Your vote counts and lessons from a tech meet-up
Here is a little project introduction before diving into this newsletter: getting the seedlings ready for the summer.
Make Your Vote Count
Her: “What do you think about politics?”
Me: “I think it gives you something to talk about… to be honest, I don’t really care about politics.”
Her: “Well... you—this is part of the problem.”
Generally, a conversation about politics doesn’t go so well between strangers getting to know each other over a coffee.
In spite, however, I must admit, she had a damn good point.
This is probably a sentiment shared among the masses — not enough people care about politics (or this is what I believe to think, which is why I write these newsletters — in the hope that I might just be wrong, so we all learn something).
If you’ve seen Vice (2018) directed and written by Adam McKay, you might be aware of the little segment in the film, where Kurt narrates:
As the world becomes more and more confusing, we tend to focus on the things that are right there in front of us. While ignoring the massive forces that actually change and shape our lives. And, with people working longer and longer hours, for less and less, when we do have free time, the last thing we want is complicated analysis of our government, lobbying, international trade agreements, and tax bills.
I’ve been asked many times to write about some political issue and many times I refuse because for one reason I need to educate myself on what is going on and two — and most importantly — I simply don’t have much bandwidth to care, which I now know sounds bad.
But I have to echo Kurt’s words here, it’s complicated and we have other more important things to think about.
Initially, I thought — like I said before — politics was a taboo subject for light-hearted discussion and if you were that person who talked about politics, you didn’t have much interesting going on in your life.
Coupled with this is what we are presented within the news — policy is complicated (boring), but the hilarious faux pas of what the MPs get up to is much more interesting. But what’s more important to running a nation?
But when does all the important stuff actually start to become important?
From the slumber of our day-to-day living, it comes — the short time of election time!
That’s where the actors get dressed.
Once those performances are made, we check two boxes and for most of us, we head back into hibernation until another 3 years cometh.
What solution am I trying to offer? Your single vote does not count, but the paradox is, that votes all together count a lot more.
To truly enact change, you have the influence people. That means becoming a politician.
An alternative is to get people to care about what is going on in the Beehive and in our nation throughout the year. I’ll say it again, it’s the get people to care.
That might also mean having a healthy discourse around politics, too.
To always be thinking and learning and challenging your thinking and your learning.
Going out to vote isn’t enough, you should at least try and engage with the political discourse to a somewhat deep understanding.
I’m not the angel, here, I’m certainly the culprit and I hope this time I vote, I’m not just picking my favourite colour.
Lesson from a Tech Meet-up
Enough preaching, I want to share something I want to share with you at a recent tech meet-up that I attended.
At the moment, the job market for developers isn’t so good (if you are a developer that is) — I have no facts to back this up, this is what real-life friends and some people on the internet have told me.
I was talking to an individual whose internship was coming to an end, and sadly, with no job in sight because the company they are interning for is undergoing a hiring freeze.
My suggestion for anyone who wants to get a job in tech (as a developer) has always stood — personal projects.
Especially, personal projects that you can host and show to potential employers.
When I made this suggestion — which I must admit was unsolicited — the person said to me that it costs money to host.
No way, I thought.
Deployment and hosting used to be difficult and costly, but today there are some excellent platforms that streamline the process. They also come with very generous free tiers.
DigitalOcean - this offers a virtual machine and databases for a low-cost
Supabase - for a free managed database, which you can connect to your application.
It is unlikely you need state-of-the-art architecture to run your very simple app, so get your stuff out there.
On top of this, most of these platforms hook into your code repository and watch for code changes. That means your app doesn’t have to be perfect. You can constantly work on it and push changes up for them to be updated and deployed.
If you think this is interesting or a bit confusing, I’m happy to do a deep dive.
Finally, I was talking to another individual about a task I had been given: creating a simple website for a club society.
I was approached likely because I was the “tech” guy, but this is usually a mistake. Websites used to be very technical, but thanks to services like wix, Squarespace and many others, design and code aren’t the problem anymore. Now the biggest hurdle is coming up with good content for your website — which I’d argue is better suited for a marketing-inclined individual.
On an ending note, there are two things I want to accomplish this week:
Getting a podcast in motion in conjunction with ManawaTech. I was approached nearly a month ago and haven’t done anything about it. Hopefully, I can get podcast #0 booked for next weekend.
I visited a place called Blueprint, which is a hidden gem in Palmerston North. It’s a makerspace with access to CNC machines, soldering, 3D printing and much more. For me, programming is very abstract, especially with web programming since nothing you make is physical only visual. So I want to play around with physical objects in the tech space. One is microcontrollers.
Anyway, I hope you found this newsletter interesting, please let me know what you think.
Stay focused and talk soon,
My Favourite Things
1. myNoise - A Website to Help with Focus
Ever had a problem with too much noise or too little noise? I did. myNoise is my favourite website to go to so I can simulate those focus areas.
2. Blog Post — SvelteKit Static Site Generator with Markdown
For work, we have a wiki for internal documentation. I’m not a big fan of GitHub wiki (although this is what we might end up using) so a small project I am working on is making a static site generator but with svelte. I’m connecting this with markdown files. Josh Collinsworth has an excellent article on how to do this.
3. Time Timer
Staying focused is something I struggled with. I got this physical timer to keep me focused. I would set it to a particular time and get to work on one specific task.
Quote of the Week
"Liberal feminism promises women freedom – and when that promise comes up against the hard limits imposed by biology, then the ideology directs women to chip away at those limits through the use of money, technology and the bodies of poorer people." (Louise Perry, The Case Against the Sexual Revolution)