Awkward JavaScript Tutoring

Well, I think the world wide web is a pretty safe place to document my latest web development fiasco.

First JavaScript Tutoring Session

About a week ago, someone on Upwork contacted me and asked me if I would help them learn JavaScript by the hour. I can’t really say no to someone who wants to pay me to teach them JavaScript, right? Well, the first session went okay. John (not his real name) was building an integration between Slack and Podio using their APIs. I had never heard of Podio, but I dove right in. The session started off a little bit rough because I had never used the JavaScript library called dotenv. I ended up spending a lot of time hard coding any API keys in place of the dotenv variables. I guess it’s customary to use the dotenv file to contain sensitive data like passwords, now days. Another thing he was using that I had never heard of was called Gomix or Gadget for hosting JavaScript apps. It’s kind of like Google Docs where everyone can edit the file and see the edits live. It’s a very cool tool, and I had no idea how it was actually connecting to Podio and Slack. So, at this point, I was probably learning more than he was, but I kept on going.

Second Session

I thought the first session was a little bit rough, but this session session was a little bit more rough than the last. Apparently he found someone else on Upwork and invited them to work on his little app, as well. So, all three of us got on Google Hangouts, and I spent the whole time trying to get dotenv to work while the other guy was doing a bunch of fancy stuff with the code. I guess with dotenv, it looks for variables in a file called .env. This was obvious to everyone but me. It took me forever to figure out why the variables in the file named default.env were being pulled into the environment. I guess they put that default.env file to be helpful, so that anyone downloading the app on Github can just fill in the right variables and rename the file.

Last Session

Turns out John’s job assigned someone to help him build the app he was working on. He also found someone at work to study React with. Well, good for him. Long story short, it didn’t work out. I can’t really explain how awkward it is trying to teach someone your own age and then you end up learning more. I can’t deny that it was a great learning experience, and it also encouraged me to keep current with JavaScript and its bajillion frameworks.