183: With Saron Yitbarek

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This episode we talk with Saron Yitbarek, a developer currently working at Microsft who started CodeNewbie. We discuss podcasting techniques, work/life balance, experience vs training, and RSI treatment.



Saron Yitbarek

Web · Social

Saron is a developer, podcaster and the founder of CodeNewbie.

Time Jump Links

  • 23:12 How are you keeping your life balanced? What tools do you use to manage everything?
  • 31:40 How well should you know JavaScript / JS Frameworks before you consider yourself a good front end developer? Also, at what point would you consider yourself a senior developer?
  • 39:54 How can I get past the initial inexperience stigma? I am extremely talented straight out of college, yet it’s hard to get jobs because I have no experience.
  • 52:13 Are there any legal ramifications for publishing a copy of another sites information online? Should I have an alert on the surge site that lets users know that this is a copy of
  • 54:38 I just wondered if you guys could offer any advice to people suffering from RSI or if you have had any personal experience with this (or any other type of) work based injury.
  • 1:03:00 Is it worth relocating to pursue a career working with a specific technology now or would it be better to wait it out until more opportunities arise?


 CHRIS:    Hey, everybody.  Thanks for listening to ShopTalk Show.  This episode is brought to you in part by Braintree.  If you're working on a mobile app or searching for the right payments API, check out Braintree.  They say it's their v.0 SDK, so it's brand new and awesome, I think, is the idea.  With one simple integration, your customers get every way to pay, meaning that it's PayPal APIs, but those same APIs then work with Android Pay, Apple Pay, BitCoin, and all stuff with one API.  Pretty darn cool.  Check out  
    Then also, the Content Strategy Summit, so it's literally, a long URL gets you to where you need to go.  Content is probably the biggest pain point with Web building.  We've learned that in all of our years on ShopTalk Show.  People are always like, "They send me the content too late," yadda, yadda.  You've heard the deal.  That's Content Strategy 101 stuff.  You're going to learn about how to deal with content and your clients, and all of the ways to do a good job with that.  Check out  
    But you know what? We've got a show to do here!  Let's kick it off!
[Banjo music - Just Build Websites!]
DAVE:   Hey there, Shop-o-maniacs.  You're listening to another episode of the ShopTalk Show.  I'm Dave Rupert.  With me is Chris Coyier.  
CHRIS:  That's right.
DAVE:   Happy Labor Day!  I've been drinking.
CHRIS:  You know, people write in some times, and they say, "How do you do it?  How do you get all that stuff done?"  Well, I'm sorry to say it turns out you just work on Labor Day.  
DAVE:   Working on Labor Day.
SARON:  Sad, but it's true.  
DAVE:   Built a closet all weekend, and then you drink, and then you do a podcast.  
CHRIS:  Saron, right?
SARON:  Yes.
CHRIS:  I've listened to CodeNewbie.  Well, first of all, welcome.  Welcome to the show.  I've got to give you the official--
SARON:  Thank you for having me.
CHRIS:  --the official welcome.  A URL people can go to, one of the many that are associated with you is a lovely one called, which has the greatest way ever for explaining how to say your name.
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  So, nobody can have any doubt on how it's said.  
SARON:  You know what's funny?  People go to that, and then they tell me, "Oh, I really love that page.  It really taught me how to say your name.  How do you say your name?"  And I have to tell them again anyway, so that's fun.
CHRIS:  Okay, well, not me.  
SARON:  Not you.  You are different.
CHRIS:  I practiced it.  Not that I don't think it's particularly difficult anyway, to be fair.  
SARON:  Thank you.
CHRIS:  Although I could see a telemarketer being like, "Sara."  
DAVE:   Sara?
SARON:  I usually get "Sharon."  I also got "Saffron" once, which was just -- I don't know how that happened.
CHRIS:  If there's an "r" in a font that looks real bad.  Okay.
SARON:  Maybe she was hungry.  I don't know.
CHRIS:  It could be.  It could be.  I want to talk about you and the stuff that you do a little bit, if that's okay.
SARON:  Cool.  That is okay.
CHRIS:  Maybe recent history.  I know you through CodeNewbie because you, very graciously, invited me onto CodeNewbie at the moment that it was a podcast.  I'm episode 40-something, so it's been around.
SARON:  Mm-hmm.
CHRIS:  It's been around a while.  Did it start as the hashtag, a Twitter chat, and then you're like, "This is really cool.  I'm going to grow this thing up into a website, a blog, and all that stuff"?  What was the--?
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  What was its birth?
SARON:  Yeah, that's exactly it.  We started it as a Twitter chat, and I started it because, back when I was first learning to code, I spent the first couple months learning on my own.  I did Treehouse, Code School, and a bunch of those teach yourself type of programs.
CHRIS:  Sure.
SARON:  I quit my job.  I spent 12 hours a day doing nothing but coding, and I learned a lot, but it was really lonely, and it was really frustrating.  When you get stuck, you're just stuck.  It was just sad.
    When I finally applied to a programming school and got into boot camp, I did that for a couple months.  It was great because I had the learning, the structure, and all that, but the real value that I got out of it was the community.  It was just sitting next to people who were just as passionate as I was, and just as excited, but felt just as stupid as I did going through this process.  
    For me, that cost me $11,000, six months without a salary, which I'm very lucky to be able to do that.  A lot of people, I'd say most people, probably can't.  
CHRIS:  Mm-hmm.
SARON:  And so, I wanted to make it easier for people to find that support system without having to spend thousands of dollars and take six months off work.  It started with just a Twitter chat.  It was me tweeting questions for one hour every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. eastern time, and me tweeting out questions using the hashtag.  
    And so, I'd say, "What language are you learning?  What are you stuck on?  What are you excited about?  Where can we help you out?"  People kept responding and, week after week, people kept showing up.  And so, we did that for, I think, almost a year, maybe ten months.
CHRIS:  Wow!
DAVE:   Wow!
SARON:  Yeah.  Yeah, it went on for a while.
CHRIS:  Yeah.
SARON:  Around the ten-month mark, what was happening was there were all these connections that were being made online, and the Twitter chat served as a conversation starter.  It was like a little prompt.  It started these conversations, but Twitter is not a very good medium for diving deep into a topic or really getting to ask someone about their journey and their life.  
    I used to work at NPR.  I thought I was going to be a journalist for a long time, and so I thought I like this radio thing.  I like this storytelling interview thing.  I've done that before, so a podcast felt like a really great way to solve the problem of taking the beginning, the nugget of a conversation, and then diving deep and really getting to explore it.
CHRIS:  Sure.  They're very tied together.  They have the same origin and goal.  They're just different mediums.
SARON:  Right.  Exactly.
CHRIS:  Mm-hmm, and it's still on Twitter, right?  I see there's one coming up in a few days.
SARON:  Yep, we still do it.
CHRIS:  Yeah.  
SARON:  Mm-hmm, every Wednesday night, 9:00 p.m. eastern time.  Yep.
CHRIS:  Yeah, that's pretty great.  I kind of feel like I've seen things like this come and go a little bit.  Like, there's Designer Tuesdays or something.
SARON:  Yep.  A lot of companies do it too.
CHRIS:  Do they?  
SARON:  Yeah, like Buffer.  
CHRIS:  We promise to be extra active during these hours or something? 
