438: ARM Based Macs, Digital Minimalism, Podcast SEO, and Monetization on the Web

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Chris & Dave talking SEO, advice for pushing scripts to the end of a page, digital minimalism, LinkedIn Recruiters, ARM based Mac computers, and web monetization.



Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert in silly sunglasses and a sign that says Shawp Tawlkk Shough DOT COM

Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert

This episode is with just Chris & Dave, ShopTalk Show's hosts. Chris is the co-founder of CodePen and creator of CSS-Tricks, and Dave is lead developer at Paravel.

Time Jump Links

  • 00:51:21 Podcasting for SEO
  • 04:50:00 Do you guys have any advice for pushing scripts that are not essential to the very end?
  • 10:19:22 Digital minimalism
  • 20:16:20 Sponsor: Jetpack
  • 22:22:00 Should I respond to LinkedIn recruiters?
  • 31:12:00 ARM based silicon Mac
  • 41:10:24 Sponsor: Equinix Metal
  • 43:02:00 Web monetization and Coil
  • 57:24:00 What is your opinion on someone teaching themself full-stack?


[Banjo music]

MANTRA: Just Build Websites!

Dave Rupert: Hey there, Shop-o-maniacs. You're listening to another episode of the ShopTalk Show, a podcast all about front-end Web design and development. I'm Dave Rupert and with me is Chris Coyier.

Chris Coyier: Yeah.

Dave: How are you?

Chris: A special uncertainty edition of the ShopTalk Show.

Dave: Yeah, we're at day 9000 of the electoral process here in America--


Dave: --so we're getting through it all, so anyway. Hey. But that's not what this show is about, so we're about websites. Chris, have you seen a website before?

Chris: Yeah, so much is going on, so many website things. I like how we have kind of a talk show vibe to this thing. In the past, I think I get in a mood for SEO twice a year where I'm like, "I should care about SEO."

Dave: Oh, yeah.

Chris: You know? That probably matters to some degree.

Dave: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Chris: What really matters is how you title things and the quality that you write. I don't know. I just know from experience on CSS-Tricks, if we write an article that's "how to do this" and it's a really nice, clear article with good content, that it will just do good, SEO-wise, for a long time to come.

Then sometimes my thinking goes so far to this show. I'm like, we should do shows like that because then people will look for a podcast. Then that feeling doesn't last very long.

I was just on a commute today and I looked through ten tech podcasts and they'll all good. I like them for all different reasons, but some of them were like -- one was like, "Let's dig into TypeScript," or something. I looked at the title and was like, "I don't want to. I don't want to dig into TypeScript right now." You know? [Laughter]

I thought that it's kind of nice that this show is more just like -- I don't know. We talk about a bunch of topics each time so that each show is equally listen-to-able, I hope.

Dave: Not today, Satan. No. [Laughter] Yeah, yeah, we have the potpourri methodology. I wonder, though, if somebody was like, "Here's what you need to do," and we just had the expert -- what's his name, from Gimlet Media -- came by and said, "I'm Alex." I think they're all named Alex. "I'm Alex. Here's what you need to do." [Laughter]

Chris: Yeah. It is tempting to have some advice on stuff like that, especially the content strategy style advice. Are there good answers to this? I sort of suspect that there's not much politics. That it's ever-evolving and it's kind of a moving target of what's the best way to do it.

I think the classic is, have really wonderful content. If you're This American Life and you just knock it out of the water every week, it kind of doesn't matter what you do. You could have a crappy naming convention and who cares. People are still going to listen to it because it's good.

Dave: Yeah, I think, too, though, they have huge budgets. Not that we couldn't have a huge budget, but I think they have huge budgets.

Chris: [Laughter]

Dave: All those stories are -- you know.

Chris: What do you think it takes, on average, to produce a TAL show: $1,000?

Dave: $1,000 apiece, for sure.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: Because you're paying somebody, let's say, $10,000, a reporter $10,000 to go out and report things, or something, for X number of months, however long they do it. They have to fly places. Then you have to pay Ira Glass to sit down and record things. That costs you at least $10,000.

Chris: Yeah. You've got the whole office staff.

Dave: Then you have to pay an editor and ad sales and all this stuff.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: I think it just goes through the roof -- at least, at least $10,000. But I've noticed with Gimlet, they'll have Reply All, which is on my list, too, here and there. They'll have really in-depth episodes and then they'll have kind of cheapos, you know.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dave: Like, "Let's sit down with our boss and show a meme to him," or whatever.

Chris: [Laughter]

Dave: "That he doesn't understand and everyone laughs." It's good content, but yeah, that's probably their filler episode for the more expensive episode. You know?

Chris: Yeah, that takes months to evolve and all that.

Dave: I think if they're doing anything cool, they're cracking the -- here's a cheap and easy episode, and here's an expensive episode.

Chris: Right. Right.

Dave: They have a good balance of that.

Chris: All right. Well, there's a little inside podcast baseball. Dave and Chris have no answers, as usual.

Dave: No.


Chris: Let's do one where we might have an answer, although, I don't know that we will. Rory O'Connor writes in about third-party scripts. He says -- I don't know if it's a "he." They. "Like many, I need to load a lot of third-party scripts. For example, analytic scripts, my scripts that power my reviews, some tracking scripts I need to run on my sites. Google PageSpeed Insights--" That's interesting. Is that a thing? Is that the same as Lighthouse or are they different?

Dave: They use Lighthouse now. Yeah.

Chris: Okay. Now it's Lighthouse -- "--is complaining that these scripts are blocking the main thread even though the async attribute is being used in all the script tags. What am I missing? Do you guys have any advice or best practices for pushing scripts that are not essential to the page's core content and functionality to the very end and also satisfying our Google overlords, as in Google PageSpeed Insight/Lighthouse overlords?"

Dave: Ew! They are -- this is tough. I think this is the big challenge for any business. This is something we try to help companies with, but they are very reticent -- I think is the right word -- to let go of these tracking scripts. They have to have Google Analytics and HubSpot, and they have to have whatever, user replay or whatever it is.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: They have to have these Facebook pixels, Twitter pixels, stuff like that.

