Thanks Michael, Eric and Stu for your quick help re my misbehaving feed! I think it’s now fixed and more importantly, so does FeedValidator.org:
I used to use Notepad++ to scrub guest posts before posting, but it refuses to (as of when I last tried it) under Vista.
So here’s 2 followup questions:
- Do you know of a wordpress/typepad/ff2/ie7 friendly
On and off for the past three years, I’ve thought to myself, “There ought to be a SaaS app out there that lets me fill in the gaps in my developer education. A service where I could review keyboard shortcuts, commands, and syntax I need every workday.”
LearnShortcuts is that application.
LearnShortcuts is for working developers who don’t have a lot of time to spare, but who want to improve their knowledge and mastery of the tools they use. At their desktop, and on their phone.
Be it their IDE (Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text), their DevOps skills (bash, git, Heroku, AWS) or their frontend basics (CSS selectors, ES6 syntax, working with node modules), LearnShortcuts gives you an easy platform for improving, and know that you are improving, each of your skillsets.
The process is dead-simple: Review six Cards at a time. If you know the answer to a Card, mark it green, not so much, yellow and not at all, red. Pick what you want to learn by adding Sets of cards to your account. Repeat each workday – on your desktop machine or on your phone.
As you do these Reviews three things are happening:
- Each review etches that Card just a little bit deeper into your longterm memory,
- LearnShortcuts will show you Cards you don’t know more often and retire Cards you’ve marked as green,
- Your progress earns you points, making it easy to say compare how you did last week with this week.
What’s going on here?
LearnShortcuts is based on three core educational principles:
- Pounding things into your memory doesn’t work. Instead, repeatedly reviewing information in small chunks does work.
- Repetition works, and spaced repetition works better. In other words, if you want to learn for example how to in CSS select all of .jpg images, see this line:
- Mnemonics work when they are vivid and absurd. Each Card in LearnShortcuts has a sentence or two painting a work picture connecting the parts of that card. They tend to be ridiculous images: but the associations in those words helps deepen the memory channel you’re trying to create.
I’m pricing LearnShortcuts at $9.95/month or less, depending on which Stripe-enabled subscription you settle on after a 7-day free trial.
I plan to add new Sets each and every week: subscribe to LearnShortcuts blog to get these announcements. Also, please suggest subjects for Sets by clicking the Suggest A Set button on the Sets Page.
I wanted to create an app that makes an immediate, measurable improvement in the skills of developers – check it out at LearnShortcuts and let me know what you think!
So with the .dev joining the ranks of
TLDsI was able to grab at a decent price a new domain for DevShortcuts.com: LearnShortcuts.dev. Insofar as this domain is really just for developers, it made sense to rebrand the SaaS I’ve been building as a .dev site.
Two other advantages is that I prefer a name that starts with a verb, and is unambiguous as far as spelling. Now the name on the outside matches the intent on the inside.
I don’t usually recommend YouTube videos, but Thomas Frank’s latest is the single best chunk of advice I’ve watched:
If you’re a self-employed developer, or run your own small business, Thomas had words of wisdom for you. Highly recommended.
Building a new software company by yourself is all about defining processes that leverage every minute of your time. There’s simply too many moving digital parts to track and complete without some way of defining the work as a set of repeatable steps that produce the correct result.
After thinking for a while about the hugely daunting task of bootstrapping DevShortcuts, it really comes down to defining and refining different processes. Processes for reaching out to developers. Processes for coding and debugging. Processes for tracking relationships with my future customers.
So this is my first stab at building my first DevShortcuts marketing process by leveraging a longtime tool I’ve used for a decade: Evernote. Evernote allowed me to go all-digital about 8 years ago: The only paper in my life is a scratchpad by my keyboard. Everything else gets scanned and shredded.
Creating an Evernote template is now easy – in theory. Just locate the “save as template” menuitem for any note, give your new template a name, and its stored. Every time you create a new note, you’ll see a link to Templates where there’s two tabs – one for Evernote’s stock templates and one for the templates you create.
theory vs. reality
Three problems I see with Evernote templates are that the stock templates suck. They are useless, too generalized to be of any use. Second, when I click on Templates when I’ve started a new note, I always go to Evernote’s tab of their templates and have to switch to mine. A small annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless: put your customers first Evernote!
The last problem has nothing to do with Evernote and everything to do with what I call “Digital Perfectionism”. With digital tools what you create is never as good or as polished as you want. So I can waste hours trying to improve something that no one else but me will ever see. Keeping this predilection on a short leash is definitely something I’m going to have to do:
unchained, everything I do online – which really is most of what I do – will take too long.
Still, until there’s a better way to define digital processes than Evernote templates, they are a “good enough” solution to implement.
My plan is to use this template to define posts destined for this blog and DevShortcuts. Then connect those instances of this template to my actual marketing plan stored in Dynalist which I use for outlining/planning.
I’ll let you know how my Evernote templates work out in a future post here.
- And, any recommendations for a programmer-quality text editor that runs on Windows Vista?