SARON:  Well, Buffer, I think they actually have what's called the Buffer Chat, and they'll use the hashtag #bufferchat.  I think it's every week.  I'm not sure how regularly they do it, but they have a date and a time where they do it.  They get lots of participants.  For them, it makes sense because they're a social media company, so they're doing social media.
    The way that we do it is generally different.  A lot of people will do it as a way to interview someone on Twitter.  They'll have a guest, and then they'll tweet questions at the guest.  Then everyone can kind of chime in, which to me, I think Twitter is just not the right medium for an interview.  I don't really think it works very well.  
CHRIS:  A real interview, you're saying?  
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  Like: If you do well, we'll hire you?
SARON:  Oh, no.  I meant just like interviewing the person, so like what we do on the podcast, they would do via Twitter.
CHRIS:  I see.
SARON:  Which I'm not really a fan of that.  
CHRIS:  Maybe at the end, you could Storify it or something and make it a little--
SARON:  That's true.  Mm-hmm.  Yeah.
CHRIS:  Okay, so that's interesting.  Then a few more tangential questions: If I wanted to participate in this, and perhaps I will--it seems pretty great--is there a way to?  If you @ reply somebody, then you're not annoying.  Annoying is a weird word because who knows what people are annoyed by specifically, but people don't see it that aren't following that person, right?  It's kind of an opt-in following situation.
SARON:  Right.
CHRIS:  But it doesn't quite work that way with hashtags, right?  
SARON:  Right.
CHRIS:  If I was super, super active on CodeNewbie time, I run the risk of a whole bunch of people seeing a whole bunch of tweets that they're not--
SARON:  Yep.
CHRIS:  Is that just like, whatever?
SARON:  Yeah, it's a "whatever."  I've seen people warn their feed.  They'll say, "By the way, it's CodeNewbie time.  So, for the next hour, I'm going to be tweeting a lot about this one specific thing, so watch out."
CHRIS:  Yeah.
SARON:  Which I think is nice.  You can also, now on the Twitter app at least, you can mute people, so you can just mute them.
CHRIS:  For an hour.
SARON:  Or you can mute the hashtag, right, for an hour or so, and then it's fine.  When I first did it, I saw that I would lose a lot of followers and then gain a new set of followers, so I always kind of lose a net zero for me.  But, at this point, everyone that I follow knows what's going down on Wednesdays at 9:00 o'clock, so they're okay with it.
CHRIS:  Sure.  
DAVE:   Is it a little bit of hashtag brand awareness as well?
SARON:  Yeah.  Yeah, and that's the thing.  A lot of people have said, oh, would you consider doing this in Slack or doing this in some other, more private medium?  I don't really want to because, like you said, it's brand awareness, and it brings more people to the community.  It's free marketing for one hour every week, and it's really great for new people to get to discover who we are and what we do.
CHRIS:  Yeah.  Slack seems weirdly private.
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  But I guess there are ups and downs in either one.  Does it seem like that Web design and development culture is pretty Twitter heavy?  
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  It seems like kind of the right place to do it, although it is, when you look at it kind of global scope, it's so much smaller than Facebook.  I've heard in the past of companies that kind of were ignoring Facebook because they're so Web design devy.  Then be like, "You know what?  We should probably go over to Facebook too because why not, and find a ton of people over there kind of ready to engage."  
    I'm not saying, hey, you should go over to Facebook too.  I don't have any stake in it because you're a year into this Twitter chat and doing great with it.  But it's just kind of fun to think about that Twitter is just one of many places where we can find code newbies - the general word.  
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  Okay.  Interesting stuff.  You're Bloggietoons. You're CodeNewbie, and CodeNewbie has grown up tremendously.  It's a bunch of people even work on it now, right?  
SARON:  Yeah.  I think we have maybe eight volunteer people who give up a good amount of time on a weekly basis to help the community.  Apart from the podcast and the chats, we do have a Slack community.  That one, I think it's predominantly used as a place to share resources and to get unstuck very quickly.  People are very, very active on it.  I think we have almost 1,500 in that community.
CHRIS:  Whoa!
SARON:  Yeah, and so it's been open for, like, five months.
CHRIS:  That's nice.
SARON:  Yeah, it's nice.  It's been really, really busy, and it's one of those things, for the reason that you mentioned earlier, I was a little uncomfortable with because it is more private.  The whole point is to be really accessible.  
    The other thing about a chat room is, unlike a discussion forum, there is really no concept of a moderator on Slack.  There's no concept of flagging and reporting messages on Slack.  One of my concerns, as the community grows, is just making sure that we're still being really inclusive, really friendly, and really supportive.  That's kind of the interesting thing about that.  
    We also do these team project nights.  One of the big problems that I saw in our community was from people who were learning predominantly on their own and who are looking to get their first job.  But, one of the biggest differences between working on your own and working as a professional developer is, you're in a dev team, right?  You have to use Git and GitHub to do code reviews and pull requests.  You usually have some type of a project management system that you use, and you have feature stories.  There are these tools and processes that you don't get to experience when you're doing a Treehouse or a Code School. 
    One of the things that we started, I think, three months ago, was we started doing these team projects.  And so, we have one for Ruby on Monday nights.  We have one for JavaScript on Tuesday nights.  We have one for Python on Thursday nights.  
We're about to start a language agnostic one that's just kind of code katas that we pick every two weeks, and then you work on it on your own.  Then you come together to review solutions and see who did what.  
We have leaders for each of these teams, and they've been an incredible resource and just really, really great, and really, really welcoming and beginner friendly.  Yeah, I've gotten a lot of help, and I'm very lucky to have that.  
CHRIS:  Yeah, it's a fantastic looking site, so much great content there, really well professionally done.  Yeah, everybody, our audience, check out and send people there who need the help.  I like this Slack thing.  The idea of getting unstuck is so great.
SARON:  Yeah, that's the big one.  A lot of times it's something that, once you get unstuck, is very obvious, but you just can't see it.  You just really can't see it, especially when you're frustrated and you've been working on it for a while.  Having someone say, "Oh, you just spelled that wrong," or something simple, you get to really move forward a lot faster when you're doing it with other people.
CHRIS:  Lovely.  I wanted to ask you.  Dave and I are hashtag podcasters, I guess.  
DAVE:   We're basically like NPR, just similar to your background.
SARON:  We're basically like--  
DAVE:   Yeah.
SARON:  I love that.  That's great.
CHRIS:  Very similar.  Not to be too self-deprecating or whatever, but, admittedly, we don't spend a whole lot of time leveling up our set up.  Right now, as we're doing this, it's pretty much like exactly how we were doing it in Episode 001, 180 episodes later.  It works, and it's great, but it's fun to occasionally experience other sound setups, equipment setups, and stuff.
SARON:  Yeah.  
CHRIS:  When I was on your podcast, it was a lot different.  Of course, you can't affect what equipment I have in front of me, but the software stack was very different, and it was really cool.  I thought maybe if you had a minute or were interested in sharing how that went, it's certainly a lot more advanced than just calling somebody up on Skype.
SARON:  Yeah.  Yeah, sure.  We spent, I think, a month figuring that out.  My husband is really into tech and does a lot of audio and video for fun on the side, and he's also done it as part of his job.  He's been incredibly helpful in this process.
We started by making a list of all the requirements that we had:
How important is the audio quality?  
How important is ease of use for the guest?  
How important is setting it up every time?  