Chris: Okay. Let's say you have to have them. Is it just impossible then to please Lighthouse? In my mind, isn't it like you put them at the bottom of the page. Maybe you not only use async, but maybe even defer -- I don't know -- if they're totally non-essential.

Dave: Well, some of them have good embed codes, but some, like Google Analytics, they're like, "We want to be after the head," right now is their kind of current convention, like the first tag in the body, basically. But then they want--

But I've noticed with Google tag manager and Google double-click, it will drop your frame rate to--whatever--ten frames a second. It'll throttle the main thread to do all of its setup and calculation sort of stuff. That's just to say, I feel conflicted because I get a lot of advice from Google people and they're like, "You've got to make your website fast." Then you're like, "Cool. I did that, but then it's your script." They're like, "That's another department. Sorry, dude." So, you're like, "Well, what do I do?"

Chris: [Groans]

Dave: So, it's just tough, but I think that's where the concept of budgets come in, right? I mean if you know you have these ten scripts, you get less images and less JavaScript. I think that is sort of like a family--

Chris: That's a nice way to think about it. Yeah. That's the whole point of this.

Dave: Family budget.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah.

Dave: If somebody is like, why can't we have a cool homepage? You're like, because we have too many -- too much junk in the trunk. You know? [Laughter] Like, we can't--

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: You know.


Chris: The performance story is interesting. We can complain about Google Analytics or whatever, but I don't ever see Google Analytics as being the cause of actual pain on websites.

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: You could complain about the fact that you're being tracked and you could get tinfoil-heady about it. That's fine. Be as tinfoil-heady as you want. But it's not like, I'm like, "Well, my page had scroll jank and then I removed Google Analytics and now it doesn't anymore." I've never heard a story like that.

I have heard that about Optimizely or something that has some janky A/B test swap or something that actually has negative performance implications. That's why I've kind of been a fan of, at least conceptually, Google Core Vitals thing where they're saying it's not just like -- they're not measuring how many requests you have and dinging you that you have too many requests. They're measuring actual stuff like first input delay. How long is it until you can do something to an input?

Cumulative layout shift, which is like, is there janky stuff moving around as your page loads? Yes. You get dinged for that. You know?

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: What's the other one? The largest Contentful paint or something.

Dave: Yep.

Chris: Which is like, chances are this is the biggest, most important thing that users care about on the page, so we're going to measure that for you.

Now, these are generic and they're algorithmic, so you do have to care about them because Google is also telling you that these are related to SEO, so those matter. But I'm glad they exist because they matter so much more than just, like, "I'm going to go to war with my website and get it from 45 requests to 40 requests." That probably is going to help in some way, but it's totally abstract how it's going to help. It's not going to help in--

It'd be much more being like, "Oh, there's this weird shift when my page loads. I'm going to go to war with that." If you win that, that has obvious, immediate value directly to your users and then abstractly to your SEO. That's awesome. That seems cooler to me. I'd rather fight real wars than abstract wars. You know?


Dave: Yeah. No, totally. I am listening to a book called Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I probably need to read it again, but it's kind of like your own personal life, right? It's like, "Quit Facebook. Quit Twitter. Take a break from them. Fast or detox from it."

Chris: Sure.

Dave: Stuff like that, and that's cool. Right now, I'm on Twitter for my job. Basically, it's how I keep up-to-date and it's a tool that I'm using. But how do you prevent it from being a tool that burdens you? The same with email. It's a tool that helps you do your job, but it's also a tool that if you get ten emails a minute, it's a distraction.

Chris: Oh, this is good stuff. I want to know what you learned. I have a question that I'd like an answer, like if you stumble across something, I'd love to hear it from you.

I feel the same way. I don't feel like Twitter is a total net-negative for me because I have good conversations there. I get good ideas there. I stay informed there. There are some customers there. It's a little abstract sometimes but, overall, I get some value out of that particular one.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: I almost never get value when I open Facebook, but that's because I haven't curated it to a business lifestyle.

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: It's literally still just a bunch of people from high school that we followed and I see pictures of their kids that I've never met. I'm like, meh, okay. So, I don't open that one very often.

Dave: [Laughter]

Chris: Twitter, fine. It's usually a quick hit of, like, "Eh, some news! Ah, great!"

At work, I don't find it that bad. I still get a bunch of work done and then sometimes I just need a little mental break. I click over to the Twitter tab. I click a few things and it largely feels fine.

Where it doesn't feel fine is that I come home from work and I sit down on the couch. My kid is playing blocks or something and I'll still do it.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: I'll still grab my phone and I'll still look at Twitter. Then the value is over. Very rarely am I engaging with important stuff at that point. At that point, it feels like an addiction. It feels like I'm having a smoke.

Dave: It is! All these products were designed to be addictive. That's their whole design. There are documents. Facebook's own research is like, "Man, this like button sure is hella addictive." There are actual psychological things.

Chris: How do I do it? It's one thing to be like, "I should be more engaged with my little girl playing blocks right now," and it's not like I'm not ever.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: It's not like I'm a terrible dad, but I'd love to be this perfect dad who is 100% engaged with the block playing and never reaches for his phone ever.

Dave: Yeah. I'm not good at it either, even when my kids are like, "Oh, I'm dead," and they'll pick up a thing and pretend it's a phone or whatever. It's like, "Oh, that sucks."



Dave: You're like, "Oh, yeah, well, okay." But you know. It's also my brain. I need to check out of work. I need downtime. Not everything is 100%. You've got to take care of yourself, in the middle of the pandemic especially.

There are a few strategies. One is, throw your phone across the room. Don't have it on your body. Chuck it in a room. Put it in your bedroom, not the room you're hanging out in. That's one way to dodge the compulsion to check and then one way to dodge the, like, you know, I looked at the clock and, "Whoops, now I'm Twitter. Whoops. Now I'm mad about politics or whatever." If you can just divorce yourself physically from the device, that's a big thing.

I think the other key is setting intentions, which I'm not good at. But that's what I'm learning is, like, literally write down the value that you get from Twitter. I get some friendship, I get some things, and then that's what you use it for. If you find yourself going outside of that fence, you just say, "Oh, this is not worth it."

