March 2022 - Springtime 🙏🏻

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March 2022 - Springtime 🙏🏻
By Nathan Thomas • Issue #4 • View online
What a crazy month it’s been. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. COVID is “officially” an endemic. Will Smith slapped Chris Rock.
This issue is slightly on the short side. I spent about a week-and-a-half sick this month. Apparently people still get colds these days. 🤷🏻‍♂️
I also spent a some time moving my grandmother into an assisted living center. It’s hard watching others you care about get old.
With the world going crazy around us, it’s really important to spend time with the people you care about.
I hope your 2022 is shaping up to be better than the last two years and I hope that you’re able to see those you love.
_
Nathan ☕️

Articles / News
Scaling Twitter Web Through Hyper Growth
My friends and former coworkers Marina Zhao and Charlie Croom over at Twitter Web Team (who support Twitter.com) recently published an article on how they grew the team into a thriving, distributed community (I was there for a good chunk of it). It’s worth a read since you may be confronted with a challenge/goal like this in your own career eventually.
Google’s Quest to Build the Perfect Team
While this article from Google is from years ago, the topic of “Psychological Safety” popped back up at work the other week and I was reminded of it. Once upon a time, Google tried to figure out what it took to build the perfect team; this article is about what they found out.
NodeJS Dependency Attack
As a protest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a Node module dependency started an attack on Russian users. Setting aside the war and looking purely at the tech, this raises questions about the long-term security risks every single company using Node can experience at some point.
Books
Walter Isaacson’s “Einstein: His Life and Universe”
I’ve been reading this book this month, and it’s incredible (I was tempted into reading it after how good Isaacson’s book on Steve Jobs was). This book on Einstein provides a unique and well-researched glimpse into the life, ideas, work, and humanity of one of humanity’s greatest minds.
Code
Custom NFT Contract (by Nathan)
I wrote a custom NFT contract this month that you can use to mint yourself a token that you can then use anywhere (such as profile pictures on Twitter). You can give it static JSON or also just feed it a URL during minting that you can then update with any metadata JSON you want to load in.
This is me over-engineering something just to get a little hexagon shape around my Twitter profile picture.
Not all heroes wear capes.
Codecademy’s C++ Course
I decided to learn C++ this month as I want to understand embedded systems a bit more (a common use case for it) as well as maybe contribute to Bitcoin Core someday. This course by Codecademy is on point and a great starting place (and it’s free).
Games
Tiny Towns (Board Game)
Some of you know that I’m huge into board games, so I’m going to start including them in this games section every newsletter. This month’s recommendation is Tiny Towns, a game that combines elements of Kingdomino, Settlers of Catan, and more.
Music
Phoebe Bridgers’ “Punisher” album
I’ve been obsessed this month with listening to Phoebe Bridgers, and her latest album (Spotify and Apple Music) is particularly great. I’d highly recommend listening to it if you haven’t already. Its emo-folk-melancholy speaks to my roots.
Videos
Analog Computers of the Future
While we all take digital computers for granted now (including the one you likely have in your pocket), the first attempts at computing used analog. Interestingly, we may soon see the return of analog computing in some select areas. This video gives a fascinating breakdown of why.
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Nathan Thomas

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