Personal Site & Blog of

Andrew L. Van Slaars

What I'm Currently Up To

I thought I’d create a page that is a little more dynamic than my about page and update this one with things that are currently on my plate… projects, job, interests, things I’m learning, etc.

As of: August 4th, 2018

Job

As I write this, I have been in my current role as an Enterprise Architect for client applications at Cengage for 6 months. It’s been a long and busy 6 months, but it also feels like it’s flown by in an instant.

I am absolutely loving this job! Not only do I enjoy the resposibilities of the role, I also get to work with an incredible team for a company who’s mission is a perfect fit for me, given my passion for teaching and education.

I am still working remotely. I really value the flexibility and additional family time remote work allows for, so for this, I am grateful 😀.

My Videos on egghead.io

All of my videos are available from my instructor page, or you can follow the links below for specific playlists and courses.

Reduce Redux Boilerplate with Redux-Actions

This course is on the shorter side at just ten videos. The redux-actions library has a small, but powerful API and we cover the whole thing in just under 40 minutes! If you use redux, this one is definitely worth checking out!

Safer JavaScript with the Maybe Type

My course on the Maybe data type, using the excellent crocks library is out! I had a ton of fun making this one.

End to end testing with Cypress

My course on Cypress is out! At normal speed, it comes in at a little over an hour. If you speed it up, you’ll have a solid foundation for adding e2e tests to your project in less than a single lunch break. It’s got a great out of the box experience, so you could probably do it without the videos, but it’s always good to get a head start.

Build a React App with Redux

Build a React App with Redux

This is my second full course on egghead. It covers the core concepts needed to use Redux when building a React application. It covers the basics of creating a store through using middleware for async actions and even includes lessons on React Router v4 and how to prepare your app for deployment and make it live with now. It covers a lot of ground and comes in at 111 minutes!.

Learn Ramda JS Playlist

A playlist of free lessons that cover various functions and concepts used in the ramda js library.

Build Your First Production Quality React App

Build Your First Production Quality React App

This is my first full blown course on egghead. It is the result of a lot of planning, a lot of helpful feedback from the team at egghead and hours of recording an editing. I’m super excited to see it out in the wild and plan to produce more courses like this.

This 24 part course on building an application with ReactJS covers using Create React App, using Jest for unit testing, interacting with APIs using fetch, PropTypes, JSX, property initializer syntax, creating a simple router from scratch and even covers building a couple of functional utilities, including pipe. One of the goals of this course was to bootstrap with Create React App and avoid any additional use of npm install. This course is pretty dense and covers a lot of concepts that are useful when building an application in React.

Projects

I don’t have any projects going outside of work, but I do have one idea that’s been on the back burner for a long time that is going to get some attention soon. I’m working on something potentially big with egghead and I’m going to need an app to use as a foundation for teaching so I’m looking at this project for that.

Learning

I’m always learning something new. Some things I’ve been working on recently include:

  • GraphQL - I see a ton of potential for GraphQL to solve some problems in my organization eventually and it’s time to start making a real investment in learning GraphQL at a deeper level. Specifically around proper security and scaling as well as patterns for using it across large teams. I’ve been very impressed with everything I’ve seen come out of the Apollo team, so that is definitely where I’ll be putting a lot of my focus.
  • TypeScript - There are a couple opportunities at work to introduce TypeScript into the stack so I’ve spent a lot of time recently getting deeper into the weeds on TypeScript and I’m currently working on some architecture around universal React apps built with TS, as well as a project structure for cross-platform component libraries in TS.
  • React Native - While React Native isn’t new, I haven’t spent as much time as I would like with it. I have some ideas for mobile apps that I would use day-to-day, so I think it would be fun to build a native app or two. Tools like Expo make the barrier to entry so low, it’s just a matter of finding time.
  • ADTs (Algebraic Data Types) - I’ve been spending time with the crocks library when I can and started a project on GitHub a while back to experiment and learn through unit tests. The project has started adding docs here