Barbarian Meets Coding

WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy

7 minutes readnewsletter

TypeScript Explosion, Procrastination and Wizards Use Vim

Hello! Welcome back to the Barbarian Meets Coding Newsletter of Joy! I need to come up with a better name than newsletter. It doesn’t sound so fantasy-y now that I think of it.

This week has been interesting, here’s some stuff that happened:

TypeScript Boom!

It seems like more and more people are either adopting or showing interest for TypeScript:

So in order to help people get on board, I shared one of the chapters of JavaScript-mancy:OOP on with a very thorough introduction to TypeScript:

If you haven’t checked TypeScript yet, then there’s your chance. Eric Eliott, notable JavaScript savant wrote a very interesting piece on his experience with adopting TypeScript: The TypeScript Tax: A Cost vs Benefit Analysis. (Because not everyone has to be as enthusiastic about TypeScript)

Oh, this was serendipitous, but as I was reading TypeScript articles I stumbled upon this great article about using TypeScript at Google. Very cool. And very revealing and candid about our front-end infrastructure at Google. Definitely worth the read.

Reading Blogs as a Form of Procrastination

As a dad with almost zero free time I continue obsessing about where I spend my time. One thing I’ve been reflecting over lately is the reading of blogs and how it sometime feels as a form of procrastination.

Reading blogs and articles is somewhat of a reactive kind of thing. You open twitter, or reddit, or, or feedly, or wherever you get your news and blogs and there they are. Hundreds of new interesting articles calling for your attention.

The attractiveness of the new combined with the fear of missing out is a powerful force, and you end up reading a bunch of articles about new technologies, or techniques, or even stuff that you already know a lot about (you just wonder if there’s something new there that you may have missed before).

The net effect of all this is that you end up spending time learning random things in a reactive fashion, instead of following your own goals, working and completing your own projects.

I don’t have much time for reading these days and I’ll read only a handful of articles per week (sometimes even none). But one thing that I do a lot, and where I spend time is saving articles for later in pocket. This is ridiculous, first because of the time it takes me to bookmark these articles most of which (99.999%) I will never read, secondly because I’m creating a pile of stress adding arbitrary things to my subconscious to-do-list and third because I’m creating extra work for myself who know needs to shuffle through all these articles, archive them, organize them, tag them, etc.

So I’m experimenting with something. I have unsubscribed from all my RSS feeds. I have cleaned up all my to-reads from pocket and I have unsubscribed from a bunch of mailing list I never have time to read. (That felt good I tell ya).

For the past week I’ve become very critic with saving stuff to read later (It is hard because a lot of these apps make it very convenient to save stuff for later), and I read and/or clean-up every night. In summary, less wasted time, less stress, and I try to engage more with the smaller number of articles I do read.

Test it yourself. Start unsuscribing from stuff you never read. Clean up. Remove that mental weight. Reflect on whether the articles you read are useful or a way to procrastinate from the stuff you should be really doing.

create > consume

Wizards Use Vim

I’ve been working a lot on Wizards Use Vim but progress is slow. Teo has had a rough week and that means that I’m dead tired and opt to sleep instead of writing. Even so I’m almost done with quite nice quality chapters for the Apprentice part of the book. This weekend I am planning to have a Wizards Use Vim sprint and get lots done. (My partner in crime for the global game jam had to cancel and so I have some time in my hands to do some awesome writing).

I have also published a couple of previews from the book with some early chapters.

At this point I’ve been mainly focusing on getting the content there rather than on style and the fantasy element but I think they can be really useful as they are.

I’ll go publishing some more in the future. Let me know what you think!

Hot This Week

  • I made the excerpt from last weeks newsletter its own article in the blog: How to Stay Motivated When You Are Not Feeling It. (Promoted!)
  • I experimented with Unity on my Mac and it was fun. I’m looking forward to doing some more Unity in preparation for future game jams. I think it is going to be a fun way to build games, but even more an interesting experiment to understand modern game engines at a conceptual level which I can later reverse engineer to build my own play game engine.

Hot Interesting Reads

James Clear pretty much summarized all I wanted to share from his book Atomic Habits in a great article: 30 One-Sentence Stories From People Who Have Built Better Habits. The stories are interesting but each section of these articles presents some of the most important principles in his book and habit technique:

  • identity based habits (that is, a new habit starts with changing your identity, the person you wish to be),
  • changing the cues that trigger habits (making good habits easy and bad habits hard),
  • habit stacking which consist on stacking new habits on habits you have already developed,
  • designing your environment to make good habits easier and bad habits impossible,
  • habit substitution by using similar cues to replace bad habits and,
  • habit tracking to give you an instant gratification when you perform your habit. Really good stuff.

I’ve been reading this great book called The Strange Case of The Alchemist Daughter. Really cool feminist twist set in the universe of science fiction and horror classics with characters like Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Dr. Moreau. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Van Helsing. Viktor Frankestein, etc, etc. I haven’t been able to put it down at night even though I’ve been super tired. And it looks like it’s part of a new series. Awesome!

I was looking at good resources about optimizing images. The new from the Google Chrome team is really good. And so is Addy Osmani’s Essential Image Optimization Guide. Check them out. Optimize thy images.

Hot Stuff To Listen To which is a great podcast by Wes Bos and Scott Tolinski. The episode in particular was A look forward to 2019. Very interesting summary of big things in the JavaScript, front-end universe in 2018 and what they expect to keep growing in 2019. It was also very interesting to see the chasm between React/Vue and Angular and how little React people care or follow Angular.

Hot Things to Watch

  • I am watching the new season of The Bachelor US with my wife. And it is lit.
  • I also watched a fun fun function video where mpj discusses the new concept they’re planning for this year. Really promising. Looking forward to more coding videos.

That’s all for this week. Take care. Have an awesome weekend. And be kind to your fellow humans and not fellow undead.

Jaime González García

Written by Jaime González García , dad, husband, software engineer, ux designer, amateur pixel artist, tinkerer and master of the arcane arts. You can also find him on Twitter jabbering about random stuff.Jaime González García