Build the whole thing
Sometimes I play with new tools and frameworks. I think it’s a sane practice to glance at the neighbour’s grass sometimes. I started playing with Laravel. PHP7 has improved a lot and the community is vibrant.
While playing with it I noticed one thing about my attitude. First I time boxed my task to two hours. Second I didn’t play just with the framework itself, but I build a complete app, ready to deploy. The app is silly, so silly that I won’t even share it, but it’s complete. That means it can run in production behind Nginx.
I tried to imagine myself when I was 20 doing the same thing. I probably would have wondered around, playing with APIs and commands, trying to understand the guts of the framework and probably adding lots of plugins and third party libraries. I probably would have spent twenty hours, ending up with something half baked and not deployable. A half written chapter.
On that I have improved quite a lot. I have learned how to aim all of my focus on one thing and one thing only. In the past I was bitten by similar situations. I got excited about a new framework or library and I forgot the relevant part, the production side of things. Now I tend to build a complete product. Even if it’s so simplistic that I don’t even make it public.
I have learned to finish the chapters I start writing. And it feels good.