One of the Best Ways to Learn Programming is to Teach Programming

It is a truism that one of the best ways to learn any new piece of knowledge or skill is to teach it to somebody. That has been one of the main reasons why I’m writing about my experience as a Software Engineering/ Full Stack Web Development student in Lambda School — to retain most of what I’m studying by teaching others about it or talking to people about it in public; in this case, through the medium of the Medium blog.

Last week, we began the back end side of programming by studying Node.js and Express.

What Are Node.js and Express?

In essence, Node.js is a tool that lets you write JavaScript codes outside the web server environment. (Note to Software Engineers: If I’m incorrect about that definition or any of my definitions here, please let me know in the comments.) Its purpose is to create web servers.

We used Express, a popular Node.js library and/or framework, to quickly build web servers. It was fun/fascinating stuff. Basically, we wrote codes that performed CRUD (or Create, Retrieve, Update, and Delete) operations on endpoints. CRUD corresponds to specific HTTP Resource Methods like POST, GET, PUT, and DELETE.

Wait a Minute, Mr Postman

In order to test whether our CRUD operations work (i.e., whether we are really able to create/post new items to our databases, retrieve/get those items (and specific arrays within those items), update/put those same items/arrays, and delete each one of them), we used this cool tool called Postman.

Postman

Postman was a big help to me in understanding how CRUD operations or HTTP resource methods worked. And writing the codes for each of those methods wasn’t that difficult because basically there’s a boiler plate for them. The only thing you need to do is understand how they work.

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