Alain Chautard is originally from France but moved to Sacramento, CA, four years ago. Alain organizes the local Angular meetup group there and they meet once a month and talk about all things Angular and web development. He does a lot of Angular training for Accelebrate and is also an Angular consultant, which keeps him pretty busy.
We asked Alain to share more about his background, experience, and overall thoughts about the life of an Angular trainer. Here's what we found.
For the entire video interview, please visit https://youtu.be/nG4XzY8Z2eY
Accelebrate: What got you into programming?
Alain: When I was in high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do as a career. I got this scientific calculator where you can actually write some code and create programs, and that is how I wrote my first code and learned about the basics of coding. I liked the ability to create something out of code. I realized that coding for a computer is the same thing. Later I graduated with a computer science degree and began my career in web development.
Alain: When I first started my career, I was a full stack developer, with a focus on Java. It was more backend related. Like all businesses, my employer needs to start creating a web app. That is how I started getting into HTML, CSS, etc.
Accelebrate: You have a lot of experience with Angular training and consulting. What do you like and dislike about Angular?
Accelebrate: Where do you stand on the Angular vs. React debate?
Alain: I believe that one of the best ways to stay up to date on things is to go to conferences at least once or twice a year. There is so much information packed into a few days that you will learn a lot of things about current technology.
Accelebrate: Are there any particular conferences you like?
Accelebrate: Where do you go when you get stuck on something?
Alain: Stack Overflow is a great place to get your questions answered. Especially in the web development world, where you can get your own questions answered within a few hours.
Alain: There are a lot. I try to keep it nice and easy. Too little time. The official Angular blog is very good. They only post about once a month, but their blogs are very useful. Meddium.com is a good article site that recommends new articles based on what you've read and liked before.
Accelebrate: What is your favorite part about being a technical trainer?
Alain: My favorite part about being a technical trainer, which may sound cliché, is about the human interaction in the classroom. When you write code, you're in front of a computer, talking with a machine. When you do technical training, it is the opposite. You are interacting with a group of people, answering questions, and getting to help people. I like balancing both training with people and development work on my own. Training is also a great way to learn. People ask difficult questions and it helps keep me on my toes.
Accelebrate: How long on average do you spend on each blog article you write?
Alain: It takes at least an hour. I try to keep articles very short and concise.
Accelebrate: What are some of the most frequently asked questions in your Angular classes?
Alain: One of the frequent questions I get is about what you asked me earlier – what is the difference between Angular and React? That is one of the hot topics these days.
I also get asked - What version of Angular should we use? Angular clearly states that the latest version should be used. It takes time to get used to the latest version, which can be a challenge for a lot of developers. Unlike other languages, like Java, it can be quite difficult to be able to read and use Angular if you have not used the more recent versions.
Accelebrate: What are your thoughts so far on Angular 6?
Alain: Angular 6 is really good. One of the things that they did with Angular 6 to really help with the mindset of staying up to date with everything, is a feature they added that allows you to automatically upgrade Angular and your code with a simple command. If you run an ng update, it will automatically go through your code and change everything that has to be changed so you have Angular 6, including any breaking changes, syntax, etc. That is a huge step forward because now companies know they can just run a command and have their code updated to match the newest version of Angular.
Accelebrate: Is there anything that people just starting out with Angular should know to avoid?
Alain: With angular, people tend to think that you can just copy some code snippets off the web and create something that way. They tend to forget that they can create their components. Angular is a nice framework to build with. Don't be afraid to build things with Angular.
Accelebrate: What advice do you have for kids or teenagers who want to get into the technology industry when they grow up?
Alain: My son is five years old and I want to get him into programming, but it is a little early. If you want to get started with it, just start. There is so much content online. It is so easy to get started with any technology. Be curious. Try things. Try to learn by yourself.
What I always say to teenagers is that, right now, if you Google a little, you will find the top jobs are in tech. There is a lot of demand. Salaries are great. They are good jobs that usually have less stress than other jobs. You will always need to continue learning. I wouldn't do anything else.
Accelebrate: What are some of your passions and hobbies outside of work?
Alain: I do a lot of things. I like to travel. I take a lot of photos to keep memories from my travels. I am also a big soccer fan. I run every day as well.
Accelebrate: It was really great talking with you, Alain. We look forward to continuing working with you at Accelebrate.
Alain: Thank you. It is always a pleasure working with Accelebrate as well. Looking forward to my next classes.
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