Dion Almaer

Dec 29th, 2017

When Dion first messaged me to have a coffee and chat about developer relations, I thought Dion was a recruiter (He is now my manager's manager's manager, so definitely not a recruiter) . I asked around my friends who work at Google who he was. Turns out he was a long time web enthusiast and used to run popular blog Ajaxian. To my defense, I came to JavaScript Developer scene in 2013, so I totally missed the dev scene when Ajax was a thing.

When I got an offer for Developer Relations team, I Internet stalked my potential coworkers and managers. I watched conference videos, read blog posts, and and scroll through tweets to see what that job is like. I discovered a talk from 10 years ago by Dion enthusiastically talking about Google Gears.

Gears was great promise - It's like Electron of 2000s. It let you write widgets on your desktop with web technology. As a young product manager in web application company, I remember being excited about possibility Gears will open up to our team.

A slide from Dion's Google Gears presentation read like it's a slide for Service Workers and Progressive Web Apps we are talking now. Since he has clearly been thinking about this for long time, I asked Dion if he could write about a decade long path that got us here, and what to look for in 2018.

Read the Post

Gearing up the Web for 2018

Ask Dion

What is one tool you can't leave at home in order to do your work ?

I am going to go with something a little different here. An addition that has been transformative for me is taking some control over the information that lives in my brain. After studying how the brain works, I went deep into spaced repetition, which is a simple technique that allows you to spend a minimal amount of time to keep information available in memory. When paired with other techniques such as write to learn, and “just doing it” I can learn so much more.

For coding, you can checkout tools such as Enki, for a 5 minute curated dev “workout”, and Anki to store your own. Also, I love how courses such as Dave’s CSS Grid Critters uses repetition baked in.

What did you learn in 2017 ?

I won’t mince words, 2017 was challenging for me. I had to come to the realization that I need to focus on my sphere of control, as the constant consumption of news really got to my psyche. My biggest TIL moment was understanding that I needed to hold things more lightly and switch to areas where I could *do* to make the world a better place.

What do you want to learn/work on/improve in 2018?

I want to get back to basics. We have so many fancy books and modern “do this to get more done!” techniques, and this is all useful, but I think that at the meta level it kinda comes down to: plan the work, and work the plan.