We looked at our requirements, and then we came up with all the different possible options.  We thought about doing Hangouts on Air.  We thought about doing Skype.  We thought about doing what we ended up doing now, which is something called Mumble.  We looked at all the different ways and configurations that we could do it.  
We ended up using Mumble, which is an open source VoIP, and it's usually used for gamers.  It's supposed to be really, really good for gamers, but it has a few features we really liked that made it very good for podcasting.  
One of the things that we wanted to do is we wanted to make it really easy for everyone to record, and so when you start up Mumble, you have to start up the Mumble server to run Mumble, and you can just do it on your own laptop.  It's one command.  It's very easy to set up.  
Then, once you're in there, everyone has the same record button, so you get a lot of control over making sure, if you wanted your guest to use a particular file format or software, everyone is using the same thing.  You don't have to worry about that variety, and you minimize your variables that way.  You press the record button and, when you do, it had different file formats.  We usually export in .flac because it's lossless and it gives you half the file size of, like, a .wav, which is really nice and it makes it faster to upload.  
Then the other thing we liked about it is that it comes in multi-stream.  So, when your guest is recording, they get their local feed for their voice, and then they get a separate stream for you coming through the Internet.  Even though you're recording from the software, it's still a local recording, which is really nice too.
CHRIS:  Yeah.
SARON:  Those were the -- yeah.  Go ahead.
CHRIS:   No.  It's a nice way to go.
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  And you're not subject then to something like Skype being the bottleneck or going down.
SARON:  Exactly.  
CHRIS:  Or something, right?
SARON:  Exactly.
CHRIS:  But you are then responsible for your own server.
SARON:  Right.
CHRIS:  Which hopefully is better.
SARON:  Right, yeah, and our server is pretty good.  When we do it, I don't run the server off of my laptop.  I run it off of my husband's, and then he's connected directly to the Internet, so we feel very secure with that setup, after having tried it a couple times.  
    Then the other thing that we really like about Mumble is it has very granular control of your audio settings.  It took us a while to get that setting right because the default settings are made for videogames.  When you're playing a game with a bunch of people and you need to talk to each other, you don't really care about the audio quality.  You care about making sure that there are no packets loss.  You care about making sure you hear everything as quickly as possible; there are no delays.  
It's not optimized for audio quality, so we had to go in and learn about the settings, figure out what buttons need to go where and what needs to be 100%, and whatever it is to make sure that we're optimizing for sound.  It took a while to have the right configurations.  But, now that we do, it's a relatively easy process.  
The other thing that we learned--and I'd love to hear your feedback, actually, Chris, on this--is we knew that, honestly, it's quite a setup for us to do on our end, but we wanted it to not be a burden for the guest.  We tell them, "Just download Mumble.  Don't touch it! 
CHRIS:  Yeah.
SARON:  "We'll walk through it together, and then we'll do a video call, and then we'll tell you, 'Push this button.  Push this button.'"  It takes a couple minutes, but the idea is that we're--
CHRIS:  Well, a couple minutes is no big deal.  Yeah, and I remember going through it.
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  It was fine.  It's unfamiliar software, but it's no big deal, and you tell me exactly what to press, we press it, and on we go.  
SARON:  Right.
CHRIS:  I would say it was a minor sacrifice in that, you know, "Download this unfamiliar software and run it on your machine."
SARON:  Right.
CHRIS:  But there might be the occasional guy.  We haven't had a ton of trouble with this, but not everybody loves Skype or it's been a million years since they've opened up Skype.  I feel like most people these days use Skype only for these very specific situations like when somebody asks them to please use it.  
CHRIS:  At least in the circles we run in, it's not particularly common, but maybe more common at Microsoft, huh, because you own it, right?
SARON:  That's true.  Yeah.
SARON:  I definitely do more Skyping now that I'm at Microsoft.  That's for sure.  But, yeah, that was the one thing that we were worried about is we weren't sure the resistance we'd get from asking people to download software they'd never heard of before, but in the 52 episodes that we've done, we've never had a complaint.  So far, it hasn't been a problem.
CHRIS:  The proof is in the pudding there then, huh?
SARON:  Mm-hmm.  Yeah.
CHRIS:  What do you think, Dave?  Mumble?
DAVE:   I'll take a look at it… in my spare time.  I think it's actually very clever.  We get hooked to these tools, these tools that we're kind of used to using.  I think it's very clever to kind of look at what do video gamers use to broadcast and kind of group record all their shenanigans.
SARON:  All their shenanigans.
DAVE:   That happens at scale every day for multiple hours at a time, so I think it's very clever to borrow from that community to do a Web podcast.
SARON:  Yeah, and that's the thing.  We were looking at solutions that use the Opus codec because that's the best one, especially for speech and music transition over the Internet.  Skype uses Opus, and so did Mumble, so that's how we came across it was just looking at what's the best codec, what uses the best codec, and then trying those out.  
    Then we realized that, oh, gamers use this.  That makes us feel better because it's probably tried and tested.  Then we tried it ourselves, and it's worked very well for us.  
CHRIS:  Fantastic.  I'm going to do a quick sponsor spot, and then we'll jump into some Q&A.  We'll just chat.  We'll just keep chatting.  That's what we do here on ShopTalk Show.  
    One of our sponsors is -- I feel like, if we really wanted to be NPR, Dave, or give this network thing going, we definitely need to get some ad backbeat stuff.
DAVE:   All right, I'll go get the banjo.  
CHRIS:  [Beatboxing] You know when they do ads, it's good.  Getting the ukulele, Dave?  Anyway, it's brought to you by the Content Strategy Summit.  It's an Environments for Humans.  It's one of the online summits, meaning that you can attend it from anywhere in the world.  You just need an Internet.  You need some Internet and a screen to watch it with.  
    Here it comes--
[Banjo music]
CHRIS:  As they write, "Content is the biggest pain point with Web building.  Learn how to level up with content strategy by taking two days," and those two days are September 21st and September 22nd, so it's coming up this fall.  "…taking two days with industry's best trainers without leaving the office," because, you know, you can do it from a couch.  You can do it from a chair.  You can do it from the ground if you want to.  You can kind of do anything you want because it's an online conference all about content.  It's pretty lovely.
    They also say, "Life happens.  That's why we include full access to recordings of each session in addition to copies of the presenters' slides and event recording."  I've done this before.  You can log back into the system they use to attend this conference and scrub through the talk.  It's like a fully interactive thing.  As you scrub through it, even the chat room scrubs, like who said what when, that comes with it.  It's a pretty cool, interactive thing.  
    If you have to step out for lunch and miss one, or you have a meeting and you have to miss one, no problem because you can go back and watch it.  If you really, really liked one, there's some code in one you wanted to copy, no problem.  You can go back in time and watch it.  Pretty great.  No travel, no restaurants, no hotel room, no flights, all that stuff, because you can attend it from anywhere.  That's
    Let's do some questions.  Thanks, Dave, for the far away banjo music.
DAVE:   That's all I got.   All right, question number one.  Here we go.  Jay Wilburn writes in, "Saron, you're involved in so many things every week.  You're on a lot of podcasts I listen to, and you run CodeNewbie, which I love and I'm a part of.  I have to know how are you keeping your life balanced?  What tools do you use to manage everything?"  That's sort of a personal question, but how do you do the things you do?  What enables you to do so much?
