Monthly digest – July 2019

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Hello everybody! 👋

I hope you all had a good July and enjoyed some vacation with your loved ones. Here's my favorite content in July. Enjoy!

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Email like a boss

Written communication is hard. Especially people that don't have English as their first language (like myself) struggle with writing "good" emails every day. Sometimes I rewrite an email several times for it to be concise and actionable but also well received.

That's not enough, though; I also tend to be over-careful and over-friendly, which often weakens the points I want to convey. I found Dani Dovonan's printable guide "Email like a boss" very helpful when dealing with emails.

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The last article about margins you have to read

Writing CSS is hard. One of the typical surprises in CSS wonderland is "margin collapsing". Luckily, Rachel Andrew wrote a masterpiece on that topic. "Everything you need to know about CSS margins" is the last article you need to read about this odd margin behavior – I promise.

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Brag as you mean it

Telling people about all the great things you did can make you uncomfortable easily. It is essential to have a clear picture of your achievements to show these to others (and maybe most importantly to yourself).

One way to tackle this problem is to write a work journal, which is what I do every day. But I'm also really digging the idea of having "a brag document" like Julia Evans. You might want to give it a try, too?

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How to be stellar good friend/colleague

Emely Anhalt posted a quick twitter thread about how to be a good friend without asking "How can I help you?". I love the ideas in this thread!

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This month I learned

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Node.js has a built-in debug log method

The debug npm package has 43 million weekly downloads according to npm. It enables Node.js developers to control log messages depending on a DEBUG environment variable. Did you know that similar functionality is available in Node.js even without installing a dependency?

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overflow-hidden hides only elements going over the padding-box

I was playing with CSS gradients and discovered a surprising thing about overflow: hidden. I learned that overflow: hidden doesn't hide everything outside of the border-box but rather the padding-box, which was not what I expected.

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String.prototype.replace supports replacement patterns

String.prototype.replace is one of these functions that seem to be very straight forward. You define a string you want to replace and a string that should be the replacement, and you're good to go. It turns out there can very surprising side-effects if your replacer string contains sequences like $&.

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The talk of the month

React Hooks changed the way we write React components. If you wonder how they work on a conceptual level, Shawn Wang wrote a Hooks implementation for his custom React live on stage at JSConf.asia.

Shawn presented a top live-coding presentation in a charming and very professional way. Highly recommended if you want to understand React hooks.

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A quote to think about

To be on a cutting edge team is a privilege. It means having resources and money and a lack of accountability that most web developers simply don't have.

Charlie Owen discussed tech-fatigue and cutting edge development in her post "The real dark web". It made me think about my position and the privilege of playing with new technology every day.

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A song that makes you stop coding

The song of this month is a rather old song... I was listening to the radio, and Patrick Wolf's "Time of my life" made me stop doing everything else than listing. I had to get up and sing out loud (thinking about all the good memories I connect with this song).

And that's it friends! Have a great August. 👋

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