interview with ben awad

typescript, state management, lambda school, deno, redwood, youtubers, angular

Ben Awad is a Youtuber who creates videos about the React ecosystem, TypeScript, and various open source projects. In this interview I ask him about his opinions on state management, frontend frameworks, Deno, fellow Youtubers, and much more.

AJC: Lets get the most important question out of the way first, is it AYE-WAD, or UH-WAD?

BA: either, I usually say UH-WAD

AJC: You've made many videos advocating for TypeScript. Do you exclusively work in TypeScript, or do you think there are still use cases for vanilla JavaScript?

BA: yes, I prefer it in almost every circumstance

AJC: Do you have any plans to expand beyond the React ecosystem to make videos for frameworks like Vue or Svelte?

BA: nope, React 100%

AJC: It's been about 2 years since you made a video explaining why you no longer use Redux and instead use Apollo, Unstated, or the Context API for your state management needs. Since then have you used any other state management libraries and do you have any thoughts about the experimental library Recoil?

BA: I'm liking Zustand over unstated these days. Recoil looks great, but I haven't run across that use case

Related: How to Manage State in React.js?

AJC: I'm currently attending Lambda School as a full stack web student and you made a video about the controversy surrounding the school. I felt your portrayal was very fair and I'd recommend it to anyone considering enrolling. You gave both sides of the argument and didn't take a strong stance one way or the other. I'm curious if after putting out that video if you received any messages from former or current students of the school, and if your opinion of the school has changed at all?

BA: Some students did reach out, but my opinion hasn't changed

AJC: You expressed skepticism around Deno, claiming that it's a step up from Node but not a big enough step to justify the switching cost and incompatibility with NPM. Have you built any projects with Deno yet and if not do you plan to anytime soon?

BA: nope and not until it's closer to a drop in replacement to node

AJC: Have you looked into RedwoodJS at all?

BA: I'm waiting until it's out of beta to try it but looks interesting

AJC: There are many fantastic Youtube channels based around programming, are there any channels you regularly follow and look to for inspiration?


AJC: According to your video, Coding Interviews are Broken, knowing algorithms is not a good measure of a programmers skills. But in a separate video, Why I'm a Better Developer than You, you stated your knowledge of algorithms has given you a competitive advantage. To what extent should new developers prioritize learning algorithms and data structures?

BA: This is what I consider the most important topics to learn related to algorithms/data structures for web developers:

  1. Dictionaries/Hash Tables

  2. Big O notation (important for knowing how expensive an operation is)

  3. Binary Search

AJC: Why is Angular the worst?

BA: Because it's not React

Huge thanks to Ben for being the inaugural guest on minimumViableStack. Check out his fantastic channel on Youtube!