Chris: Okay. You've really got to codify it, then, like literally maybe write it down.

Dave: Yeah, this is what I get. Like puppy photos, those are cute or whatever. I don't need to follow an account that does that. I don't know. [Laughter] I don't need that.

I probably am heading towards a place where I need to unfollow everybody and rebuild the people I follow, not because I don't like these people or whatever. It actually brings me a lot of joy, but it's almost too much noise. I probably just need to mow things down and scale it all back. That's tough because it feels like you're missing out on people but it's more just like it's out of hand.

Again, I'm checking Twitter when I'm waiting for somebody to post something cool. If you've ever used Mastodon, that's his problem is no one is on it and no one posts regularly. You don't use it because no one posts regularly. You know?

Chris: Yeah. Right. You also don't hear people being like, "Ugh, my LinkedIn addiction is crazy."

Dave: Oh, dude. I was on LinkedIn yesterday. Just, uh, man.

Chris: At 2:00 in the morning just LinkedIn it in, you know?

Dave: Staring at LinkedIn. Yeah.

Chris: Which proves the point of how -- I mean I'm sure they would like to. Maybe they've just tried and failed, but to make it as addictive as the other ones are. You know?

Dave: Well, no, I mean that's it. You set the intention around why you're going to use it. I'm going to use LinkedIn to get a new job. That's it, right? Your whole life isn't invested in getting a new job. Maybe it is if you're hustling or whatever, but that's what I'm going to use it for.

Facebook, I'm going to use it to connect to people to high school. If that's all you use it for, unfortunately, Facebook does track you around the Internet, so you've got to think about that.

Honestly, want to delete it. I just haven't. I'm quasi worried about all these old relationships or whatever, but--

Chris: Me too! Yeah. I haven't quite got all the way to the delete-ometer there.

Dave: Friends are Pokemon you catch along the way and you have to catch all the friends. That's what Facebook is for is Pokemon for people.

Chris: Yeah, but then I'm also like, is it so bad if I just do a sticky post or something that says, "Hey, I don't check this but I like all of you still. All good. Here's my blog where I actually do write stuff. Here's Twitter where I engage a little bit more than here." It's like, whatever -- you have a presence there.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: But then that's not exactly sending Facebook a message that says your shit is not okay.

Dave: Yeah. No, I mean how do you send that signal? Even deactivation, that's what my wife did because she was spending too much time on it. She didn't like where it was going. She was getting wrapped up in friends of friends, sisters of friends' lives on Facebook, and so she just was like, "Yeah, I'm done with this."


Chris: I heard a crazy one today. This is hard to know. There are a lot of ins and outs. I'm not an expert. I'm not a lawyer. I'm not nothing here. I saw it on a podcast.

Dave: Okay.

Chris: It was a Freakonomics episode, I think, where he was talking to some various political experts. Sometimes -- and I think Twitter has done this and Facebook has done this. I think Twitter stopped doing political advertising at all, right, like 100%.

Dave: Uh, yeah. I mean to some degree, yeah, I think.

Chris: It might be tricky.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: Maybe they slipped some through or there are caveats or something. Facebook didn't, but didn't the week up to the election. Whatever the pundit/expert that was on the show was saying that that's tricky because what advertising can be, whatever you might think of it, is a way to even the field sometimes. Whatever the biggest platforms are, on the platform, as soon as you stop all advertising, whatever the biggest one then gets the biggest megaphone.

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: On Facebook, the biggest groups, the highest engagement, and all that stuff by far is right-wing stuff. So, the second you stop all advertising, then there are no more tools for left-wing stuff to kind of balance that out, so whatever. That could go the opposite on other platforms. It's just was a talking point that I found pretty interesting.

It seems very clap worthy, like, "Oh, they did it! No political advertising! The world is sane again. Good job. Rub your shoulders," is almost an action of, like, "Oh, they were throwing one to the right on this platform."

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: I don't know.

Dave: Yeah. No, well -- I'm very cynical of the whole advertising model or whatever, but you don't get to make money for ten years, and then you're like, "Oh, one week, we turned it off. Yeah, we did it. We saved democracy." You know? You don't get the credit. I'm sorry.

You can't take disinformation bucks and then be like, "Oh, well, we stopped doing it for one week." It's like, "I stopped murdering for one week, so I guess I'm not a murderer."


Dave: So, sorry.

Chris: Harsh. Harsh.

Dave: Anyway, extreme opinions there but you know. "See, I'm not a serial killer. I stopped murdering."

Chris: I just heard a lot of clapping over that and it was interesting to hear another perspective where it can be just as dangerous.


[Banjo music starts]

Chris: This episode of ShopTalk Show is brought to you in part by Jetpack. You know the WordPress plugin that brings all sorts of cool features and power to your self-hosted WordPress site. I use it on all of my self-hosted WordPress sites because it has an absolutely super compelling feature set.

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I don't know. You've got to have it, you know. This is just a backup solution that happens to be under the Jetpack brand but is totally a-la-carte, so if you need nothing else, which would be crazy to me, but whatever, that's how Jetpack Backup works. Thanks for the support.

[Banjo music stops]


Chris: All right, let's do another question. Kim Dauber writes in and audio'd in, too. Maybe we can patch that in.

Kim Dauber: Hi, Dave and Chris. So, as a reasonably skilled Web developer, I get lots of unsolicited contact from recruiters, especially on LinkedIn. It's about two to three per week. What is the deal with those? Do people actually get jobs from them? There are so many, it's hard to tell if any of them are even legitimate. For context, I'm not explicitly in the market for a new job right now, but I like to keep an ear to the ground. Thanks.

Dave: Kim is getting some job offers, unsolicited job offers, from LinkedIn. What's the deal?

Chris: That's kind of the point of LinkedIn, isn't it?

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: Sorry, Kim, but it's like you have a professional presence there and their whole thing is, "Stay connected with other developers, particularly when you're looking for work." It's like the number one place for solving your unemployment as a professional. I think they do a pretty good job of it because they're a huge, huge, successful company.

