Asking Questions

I've been thinking about this for a while, but keep not actually writing this post. One of the biggest mistakes I see juniors make is not to ask questions when needed for fear of looking like they don't know what they are doing. Granted, part of that is the way senior developers often react to questions. April Wensel wrote a fantastic article last August about the toxic tone that is prevalent in tech. So two points here:

  1. Senior devs should all read that article and consider more carefully how they talk to junior devs (or any other person for that matter). I'm not picking on anyone - I have definitely been guilty of this as well. However, being able to explain concepts plainly and empathetically shows your knowledge more than making someone feel dumb because they don't also have that knowledge.
  2. Junior devs need to make sure to timebox themselves. Give yourself a chance to do some googling, see if you can find an answer to your question on your own. However, after that first 30 minutes/hour, you should bring your question to someone else. Ideally, you have someone that you can approach who will answer your question compassionately. Make sure you give them all the information you have and the attempts you have already made. This will help avoid feeling like you are getting repetitive information.

Oh My Zsh!

The terminal is fun. And it should also look fun (and be functional). I’ve been using Robby Russell’s Oh My Zsh for years now, but it still surprises me when people haven’t heard of it.

I’m not going to go into a ton of detail as to why you should use it. Here are a few great posts that already do that.

Nope, I’m mostly going to talk about how I have been adding a series of increasingly ridiculous emojis to my prompt. Why? Because if I am having a bad day, dammit if a 💩 doesn’t make me smile a bit. Right now I have a rainbow if I have a clean git repo, but I’m going to add a unicorn as soon as I can update my work computer.

There are so many awesome, fun themes to use depending on your workflow. I was using a slightly modified bullet-train:

But then today, I decided it was taking up too much space and went back to an old standby: crunch. I modified it just a bit to change the icons (💩) and also to just display the current folder instead of the whole path. Though I’m sure the whole path can be useful to most people, my directory paths can sometimes get long and ridiculous, so generally a folder name does in a pinch. If I need to confirm, there’s always pwd.

Try zsh. It has some other sweet features that are all useful, but my favorite thing is the themes and how much easier they make my day to day.

Some Thoughts On Soylent


I’ve gotten a variety of reactions when I’ve told people that I drink Soylent. Usually it’s gentle mocking or ‘BUT WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE???’. Both of these reactions make sense… on some level, I think I’m a bit crazy for drinking it. On the other hand, it saves me so much time. I currently drink Soylent for only about 8-10 meals per week, generally breakfast and lunch during the work week. Pre-Soylent, I spent hours on Sunday prepping my meals for the week or was constantly eating leftovers; either way, I was eating the same thing almost every day. Or even worse, I went out to lunch, spent $10, and ended up getting something that wasn’t very healthy for me. Soylent costs about $1.92/500kcal meal - plus one point for cheap! It’s also pretty well balanced nutritionally, so I know I’m getting a decent amount of nutrients per meal. The other benefit is it’s bland taste… it’s hard to describe, but I just don’t even think about it. Since I don’t think about it, I don’t get sick of it. Overall, I like it and I’ll probably keep ordering it for the foreseeable future.

Relevant to all of you programmers out there considering switching to the nerd smoothie.