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Oliver's Newsletter - Issue No. 5 - Sometimes You Slow Down

Oliver's Newsletter - Issue No. 5 - Sometimes You Slow Down
By Oliver Jumpertz • Issue #5 • View online
I slowed down a lot this week. Having a full-time job, a new project to kick-off, and a fiancé in hospital takes its toll and is pretty noticeable in my Twitter stats. But to be honest, that’s okay. If I were doing content creation full-time, I’d be worried now, but as I don’t, it’s just a minor set-back. The new project however is something pretty interesting. Being a technical (project) lead for a multi-million dollar project is always very special and this time I took full control of the frontend part while appointing a very good colleague of mine as the backend lead. I spent most of the week in meetings, laying out the architecture, choosing technologies, and starting a Nuxt project for the frontend. I really can’t wait to finally start building all that and will thus have to live with having a little less time for content creation for the near future. This newsletter is important for me, though, and thus I took most of the time I had for content creation and put it into this issue.
I hope you all had an awesome week and are still as safe as we all can currently be. Don’t forget to take some time off this weekend and do something for yourself. Perhaps you will also find some time to read his newsletter. And now, enjoy!

My current thoughts on...
This is where I share my thoughts on multiple topics that came to my mind since the last issue. Perhaps they were brought to my attention through someone in the community, perhaps I was explicitly asked for them, or perhaps I simply want to talk about them.
Want my opinion on something? Drop me a message and I might add my thoughts on it in one of the next issues!
Blogging
Blogging is awesome to persist content for a very long time. With good SEO your visibility will be way higher than on any social network itself. The internet is larger than only Twitter or Facebook/Instagram/YouTube. And it strengthens your personal brand. You can brand your blog with a custom domain, add your personal style to it, and drive traffic elsewhere. Do you know those large Twitter accounts that don’t tweet as much as other, smaller creators do? Where do you think their followers come from? Yes, people follow them because they provided awesome content “somewhere”, not necessarily on the platform itself. Linking to your Twitter account on each blog post might drive a lot of traffic to your profile and bring people to follow you. Other than that, blogging is a pure form of writing. While Twitter limits single tweets to a certain amount of characters, you won’t get that problem with a blog. I had the problem more than once that articles written as threads on Twitter first didn’t come out as good as a pure article would have. It’s because Twitter forces you to change your writing style so single tweets make as much sense on their own as possible. You don’t have that problem with a blog article.
Being Active On Multiple Social Networks
Do you need to be active on multiple social networks? Well, do you plan to gain value from your followers yourself? Then you should. You don’t have any power over whether Twitter or Facebook decides to somehow ban you for any reason. It might be your mistake, it might be theirs. It doesn’t matter. It only takes one action by the platforms to cut you off from your lifeline. With a distributed audience, you always have a backup at your hand. On the other hand, if you only want to consume, there is no need to join Instagram (e.g.) if you don’t enjoy the content.
Having A Content Strategy
“Provide value to the people”, “Be honest and yourself”, “Just be you”, “Engage”. This is what you are told from time to time when you ask people with a larger following than yours how to grow on <insertAnySocialNetworkHere/>. Well, it’s not the whole truth. To actually provide value, you need to know what you want to provide. From my own experience, I can tell you that it’s really stressful to sit down the same day and think about what four to five pieces of content you can send out. This strategy can work out for a few days or weeks but after that, you’ll start to notice a slight panic when you simply can’t come up with anything. You either start panic-posting content that simply won’t do good or even harm your growth, or you surrender and post nothing at all. To prevent this, you need a real strategy. Instead of setting aside one hour each day to plan your content, better try to set aside three hours on one day to plan the content for the next week. Over the course of that week, collect ideas and write them down. This way you’ll have something you can actually work with. Content that is finished should then be scheduled and distributed throughout the week to come. This doesn’t prevent you from posting random stuff as soon as it comes to your mind but it will give you the security that you won’t end a day without having posted anything. If you want to grow, you need to be consistent. Consistency is rewarded by people, believe me. A content strategy together with a content schedule will help you to keep up this pace. But, don’t worry when your strategy breaks at some point (like it did for me this last week). Find out what went wrong, fix it, adapt, and simply go on.
