Late last year I had the opportunity to appear on the CodeNewbies podcast! Saron and I talked about Offline First, and I have to say, she is so cool. She’s a great interviewer and the CodeNewbies community is absolutely fantastic.
If you haven’t heard to the podcast, you can give it a listen here: link.
Offline First is an idea that apps should work in an offline capacity. It doesn’t have to mean that 100% of the app’s features work offline. Instead it can just mean that an app uses a service worker and indexeddb to store off someone’s data in the event of internet loss.
The important takeaway from Offline First is that you consider at the beginniing, what will happen when my app loses connection? It’s important to frame this as when your app loses connection because it will definitely happen to everyone.
Following along with the CodeNewbie chat was incredibly interesting. You can see the story here.
We know from studies that internet access is based on income, but it was really interesting to see that play out in the chat:
A1: I live in a small rural town in ne Minnesota. There are not a lot of options for internet here. It’s better in town and degrades quickly as you get farther out. Our local library has att hot spots folks can check out. And there’s an initiative to increase broad band...1/2— T Z Drift (@tzottoladrift) February 14, 2019
It was really interesting seeing how many people were affected by a lack of internet, and also their ingenuity for staying connected. Some people mentioned having to use libraries, coffeeshops, or hot spots to learn to code:
A1: Very lucky to have fast Internet now, but had no Internet at home when I was first learning to code -- had to connect via mobile hotspot or mooch office wifi after work. 🙄 #CodeNewbie— Chrissy Hunt (@whereischrissy) February 14, 2019
At one of my old careers I didn’t have fast/reliable internet at work so I would download conference talks and watch them during down time. #CodeNewbie— Andrew Cook (@codingwcookie) February 14, 2019
We only got 3g at my house for awhile. most of the time it didn't work so I used my phone to learn to code initially. I snuck to the library whenever my mom would watch my kids.— Christina Gorton (@coffeecraftcode) February 14, 2019
I sat in my car to interview for my first tech job so I'd have phone service 😅 #CodeNewbie
Toward the end, the conversation shifted to how we have been affected by the internet. Most people said they thought internet access had been positive for them:
A3) Internet is a double edged sword. Internet causes distractions, but it also helps to answer questions and learn new things, so I have to say it absolutely helps a lot!#codenewbie— Matthew Jacobs (@codingmatty) February 14, 2019
People mentioned being able to communicate in ways we’ve never been able to before.
A3: Sped it up by a LOT - google and stackoverflow are invaluable resources, and being able to jump on a quick video chat with a coworker at any time means we can WFH and still remain productive and collaborative #CodeNewbie— 👏 Andy 🍁 George 🙏 (@RealAndyGeorge) February 14, 2019
Others mentioned how the internet has changed their lives for the better.
A3: Without access to the internet I would not have learned any computer code whatsoever. The impact of the internet is so immense it's impossible to put into words. #CodeNewbie— Eric Tillberg (@Thrillberg) February 14, 2019
It was really interesting, though, to see people talking about how internet has become a bit of a “double-edged sword”.
A4: I often wonder if I'd be just as good without it. Some positive things but also many negative. The time suck effect in particular. Taking away from other things that may be more valuable in the longer haul. #CodeNewbie— Dennis Keim (@denniskeim) February 14, 2019
Q3: When connections are slow, my ability to access resources (SO, blogs, Slack) and productivity are impacted and I become very frustrated.— El Otro Alondo (@abrewing) February 14, 2019
In terms of my life, the internet has been a source of distraction and major temptations but from a work and money making stand point the internet has given rise to opportunity after opportunity to make extra money. For my coding journey, the internet is vital. #codenewbie— warrick bowman jr (+PST+) (@WarrickB_Qaatil) February 14, 2019
A3: Everything speeds up with the speed of the internet as we become more and more dependent on it! But it also stops abruptly the moment the internet goes out! #codeNewbie— Aditya Bharadwaj (@Adibharadwaj26) February 14, 2019
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go on CodeNewbies and help shed some light on this issue. This conversation just puts real faces on the issue of inconsistent internet access. We know what the studies say, but seeing how many people throughout the conversation dealt with not having good access or a slow connection really drove the point home.
Thanks for having me, CodeNewbies!