Digital Tech Trek Digest [#Issue 2024.12]

Falsehoods programmers believe about time zones

If I told you there was a timezone 30 minutes past the hour, would you believe me? In a small section of Western Australia, there is. However, time zones (TZ) are way more complicated. If you have not missed a meeting due to a TZ mixup, you haven’t worked in a multi-national company or had a meeting in a country with >1 timezone.

I shared this article with several friends, and this response sums it up. “I think documenting failure is as important as celebrating success. Always share what you’ve learned. And adding in humor makes it human.”

PostgreSQL Schema Changes with pg_osc

While Online Schema Change (OSC) has been part of the MySQL ecosystem for decades, evolving from pt-osc (previously MaaKit) to gh-ost and now spirit this is the first time I’ve head of OSC for PostgreSQL. It likely has existed in some form for some time.

Source: LinkedIn

Pricing your product

One key takeaway from the MicroConf Founder-lead Sales event was pricing. “Be transparent and provide a number.” is basically what I noted as the essence. Well, I’m going to track sites that do not offer pricing to evaluate why. My first two entrants are Vanta and CultureAmp. Why is a price not offered? Is it a high-entry point, too complex to articulate easily, a way to charge the customer what they are willing to pay, or perhaps it’s not credit-card worthy but a detailed commitment? As a child, I remember being told that if I had to ask the price when it was not visible, I could not afford it. Does this apply to SaaS?

Postgres is eating the database world

The Extension is a fundamental growth mindset for PostgreSQL. Combined with the protocol for TCP communications, a robust and growing ecosystem can be seen with PostgreSQL. Add the wisdom of moving to an annual release cadence, and these factors would seem to highlight that PostgreSQL is quickly outpacing MySQL in the RDBMS open-source ecosystem. This article written by the creators of Pigsty, and other players including Tembo and Aiven are re-enforcing the narrative.

Source: LinkedIn

Why should I not upload images of code/data/errors?

This post is a comment by Bill Karwin to Stop with the Video Documentation by Jon Sustar. This post is just the recipe that should be enshrined in the ticket support system of any company when any user tries to upload an image. When a text command is provided, and the response is not provided back in the text, it’s hugely inefficient.

Source: LinkedIn

About “Digital Tech Trek Digest”

Most days, I take some time early in the morning to scan my inbox newsletters, the news, LinkedIn, or other sources to read something new about professional and personal topics of interest. I turn what I read into actionable notes in a short, committed time window, summarizing what I learned, what I should learn and use, or what is of random interest. And thus my Digital Tech Trek.

Some of my regular sources include TLDR, Forbes Daily, ThoughWorks Podcasts, Daily Dose of Data Science and BoringCashCow. Also Scientific American Technology, Fareed’s Global Briefing, Software Design: Tidy First? by Kent Beck, Last Week in AWS, Micro Newsletter to name a few.

New Additions

I have added Building a boring, but wildly profitable, online business portfolio as a new source to review.

Digital Tech Trek Digest [#Issue 2024.02]

Indie Newsletter Tool Generates $15,000 a Month

There are so many different email newsletter sites you could wonder if there is market saturation. MailChimp, Mailgun, ConvertKit, Sendgrid (now part of Twilio it seems), Moosend and Mailersend come to mind.

It seems the space still has plenty of revenue-producing options including reportedly a side gig generating $15k per month. Source: BoringCashCow

When I asked a good friend and author of the Technical SEO Weekly his use of ConvertKit directed me to this Baremetrics Dashboard which is another product to look at sometime.

LLMs and Programming in the first days of 2024

How do use an LLM? If you are still on the fence start getting into the habit of using it more frequently then start. I now use ChatGPT and Claude AI daily, and with a crowded market there are many other emerging technologies to also consider.

I use ChatGPT for coding and image generation with DALL.E. I use Claude more for reviewing large documents that seem to be ideal for producing a summary, or to generate a fictitious movie script from those documents.

I do not like Javascript nor do I wish to actually learn this language however I write it daily via ChatGPT. Javascript is the ever-changing technology of web development and it’s impossible to keep up with the next product, or version of a product you may know. ChatGPT helps me navigate this combined with asking for HTML and TailwindCSS.  However, it’s not perfect, you need to be an experienced engineer who has learned how to write code for many years to ask the right questions and to correct the LLM when it does not produce what you expect. Let’s look at CSS. Now there is flex and grid and it’s hard to keep up with changing features that browsers support. This is where ChatGPT has helped me. I have been using Tailwindcss but it still took an expert friend 30 minutes to help me debug a CSS formatting issue of a future OBS Twitch streaming project to correctly size the content all in a 1920×1080 box. I learned a lot of new features of Google Chrome Developer Tools Inspector I did not know and are probably just the start of expert debugging features.

Until a few months ago I never knew it’s now much easier to read JSON in Javascript.

async function fetchData() {
  try {
    const response = await fetch('data.json');
    const data = await response.json();
    return data
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error fetching data:', error);

let data = await fetchData();

I’d like to remind users that  ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.. Source:  TLDR

ParadeDB (GitHub Repo)

Every day there is another PostgreSQL product to review.  I am a current user of ElephantSQL which I didn’t know existed two months ago. Neon and Tembo are two more PostgreSQL serverless-related products on my product review list.  Now adding ParadeDB as well as reading Thoughts on PostgreSQL in 2024.

About ‘Digital Tech Trek Digest’

Most days I take some time early in the morning to scan my inbox newsletters, the news, LinkedIn, or other sources to read something new covering professional and personal topics of interest. Turning what I read into some actionable notes in a short committed time window is a summary of what I learned today, what I should learn and use, or what is of random interest. And thus my Digital Tech Trek.

Some of my regular sources include TLDR, Forbes Daily, ThoughWorks Podcasts, Daily Dose of Data Science and BoringCashCow to name a few.