
  5. Spend time in nature. Go for a walk in a garden or a park.
  6. Take regular breaks during the day. Get up walk around or stretch.
  7. Do something creative. Write. Photograph. Or make something not related to work.
  8. Move your body. Talk a walk. Do yoga or pilates. Anything that gets you to move.
  9. Listen to a new podcast. If you listen to programming podcast, choose one on a different topic. Try out something you don’t normally listen to.
  10. Learn something new. Read a book or watch a video. Try a new programming language or tool.
  11. Say No to additional tasks at work. See if you can arrange to do them at a later date.
  12. Change your coding environment. Use a different text editor. Or go outside and code.

You want to try these things to avoid developer burnout and before deciding to quit your job. Small changes can help. If they don’t, then you can find a new job later.

Making a JavaScript Quiz

People like to take quizzes for fun. Making a JavaScript quiz can be a fun challenge. Pick a topic, collect questions and build the quiz app. You can write one in any web development language you prefer. I wanted to create one in JavaScript.

Making a JavaScript Quiz with chocolate as the topic
Photo by Daniel Fazio on Unsplash

What do you need to create a quiz in JavaScript?

  • A quiz topic. I love to eat chocolate. Chocolate is a fun quiz topic. I compiled a list of questions on chocolate.
  • A web app. I chose to build it using HTML, CSS and of course, JavaScript.

Other requirements

I wanted to use FlexBox for the layout. Plus a counter that shows you what question you are on. I included a photo of chocolate as well.

Chocolate Quiz showing first question

Building the app

The structure for a quiz is simple. It should display a question, a list of answers and track the number of questions that you get right. Then, it shows you summary of how well you did at the end. Plus, it should give you the option to try again.

I started with a simple quiz tutorial and modified it. First, I edited the code to include my questions on chocolate. Then, I looked at a quiz example with a timer and modified my code to add question counter.

Finally, I updated the code to include the chocolate photo into the results. It required adding one line of code.

<img src="images/60-seconds-of-love-sr2QGGnzy8k-unsplash-700.jpg" alt="amul chocolate" class="quiz-image" />

I wanted to add a sticky footer to the bottom of the web app. The web page uses FlexBox. I need to modify the layout to create the footer using FlexBox. CSS-Tricks’ FlexBox option fit well with the app design.

CSS Gradients

I wanted to use a gradient for the background. You can either use a CSS gradient generator to create it. Or use one created by designers. Gradient Hunt lets you choose from a selection of pre-made gradients.

What to do differently

A quiz on chocolate needs more photos of it. The design would need to show more chocolate as you move through the quiz. Next, I would like to show chocolate facts with each question. Each question has to have four answers; no true or false. I would change it so I can add true or false questions.

If you like chocolate and want to take a quiz, try out this Chocolate Quiz.

Creating a simple weather app with Open Weather API

How do you get the weather? You could use an app or create your own. First, you need a way to get weather data. You can use an Application Programming Interface to get the data that you need.

Creating a simple weather app with Open Weather API

Where can you find APIs to use in your projects? Try ProgrammableWeb. It is an API directory that lets you find the right API for your project. I found a weather API called Open Weather. Open Weather allows you to get the current weather data, hourly or daily forecast and more.

With Open Weather, I created a simple weather app. It gets the current temperature, daily forecast (highs and lows) and weather conditions. Then, it tells you if the weather was right for riding a bike.

Getting Started

Before writing any code, I looked at Open Weather’s documentation. It explains how to use their API. They include examples using different programming languages like JavaScript. These examples are helpful were helpful to learn what I could do with the API.

On their examples’ page, I found Weather.js. Weather.js fetches data from Open Weather for you. It makes it easy to get weather information from Open Weather.

Building the App

Before building the app, I researched other weather apps to get an idea of what I wanted mine to look like. Then, I sketched out an idea on paper.

I chose to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Since I am familiar with Bootstrap, I used it as well. I built my prototype with Bootstrap’s starter template. Then, I wrote my own JavaScript file to fetch data from Open Weather using Weather.js.

Open Weather has weather icons. Weather.js doesn’t use those icons. I looked at the JavaScript and wrote code to get the icons.


Weather.Current.prototype.icon = function () {
  return this.data.list[0].weather[0].icon;
}

Now, my app shows the current and forecast temperatures, weather icon and conditions.

Bike Weather App Screenshot

What to do differently

Open Weather returns weather information for a specific location. Instead of hardcoding the location, I would use the location of the browser. Right now, I used Bootstrap for the UI. I would use a different tool for handling layout like FlexBox or CSS Grid.

Write Better Documentation for Your Code

Do you write documentation? Most developers love to write code. They write code that solves problems. It helps people to get something done. If they write documentation, it is quickly written. A task to be completed so you can get back to writing code.

Write Better Documentation For Your Code
Image by Christine Sponchia from Pixabay

How do you choose a new framework? You look at the features to see if it does what you want. Then, you read the documentation. If it is hard to read or non-existent, you’ll get frustrated and choose a different solution.

If you want people to use your code, you need to write great content.

How do you write better documentation?

  • Decide who you are writing it for
  • Decide what you are going to include
  • Make it easy to use
  • Keep it up to date
  • Read great documentation

Decide who you are writing for

You need to know your audience. Are they developers, clients or customers? Developers want to know how to use your code. Or what can they do with it. Your clients may want step by step instructions on how to use it.

What are you going to include

Decide on what you want them to know. Create a list of questions or items that you need to cover. A technical audience may want to read tutorials, how-to-guides and/or references. Beginners learn better with simple step by step instructions. For everyone, you may want to include videos as well.

Make it easy to use

No matter what you are writing, decide how you are going to organize it. If you are writing a tutorial, you may want to start by explaining what you are planning to talk about. Use formatting styles like headings, bulleted or numbered lists and bold or italics. Formatting styles help guide the reader through your documents.

Keep it up to date

Developers make improvements and changes to their code. When they do, the documentation needs to change as well. Plan time to update it. Apps and other projects fail because the content isn’t kept up to date.

Read great documentation

You can learn how to write better by reading. These style guides show you how to write great developer content.

More Resources

Get Data Using JavaScript Fetch API

I was looking for a simple to get data from an API. When I found this tutorial using JavaScript Fetch and the Random User API. You use Fetch to send a simple GET request to the Random User API and provides you with JSON data of 10 random people.

Get Data Using JS Fetch API
Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst

Why manually type in code?

In Learn Ruby: The Hard Way, Zed A. Shaw, explains that you must type in the exercises by hand. It helps you to learn how to read, write and see code. By using copy and paste, you don’t learn how the code works.

How do I used this tutorial

This site is simple. I started with a simple HTML site. Then, I made some adjustments after I got the GET request working.

1. Added style to the website
I started with a simple HTML website that didn’t have much style to it. First, I added CSS code to style the images. Then, I added a header and footer to the site. I decided to stick with a black and white color scheme.

2. Changed how the API displays the data
When I first created the site, the API returns the user’s name in all lower case letters. I wanted the name to follow the format of first letter upper case and the rest lowercase for both first and last name. I modified the JavaScript to capitalize the first letter.

function capitalizeFirstLetter(string) {
    return string.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + string.slice(1);
}

The API returns the email address as text only. I wrote an additional function to change email to be an actually email link.

function createEmailAddress(string) {
    return "<a href=mailto:" + string + ">" + string + "</>";
}

3. Changed the size of the photos
In the tutorial, the photos are on the small size. I wanted them to be bigger. To learn how to do that, I went to the Random User API documentation and read how to get bigger photos. It was a simple change.

Random User API

See more about learning JSON by building a simple website.