I recently read Deep Work which if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend. The core point of the book is maintaining a deep level of focus for a long period of time. Where the book falls short is in its explanation into the amount of time needed not being highly focused. The book mentions it briefly but doesn’t dwell on it.
After a period of time I noticed that without breaks my brain would naturally wander off and I needed some time doing so called shallow work to recharge. Turns out that makes sense.
Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus
I know (read: hope) I’m not the only one who bookmarks articles for later and then ends up with a massive folder of links and articles that I’ll never really read. There are plugins, apps, and extensions for managing all of these resources we collect, but better yet, maybe we should just digest them and move on before collecting them.
I still bookmark things but I’ve taken to setting aside time each day to clearing out my ‘backlog’ of resources to clean my plate for the next day.
The Collector’s Fallacy: Why We Gather Things We Don’t Need
Caching is notoriously hard but one of the first things we reach for when improving site performance. This post by Jake Archibald does a great job of explaining best practices around caching and common pitfalls like race conditions.
Caching best practices & max-age gotchas
How To Secure Your Web App With HTTP Headers
DNS one last time. Now that a basis has been established, here’s how you can configure your site. Most web developers have already done this at one point but just filling in a couple fields in a Domain Name Registrar like Namecheap or Godaddy isn’t really a lot of context into the “why”.
DNS for Beginners or How Do I Connect a Domain to My Website?
DNS: Why It’s Important & How It Works
MediaTemple Nameserver Information
Hostgator Nameserver Information
AWS Route 53
DNS is one of the things that makes the web work but most of us who don’t do server side work might not really understand how it works. This is a good article for understanding the basics. Getting a good grasp on this is important because if something does happen and a back end developer or someone more knowledgable isn’t around we can sometimes at least provide enough information to do more research into the problem.
Understanding DNS – Beginners Guide to DNS
Speaking of service workers here’s a good introduction if you haven’t read up on them yet.
Service Workers: An Introduction (Google)
You can think of them kind of like a daemon if you’re familiar with linux or if you aren’t familiar, you can think of them like an administrative assistant. A service worker can do boring, memory intensive stuff in the background.
Progressive Web Apps (Google)
In the vein of holistic web development here’s an excellent article about scaling specifically with Node. It even breaks it down by # of users before you scale up and does a good job of explaining what and why. It’s a good read if for no other reason than to get a little more understanding into server scaling.
How to scale a Nodejs app based on number of users
The navigation, particularly the “mega menu”, is one of the harder parts of most development projects. This is an instance where we can and should be influencing UX and design to make better decisions for as variant a number of resolutions and responsive devices as possible.
Here are some design patterns for responsive navigations:
A Brief Overview On Responsive Navigation Patterns
Responsive Navigation Patterns
Complex Navigation Patterns for Responsive Design
The Rules for Modern Navigation
A big takeaway here is that if you have an incredibly complex site with a ton of pages, search is your friend. Prioritize that over all else. It’s easier for a user to search and find something than dig through layers and layers of nav.