Trouble staying “on track”

first make it work, then make it right, then make it fast

“Making it work” has been a struggle. I started bulidung a personal website with Gatsby V1 then V2 came out and I restarted it. My CSS needed refreshing so I did Jonas Schmedtmann’s advanced CSS and SASS course. I started using SASS in my Gatsby site. Maybe I should be using CSS-in-JS? Should I use Styled Components or Emotion? Then I read a blog post by Swizek Teller that mentioned Reakit components. Awesome! They have accessibility built in. I started looking through the documentation and just got lost. Will this even work with Gatsby?

After weeks and weeks of going around I lose track of the ideas I had and what I was trying to accomplish. All the new “shiny” seems like it’s going to make things more testable, maintable, up to date or whatever. Sadly It just turns into a vortex of confusion.

Do other people struggle with this? Do you just start a project and put blinders on?

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Dude. Different stack, same problem. Should I wait until tutorials come out for Hooks, or just implement with Redux? Cue the endless graph of articles from the internet. I know there’s some optimax between learning latency and coding efficiency, but I have no idea where that is in my “do-or-die” situation.

Iterate, which means finish one then start on the next. Set defined goals and reach them.

If you keep moving the goal-line on yourself, all you end up with is something you never finish.

You don’t always have to pile new things into the same project either. You use sass in one project. You want to use Styled Components next, build a different small project using style component.

Evaluating whether your investment is worth it to revamp a project is a skill. Some things are better off rebuilt from the ground up than to change.


Start with the basics and understand them completely. All newer skills, apps are based on the building blocks, HTML, CSS, JS. Chose something to build and complete it, get it working. Then go back and refine it, again and again and again. That’s the best way to learn. Then go on to learn more skills.

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Make it work with what you know, you always have time to return to the project later, but for now finish it!
Your V2 or V3 can be shiny with all new languages and frameworks and libraries, for now do your V1

Build with what you know how to build in. Like jessebae said, the basics are a good place to start. When I started learning I pulled in jQuery, bootstrap, and a bunch of other libraries because “everyone did it.” When those libraries behaved in a way I didn’t understand, or I needed to modify their behavior, it would take so many hours just to figure it out. Increasingly frustrated, I threw everything away and started with just plain HTML CSS and JS. Didn’t even bother with backend, just built some functional UI’s. Once you know the strengths and pain points of using plain html/css/js you will know WHY other packages are useful and where you can use them.

So throw away the shiny, bring in the tried and true. Oh also get a physical notebook + pen and mockup key features + ideas so you don’t get sidetracked from the big picture.