SARON:  Ooh, balance.  That's a fun word.  I don't know if I'm very good at balancing things.  The whole work/life balance conversation, which I think is a part of that question, is one that I don't really like, personally, because I'm not a hobby person.  I don't do things just for the sake of it.  Everything that I do, I want to feel like it has a bigger purpose than just what happens in the moment.
    A lot of my work is my life because I really like the work that I get to do.  If I'm not working--I work full time at Microsoft--if I'm not doing that, then I'm spending almost all of my time at CodeNewbie by choice because that's what I really love to do.  That's what I'm passionate about.  I don't think I have the kind of balance that a lot of other people look for and think about, but I'm very happy with the way do things.
CHRIS:  I like that.  "I spent exactly one-third of my time rock climbing, one-third of my time in Ruby, and one-third time eating quinoa," or whatever.
SARON:  [Laughter]
CHRIS:  I can't.  I can't do that anymore.  
SARON:  Right.  
SARON:  That's just not who I am.  Right, exactly.  But for tools, I think that there are a couple things.  I use the crap out of my calendar.  I section off specific times.  I have a whole calendar called tasks.  If there is a thing that I just need to sit down and do, I'll block it off as an event in my calendar.  Once I started doing that, I definitely got a lot more productive and a lot more efficient in how I use my time.  
DAVE:   Sorry.  Do you block off, like, a morning, or do you block off, like, an hour?  Do you do big blocks or little blocks?
SARON:  I don't do mornings.  I hate mornings.  
DAVE:   No mornings.
SARON:  The mornings are the worst.  I'm not a morning person.  I feel like I should be, but I don't want to be, and I don't understand why everyone is obsessed with waking up at 6:00 o'clock in the morning.  I would like to wake up at 9:00 or 10:00, and then I'll stay up until, like, 1:00 or 2:00 a.m.  That's how I like to do things.  
CHRIS:  Yeah.
DAVE:   That sounds--
SARON:  Yeah, so most of my time blocking are in the evenings.  Then, on the weekends, I almost always have a morning call at either 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m., and I do that on purpose to force me to get my day started.  Otherwise I'll just sleep in until noon, and then most of my core, hard thinking activities happen in the afternoon or evening.
CHRIS:  Yeah.
DAVE:   Wow.
CHRIS:  Very nice.  I don't know that I have any particular plan either with the thing.  Dave's probably has to be a little bit more regimented these days with the second one on the way and all that, I'm sure.
SARON:  Ooh.  
DAVE:   Yeah.  You learn real quick.
CHRIS:  I heard a Cameron Moll talk once where he addressed this in a very eloquent way, I feel like, because he's in a similar situation with a big family and lots to do.  He said that, "I don't do balance.  I do prioritization."  
SARON:  Ooh, I like that.
CHRIS:  Isn't it good?  
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  Maybe I can think up a link to the talk where he says that it's not balance.  It's that these things are the most important things in my life.
SARON:  Yes.
CHRIS:  So they happen first, and then it kind of goes down the stack.  I think you could get pretty detailed about that in that certain things are pretty important and certain things are, like, medium important.  
SARON:  Right.
CHRIS:  Then you could probably factor in to that algorithm time a bit, so if there's medium important things that have been neglected for a long time, they sort of all of a sudden become slightly more important.
SARON:  Yes.
CHRIS:  Yeah.
SARON:  I love this.  I think there needs to be an equation for this because this makes a lot of sense to me.
CHRIS:  At least as an equation, like, a fake equation to help explain the concept.
SARON:  Yes.
CHRIS:  Because it's not like I'm going to actually consult the equation when I'm deciding something to do.  
SARON:  Right.  It's just, this is how, generally, I think about things.  You're totally right.  To me, my priorities are my job, CodeNewbie, and then kind of everything else happens somewhat later.  You're right.  The longer I wait to do one thing, the more suddenly it becomes important.  
    My mom is in Maryland.  I'm in the New York City area.  And so, if I haven't seen her in months, all of a sudden that becomes an urgent thing that needs to be fixed soon.  Yeah, I really like that formula, that way of thinking.
DAVE:   That way you actually have bandwidth for quite a few more things, not just three Post-it notes on your desk.  It's just whatever needs priority.
SARON:  Right.  Yeah.  
DAVE:   Yeah, I like in theory.  I'm sure moms and dads out there will empathize, but when you have kids, it's this interesting thing.  I'm going to curse here, but your bullshit meter is, like, at zero.  It's this kind of cool decision crucible you get through having dependants.  That could, I guess, go for if you have a parent that you're taking care of or something like that.  
    You're like, "I'm not.  Nope.  I don't care about that," because it doesn't even fall on the priority list because there's such a sort of discrepancy between what somebody needs in a GitHub issue and what you need to do at your house.  
SARON:  Mm-hmm.
DAVE:   It's kind of nice, but you do have a little less time.  I can't stay up until 2:00 in the morning anymore having fun.
SARON:  Oh.  What time do you wake up in the morning?
DAVE:   Oh, goodness, gracious.  Anywhere.  It's a surprise.  
SARON:  It's a surprise.
DAVE:   My son likes to surprise us.  Anywhere from 5:30 to 7:00.
SARON:  Oh, my goodness.
DAVE:   Yeah.  Hey, whatever.  Yeah, let's talk.  The biggest problem I'm experiencing now is he comes into the bed in the middle of the night, and then he karate kicks my face, and so I actually get pushed out of the bed to the couch.  That's the current experience at the moment, so thank you.
SARON:  [Laughter] The karate kick alone sounds painful, but then it's on your face.
DAVE:   Yeah.  He just burrows with the toenails right into your face, and so, hey.  But I do like that prioritization thing.  
SARON:  Mm-hmm.
DAVE:   Hmm.
SARON:  Yeah, but besides the calendar, another tool that I love is Trello.  I use Trello for a lot of things.  I use it for organizing my own personal to-dos.  I use it for everything that we do with CodeNewbie.  We actually use it to build our newsletter.  
    I don't know if you guys saw the blog post that Change Log did some time ago.  It may have been, like, a year or two ago.  I'm not sure.  But they used the Trello board to organize and manage their content for their newsletter, and then they wrote a gem or a script that turns that into--
CHRIS:  What?  It actually makes the HTML for the newsletter?
SARON:  Yeah, yeah.  It makes the HTML, and it sends it off to MailChimp.  We saw that blog, and we wrote a Ruby gem for it.  Now, on our website, if you go to admin/newslettergenerator, and you press the button, it'll pull all the stuff from Trello.  It'll organize it in the right way.  It'll make the index at HTML.  It'll zip it, and then it'll ship it off to MailChimp for us, so Trello is awesome, and it's been incredibly helpful in a lot of organization stuff.
CHRIS:  That's cool.  I'm about to start using a thing that's a copy, perhaps, but as the data it makes it look Trello-like, but it's GitHub issues.
SARON:  Ooh, oh, I like that.  
CHRIS:  It turns GitHub issues into that. 
SARON:  What's it called?
CHRIS:  I can't remember.
DAVE:   HuBoard?
CHRIS:  What's that?
DAVE:   HuBoard or  
CHRIS:  Yeah, maybe.
SARON:  Waffle.  I hope it's  
DAVE:   HuBoard.
CHRIS:  Oh, yeah.  Maybe it is.  
DAVE:   I did HuBoard.
