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July 2022 - Dog Days of Summer ☀️

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July 2022 - Dog Days of Summer ☀️
By Nathan Thomas • Issue #8 • View online
Hey everyone!
I know this issue is a day late, but I’m still recovering from COVID. I just didn’t have it in me to stay up late last night to get it out.
This month, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my current habits (including procrastination and putting myself out there more for what I want in life).
I also discovered some awesome new games, bands, and system design resources (more on that below).
It’s very easy in life to get stuck in a rut; often, this isn’t apparent to us until some big event happens that really shakes us up and gives us a chance to step back and gain new perspective.
I hope that you get the chance to do this over the next month.
I also hope you stay safe and stay well.
Nathan ☕️

“What I Miss About Working at Stripe” by Brie Wolfson
This essay is really about the happiness that comes from doing your life’s best work when you’re working hard every day. I really appreciate and agree with the viewpoint, and I think it’s a nice shot in the arm for people looking to get fired up about their job (whatever it might be).
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron
The Artist’s Way is a profoundly simple book; it’s intended to get you thinking and behaving more creatively by rewiring the way your brain thinks. I credit reading this book with getting me back into playing guitar after breaking into tech (and taking a long music hiatus to do so).
“Clone Graph” Coding Article by Nathan
As I’ve said before, what good is having a newsletter if you can’t hawk your personal writing?
Here’s a fresh article that I wrote before I got sick and everything went crazy this month. It’s on the LeetCode Clone Graph coding challenge. Enjoy!
Deno’s Fresh Framework
The new JavaScript runtime Deno has a “fresh” new web framework. While I’ve only played around with Fresh in passing, it seems promising and also lightning fast. It’s definitely worth your time to spend 30-60 minutes checking it out to know what it is.
Amazon’s Paper on DynamoDB
I read this paper (it’s quite short) this month while boning up on system design knowledge, and it was quite informative. While it’s not a deep dive, it does give some insights into what the AWS team deems important when they’re building out a new tool for customers.
ByteByteGo’s YouTube Channel
This channel might not mean anything to you at first glance, but the people who run it wrote the Grokking the System Design Interview class that’s been lauded everywhere. I have notifications turned on for any new videos; that’s how important I think this channel will be. The ones that are already posted are well worth your time.
Learn C++ With Codecademy
While this course won’t teach you anything incredibly deep about C++, it’s 100% a great jumping off point to learn the basics of the language in an afternoon. I’d highly recommend it.
Returnal (for PS5)
Returnal was a game that I decided to try while I was down for the count with COVID. I’ve always been a huge fan of the sci-fi and space exploration genre of video games, and this one really knocked it out of the park. It’s a rogue-like game and is 1/3 Edge of Tomorrow, 1/3 Mass Effect, and 1/3 computer-generated sci-fi.
STRAY (for PS5)
Stray was the second game that I played while I was in the middle of my COVID fever dream. You play as a cat. That’s about all I should need to say to sell you on it, but here’s a trailer if you’re still not convinced.
“The Last Goodbye” by Odesza
While not as good (in my personal opinion) as their previous albums, this one is still very solid. I’d recommend it for a cloudy afternoon while reading a good book on the couch (Apple Music and Spotify).
“When the Storms Would Come” by Holy Holy
This band was my big find of the month of July. They’re feel good music and something you can rock with the windows down while rolling down the highway (Apple Music and Spotify).
Reacher (TV Show)
I binge watched this show during my COVID stupor. I actually think it’s much better than the Tom Cruise movies.
The Procrastination Cure
If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled with procrastination at various points in your life. This video (from the excellent Better Ideas YouTube channel I’ve referenced before in this newsletter) talks about how to bust through that procrastination rut.
“How To Lead Like a Champion” by Garry Tan
This great (and short) video on leadership in your work life from Garry Tan is very thought-provoking. It covers designing your organization and also building up individuals within it.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Nathan Thomas

I spend a lot of time learning, reading, and researching everything I'm interested in. Signing up for this newsletter will send all my tech, book, article, and media discoveries (and learning resources) directly to you.

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Written in San Francisco, California