Now, yeah, is it annoying? Yeah. Hell, yeah it is. I mean -- I don't know.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: People don't like it. I hear more jokes about recruiters on LinkedIn than almost any other tech joke. It's second only to IE6 jokes. [Laughter]

Dave: [Laughter] Yeah, I mean there is quality, right? Like, "Hi, Kim. Do you want a Java job?" You're like, "I do JavaScript, so that's probably a no." You know?

I think it's just the economics. Recruiters get paid by how many people they reach out to or how many leads they generate. They actually get paid if they sign a deal. They get a percentage match based on the hire - or whatever.

Chris: Oh, it can be tons, too.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: I think it's kind of spam because it's unsolicited and whatever, but I think you probably signed some and checked some checkbox that said this is okay with you, at some point. I don't think there are any laws being broken.

Does it work? It totally works. I know tons of people who get headhunted, as they say, and move from one company to another company because they engage with recruiters and stuff. I largely think it's a thriving industry. It's a lot about how people move. They engage with these people and they actually get good offers and they move around.

Now, are most of these that you get probably good offers? No, probably not. They're probably a bad target. They're probably weird companies that you don't want to work for. Who knows if you'd even get the job? It's not exactly a job offer. They're just playing the numbers game.

Dave: Yeah. I think, too, as tech employees, our salaries tend to be higher than average, and so we're bigger fish. If they can land one tech job, that's worth two, three more menial hires. I use that in a terrible sense, but just like whatever lower intro jobs. If they can hire a senior developer, it's better than two juniors or something. I don't know.

I think there are ways, though, that you can use this for yourself. I've done that too. Know your value. You can extract your value from them. You're like, "Cool. Hey, thank you. I'm not looking right now but give me some stats." Just press them and they may not respond but, like, "What are you paying? Where is the location? Is it remote? I'm not looking now, but maybe I could circle back if I'm ever looking." You know?

Maybe people are like, "Oh, we'll pay you $35 a year," and you're like, "Well, glad I didn't even engage them." You know. If they're offering a salary that's higher than your salary, maybe that's something to consider. Get numbers. Get wages and get information that you don't have about yourself. Figure out what your market value is.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dave: I think there are ways to extract that and maybe it's misleading people along, but just say, like, "Hey, my time is important, so what are you paying and where is it at? What are the expectations?" Maybe you can take that information when you go to negotiate at your job for a raise. You can be like, "Well, down the street they're paying $10,000, $20,000 more." You know? That's maybe something you could do.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah, so don't you get the sense that Kim is like, "Yeah, I don't like this. Can you explain to me where this weird spam comes from?"

Dave: Yeah, it sucks and it's weird. It's just noisy because these probably aren't all quality, but if you just have a boilerplate response to these people, I think that works out the best. That's what I do. I just sent, like, "I'm not looking. Thank you so much for thinking of me. I'm not currently looking to change my position. But if you have any information I need to know, let me know," or something. Just boilerplate sort of response, I think that goes a long way. You don't close doors.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: You know? Because you wouldn't want to be like, flame them and just be taken off this whole email list, maybe. I don't know. Maybe you do. I do that too. I'm very much like, you have to tell me numbers, so just tell me numbers. If you can't do that -- I'm sure people just shut the door. They're like, "That guy is greedy," and that's okay. Peace out. [Laughter]

Chris: Sometimes it makes me sad a little bit. I hear a lot -- how much recruiter stuff people get nailed with. Like for lots of people, it's really common and I just don't get it. How do--? I feel left out, Dave. I feel sad. Where's my recruiter spam? I never get recruited for nothing.

Dave: Yeah. Well--

Chris: I got two messages on LinkedIn and I don't even have a joke profile. I have a real profile on LinkedIn where I'm wearing a tie and I have all my real information on my stuff.

Dave: Whoa!

Chris: I have one message from this whole month. One is sponsored; some nonsense that doesn't make sense. Then another one is some person who sent me a very generic email about their WordPress plugin and how it works with touch ID or something. That's it. That's all I got from LinkedIn.

Dave: Well, I don't even have a LinkedIn, so maybe I'm the worst advice, but I do get emails to my personal email, which is like, "How did you even find this?" You know?

Chris: [Laughter]

Dave: I don't put it on my website. You know, but it's just kind of like, man. But I do. I don't know. It's like one a month and then one every six months or three months, four months where you're like, well, I've at least heard of this company, so I don't know.


Dave: So, I don't know. But if you don't like it, I think maybe -- I'm trying to think like what the situation you could do, but I would try to extract as much value as you can. Come up with a boilerplate response and say, "Thanks for thinking of me. Not now."

Chris: Probably, yeah. That's good. Don't burn any bridges.

I know a guy in The Valley. I'd say it's a hobby but it's not really. It's just professional acumen. Interviews all the time, wherever he's at.

Dave: Oh, really? Sure.

Chris: Every month, he'll go for an interview. Yeah, totally. Just to feel what's out there, keep skills sharp, and all this stuff. It's like a nice lunch break, I guess. There are just so many companies so close to each other that maybe it's not that hard to just pop on the train or whatever.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: Just pop into somewhere just kind of for funzies. Maybe you get good at it because, first of all, you get good at anything that you do. But two, you're not thirsty for the job, so you can just be like, "I absolutely don't care if I bomb this because I have a job." You know?

Dave: No. I mean experience is probably huge. That interviewing experience, even whiteboard interviews, and stuff like that, so you're not just sweating when you do that.

Chris: [Laughter]

Dave: Probably smart.


Chris: Yeah. Oh, okay. Let's see. Luke wants to know about the ARM-based Silicon Macs, which are not even out. That's not even been announced yet.

Dave: There's a demo model for the--

Chris: Is there one?

Dave: For the Mac -- what's the--?

Chris: MacBook Pro?

Dave: No, not the iMac, but the little--

Chris: Oh, yeah. The little home one? Yeah.

Dave: The little square boy.

Chris: The Mac Mini.

Dave: Mac Mini, that's it. Yeah, there's a demo Mac Mini, but they think maybe--

Chris: Why?

Dave: --next week, there might be an Apple announcement about Silicon Mac, new ARM-based Macs. I don't know if that's going to happen.

