Whenever I fly I try to be at least somewhat productive. This time it entailed finishing up an old blog post and messing around with Node.js on a side project. They say the only way to appreciate something is when it’s gone and that’s how I feel about developing without internet access. It’s such a common occurrence to need to look up the documentation for a particular function or library or search for novel error messages that my approach is completely altered without the internet. Where before a few visits to Google or Stack Overflow would have taken care of the problem now I get to rely on man pages as well as dozens small experiments to figure out what’s happening.

It’s definitely not as efficient as having everything at your fingertips but it’s definitely fun in small doses. In my case I get to brush up on some rusty skills and also get to be a detective when diagnosing bugs. Knowing that you will be coding without internet also forces you to set up a standalone development environment. This requires making sure all the static assets you use are available locally and can be served by your application as well as making sure you have a local database that contains realistic data.

It’s tough to avoid the internet when coding but it’s a worthwhile exercise to attempt a few times a month - it will make you appreciate what you have but also introduce you to a whole new set of skills.

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