SARON:  Oh, I see it.  Yeah.  
DAVE:   I did HuBoard this week.  I like it.  It fills up your issues very quickly.  I don't know if it's exactly right for me.
CHRIS:  You know what?  I don't know that it is this one.  Anyway, we'll talk about it later if I can find the different one I use.  It's different than this.  
    Let's do some more questions because we have a whole bunch of them to get through.  
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  Andrew Bittenger writes in, "How well should you know JavaScript and JavaScript frameworks before you consider yourself a good front-end developer?"  He widened the question.  He also goes on to ask, "At what point would you consider yourself a senior developer?"  
SARON:  Oh, boy.
CHRIS:  I guess, at first he wants to know how do you know if you're good or not, which is a little arbitrary, but senior is arbitrary, still, but not totally arbitrary because it can be part of your job title, right?
SARON:  That's true.  I think that's you're a senior when you can get paid for a title that has "senior" in it.
CHRIS:  Sure, but that's legit.
SARON:  That's really what it is.  That's really what it is because I know so many people who have been coding for not that long and getting positions with certain titles that may be a little surprising, and then I know people who have been coding for longer and still think they're a junior.  
    I really wish there was a more agreed upon, standardized system where we can say, you know, "Two years, you must have explored these ten problems and coded in these three languages.  At this point you are now a mid level." 
CHRIS:  Do you really want that though? 
SARON:  I do.  I do.  I think that the execution of that would be awful and terrible.  But if there was a way in the ideal world where everyone could be happy with these standards, and I can just look to them and know that if I do these things and I'm here, I'd really like that.
CHRIS:  I suppose.
SARON:  You don't like it?
DAVE:   Wait.
CHRIS:  Truly, if there was a bar exam because the bar is largely regarded as pretty good, right?  Then if you pass it, you're lawyer-like, and there is no--
SARON:  You're lawyer-like.  Lawyer-esque.  
DAVE:   If you went through some kind of certification like that, would you consider yourself a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer?
SARON:  [Laughter] We do have those things.  That is a good point.  But I think that specifically for Web development, it's really hard because everything changes all the time.  The tools change.  The things that people are using change.  The needs of the organizations that are using them change, so it's too fast and too fluid for any kind of certification process to really make any sense.  
    It's hard, and this is something we come up with a lot in the CodeNewbie community.  It's really hard to gauge where you are if you're just starting out.  That's why we do these team projects because, when you're working alongside someone else, you get to see the things you know, and you get to see the things that maybe you thought you knew, but you really had no idea.  You get to kind of evaluate yourself based on how other people react to you, and you either playing more of the student or more of the teacher.  
    At work, I learned front-end stuff primarily on my own just from a lot of angry nights with CSS.  I didn't realize how much I learned and had to figure out until I had two more junior people on my team.  We had to take this mockup I made in Sketch, and we had to slice it up and figure out where everything was going go and what styles we were going to use.  As I was explaining things, I was like, "Holy crap.  I know this!"  I didn't realize how much was in there.
    I think that rather than figuring out what are the standards that I need to meet, I think the more people you work with and the more people you work with in terms of the difference in experience, background, and language, I think you'll get a better sense of your strengths and weaknesses, and you'll be able to improve a lot faster.
CHRIS:  That's great.  They don't exist because they're completely garbage, probably.  We've probably made fun of job titles in the past on this show, but largely the reason that they exist, I would think -- well, let's say you put yourself in the position of you're the boss or something, somewhere that employs, like, ten JavaScript developers, let's say.  You probably pay them slightly differently based on their skills.  
Let's say one of them has been there for five years, they're amazing, they head up all the projects, and they are very patient with new people and are great with clients too.  They're just clearly an amazing asset developer at your company.  It may be nice to call them senior and then have some pay scale that's commensurate with that. 
    That maybe sets up some kind of expectation that when you hire someone brand new, and let's say they're good too, but they haven't kind of shown that they're as good as the person that's been around for five years, that they're just junior or they don't have one.  I think that's generally the middle one is junior or nothing and then senior, right?  Generally.  Maybe that makes sense for your company.
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  Having that title applied to it helps with the feelings at the company.  It helps with expectations and--I don't know--it becomes kind of an event when you become senior.  I don't know.  It just doesn't bother me.  It seems very practical.  
SARON:  Yeah.
DAVE:   For me, it seems like senior implies you have some sort of junior tied to you, soul bound to you.
SARON:  Soul bound.
DAVE:   Just that you would be in the position where you would have to advise junior people on what to do.  I sort of wish we had that 16th Century level of apprenticeship here in our industry, but we kind of don't.  But, it would be really cool, I think, if we did.
CHRIS:  We could say years, Andrew, though. I would suspect that to get a fair senior developer title that you're probably looking at spending years in that task.  Maybe somebody would bestow it upon you earlier or longer than that, but, well, it can't be longer than years.  But two to five years seems reasonable to me, I would think.  
DAVE:   It's quite possible the senior developer does not need to ask if they're a senior developer.  They simply climb the mountain and gaze.
SARON:  Yeah.  Coraline Ada Ehmke gave a talk at Rails Conf last year on apprenticeships, and it was exactly that.  It was looking back and going to the old school style of apprenticeships where you are studying under a master for, I think it was, many years honing your craft and learning, and then eventually getting your own job.  Maybe eventually becoming a master.  
I don't know feasible that is in our community, but I'm definitely excited to see more junior level positions open up.  I think that's just a reaction to the market.  I think that there is a lot more code newbies out there than there were.  There are a lot more, specifically, career changers, right?  The people like me who were doing something different, found code and fell in love with it, and decided to pursue it as a career. 
    And so, I get emails all the time from people asking, "Do you know about any partnerships?  Do you know about any internships?"  There aren't that many that are available for people who are not in school or in college, but I'm hoping that'll change.  I'm hoping that we start to see more apprenticeships and more junior level positions.  Then, in that case, you're totally right.  A senior developer makes a lot of sense because you do have a junior.
DAVE:    There's a lot of money going into hack schools or code schools.  They are somewhat unaccredited, but I think people are having a good experience in them.  I'm not shutting them down.  I think they're kind of the best way to learn right now.  
But what if the alternative was you started working for a company, and they said, "You really want to learn this code thing, huh?  Well, kid, scrub the toilets or something."  I don't know.  I guess, could we make that happen, and would that equal something like a code school?  I don't know.  
CHRIS:  Liam Duckworth writes in, "How can I get past--" this is very related, so we can get through it, "--get past to the initial inexperience stigma, the stigma of being from someone who is hiring somebody?  Liam says, "I am extremely talented straight out of college, yet it's hard to get a job because I have no experience."  
    It's kind of loaded.  There are not very many words in that question, but there are some clues, I think.
SARON:  Yeah.  Yeah, I think there are lots.  The great thing about coding is you can do it from anywhere.  You don't need someone's permission to get that experience.  There are lots of open source projects that you can find and you contribute to.  OpenHatch--I think .org--has a really great resource, and they're really trying to get more people involved in open source, so definitely check that out.  
    In December, there's going to be--what is it--24 Pull Requests, which is a thing that Andrew Nesbitt in the U.K.--he's an absolutely amazing guy--started this program to get people to want to contribute to open source.  He would do it as part of like a Christmas theme kind of thing.  The idea is: make a pull request every day.  Not everyone does it, and it's perfectly fine if you don't, but there are a lot of ways to get that experience without necessarily getting a full-time job and things you can do on nights and weekends, things you could do during your lunch break that you can use to develop your own skills.