Chris: Is your computer ARM or whatever?

Dave: No, it's not. Mine is Intel X86 based.

Chris: Okay.

Dave: But Windows--

Chris: I don't even know what it means. What is ARM?

Dave: It's like a CPU architecture.

Chris: Oh.

Dave: Like the Intel or X86 architecture is kind of for your classic desktop-based computers.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dave: The ARM architecture is for mobile devices, and so it's a lot more power-efficient, so like putting it into a laptop theoretically will extend the life of your laptop. It's optimized. The way I've heard it explained -- and I could be totally wrong on this -- but the way I've heard it explained is ARM is optimized for very short tasks and the X86 is optimized for longer tasks and stuff like that.

Chris: I wonder if we're going to have a choice. It seems weird that all MacBook Pros would go to this architecture. I mean the battery life is nice. I'm not going to say no to that, but it would suck to have to take a hit in performance.

Dave: No, you should be fine because this long and short is computer time. It's not like even human time. You know what I mean? That's something to think about. I don't think you're going to suffer performance. In fact, those A14 chips or whatever that are in the--

Chris: iPads?

Dave: --iPads, apparently they're jacked. You know it's pushing 120-hertz screen, or that's maybe the GPU, but they're putting out a lot of calculation and physics on the UI and stuff like that. They do a lot of stuff.

In Luke's question he says, "I'm due to upgrade my MacBook, but I have concerns over compatibility of common software like VS Code and Figma."

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dave: That second part is kind of the crucial part because that's the part where this architecture change messes things up. Last year -- and you can look up videos on the Verge or whatever -- the Surface Pro X, or something like, that came out and it's ARM-based, right? All the reviews are like, "This is very cool, but a lot of the software doesn't work on this."

Chris: You get great battery life because you don't run anything.

Dave: Nothing works.



Dave: There was a lot of, like, hateraide on that but it was very much like, "We're going to try to do this." How Microsoft is doing it in Windows is, if you can compile to this target, they want you to compile to the ARM target. But they have an emulator, basically, just like when Mac switched to PowerPC back in the day or back from PowerPC over to Intel. They had an emulator for a bit.

There's an emulator that they can run Intel software on the ARM chip. But it was a mixed bag. But some software has been migrated over to work on ARM chips. Adobe is already pioneering this.

Chris: Okay.

Dave: Then a lot of the Windows apps have ARM compilations and stuff like that.

Chris: So, the Windows story is getting better?

Dave: Windows' story is getting better and one thing about the Macs, they control because through the app store and the Xcode and everything, they actually control the code authoring of native apps as well. Right? Those work pretty good because they control the whole system, so it should be a better situation than Widows, even, I would say, because Windows has a lot of legacy apps. You know?

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: Apps that have been working for 20, 30 years. Macs are very frequently, even iOS is like, "Well, that doesn't work anymore. Sorry, you have to upgrade."

Chris: Right. Yeah.

Dave: They're very comfortable.

Chris: Fortnite, for example.

Dave: Fortnite. Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Chris: [Laughter] But there's no fricken' way Apple is going to ship a computer where VS Code doesn't run on it. It's not happening. You know?

Dave: That's the thing, too. Those are actually Electron apps.

Chris: Oh.

Dave: So, just the shell has to work, and so browsers, Chrome, works on ARM and works on--

Chris: I forgot VS Code is Electron. People used to crap on Electron, but now they can't anymore, right?

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: Because VS Code is so good.

Dave: The two that Luke mentions, Code and Figma, specifically, are actually going to work, should work, pretty well. Unless there is some weird plugin or process that requires some sort of binary--

Chris: Right.

Dave: --that requires some sort of thing, but it should all just work. Even if it has a binary--

Chris: Slack will work too. Yeah, so we'll be fine that way.

Dave: I'm looking at my whole toolbar: Notion, VS Code, Slack, Spotify.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: Everything. Zoom should work.

Chris: Anything that's a Web app will work, too, if you just use it through your browser.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: There's always the, like, "Don't buy the first-gen," motto, you know.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: Which is maybe smart, you know.

Chris: There's a couple in my doc that I'd worry about. There's like CodeKit. I don't use that very much, but that's very too the metal, like watching files, processing stuff.

Dave: Right.

Chris: I mean who knows where that is at? Local by Flywheel runs all my WordPress sites.

Dave: ...and everything, yeah.

Chris: That seems dangerous-ish. Can't lose that. It's almost like you've got to wait for these things to come out, get the compatibility story, which there'll be news outlets and stuff covering that, right?

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Somebody has probably already bought, like, or whatever.

Dave: Yeah, sure. Yeah.

Chris: That's what I'm going to do. I'm excited for new MacBooks, but that is scary. Hasn't this happened once before, too? Apple switched at one time when they switched to the IBM chips or whatever it was. I can't remember.

Dave: Yeah, that was around Tiger, I think, or Leopard or something, but yeah. They switched to Intel-based Macs in like 2004, 2005, or something.

Chris: Intel.

Dave: 2005, and then they switched to -- but even before that, from the OS9 to OSX upgrade, OS9 to OS 10.

Chris: To Unix or whatever, that was weird too.

Dave: Yeah, it was like from Mac OS to some Unix-based system, and so that was a big switch, but they had the emulator in place. I bet Apple will have an emulator for all this old software, so it'll kind of run, but it'll run with, like, "Hey, this is running in old mode."

Chris: Hmm.

Dave: But I bet it works for a while.

Chris: We'll get the story. I think it's soon. By the time this comes out, maybe - maybe.

Dave: Next week, the day after this comes out, maybe.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: I think there's an announcement.

Chris: The story from Apple will be, "This is the greatest thing that's ever, ever, ever, ever happened."

Dave: Mm-hmm. They'll show software that most certainly works and has been piloted. They're going to show all that stuff. Your stuff, however, might be a totally different story. [Laughter]

Chris: [Laughter] Uh-huh. Uh-huh.


Dave: I mean how many weirdo apps do you have? I don't know. I use an image compression app on Windows called Riot and I swear to God it's from 1997. It's old as sin. It looks terrible but it functions like a workhorse and that's my image compressor.

