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May 2022 - Beauty in Chaos 🌳

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May 2022 - Beauty in Chaos 🌳
By Nathan Thomas • Issue #6 • View online
It’s been another full month since we’ve talked.
I always save this header note as the last thing I write before hitting send. It feels more personal that way.
If you were paying attention at all to the news in the last 31 days, you were probably horrified by what you saw. I was too.
Despite all of that, there are beautiful things in the world to learn and experience if you choose to look for them (such as the photo I picked above for this month’s cover photo).
I spent the start of this month in Austin, TX, but have been back in the Bay Area the last few weeks to be around family as some tough things are happening with my grandmother.
I still might be in NYC or the Midwest by end of summer, so hit me up if you want to grab some food or a coffee.
Talk soon
Nathan ☕️

Articles/News
Y Combinator’s “Startup School”
Have you always wanted to learn what it takes to launch a successful startup? Y Combinator is starting back up their Startup School for people to go through it.
It’s 100% free and remote.
Come take it with me. 🔥
Books
“Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon
The book this month is short, but it makes up for that in maximum punch. This book profoundly impacted me right when I was starting to try to break into tech and really influenced many of my later works/thoughts in coding, writing, and music.
Code
Nathan’s “Blind 75” First 4 Articles
Like I’ve said before, what good is having a newsletter if you can’t plug your own articles sometimes? I recently (~2 weeks ago) started working on/completing the Blind 75 coding challenges, a list of 75 challenges originally posted by a tech lead at Facebook. Here are the first 4 articles on them that I’ve written:
  1. Two Sum
  2. Contains Duplicate
  3. Product of Array Except Self
  4. Maximum Product Subarray
I’ve completed ~40% of them so far (at time of writing here) and want to publish regularly, so keep an eye out for many more articles like this in future newsletters!
Google IO “State of CSS” Breakdown
Google IO happened recently, and the State of CSS talk in particular was a great glimpse into some killer new features that will be coming soon to the web platform with new CSS.
System Design: The Big Archive
I’m constantly searching for great system design materials because the area is so nebulous with how to prep for interview on it. I recently had this PDF served up hot in my email inbox and figured you might like it too.
Games
Camel Up (Board Game)
This one is a classic with my friends and family. It’s a low-key betting game with juuuust enough strategy to make it a good party game to relax and talk with people while playing.
Music
“N95” by Kendrick Lamar
I don’t think this newsletter would be complete without bringing up Kendrick Lamar’s new album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (that released this month). The song N95 (music video, Apple Music, Spotify) from it has a lot of bars, but my favorite is:
Let’s think about this for a second
Tell me what you would do for aesthetic
Would you sell your soul on credit?
Would you sell your bro for leverage?
“California Dreamin” by The Beach Boys
The soundtrack from the new Stranger Things season 4 (which is phenomenal btw) made me do a double-take when this song came on. It’s been a minute since I’ve really listened to The Beach Boys, and California Dreamin’ (Apple Music and Spotify) hits that dark sweet spot I sometimes love with music (the original version of the song by The Mamas & The Papas (Apple Music and Spotify) is great too but is much more haunting).
Videos
Why You Should Leave Your FAANG Job
This is another great resource from Y Combinator. Many of you know that I left a FAANG-like company (Twitter) earlier this year for a unicorn startup (Loom). This video breaks down the mentality of why people might choose to do that.
How to Pick the Right Startup
This is the flip side to the resource just above. If you are going to join a startup instead of founding one (for now, hopefully), how are you going to choose? This video by gives a great breakdown of the mental checklist you should use while picking your job at a startup.
Becoming Anti-fragile
After the last two years, I’ve become utterly convinced that one of the biggest keys to happiness in life is the ability to be anti-fragile. This video breaks down what that is and how to develop it in yourself.
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