Twitter Super Followers
I stumbled across an article on The Verge that stated Twitter was working on a feature called “Super Followers”. It’s basically a subscription to your favorite content creator(s) that allows you to support them financially while receiving access to exclusive content and such. Let me be honest, I like this idea a lot. I don’t know if I’d personally use it but the time I sometimes put into detailed threads is a lot. A 30+ tweet thread could have taken multiple days of research and image creation. Having at least the option to get paid for some of that content might be a game-changer for content creators. I know people who currently use GitHub sponsors or Patreon to get financial support, but having something Twitter-native is a really good alternative. If they get the integration with Revue right (the hosting platform for this newsletter), one could combine Twitter- and newsletter-exclusive content and provide a valuable package that’s worth $4.99 - or something like that - a month.
Vue Or React Or Svelte
I recently thought about this a lot. I’m not a pure frontend guy, as some of you may know. I started in the backend and am now a Software Architect especially dealing with the cloud. My bread and butter are serverless FaaS with AWS Lambda and JavaScript/Rust. From time to time, I still dive into the frontend, though. When I do frontend, I usually go with React and Next but for our recent project at work, I actually chose Vue. It simply was the best choice given the developers we had at hand and the more I work with Vue, the more I realize that the choice of framework isn’t as important as some people like to advocate for. The concepts and APIs may be a little different but how things generally work is still relatively the same. Knowledge gained in one framework can be transferred. Not everything, but as usual, the fundamentals usually can be transferred. So if you have to make a choice, choose what you are comfortable with and stick with it for the project at hand. You can still choose something else for the project after that.
Opportunities
Through my own job, my network, and my other activities, I’m exposed to the industry a lot. I have the chance to talk to other insiders, enterprise/bank IT leaders, and many many more. I also consult as a side hustle and build one or the other website from time to time. I don’t do this full-time, yet, but it may give me some credibility.
This section is here to showcase scenarios, skills, and business ideas that I view as opportunities for someone who wants to make a change and go the entrepreneur route or simply upskill themselves.
Upskill Yourself - The AR Developer
The pandemic has taught a lot of people one very important thing: Although you might like to go out and shop for things, you can very well get everything online, pretty comfortably, ordering directly from your couch. But this comes at a cost. It’s more difficult to imagine how a cabinet looks in your own home when you only see some pictures. Having a way to see it live, like in your favorite IKEA, can help a lot to spark your imagination.
This is where AR - Augmented Reality - comes in. There are a few promising applications of AR for e-commerce already on the market. They allow you to look through your smartphone’s camera and place 3d models of furniture and other objects directly in your room, so you can imagine how something might look and feel. We’re still in the early days of this technology but it is already awesomely promising. This will definitely lead to more demand for developers who are capable of implementing AR solutions.
If you are interested in this area, you can start with JavaScript, WebGL, and WebAR. Add in React and React Native so you can also serve the cross-platform native side of mobile development. If you’re not that much into web development, you can also build awesome experiences with Unity or Unreal Engine, so one of these might be an alternative for you. To my knowledge, there is already a demand for all of these technologies, so it’s difficult to make a wrong choice there.
Self-employment - The Fullstack Marketing Developer
Building websites for other people is one way of earning money as a developer. You can build full pages or landing pages for friends, businesses, and even large corporations. You can also add single-page applications to your portfolio and serve the full UI experience. That’s already a pretty solid service as you offer a service not many people on earth are capable of (developer supply is short).
Especially building websites and landing pages is an interesting field to work in. When someone launches a product, a single marketing page giving potential customers all the information they could probably need to make a decision is an awesome way of increasing sales. But what if you added more to your service portfolio than only building websites? The next natural service to add is search engine optimization. The best website doesn’t work well if you can’t get enough traffic from search engines. Most people open Google when they search for something they haven’t already accidentally stumbled upon. A good search engine rank is necessary today. If you can’t reach the first page of search results, you nearly don’t exist on the internet and people won’t find you.
