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One of the first things that got me excited about React way back in 2014/15 is that its rendering engine works a lot like a game engine. Having built a few old school DOS games, the benefit clicked immediately 🤩
You see in old school games your code becomes littered with geometry math, physics, and moving things around. Half your time goes into "add 2px here, 3px there" and the other half goes into jumping around that code when you want to work on the game logic itself.
React changed that into a declarative approach – I want a square and it moves over there. Then you hit re-render and React figures out the DOM diffing for you. Fantastic!
I even built a space invaders clone and presented that as a neat demo pushing the limits at HTML5DevConf in SF.
That approach didn't pan out long term. Nobody uses React to build games these days.
Which is why you should sign up for Game Dev JS Weekly, a weekly free newsletter all about HTML5 Game Development. Sent every Friday, managed by Andrzej Mazur from Enclave Games, creator of the js13kGames competition.
Another of my interests that I used to talk about a lot is productivity hacking. The phrase has fallen on hard times of late, but don't believe what disgruntled folk tell you about productivity hacking.
It's not about packing more into your day, it's about removing friction. Those little annoyances that aren't quite worth fixing but grind on your psyche every day.
For example: I like to look good on camera. Even if it's a zoom call. The biggest improvement comes from good lighting.
aight think I'm done fiddling with the lights pic.twitter.com/6ZtAsgjKjM— Swizec Teller writing a book on software rewrites (@Swizec) June 4, 2023
I used to light my face with big bulky studio lights that were fine but annoying. Two lights, separate physical switches, can't reach from sitting position, need to stand up a little to turn them on.
It's a small thing, I know, but juuuuust enough friction that I'd use only one light and keep it on all day. Easier that way. Then I'd wonder "why do my eyes hurt?"
A few weeks ago I upgraded to Elgato lights you can turn on an customize with a Stream Deck sitting on your desk. Change color, intensity, etc when you need to 🤩 And I moved a big bulky audio thing off my desk to make the space more pleasant.
Great success … except I didn’t realize how much under desk space the desk mounts need and now it’s all cramped 😂 pic.twitter.com/3vc8TuUADP— Swizec Teller writing a book on software rewrites (@Swizec) June 3, 2023
And oh my god it is so nice. Feels like getting rid of an itch that's been bugging you for years.
Anyway, if you're interested in getting rid of those little frictions in your life, check out Wonder Tools – the newsletter to help you make the most of your time. Discover the best sites and apps to simplify your life with Wonder Tools, a free weekly email that 24k subscribers rely on to stay ahead of the curve.
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I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
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Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
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By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️