    I think the other part of it is when you are pitching, I would think about what are the things that make you different.  I think this might apply more to career changers than necessarily college grads, but a lot of the people who are transitioning into a tech career come from very interesting backgrounds.  I find that a lot of people are ashamed of that, and they're very self-conscious about, "Well, I haven't been coding since I was 12.  I've been doing this for a year."  But they've been doing marketing for ten years, or they were a dance teacher for five, or they were all these other interesting things.    
    What I tell them is to find a way to bring that into your coding and to play that up, and to show the skills that you have and the asset that you are because you come with a very different perspective than the other people on the team that might all have CS degrees.  I think there are ways that you can look at your perceived weaknesses and make them into strengths.
CHRIS:  Yeah.  That's great.  Lots of stuff there.  This sentence, "I am extremely talented straight out of college," I think there is stuff there that's both -- I think there needs to be a combo of some confidence.  It's great that you have that because you clearly do.  You don't want to walk in, your head hanging down, to an interview saying, like, "Oh, I don't have any experience, but please let me work here," kind of thing because that's no good.  
SARON:  Mm-hmm.
CHRIS:  You want somebody with their head held high saying, like, "Look at my work.  This is what I can do.  Please, I can do good things for your company.  Let me work here."  
    To write us a sentence that says, "I'm basically amazing, so I can't believe that these companies aren't hiring me."  It's hard to unpack this because I've never met you, Liam.  We haven't shook hands.  I can't get a sense of your personality through one sentence, but it seems like there's a little of both happening here, and I would maybe watch that a little bit. 
    I would be turned off by somebody who sent me an email, or applied for a job and just bragged, or just came across as cocky in some way.  That's just a turnoff.  That doesn't usually work particularly well in this industry.  I'm not alone in that, probably.  
That's kind of like, eh, you know, because are you that amazing?  You did just graduate college, so you could have some amazing natural talent or whatever, but you probably could use some growing up, some job stuff happening.  I don't know if I would hand out my "how amazing I am" thing when you haven't worked anywhere yet because amazingness comes with work, at least if that's what you're looking to be hired to do.
    Anyway, I was kind of floundering there for a minute, but you know what I mean.
SARON:  Yeah.
DAVE:   I have a friend like that, very talented designer, very bad with people, and it was very rough for employment.  I'm not projecting anything, but it's a real thing.  
CHRIS:  But what is experience, too?  What is it?  What is it?  It's building websites, right?  You go in, and you say, "Look.  Here's a bunch of the things that I've built."  Maybe the "who paid you to build that" section is a little light or something, but I think you can have a full portfolio.  
You can have a good-looking résumé.  Just because you haven't worked for or something, that's like a missing section on your résumé.  If you have incredible other work, I think you'll still kind of be okay.  It's pet peeve territory for someone to be like, "Oh, I wish I could build my portfolio, but I can't possibly do that until someone gives me the chance to do that." 
DAVE:   Along the lines of places to contribute, I saw a thing this weekend: Your First PR on Twitter.  It's by @CharlotteIs.  I don't know Charlotte's last name [Spencer], but it's basically opportunities like low hanging fruit to make pull requests, to get experience getting in and out of repos, and helping people out.  I don't know of any company that would shy away from a really thoughtful GitHub account.  
    I'm not saying go through and just blink it--I don't know--fix somebody's bower.  That's not what we're talking about.  Or optimize everybody's "for" loops.  Don't do that.  What you want to do is just find something you're interested in.  That's the whole point of open source, if you have the time for it.
SARON:  Mm-hmm.
CHRIS:  Let's see.  Let's see, see, see.  What are we, 46 minutes into this?  We should probably do another sponsor, quick.  Remember, we mentioned at the top of the show that Braintree was one of our sponsors.  They're pretty cool.
    I've mentioned in the past that we're looking at moving to them on CodePen.  It's taking us some time to get there.  We're a very small team, but we're moving to them because the API is so nice.  
It's nice compared to using just kind of the native PayPal APIs.  Maybe those will get better some day, but it's kind of like, eh, why bother?  Why don't you just use the Braintree ones, which are already nice, which then means that you get PayPal integration?  At the same moment that you get PayPal integration, you get Android Pay and Apple Pay, BitCoin, and a handful of other ones, all through using the same API, which is pretty cool.
    They say, "Simple, secure payments that you could integrate in minutes.  Developers, we got you.  Don't worry about taking days to integrate payments with Braintree.  It's done in minutes.  Don't have time?  Give them a call, and they'll even handle integration for you and walk you through it," which is kind of incredible, but I did go to their "About" page.  There are kind of a lot of people that work there, so I don't doubt it.  
    Their SDK comes in .net, node, Java, Pearl, PHP, Python, Ruby, you know, all of the languages of the Web, I'd say.  Lots of docs, very clear, very nice website, very easy to integrate.  Check out
DAVE:   If you're going to want to support PayPal, and you do--
CHRIS:  Yeah, you just kind of do because a lot of people want to.
DAVE:   --you're going to want this.  You want this code.  You want their codes.  Get their codes.  Go download their codes.
CHRIS:  There's one that came in seven minutes ago here, hot off the presses.  This is the most "hot off the presses" question that's ever been asked on ShopTalk.
DAVE:   [Printing press sound effect]
CHRIS:  "Saron, can you explain how you came up with the rebase stance?
SARON:  [Laughter]
CHRIS:  Second question: What's the rebase stance?
SARON:  I know exactly who this is, too.  Okay.
SARON:  For the team projects that I talked about, one of the big part is you have to know Git, and you have to know how to use Git.  And so, I started doing--they're supposed to be an hour, but they ended up going on for about two hours--these interactive sessions where I do a Google Hangout.  They'd be ten other people in the session, and it's very, very interactive.  I'd walk them through my process.  First you take a feature card.  Then you make a feature branch.  Then you do some stuff.  Then you add.  Then you commit.  
    We went through the whole flow all the way to making a pull request and making a comment, and then merging it in.  One of the last things that I would talk about, if we time, was rebasing.  To explain rebase, I would do a thing that is apparently now known as the rebase stance where I would show.  You have your master branch, and you're branching off.  Then when you're rebasing, it's like you're taking all the stuff on master, and then you're committing it.  Then you're basically putting it right under your feature branch as if it was there the whole time.  That movement that I would make with my arms, which no one can see right now, that is the rebase stance. 
CHRIS:  That's great.  Yeah.  That actually helps me understand it a little bit more too.  You'd take this whole chunk and kind of move it.
SARON:  Yeah.
CHRIS:  To me, it's just the button I press when I don't want to see the merge commit anymore because it looks so gross, or whatever, in the timeline.  
SARON:  Yeah.  
CHRIS:  But, yeah, it kind of moves the whole chunk over to another area and, thus, the merge didn't need to happen, right?
SARON:  Mm-hmm.  Yeah.
CHRIS:  Yeah.  What I don't know about rebasing is when it's dangerous because I think it is sometimes, right?  
SARON:  Is it?
CHRIS:  Otherwise, why is it a separate action?  Do you know?  I don't know.
SARON:  That's a good point.
DAVE:   I think it can kind of explode.  You can get into--
CHRIS:  Yeah, but when and how?
