Monthly Digest October 2019

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Hello everybody!

I'm back from vacation! And it was soooo good. I spent last week driving around Portugal sitting in a screamingly yellow caravan close to lonely beaches! I can highly recommend doing that!

I feel refreshed and ready to share my favorite content in October now... and I have to say there was a lot of it. So let's dive right in!

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Don't call yourself a programmer

After almost ten years of working in tech, I learned a lot about what it means to have a career in this industry. One of the critical lessons I learned is that "writing code" is not the most crucial part of the job.

The article "Don't Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career Advice" by Patrick McKenzie is fairly long read with a catchy title, but there's a lot of wisdom in there!

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Accessibility tips and tooling

Building accessible products seems very hard these days. Robin Rendle published "Why Are Accessible Websites so Hard to Build?" arguing that the reason for inaccessible products is that accessibility issues are not visible enough during development. I 100% agree with this!

He concludes that we should have more linters and tools in our editors warning us about issues. I don't think this is the best approach and posted a quick follow-up post sharing my ideas about accessibility warnings in the browser developer tools. This post sparked lots of discussions with Firefox devtools developers! It was a very interesting discussion, and maybe you want to share your opinion, too!

In the meantime, if you wonder how to do everyday accessibility checks for the things you build – Chris Cid published an excellent article with unexpected accessibility tips.

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Things to consider before you apply/speak at an event

After speaking at many conferences over the past years, I can say that it helped me progress in my career, improved my social skills, and led me to really understand technical topics. You might want to start doing it, too.

Not every event is the same, though; before filling out the CFP for a conference, you should evaluate the event carefully. Tatiana Mac shared her speaker rider, and it's very helpful to choose the right events!

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Upcoming changes to the display property

CSS is changing! And it changes at a rapid pace. Rachel Andrew published a great article on the new two-value syntax (you read that right – two values!) for the display property.

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Regular expression lookahead/lookbehind cheat sheet

I always struggled with the syntax for lookaheads and lookbehinds in JavaScript regular expressions, so I created a quick cheat sheet for it. 🙈

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This month I learned

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The fs module includes promisified methods since Node 11

If you write Node.js, how often do you use util.promisify to create promise-based versions of native methods? I do that quite a lot and was delighted to see that Node's fs module includes promisified methods since Node 11.

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Quick access to document actions in Google docs

Spreadsheets power everything in the tech world, and I spend more time than I'd like to looking at Google Sheets, too. I often spend time searching the right items in the Google Docs navigation. It turns out that there is a quick shortcut to find the actions you're looking for with just a few keystrokes.

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How to change the output image format of macOS screenshots

I usually follow the mantra "Screenshot it, or it didn't happen". These screenshots make it then into tweets or blog posts. What always annoyed me about the macOS screenshot functionality is that the created screenshots are usually pngs (which is not the smalled format if you want to publish things on the web).

Corey Ginnivan shared an extensive Twitter thread with lots of tips and tricks all around macOS screenshots. From this thread, I finally learned how to change the output format – thank you!

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Input elements hold references to their labels

And it was time for another surprise in "DOM-land". I was browsing MDN and found out that input elements hold references to their labels. That was a classical "What!? How come I've never seen this?" moment. 🙈

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Quick discovery: Node.js methods like fs.mkdir now have a recursive mode

If you write Node.js tooling, you may know packages like fs-extra. These packages offer additional functionality to the native fs module. A common addition is recursive directory creation, and guess what? You can do that natively in Node.js now, too!

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Talk of the month

I attended JSConf Budapest last month and saw Eva Ferreira's talk "Take on me, web browsers!". It was an excellent talk about the canvas element, color theory, and video effects.

The highlight here was the demo of an "invisibility coat". Very creative and much fun!

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Song

A song from the past: during my vacation I rediscovered friends of mine – the band Crashcaptions. The song "Year of Years" is heavily influenced by Death Cab for Cutie and I listened to it several times since it came back to my mind.


And that's it for October. 🎉

Have a great November, and if you have feedback about this newsletter, please let me know. :)

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