Chris: Cool.

Dave: It does a good job, but does that work on ARM? Probably not. I don't know.

Chris: I don't know. Might have to upgrade, man. That's funny. You use an ancient image compressor. Wow. You'd think -- you'd think that there's new image compression stuff out regularly enough that that wouldn't work. Does it get updated?

Dave: It gets updated. I mean it just kind of has the algorithms. It's pretty upgraded. The UI is very old. It's the legacy UI, you know?

Chris: Yeah. Yeah.

Dave: That's classic Windows. You get into the utilities and, all of a sudden, you're in XP, you know, Windows XP.

Chris: [Laughter]

Dave: You're just like, "Golly, man. This is not cool." Meanwhile, Mac, it's like, "Hey, do you want an eyedropper utility? Dude, look at it. It's totally fluid physics," and blah-blah.

Chris: [Laughter] Yeah.

Dave: You know the eyedropper sets up a little pixel.

Chris: You're almost, like when you get into the utilities, you almost get better UI.

Dave: There's a lonely sandwich or whatever that dude's name, DiDio, you know.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: He's like, "Today, I'm introducing the pixel sucker." You know? [Laughter]

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: "It pulls one pixel from your screen and gives you a hex code. It's beautiful."

Chris: Then like a hotdog walks by and it's funny.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: And everybody laughs.

Dave: "What was that?" I don't know but you can color sample it.

Chris: [Laughter]

Dave: You know like that's it.

Chris: [Laughter]

Dave: None of that going on in Windows land. We're a little bit more thrifty, a little more to the metal.

Chris: Fair enough. Fair enough.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: Speaking of to the metal, we have a sponsor, Equinix Metal. Let me tell you about that.


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Chris: All right. Let's see. What else do we have to talk about today? We don't have Jeremy on to do another chapter just this episode, but more chapters of our Web history series are being published by Jay, so I imagine there'll be some in the future.

You know what that was? Where it originated wasn't, like, "Let's get Jeremy Keith to read awesome stories for us." It was Dave and I reaching out to anybody to read anything, essentially. Not just anybody. We reached out to some people we thought had some good writing or were good readers or whatever to do that.

I can't guarantee anything to anybody listening, but I like the idea. This was Dave's idea, originally, was to get people to read great blog posts on the show as an interesting segment because it's just cool. It's kind of like getting Mike Birbiglia to read his little thing about his kid or whatever on a podcast. It's cool.

Dave: Yeah, it's like -- I don't know. There are some classic Web pieces and it'd be cool to have them captured on audio. You know?

Chris: If you really want to do it, feel free to email us and be like, "This is an awesome blog post," either of my own or of somebody else's. Probably preferably, in my--

Dave: Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: --history of things on the Web, I think chances are it's going to turn out better if you're trying to promote somebody else than yourself, but you know.

Dave: Yeah, you know. Yeah, reach out to us. We'd love to hear it. Hey, speaking of money, of which we just read an ad, Web monetization is back, baby. [Laughter]

Chris: Oh, I was just writing about it a little bit because there has been new chatter.

Dave: Yeah, you posted.

Chris: Did I post on it today?

Dave: That's what I saw.

Chris: Oh, good job.

Dave: But your post about the Leonie Watson article where she switched over to Coil to monetize her blog. But one thing that's critical from Leonie's perspective and I hadn't considered where the accessibility benefits of non-intrusive advertising.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: It got me kind of hyped up about it again. My story with XRP is not that great. I think I've made $40 over the last year and a half and I've put in probably $80 or something. I don't know.

Chris: Ooh, you're net-negative on the--

Dave: I'm negative.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: But in theory, paid out money to people and that's fine or whatever.

Chris: Right.

Dave: But I'm not making money. But one thing that's cool about this, you know, you get into ads and usually it's an accessibility nightmare. It's a trap. It's an iFrame inside of a page and you're just like, "Ah! How do I--"

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: "--skip it?" or it's making noises or animating or whatever. I hadn't considered the accessibility benefits of non-intrusive advertising or payments, I guess. It's not even advertising. It's just non-intrusive monetization.

Anyway, it's cool and, yeah, I had to flip over my whole wallet to upgrade my whole account and stuff like that. But I think I'm all set up and making money.

Chris: Nice. Which one did you use?

Dave: I'm on Uphold, which is--

Chris: Ah, yeah. That's what I'm on too.

Dave: I will say there was a tiny bit of frustration. I signed up for the thing and then I signed up for Coil. I give them money and they give me a plugin. Then I signed up for XRP Tip Bot or something and that's supposed to hold my crypto. I was like, this is cool, but then XRP Tip Bot is basically like, "This was just a side project. It didn't mean to be big."


Chris: Yeah, the same thing happened to me with me. I picked Stronghold has my one and then eventually got an email that just said, "Nope. We're closing this. Sorry."

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: I was like, oh, cool. But, fortunately for me, I had also signed up for Brave's thing, their little attention token - whatever it is.

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: That only worked -- that didn't support Stronghold. It only supported Uphold. I was like, "Fine. I'll have Uphold too." They don't cost anything, so I was like, whatever. I'll just have an account. It'll just sit in 1Password. I'll check it every two years. Big deal.

Dave: Right. Yeah.

Chris: But now, Coil supports Uphold too, so now I have them both kind of barfing into the same account, which does feel a little better. PPK just was furious about all this, just kind of like, "Why would I pick one service over the other? What's with all this slang? What the hell?" [Laughter] You know?

Dave: Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: I don't even know what an XBP is. It is very -- he called it user-hostile, and I almost think that's fair. I didn't feel that way only because I have no stake in this. This isn't life and death for me. It was a little dumb game, hobby, it felt like, when I set it up, so I didn't care that much.

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: If it mattered to my livelihood, then I would care.

Dave: Right.

Chris: Because this is money, probably people do care, and so I think his criticism is fair.

Dave: I think Leonie makes the point, too. This only works if everyone does it. That's it, too. No one is going to make any money until everyone does it. You know?

Chris: Yep.