DAVE:   Let's say you got some from master, then you committed some, then you tried to put into master, but then it got kicked back out because it wasn't right, and then the master is up again.  In theory, it should all work, right?  You should just be able to do the dance, play in the planes, right?  I don't know if I'm doing the dance right, but I'm doing a dance right now.
SARON:  [Laughter]
DAVE:   It's very snaky.
SARON:  It is!  It is very snaky.  
DAVE:   All right.  
SARON:  It's a little shift.
DAVE:   I think it is possible to kind of explode things.
CHRIS:  It just never comes up in my simple world.  It's usually master and one branch, and they dance.  They go back and forth, and that's about it.
SARON:  They dance with each other.
CHRIS:  It's not like branches and branches and branches and branches, and people.
DAVE:   That's like if you needed a branch, like if you needed the comment branch to land your feature comment to land your feature blog post branch or something, or vice versa.  You kind of get into needing to branch off of another branch….
CHRIS:  Yeah, it's going to happen to me tomorrow because I know that I have to branch a branch.  Okay.
DAVE:   Yeah, so I think it starts getting -- but that's just complexity.  I just created two branches that land months from each other.
CHRIS:  That's just complexity.  That's just complexity.
DAVE:   It's going to be hard, but I just created two branches that are going to land months from each other and I'm already crying about how hard it's going to be, but anyway.
CHRIS:  Pull them from master.
SARON:  You can do it.  We believe in you.
DAVE:   Yeah.  
SARON:  We believe in you.
DAVE:   Also, I'm not afraid to force push.  I am not afraid!
SARON:  [Laughter]
DAVE:   I will force it up. 
CHRIS:  Froy wrote in a question, Dave.  Do you want to see what's up with this one?
DAVE:   Yeah.  Here we go.  Froy writes in, "I started teaching myself Web development at the beginning of the year, and I love it!  I started a challenge for myself.  The challenge is to recreate 30 sites that need a responsive design and newer look.  For these redacted [sic] sites,
CHRIS:  Created.
DAVE:   "I am using"  Oh, recreated.  Sorry, not redacted.  "…for these recreated sites, I am using to deploy the static pages.  My question is, are there any legal ramifications for publishing a copy of the site's information online?  Should I have an alert on the Surge site that lets users know that this is a copy of"
SARON:  Ooh.  Oh, man.  That's a legal question.  I would guess that there's probably a problem with that.  And, at the very least, to not confuse users, I would put something on there that says this is a replica of this other thing.  But I would guess there's a legal issue with that, but I'm not a lawyer, so I don't have a definitive answer.
CHRIS:  I agree.  I would say that even if it's not illegal, it's in bad form to just toss up on a site on the Web that is the same exact content of some other site, but you've redesigned without saying somewhere clearly on it: This is a practice thing for me.
SARON:  Right.  Right, and I don't know what these sites are, but if they're e-commerce sites, hopefully you're not actually accepting purchases and things like that.
CHRIS:  Yeah.
SARON:  At the very least, I would have something there that says, "I'm learning to code.  This is my project."  Point them to a blog post or a repo where they can see all the other work, and really use it as a promo tool for you, but I would be very clear not to confuse people.
DAVE:   I agree.  
CHRIS:  It might work double duty if you do tell people.  If your design is, oh, look at how good of a designer.  I've redesigned this site and it's way better now. 
SARON:  Right.
CHRIS:  You might as well have a bar that says, "Hey, this is just me playing around.  Go check out my other sites that I've done at my portfolio."
SARON:  Right.
CHRIS:  It seems like might as well. 
SARON:  Definitely.  Maybe those sites will pay you to use your code, maybe hire you for some work.    
CHRIS:  Also, looks really cool.  I've never seen it before, but yeah.
SARON:  Yeah, I hadn't either.  I'm on it right now.  It looks really interesting.
DAVE:   I would also turn on robots.txt to block everything so that you don't steal SEO.  That's important too because, if you steal their SEO, they're going to get really mad.
CHRIS:  Ooh, good point.  Adam Norris writes in.  Actually, this is an audio one.  Should I wait for a minute, Dave, or do you already have it pulled up?
DAVE:   Oh, I can.  Yeah, set it up.  Just set it up real quick, and I'll pull it up.
CHRIS:  Adam Norris writes in.
DAVE:   Can you spell Adam Norris?
CHRIS:  No, I won't do that to you, Dave.  This will be our last one, and then we'll wrap it up a little bit.  It looks like Adam is a part-time freelancer, recently landed a full-time job.
SARON:  Congratulations.
CHRIS:  And is having some pain, though.
CHRIS:  Literal pain in his wrist.  
SARON:  Literally pain, ooh.
CHRIS:  Literal pain.  
DAVE:   Sorry.  I told Siri to call me Batman one time, and so I just got an email from Batman, which is wonderful.  
DAVE:   All right.  I'm about to play the audio here.  Here we go.
ADAM:   Hey, Chris and Dave.  After a period of part-time freelancing, I've recently landed a full-time front-end developer job for a small digital agency.  However, after a few weeks of working 9:00 to 5:00 with a keyboard and mouse, I started to get some pains in my wrist and arm.  Thinking it sounded like the beginnings of RSI, I quickly switched to using a vertical mouse and using wrist supports for both the keyboard and mouse, along with getting medication from my doctor.  
    As this is the beginning of my career, I'm really worried about this turning into a long-term problem.  I want to do everything I can to stop it getting any worse.  I just wondered if you guys could offer any advice to people suffering from similar problems or if you have had any personal experience with this or any other type of work-based injury.  Thanks, Adam.
DAVE:   All right, so Adam just got a new job, new career, and his wrists are starting to kind of--I know the feeling, but--get the aches and shakes.  Anyone have any experience with that?
CHRIS:  I have a little, but do you, Saron?
SARON:  I personally have not.  I know that one of my coworkers, I don't remember if he was already experiencing the pain or if it was more preventative, but he would use a computer glove that has that pouchy area in your palms.  It was really funny because I would mostly see him wearing it, and so I just kind of thought his palms were crazy fat.  Then he would take them off, and I'm like, "You have normal hands!"  And it totally threw me off every single time.  
    But, it's nice because you don't have to move your hand quite as much to type, and it looks very, very comfortable.  That's one thing that I might look into.  I'm trying to find out.  I think if you search "computer glove typing" you should see some options.
CHRIS:  That's interesting.  
SARON:  You haven't seen that before?
CHRIS:  No, not the fat palm.
SARON:  It's the fat palm.  That should be the name of it.  Okay, new company idea: Fat Palm.
CHRIS:  Yeah, it would be easy to remember, anyway.
DAVE:   Yeah.
SARON:  Let's.  Mm-hmm.
CHRIS:  I have this.  When I first moved out to Portland.  It's random.  It doesn't have anything to do with the city.  It's just a time in my life.  I started getting it really bad, the RSI thing, and I bought a book on it.  I bought a book called It's Not Carpel Tunnel Syndrome! - with an exclamation point on it that was kind of like, "It's usually not, in our industry, carpel tunnel.  
It's usually RSI, which I think the world has kind of won that pedantic battle.  I don't think it's pedantic.  I think it's just people's misunderstanding of it.  RSI meaning repetitive stress injury.  It's a lot more common when it has to do with typing, mouse moving, and stuff.  
