We Learn Code

Ali’s friendly guides to your biggest coding questions.

Hi! I'm Ali

I’m a software engineer and teacher. I blog about the things I wish I knew when I was learning to code. You'll find technical tutorials, career advice, and more all right here!

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Ali Spittel

A Complete Beginner's Guide to Web Development


You most likely visit websites almost every day, whether to interact with friends on social media, to shop, to do work, or thousands of…

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Learning Tips for Programmers


One of the most challenging but exciting parts of being a programmer is that the field is constantly evolving and the learning is never done…

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Building a Full Stack Application with AWS Amplify: A Beginner-Friendly Guide


A few weeks ago, I joined the AWS Amplify team as a Senior Developer Advocate. I am really excited to be working on a product that makes…

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A Complete Beginner's Guide to React: Hooks Edition


A few years ago, I wrote an introductory React tutorial based on a workshop I taught. Since that point in history, I've taught hundreds of…

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Working Remote for Those Who Struggle with It


I have been open about the fact that remote work is very difficult for me. I'm an extrovert, and the social environment at work helps to…

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Managing Imposter Syndrome


Have you ever felt like you just aren’t smart enough or like you’re incapable of being a programmer? Have you ever felt like an imposter and…

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What Productivity Looks Like to Me


First off, productivity is all about balance. You will not be fully productive if you don't take breaks, don't get enough sleep, or you don…

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Hasura 101: Building a Realtime Game with Graphql and React


My favorite technology discovery of 2019 was Hasura . It makes getting up and running with a full Postgres + GraphQL backend a breeze…

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The Career Advice I Wish I Had


There are so many things I wish I knew before I became a professional developer. Or a professional at all. I know I'm in a position of…

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The Most Important Non-Programming Skills for Programmers


When I think about who I would like to work with as a programmer, I think so much more about non-technical skills than technical skills that…

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My Blog Post Workflow: from Topic to Publication


Writing blog posts can be pretty tricky -- it's hard to come up with a topic to write about let alone actually create the content. I've been…

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A Complete Beginner's Guide to React


If you're interested in learning React with Hooks first, check out the 2020 re-write of this post! I want to get back into writing more…

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A Web Design Crash Course: From one non-designer to another


I will preface this by saying that I'm not professionally a designer. That being said, I like building pretty things and have had some…

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My Favorite Free Resources for New Programmers


Last week, I shared my tips for new developers and how to start coding. I also wanted to share my favorite free resources for learning how…

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25 Tips for New Developers: Advice from a (Mostly) Self-Taught Software Engineer


The most common question I get from blog readers is "What is your advice for new programmers?" So, I thought it was time to write up my…

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Building a Kickass Portfolio


According to GitHub, I have had a portfolio site since September 1st, 2016. And, according to Google Analytics, I got less than 300 views on…

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My Terminal Setup: iTerm + Zsh


As a follow up to my post on my text editor setup, I wanted to write about the other key part of my development setup -- my terminal…

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Public Speaking as a Developer


As a follow up to my post from March on blogging as a developer , I wanted to give my tips for doing public speaking events as a developer…

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Extreme Makeover: Code Edition


I am a little bit obsessed with writing clean code. Code should be written for future developers (including yourself) and extendability…

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What is a Web Framework, and Why Should I use one?


"Framework" is a word used a lot in relation to code. So, what even is a framework? When we talk about frameworks, those frameworks normally…

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My Visual Studio Code Setup


I love the text editor setup I've been using for the past year and a half, so I want to show off my setup! Visual Studio Code has far…

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