Not on Facebook?

A few years ago I remember I’d be in a conversation with my parents and they would ask me about some person. Proudly I’d say what they are doing now and how I keep up with them from Facebook.

Flash forward to this weekend and we had the exact same conversation in reverse. I asked about an old family friend that I haven’t seen in years and they both told me details about their life, their recent vacations, and more.

I’m actually glad I quit Facebook because it was cool to hear about them but I think all the time I’ve not wasted scrolling through that feed looking at people I’ve not seen in years.

A Decade Ago

I just had this image from ten years ago pop up in my “on this day” feed and it’s crazy thinking back over the last ten years. My life is a complete 180 from when this was taken.

It seems every day I make a todo list and try my hardest to get it done, and I feel like I accomplished nothing when my head isn’t down pounding out “work” all day. Or if all I come with is one or two big things and little things keep from staying on task.

I have to remind myself that a day, a week, even a month are all just minuscule time frames over the course of our lives. I can’t look back on a single day years ago and say that was a good day, or that was a bad day.

However, if I look back over the past ten years I can see how the smallest decisions have seemed to have changed my life for the better and those are not things I would have ever put on a todo list.

It is easy to get discouraged that you aren’t hustling hard enough, but if you take a step back you’ll see how all the little things compound and make bigger changes than you might imagine.

TablePlus Workflow for Alfred

It seems many developers are making the switch to TablePlus because it supports a wide range of different database types, has an active development team, and is a stable app.

I started using it yesterday and I’ve been fairly impressed, plus they are working on an iOS version which I’m super excited about. If you are using it on a Mac here is a cool Alfred workflow by Chris Renga for opening a database quickly.

TablePlus Workflow for Alfred

If you are interested in this you can grab the workflow from GitHub.

Stripe Checkout

Normally when I sell advertising spots on Laravel News it’s a one off purchase so I’ve been using Quickbooks Invoices for it. This works okay but it doesn’t support recurrning payments. So I have to regenerate an invoice every month for those customers. It’s not an idea workflow but it works.

Today I had a request from a customer that wanted this payment to be automatic and my first thought was that I would need to integrate something like Laravel Cashier which is overkill for a single customer. After doing some research and talking with some friends I was pointed in the direction of Stripe Checkout.

Example Stripe Checkout

In about 10 minutes I had it all setup and I could sent the customer a link to initiate the flow and make the payment. Thinking back to how hard this would have been before Stripe makes me really appreciate the tools we have available to us now.

From this I do have two thoughts. The first, is always try to find the simplest solution to a problem you are facing, and the second is to keep your eyes open on new tools. I had heard of Stripe Checkout before but I didn’t see the value in it so didn’t pay it much attention. Now that I needed it I’m thankful I had a friend that could point me back to it. Without that I might have wasted an entire Saturday building a complicated setup.

Find Your Top 10 Shell Commands

Ever wonder what shell commands you use most often? Copy and paste the following into your CLI and see your top 10.

history | awk '{print $2}' | sort |uniq -c | sort -rn | head -10

Here is a list of mine from my dev machine:

  • 574 git
  • 461 cd
  • 422 vim
  • 314 ls
  • 202 gss
  • 109 exit
  • 97 php
  • 68 sudo
  • 64 ag
  • 41 ..

I think it’s fun to see what you use most often. Also, as a bonus, if you are a PhpStorm user go to help -> productivity guide to see what features of the IDE you use most often.

Keep Going — Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon has a new book out named Keep Going which gives you 10 ways to stay creative in good and bad and for me it was a fun read. The pages are short and the wisdom easy to digest.

Although it’s written for artist I feel like a lot of the book carries over to being a developer as well. We all have to be a little creative when solving problems and it does a great job of helping you when you are having those bad days. It’s also a natural next step to his previous book Show Your Work.

The book is fairly short, around 200 pages, and is a quick read. Here is the list of chapters to give you an idea what it covers:

  1. Every day is Groundhog Day
  2. Build a Bliss Station
  3. Forget the noun, do the verb
  4. Make Gifts
  5. The Ordinary + Extra Attention = The Extraordinary
  6. Slay the art monsters
  7. You are allowed to change your mind
  8. When in doubt, tidy up
  9. Demons hate fresh air
  10. Plant your garden

It’s full of quotes and drawings and just a fun book. I’d recommend you pick up a copy and get the paperback because the format is great.

🔥 Code Tips Sketch Template

People love to share coding tips on social media and I’ve seen some take screenshots of their editor and share it, or others might use a dedicated service that allows you to copy and paste your code into it. All these options are fine but I like to make mine standout by using something custom and I have a Sketch file where I can paste my code into it and then export.

Sketch Code Editor Templates

The way I have this setup is in your code editor screenshot the code you want to share (shift + control + command + 4) and then open the Sketch file and paste it in. The file currently comes with four artboards. Twitter light and dark, and Instagram light and dark.

In the included samples the code in the “light” artboards are from Sublime Text using the “Inspired GitHub Color Scheme” and the “dark” artboards are using the “Dracula Theme” in VS Code. The theme you use is really not important but I’m sure I’ll have people ask me what I used. Below is an example of one of my recent tweets using this template:

If you’d like to grab this file I have a zip available here. It’s made with the latest version of Sketch (v53.2) so it may not work with older versions. But you are free to do as you wish with this and consider it licensed under MIT.

Finally, if you have any feedback or would like to see any improvements please comment below. I hope you enjoy!