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I am Todd Motto. Ask me anything.

Todd is a 26 year old front-end engineer from England, UK. He runs Ultimate Angular (which just won "Best Angular product for Education" award!), teaching developers and teams how to become Angular experts through online courses.

He's also a Developer Expert at Google, conference speaker and open source lover.

Ask Todd Motto about:

  • Angular
  • JavaScript
  • Speaking at conferences
  • Getting started with programming
  • Contributing to OSS

Thanks for the great questions and your time everyone! :)

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121 discussions

Hi Todd, Thanks for doing this AMA. :)

What's your opinion on ReactJS and VueJS? When would you recommend a developer to use Angular over React and Vue?

Hey Anant! Thanks for the great question. I’ve a bit more experience with React than I do Vue (having said that, I do pay a lot of attention to both communities and their direction). I really really like JSX, I kinda miss it over in the Angularsphere - but there are plenty of shiny features for me to play with over there :D

As for recommendations, I rather give folks some details where they’re able to make their own mind up on the technology they’d rather work with - I don’t think pushing people in a direction will make them “like” something more. If you’re considering a project, and have the time/capability - I’d highly suggest prototyping a few ideas with different options (React / Angular / Vue) to see what your team’s consensus is, as well as thinking about project longevity.

I think we've also come to a consensus on the web that components are the way forward - I think nowadays it's picking the right lib/framework that's the right flavour for you :)

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Hey Todd, Thanks for this!

How do you level up and keep your skills relevant? Tutorials, side projects or something else? What the best way you have found to become proficient working with new languages/frameworks/etc.

Howdy Jay! This is honestly the toughest part of what I do. Some days I think about giving up for a week or so, and other days I wonder why I have those thoughts at times :D

With anything, it's all about persistence. Persistence mixed with context switching. I couldn't build X Project for 300 days straight. However, I could build X Project for 3 days, 2 days Z Project and so forth. Keeps the mind sharp, and when you "relax" a little from a project (for me at least) I can come back to what I was working on with a fresher perspective to tackle what I need to do.

For me, I gather a lot of information online, run through docs, open source projects, look at best practices, architectural patterns and how APIs fit into the equation. I guess the best way to sum it up:

Instead of just "using an API", find out why it exists and it's purpose in the big picture. That helps answer most questions, and the coding can begin :D

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What advice would you give to 16 yrs old Todd Motto today? What are a few things you wished you knew when you started programming?

"Invent Angular 2 before Google does!"

On a serious note, one of the biggest things for me learning JavaScript was lack of knowing what was really out there. So many different roles, jobs, directions you could take on the web. I've always been really passionate about design and web, so knowing what was possible back then would've helped fast forward a few years I think :)

Things I wish I knew... I think the most important one that's taken my skills to new levels is understanding and implementing design patterns. We can all write a "for" loop, but again writing it as part of a bigger program that does more powerful things is something that is tough when you're brand new to patterns and best practice ways to attempt things.

Thanks for the great question (was a tough one)!

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Hey Todd. What are some of the habits you think have helped you tremendously to become a better developer? Was it a few big things or a combination of small ones? Thanks

I think sleeping about 3-5 hours a night for the first few years helped learn things fast, well and enabled me to jump a few jobs to higher up positions quite fast. Not that I recommend staying up til 6am everynight... Just Monday-Saturday ;)... Sleep is important, and knowing when to switch off is also important. And you don't need to lose sleep to get better at something. A few hours dedicated to something a day goes a very long way. Some days I don't even code of an evening, but sit reading source code, documentation and stack overflow posts to compose ideas/images in my head of what the tools I'm using do - and how I can use them in more powerful ways. I've learned that you can't paint the Mona Lisa in a day, even though sometimes we think we can xD take it slow, steady and one step at a time. Just be persistent, reach out to others that you trust and can help you! A great circle of friends/contacts is really valuable.

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Who are some developers on the Internet you admire? Who was your first DEV hero?

Who's first dev hero wasn't Mr Paul Irish? xD

Paul inspired me so much (and still does) when I first started and gave me the motivation to start working on open source things and blogging!

Other developers that inspire me, far too many to honestly list! I can't leave without mentioning the infamous Ken Wheeler though.

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