    Yeah, and I got it really bad now.  I was really worried because it does kind of seem like I literally can't keep doing this.  I can't because I'll just destroy my hand.  What do you do then?  Do I have to change careers here or what?  My solution was to get a wrist thing, and it totally didn't work.  
CHRIS:  A wrist guard thing, so I don't know if those things work, but it wasn't a fat palm.  I was just self-diagnosing.  Nobody told me to do this.  I was just like, I don't know.  My wrist kind of hurts, so I'll put a wrist thing on it.  I had no idea what I was doing.  
CHRIS:  That didn't work at all, but what did work was the split keyboard.  I have a Microsoft keyboard in front of me right now.  They sell the best one ever, I think.  
DAVE:   The Sculpt Ergonomic.  
CHRIS:  I have the Sculpt.  
DAVE:   Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic.
CHRIS:  I also have another one, just the ergonomic.
DAVE:   Clicky or low-pro?
CHRIS:  The big, fat one, I have, which is clicky.  I have them both.  I try to stay flush in these keyboards because this is the magic answer for me.  
SARON:  The split keyboard.
CHRIS:  If I have the split keyboard, I'm fine.  It literally solved the problem entirely.  It's been, basically, in remission, I guess, for six or seven years now.  The split keyboard was the magical thing. 
The vertical mouse that Adam says he says.  What did he say?  It sounded like he switched to a vertical mouse and wrist supports.  He didn't say the split keyboard though, so I would check that out, maybe.  It worked for me.  Definitely ask your actual doctor and not a podcast.
SARON:  Right.  Before you go out and buy all this stuff--
CHRIS:  Right.
SARON:  --talk to a doctor.
CHRIS:  Yeah.  
SARON:  Yeah.
DAVE:   Yeah, I've spent about $600 in keyboards this year.
CHRIS:  Cool, Dave.
SARON:  Oh, wow.
CHRIS:  Write it off, Dave.  Write it off.
DAVE:   Well, write it off.  Total write off, but jackpot.  But the scope, I like the classic Mac-y kind of.  Microsoft has a designer one that I use on the PC, but, man, my wrists.  I'll start to feel it.  Where I especially feel it is if I did something manual like yard work or something all weekend.  I go to work Monday, and it's like my hands are breaking from the inside.  That's what it feels like.
SARON:  Ooh.
DAVE:   It's brutal.
SARON:  That sounds awful.
DAVE:   But, this Scoped keyboard is just wonderful.  It's a little weird because you have to redo your typing.  I hit the B key from the wrong hand, apparently, but it makes a world of difference in how you feel at the end of the day.  And, my special trick--here's my trick.  Inside hot tip--trackpads, man.  Don't mess with a mouse.  Mouses are way too much energy.  You just use trackpads, and it's really dumb.  Get one of those big ones.
CHRIS:  I used to use the trackball forever.  For ten years, I'd rock the ball.  The reason I switched is because it started to become a pain in the butt to bring everywhere.  So it was like, I'm actually going to train myself to just use a regular mouse because it just was too weird.  
DAVE:   The trackball….
CHRIS:  Anyway, the trackball was kind of neither good or bad for the RSI.
DAVE:   I love the trackpad.  It's the dumbest course….
CHRIS:  You don't even have a mouse at all?
DAVE:   No!
CHRIS:  You're just all trackpad?
DAVE:   Yeah.  When I can be.
CHRIS:  I was just in an Apple store, and that's what they put next to all the displays now.  They don't put the mouse out.  They just put the pads.  
DAVE:   Why would you?
CHRIS:  It looks cool.  I'm going to try it.
DAVE:   Mice.  Yeah, let me flash back to 1980 when that was cool - mouse.
CHRIS:  Dave!  Dave.  Judgey!
DAVE:   Yeah.  Well--
CHRIS:  Just kidding.
DAVE:   I had a couple beers.  This is how I feel.  These are my true feelings.
CHRIS:  It's Labor Day.  Let's wrap this thing up.  We've been going on a bit long.  Yeah, there's stuff.  Dave does stuff. 
DAVE:   Yeah, I've got to get back to the house, eat a pizza.  Saron, thank you so much for coming on the show.  If people aren't following you and giving you money, how can they do that, and then what's one thing you'd like to plug before you leave today?
SARON:  Sure.  You can totally give me money.  We set up our Patreon account relatively recently, a couple weeks ago.  If you go to, that's where you can donate and support what we're doing. 
    One thing I want to plug, I think I just want to plug the website.  If you go on, you get to see all the different things that we're doing.  You can take a look at the team projects, the awesome blog posts that different people write on what they're learning and what kind of code they're excited about.  You can find out about the podcast and all that stuff there, so definitely check out the site and check out
CHRIS:  Yeah.  It looks like will get you there too in case you can't spell Patreon because there are two vowels next to each other, and it's weird.  
SARON:  [Laughter] That is….
CHRIS:  Yeah, thanks for being on.  I should say that somebody wrote in that said, gosh, what was it.  Byron Sam Piro wrote in, and he said he's graduating with a computer science degree in the next year and has a strong interest in working with node.js, but wherever he lives there's not a lot of jobs in that.  He's wondering if it's worth relocating to pursue a career in that technology.  
    I don't mean to dwell on this too long, but I would say, Byron, I think, if you can, it's always nice to relocate because I've done it a couple of times in my life, and I look back on it fondly being, like, it was nice.  It was nice to up and move, do something new, and give me more perspective.  Just feel fresh and get that new city smell, you know.  If you can do it, I'd say do it.  That's pretty great, especially if you can do it and do something good for your career.  
    It just so happens that we have kind of the job for you, potentially.  We should mention that ShopTalk, if you don't like your job, you're looking for a job, or you're looking to hire, you can always go to and look for a bunch of jobs there.  One of the jobs there is at a place called Code Koalas, which is just the greatest name ever, right?
SARON:  Ah, that's such a great name.  
CHRIS:  Isn't it? [Laughter]
SARON:  Oh, my goodness.  That's the best.  
CHRIS:  Why not?  It looks like a pretty cool company, and you probably would have to relocate to do it.  It's in Kansas City.  I assume you don't live there because I just don't know anybody that does.  It's like I live in Milwaukee.  I never run into people that live here either.  It's just one of those places.  
But I would think, you know, you could do this thing.  Start over in a new place, a new place that's probably not overly expensive and stuff.  Look at what they want.  A bonus skill: node.js.  If you rolled in there, and you knew all the stuff, that you already knew all the front-end stuff and then said, "I'm actually actively interested in pursuing node.js stuff," they'd probably be very interested in talking to you.  
    This goes for everybody out there too.  Code Koalas is in Kansas City, Missouri, which is weird that it's not in Kansas, but that's how Kansas City rolls.  They're looking for a front-end and back-end developer, so they just need people.  They need to fill those seats because they're doing good stuff: PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, SaaS, working in a CMS, that type of stuff.  
    You know the job.  Do it.  Check it out.  We'll put a link to this particular job and the job board, in general, in show notes.  Anyway, that's it.  
DAVE:   All right, well, thank you, and be sure to subscribe to this in your podcaster of choice.  Give it stars and subscribe to CodeNewbie.  It's really well done.  I was admiring it this week.  It's better quality than ours, but don't tell anyone.
DAVE:   Okay, so thanks, everybody, for listening, and be sure -- yeah, anyway.  Chris, do you got anything else?