Dave: But PPK's points, yeah, it's a lot of little tools just to get money. But one thing I like about this Uphold switch is it actually keeps track of your collections over time because I wasn't getting that in XRP Tip Bot. I was only getting a total amount, and so I just was like -- but now, it's like, oh, you made one penny today. It's like, oh, cool. That'll just go in my penny bucket. [Laughter]

Chris: Yeah. Right.

Dave: My swear jar.


Chris: I have some strong points to make about this, though. If people are -- this concept of sprinkling pennies around has been around for a long time.

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: That's not a model that's going to work. You heard it from me. I feel very strongly about that. I know Leonie Watson signed up. She's going to get some pennies out of this - whatever. This is not, overall, the long-term player is not a "sprinkle pennies around to your friends" model because that's not transformative, interesting, or anything. That's not going to work. That's what Coil is right now, but it's just a proof of concept foundation.

The long-term play here is that this is a Web standard, so it's not going to be just Coil. In fact, Dave and I could start another one, too, and the smart way to do it, if Dave and I started or something that was the same thing--

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: --we could also collect your $5 or however much you want to give to us and we could implement some cool tech or something to do this. But the play would be that we'd use the same metatag. We'd do it the same way they do it. It's just that we'll be in charge of having the technology to sprinkle the money out, or whatever.

If it's a standard, then there's not just Coil. There are other sites built around it and that will happen if it's a real Web standard.

These metatags, they're not standardized yet, but it looks like they probably will be because it's not asking that much of Web browsers. I shouldn't say that. It probably is very complicated, but the metatag itself isn't that bad. It's one line of code. It says this points to this wallet, and so now there's a programmatic connection between that website and that wallet. Do what you will with that information. It's kind of like a public key kind of approach.

Now there's an open connection between the site and the wallet. Now there's a programmatic connection between that website and that wallet and do what you will with that information. It's kind of like a public key kind of approach.

Now there's an open connection between the site and the wallet. If you have some service like Coil or Boil or Doyle or anything, and you've set it up in your browser to say, "I want to give that site $5, not just a penny." You can tip it or control it in some actual way. That site then has API. It's not just a metatag, but it opens up this world of JavaScript APIs that I can ask questions to. I can say, "Is this user giving me any money at all right now? Yes or no, Bullion."

Dave: Yeah.


Chris: Then you can respond to that and be like, "Oh, they are giving you money? Then I won't show ads or anything." By the way, this is all anonymous, right? Which makes this very appealing. I didn't have to type in my credit card. I didn't have to do stuff. It's like services are handling this. It makes it a lot easier to implement. I could even say, "Hey, has this user given me $5 this month? They have? Well, then they are on a whole other tier. Have they given me $10? Yes? Oh, then unlock stuff for them. Give. Give. Give."

It kind of can be an actual -- the way that you have an account on sites. That could be how you have CodePen Pro someday. This is absolutely not ready for that today.

But that's the actual play here. This isn't a penny sprinkling play. This is a, let's make paying stuff on the Web a heck of a lot easier and anonymous and powered by cool technologies. That's kind of the bigger idea here.

I think Coil is smart. They have this blog post called "The 100 Plus 20 Rule," which is like if you want this ecosystem to be good and happen, it's like, don't take away stuff from people right now. If you're Dave Rupert, don't publish half your blog post and then say, "To read the other half, you have to be Web monetized."

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: That's more of like a 50/50 rule. You know?

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Read half the blog post. Get the other half of the blog post. They're saying, don't take anything away. Give 100 but give some bonus thing to people. That's the 20 for Web monetization.

Like in the case of CSS-Tricks, I don't do the take away the advertising thing and I have all kinds of opinions about that as well. I don't think it's ready for that either. But it is ready to unlock little dumb stuff.

For example, again, I haven't implemented this either because it's not quite ready for this, technologically, but I could say, like, "If you use Web monetization, then unlock this link. There'll be a URL on all my videos that allows you to download the video.

Dave: Mm-hmm.

Chris: That's a bonus. That's a little bonus on top of the fact that you could already watch the video. Now you can download it, and I could do that with very little code.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: The reason I haven't is because I don't want to unlock it to somebody that gave me a penny. I want to unlock it to somebody who gave me a dollar.

Dave: Right.

Chris: That's not ready yet, that part.

Dave: No, because economic wise, somebody who gives you a penny, it'll cost you more to send them a video, in bandwidth, you know.

Chris: Bandwidth.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: Oh, that absolutely will. Yeah.


Dave: Yeah. How do you get people at different levels? I guess that's the question, even if it's a dollar a month or whatever. It would be cool if all this was tied in. Upgrade options or something like that. Yeah, I don't know. I'm kind of curious how it's going to work.

Chris: Another thing for me is that it has to be fast, fast, fast, super-fast. It has to be like the user lands on the page and, right away, these APIs are available for me that tell me about that user.

Dave: Yeah.

Chris: Like, does this user give me a dollar? Are they paying me? How much have they paid me? All this type of stuff.

I can't wait 290 milliseconds or whatever. Maybe that long would be fine. I'm sure there are some thresholds, but I definitely can't wait five seconds to find that out. It's too long.

Dave: Well, because if you do the ad flip, right, like you want to inject the ad if they're not paying you money or something, that's the common one, right? Like, oh, you're Web monetized? No ads. Not Web monetized? Here's an ad.

Chris: Yeah and, ideally, if that's the case, I want to know in the first ten milliseconds.

Dave: Right. Right.

Chris: You know.

Dave: You have to know that because if it doesn't -- if you don't -- I don't know. Ads have requirements, like literal requirements on when they have to show up. Yeah, if you're like -- I don't know. You could save a lot of bandwidth but if you have to wait then to show the ad, the ad might never show by the time--

Chris: Right.

Dave: Or there's a huge layout shift.

Chris: If you're going to do this today, you want to do this today, "If Web monetized, then don't show ads," you technically can. The tech is there for that. But the way to do it without shooting yourself in the foot would be to request the ads anyway, inject the ads anyway, wait as long as it takes for them to respond to yes or no of Web monetized, and then remove the ads if they're monetizing you. That's not a hell of a valuable proposition to make because, by that time, maybe you've already seen the ads. They've already done whatever performance hit they're going to do on the page. They've already done whatever tracking stuff they're going to do on the page. That's not that valuable.

