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Ben IlegboduBen Ilegbodu

Introducing Minishops

The rationale behind and explanation of my new venture to offer short, remote-only workshops called "minishops"

Monday, May 18, 2020 ยท 2 min read

If you haven't realized yet, I enjoy teaching. Up until this point, it's come in the form of mentoring and pairing at work and speaking at conferences publicly.

Well, this global pandemic that's forcing most of us to shelter-in-place has canceled all of my conference speaking for the foreseeable future. This has opened up the time that I normally devoted to prepping for talks. I've used some of that time to return to blogging, but the majority I've put into transforming my in-person workshops into remote workshops.

I call these remote workshops "minishops" because they are short (aka "mini") workshops. These minishops will last only about 3 hours so that they can be very focused on just a couple of topics instead of covering many different topics to fill a whole day workshop.

Full-day or multi-day workshops work for many people (myself included), but they do not work for everyone. My goal is to provide another style of workshop that hopefully will be better suited for a different group of learners.


Some people cannot absorb too much at a given time, especially when the topic is new. So the last few hours of a full-day workshop aren't retained well. Similarly, some folks simply need time to pass for what they've learned to sink in and stick before going on to learn more.


I've also found that it's hard to have pacing that works for everyone in the longer workshops. As I mentioned, those that are new can get lost towards the end of a long workshop, which is right when those with some experience are finally getting engaged. In the beginning, those "experienced" learners are typically bored because they already know the introductory material. Both sides do learn so it's certainly not a bad experience by any means. But for those attendees in these situations, it is suboptimal.

That's why in my minishops I'm including a "This minishop may not be for you" section to ensure that "too skilled" learners don't attend minishops for topics they already know. There are other minishops where they can be newbies instead. ๐Ÿ˜„


Lastly, there are some people who simply can't spend the whole day at a workshop. A remote workshop is convenient because we don't have to travel to a single location to learn, but it can be hard to focus and avoid getting distracted for a full day.

It's my hope is that with the minishop only being 3 hours, attendees will still be able to attend meetings or get some work done before or after the minishop if they need to.

I've got about 10 minishops in mind, but I'm not releasing them all at once. I'm starting off with these three:

I want to see if these minishops are something that stick and I should continue pursuing. I spent the last month or so redesigning my site in part to enable these minishops, so I'm hoping that it all works out well.

As of right now, I'm still finalizing the dates and costs of these minishops. If you have a minishop you'd like to attend, feel free to fill out the form at the bottom of that minishop's page and I'll notify you when it is scheduled next.

Some other minishop ideas to pique your interest:

  • Patterns for Sharing Component Logic in React - Render props, HOCs, custom hooks, etc.
  • Real-world React - all the other things that come after an intro to React course
  • Styling in React - css modules, css-in-js, tailwind css, etc.
  • React component libraries - creating an internal or external component library
  • Frontend Divops - webpack, babel, jest, linting, prettier, etc.

Keep learning my friends. ๐Ÿค“

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Hi, I'm Ben Ilegbodu. ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿพ

I'm a Christian, husband, and father of 3, with 15+ years of professional experience developing user interfaces for the Web. I'm a Google Developer Expert Frontend Architect at Stitch Fix, and frontend development teacher. I love helping developers level up their frontend skills.

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