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Podcast

Code, Show, and Tell

Professional JavaScript: Episode 2

Last Updated: 2021-02-22

The following is a transcript of the latest episode on the Professional JavaScript podcast.

Tagline

Hey everyone and welcome to the second episode of Professional JavaScript, the podcast for learning how to grow as a JavaScript developer in a professional environment where the problems are greater than just another todo list tutorial.

Each week, I, Michael Mangialardi, will be sharing what I’m learning as I write JavaScript code on a professional team. I’ll cover tips, tricks, technologies, and other goodies that you don’t always get when consuming other online resources.

Today’s Episode

In today’s episode, I’ll be telling you why you should consider starting a “show and tell” among your developer peers.

Introduction

If you were to ask me to give a summary as to why I enjoy using Twitter, I would say that it serves as a show and tell among the JavaScript community.

My feed is full of passionate web developers showing and telling of what they are learning.

Initiating a show and tell with your team can also provide a lot of value.

Body

First things first, how can you start a show and tell with your team?

I would suggest that you create a recurring event with the JavaScript developers that you work with. Having one meeting per month is a good initial goal.

It is easier to start small and grow later. With time, as you get comfortable with the routine of conducting a show and tell, you can include peers from other teams and/or increase the frequency of the meetings.

Second, what should be the description of the event be?

A good description will give people a sense of the intention, format, and expectation of the show and tell.

The intention is to get together to show and tell about what people have been learning. This may include learning new technologies, implementing a code pattern, improving a process, etc.

A good format is to go around the room and see if anyone has anything that they want to show and tell. Depending on the size of your group, you will want to specify a time limit for each person so that the meeting moves along promptly. As someone is presenting, questions and comments are welcome.

When leading up a routine of the show and tell with your team, you may be the only person showing and telling until people feel comfortable.

Be ok with that and make it clear that no one is expected to show and tell. Coming just to listen and learn is A-OK.

As you lead the show and tell meeting, be ready to always present even if no one else has come with anything prepared.

Finally, what is the benefit of initiating and consistently contributing to a show and tell with your team?

One benefit is that it provides an incentive to learn. When you have to explain what you are learning back to someone else, it helps make what you are learning stick.

Providing an incentive to learn to your every day also greatly increases personal motivation, giving you the energy to push yourself to grow as a developer.

Another benefit is that a show and tells increases communication amongst your peers. Everyone benefits by coming together to learn. There is only so much you can learn and work on at once.

By hearing what other people are learning about will likely expose you to things you haven’t thought of before. Even if you’re already familiar with what they are learning, there will always be something fresh when hearing about it from a different person and perspective.

Finally, initiating and consistently contributing to a show and tell exemplifies your passion and leadership skills. This will not only increase your credibility amongst your peers but demonstrate your soft skills to other leaders around you.

As you expand the show and tell to include other JavaScript developers from other teams (and/or your team grows), your credibility and network will expand as well.

Conclusion

That’s all folks. I hope this inspires you to initiate a show and tell with your team. If you are already a part of a show and tell, I hope it increases your appreciation for it and motivation to contribute to it.

Cheers!

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Michael Mangialardi is a software developer specializing in UI development with React and fluent in UI/UX design. As a survivor of impostor syndrome, he loves to make learning technical skills digestible and practical. Formerly, he published articles, ebooks, and coding challenges under his brand "Coding Artist." Today, he looks forward to using his mature experience to give back to the web development community. He lives in beautiful, historic Virginia with his wife.