What you'd want to tell people is, I'm not going to show you nothing. This page will be absolutely free of that universe if you're Web monetizing me. But in order to do that, I have to wait. The speed of the response of Web monetization is a big deal.

Dave: Mm-hmm. No.

Chris: Okay. Well, we talked about that now. [Laughter]

Dave: Yeah. No, I mean I'd like to get into it, but I'm also interested, too. You just put that how to give me money section. I think we talked about in the last -- how to give me money, basically. That's a question we've asked on the ShopTalk Show since the beginning of time, "How do we give you money?"

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: I'm kind of interested in that. I don't have that, exactly. I mean I guess you can hire my company, but how do you give me money? I think that's the coolest way to be like, here's what I provide. Here's how you can give me money and support this blog. That's probably even better than--

Chris: Don't you love the idea that you don't have to type in your name, your credit card number, nothing? You could just be like, "Oh, this website, I'm going to give it a couple of bucks." Boom, and you just do it.

Dave: I do love that. Yeah, so maybe the Coil is part of that how to give me money sort of section or whatever. [Laughter] Maybe I'll make that on my website, just like how you can support me, and it could be a Patreon. It could be a Coil. It could be click and ad or whatever. I don't know. That's interesting.


Chris: Pretty cool. Pretty cool. I'm going to pick a random one here to do because we have a little more time - just a little. Last one. Matthew Incardona. Hi, Matthew. "I'm a Web designer from New York, currently going to school for computer engineering. Recently, I've been taking a semester off and possibly dropping out to pursue a career in full-stack development. The school I'm going to is great for engineering but not so much for full-stack, so I'm weighing it out. You know, the $40,000 I'll have to be in debt to the uncertainty of leaving and teaching myself."

I don't know. What do you think of someone teaching themselves full-stack or what are the obstacles for making it in this career? Stay in school or go for it?

Chris: Hmm. I would stay in school. This sounds like a very targeted program, right? Or is it kind of not?

Chris: I don't know. $40,000, that's not a full 4-year degree, is it? Probably not.

Dave: No. Yeah, I mean I don't know. I guess--

Chris: We don't know enough about your school, Matthew.

Dave: Yeah. I guess going to school for computer engineering, okay.

Chris: I'd probably stay in school, too.

Dave: Yeah, computer -- I would probably stay in school. I mean it's a lot of debt and stuff, but I don't know, personally. Maybe I do. I don't know a lot of people who went to school and are -- maybe I'm wrong here.

I'm trying to think of people I know who are crushed by their college debt. I know some people who are, but they did a lot of private school or whatever, or like masters education and stuff like that. I'm trying to think.

I feel like the idea is you net out and you make that money back to pay back your degree, especially with something like engineering. If you're worried about it, yeah, it's kind of a financial question. I would maybe figure out a way, like take stock and figure out a way that you have something, like you have three-fourths of a degree or something like that. I don't know.

Could you apply those credits and get your degree at a way cheaper university or something like that? Is there another option to just finish out and get the paper? But yeah, financial stress is tough because it's wrapped up into how you're feeling and stuff like that. But I feel like if you were able to land a job and budget heavily, you know--

Chris: Yeah?

Dave: --I think paying out that $40,000, it's a lot, I'm saying, but I think you would be able to do it.

Chris: Yeah.

Dave: Having a piece of paper from a university probably opens a few more doors.

Chris: Probably. Yeah. It's like we don't know enough about Matthew's life, right? Why jumping out of school? Is it 100% because you think the school part is a waste of time or is it because you need to jumpstart on some bucks because you need some bucks, like now?

Dave: Yeah, well, and if you were like, "I'm thinking about going to school. I don't know," I would probably advise you the opposite to just dip your toes into full-stack and see if you can get some jobs. But I know a lot of people who have done code camps and stuff like that and it's about the $40,000 mark, I think, for those. They're making money, they got a job, they switched careers, and stuff like that, so I think it's worked out for them.

I think I know a lot more "it worked out" stories getting the degree, getting the education, than I know "man, that was a total waste of money and now I'm in super debt." That's what I'm -- but, you know, I guess you can flip on the news and you'll see a lot of people worried about their crushing school loans, so I don't want to diminish that at all, whatever. That's very serious.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dave: Specifically for engineering loans, I think it sort of works out. I don't know. I could be wrong. I'd love to see data.

Chris: Yeah. Good luck, Matthew. If you feel like telling us some more information about what's going on in your life and the school, that would be interesting. If other people are in this situation too, feel free to write in with your situation. This is a pretty common question we get at ShopTalk Show and I think a lot of them are similar to this.

You want to keep the question short which, generally, I highly appreciate on this program. Sometimes a five-paragraph question, we can't run because it's too long. If really your question is like, "What do you think about Kubernetes," or something, that's probably easier to run even though I wouldn't have a good answer to that.

But in the case of school, it's kind of like a love letter kind of thing. We need more information about the dynamics of what's happening with you to help kind of guide the situation. In this case, we know so little about your current situation, Matthew, it's hard to weigh in exactly. But with what we do have, Dave and I are both "stay in school."

Dave: Yeah. I would love to hear if you have a story, like, "I dropped out of school and self-taught myself full-stack and I'm way better off for it." I would love to hear that story. I would read that blog post like, "This worked out for me." I think that's a cool story. Yeah, and if you stayed in school too, and it worked out for you or didn't work out for you and now you're mad at us, let us know. This is just an advice podcast, so I apologize.

Chris: Yeah, indeed. Don't let us ruin your life - asterisk, asterisk, asterisk.


Dave: All right. We should wrap it up. Thank you, dear listener, for dropping out of college and downloading this in your podcatcher of choice.


Dave: Be sure to star, heart, favorite it up. Follow us on Twitter, @ShopTalkShow. Yell at us about your degree.

Head on over to to get a brand new one because people want to hire people like you.

And Chris, do you have anything else you'd like to say?

Chris: Oh,