There is, however, more that can give you visibility. If you can’t reach the first page of search results for a keyword, why not spend some money on Google Ads to still be shown on the first page of results on Google? And what about some clever ads that show up on Facebook and on Instagram stories? This can generate a lot of traffic if planned and executed well. This is digital marketing at its best. And those are skills that can be learned. Add them to the service portfolio and your clients get the full experience. You can get paid to create the website and to do SEO initially, and after that, you can get paid continuously for digital marketing efforts and also for continuous further SEO.
There is also a great potential for synergy in all this. You are a business yourself and will directly profit from this yourself. Increasing your own visibility is a great showcase for potential customers that you know what you do. And you can use this for a lot more. Maybe you want to create your own products or create a profitable blog. You already know nearly everything you need to know to get this started.
I think that the following skills would be necessary to pursue such a career:
Frontend Development
Okay, this is relatively obvious. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript should be your base skills. That’s enough to build basic landing pages, websites, and even more. You don’t need to be a complete pro, basic knowledge can already bring you far.
Responsive Layouting
HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are only one part of the story. You must, of course, be able to build responsive layouts that look good on all potential target devices. I personally count this as a skill itself, simply because knowing CSS does not mean that you know how to deal with all the millions of different screen sizes currently available to humanity.
Alternative: No Code Tools
Well, I said you should be able to develop a website, and as a dev myself, I of course favor writing code. But there is a multitude of services out there that all allow creating websites, even with CMS functionality, without having to write a single line of code. Take Webflow for example. This could be an alternative to you if you like to build visually.
Search Engine Optimization
Ranking high in search results is crucial as we already learned. Knowing the how-to is essential. SEO can be a pretty wide topic but knowing at least the fundamentals of what is necessary and what not already helps a lot. Placing good meta tags describing the current content appropriately, using semantic HTML, optimizing images, basically anything that makes a search engine favor you more (hopefully even more than any competitor). You should dive as deep as possible here, really, the difference between no/bad SEO and good SEO can be a universe.
Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing is a broad field but we are talking explicitly about ads and ad campaigns here. Planning and executing a campaign on Google and/or Facebook/Instagram could be your focus here. Perhaps add in YouTube if you like, but the initial three already cover quite a range of audiences. All platforms offer resources on how to learn their ad products, so you can start there and then maybe take some courses from marketers that have a lot of experience running successful campaigns.
This Week On Twitter
I focus on worthwhile tweets and threads in this section. It includes some of my own but also some from the awesome community I am glad to be a part of.
If you want to see a tweet/thread or multiple (also your own) included in one of the next issues, send me a link and tell me what’s so great about it!
DogeHouse
Ben Awad is on it again. This time he built a Clubhouse contender that can easily be used in the browser. I really like this idea as Clubhouse is still a relatively closed club of people who basically can choose themselves who they let in. An open variant of it makes sense. If the concept is really that good, people will jump on the bandwagon. And open discussions? Loving it!
console.assert()
I often forget what a great API console actually has. I often go with console.log and that’s it then. But seriously, many of the methods console offers, like assert, are really awesome for debugging and sometimes even for real use. Simon makes a great point in advocating for it, as it really deserves a place in our toolbox.
Simon Høiberg on Twitter: "JavaScript Tip 💡 Use console.assert to make conditional log statements.… "
Conditionally Assign Object Properties
I’m still surprised sometimes by what actually is possible in JavaScript. And very often, I forget a lot of what I learn again. This tip however is something I will never forget as I use it a lot. An if-else block that conditionally builds objects is fine but not very readable. It is simply a lot of code. Simply adding properties to an object is also not always the answer. Thanks to JavaScript’s history, there is a difference between a property being present and set to undefined, and one not being present. Both cases return undefined, but in one case, iterating over all properties of an object yields the key, and in the other, it doesn’t. More people than you might think to tend to iterate over an object’s keys. This is why I try to prevent any key, which would otherwise be undefined, from appearing.
Cloud VSCode For Any GitHub Repository
Have you ever wanted to simply browse your GitHub repository directly in your browser? Well, there is GitHub Codespaces but it’s still in early access and thus not available to the broad public. github1s however provides you with a VSCode environment that is enough to browse the code like you would in our favorite text editor. No need to click through the online Git view anymore. Definitely one of my favorite new tools.
Articles Worthwhile Reading
In this section, I focus on articles I came across that I found worthwhile reading and also some of my own. They don’t have to be published in this particular week.
If you want to see an article or multiple (also your own) included in one of the next issues, send me a link and tell me what’s so great about it!
A Gentle Introduction To Kubernetes
There is still a world outside of serverless. This world is way larger than the world of Lambda and easy deployments. Kubernetes is the center of this world, the cloud-native one. When any modern organization deals with microservices today, there is a high chance that they are already running their systems on Kubernetes or are planning to do so in the future. No technology has ever been adopted faster by enterprises. This article I wrote some time ago, tries to give you a pretty gentle introduction into this technology and tries to answer at least some of the questions you might have.
A Gentle Introduction To Kubernetes
Count Page Views On Your GitHub Profile
I’m a huge fan of easy-to-apply tricks and I’m also a huge fan of GitHub. Since they introduced personal profile pages, so much innovation has happened in this space and many small and large projects were born to provide even more awesome things to integrate on your page. A visitor counter doesn’t sound like much, but why not? This article is also a great example of “sometimes less is more”. It’s short but it contains a lot of valuable information.
Count page views on your GitHub profile with this one-liner
The Ultimate Cheatsheet Compilation
Good cheatsheets are some very unique helpers. They pack a lot of information into a small space while still being able to maintain their readability. A quick look is enough to find what you look for and some people even tend to print them and hang them on their walls. This article is a great collection of some very good cheatsheets, covering topics that are relevant for web developers.
🔥 Ultimate Cheatsheet Compilation
Introduction To Functional Programming
Some developers will turn around and run away as far as possible when you want to talk about functional programming with them. This is due to the fact that some languages like Haskell and Clojure are purely functional languages and have a syntax that takes getting used to. But functional programming doesn’t have to be that hard. JavaScript can be used in a purely functional way, and this article does a good job and introducing you to some essential functional concepts.
Introduction to Functional Programming
Learning Resources
This section contains resources I came across this week, recommended to someone, or simply find worth being shared.
If you’d like to see something specifically listed here (also your own), drop me a message, and I will take a look at it. I will maybe include it in one of the next issues then.
Digital Marketing
I consider marketing to be a crucial skill in today’s world. Whether you try to build a personal brand, want to grow your network, drive traffic to your blog, or want to pursue a hybrid career, it’s all about marketing. The power of strategically placed ads is pretty huge. I know stories of people who were able to grow their blog to a few 100k readers in just a few months. Apply this to your personal brand and you might get a lot of visibility which in return might help to propel your own career. Google has a lot of knowledge about marketing, providing one of the largest ad platforms currently available. It makes sense to learn a little digital marketing from them, doesn’t it?
Fundamentals of digital marketing - Google Digital Garage
Computational Thinking
The job of a developer is to solve problems. Whether they are the problems of a business or those of yourself. We write code to create a solution for something that bothers someone so much that they wish for some form of support or automation. For a newbie, learning how to solve problems with a computer is completely different from how they usually approach problems. I think that this course is a great introduction to exactly this. Perhaps it helps one or the other to make an entry into the world of developing software.
Computational Thinking for Problem Solving | Coursera
My Current Twitter Statistics
Some of you are perhaps interested in how I do on Twitter, so in the spirit of transparency, I’ll share my Twitter statistics with you here.
28 day summary
28 day summary
Feb 2021 Summary
Feb 2021 Summary
Jan 2021 Summary
Jan 2021 Summary
Until Then
I hope you liked this issue and what I included this time. Like the last time, I’m still looking forward to hearing your feedback about the “Opportunities” section. Is it something you still find worthwhile or is it something you wouldn’t want to read again? I hope that some of you found some value in it and I’d love to hear from you if it sparks something within you that makes you think about a change.
As usual, feel free to give your most honest feedback. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and how I can make this newsletter really worth reading for each and every one of you!
Until then, enjoy your weekend, spend time with your loved ones, have fun with your hobbies, and most importantly, stay safe!
So long and yours,
Oliver
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Oliver Jumpertz

Bringing the best tech content directly to your inbox. May include software engineering, JavaScript and Web Development in general, Rust, Cloud, Serverless, and some unexpected pieces.

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