You know the Potpourri category of Jeopardy, how it’s mostly a hodge-podge of general knowledge questions? That’s this post, because it’s been over a month since my last update, and I just wanted to give everyone a quick update about what I’ve been up to.
As of three weeks ago today, I am officially a Software Engineer at Nexben, a company which is streamlining the insurance benefits market for carriers, brokers, employers, and employees alike. I’m excited about the opportunity to help make a difference in the employer-based benefits market, where we’re positioned to provide far greater choice for enrollees versus the traditional paper-based application process.
I’m looking forward to growing my skills at Nexben, and bringing my own unique experiences and knowledge to make our software as excellent and user-friendly as it can be. It’s been a great seven-year run in the WordPress agency space, and I’m ready to tackle some new challenges.
Something that isn’t changing with my new role are the languages in which I use to do my work, the primary one of which is PHP. Readers of this space know that I’ve been digging into learning Python this year, and I’m going to continue to do so within side projects for the foreseeable future. Yesterday, I purchased a Humble Bundle of 14 Python books, one of which is Automate the Boring Stuff Using Python by Al Sweigart, the book I’d borrowed from the library just before the pandemic began. Of the 14, there are 9 that are pertinent to what I want and need to learn, so there’s plenty of study time ahead of me. If you’re interested, the bundle is live for another 7 days, so you can get your study on with me.
I created a Twitch account several years ago, but never really used it all that much. However, during these uncertain times (is anyone else sick of hearing variations of that phrase?), I decided it was a great time to start streaming my daily runs of The Binding of Isaac, which for some reason has become the only video game I play, more-or-less, over the past seven years. If you’re interested in seeing what it’s all about, give me a follow. I’m also considering live-streaming some personal coding projects, but I haven’t convinced myself that I’m ready for that just quite yet. Baby steps.
Of Mice and Men
To help me celebrate my first pay day in two months, I ordered myself a Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse. And, can I just say, I wish I had done this a long time ago. When I picked up a Linux desktop a few months back, I wasn’t sure I’d ever been able to get back down to one keyboard and one mouse to use between it and my laptop, but lo and behold, the MX Master 3 lets you sync with up to three devices. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s got some nice features, such as built-in forward/back buttons for browsers, a horizontal scroll wheel, and the ability to get a few hours of life out of a single minute of charge. Not only am I happy to finally go down to a single mouse between devices, but I finally get to ditch the poorly designed Apple Magic Mouse when using my laptop. Never again will I need to take a break when my mouse runs out of juice!
It wouldn’t be a true potpourri post without a miscellaneous list of links. Here’s some other cool stuff:
- I really miss having friends over to play board games, but thankfully, we’ve been managing to get together on Tabletopia and Board Game Arena, and a couple of my friends and I have been getting in some rounds of Through the Ages, which is my favorite board game that I never get to play on a table anyway.
- Speaking of board games apps, there’s also Tabletop Simulator on Steam, and my friend Sam shared a link to this article which compiles the best TTS mods for the top 500 games on BoardGameGeek.
- All our in-game chat has been done via Discord, which has surprisingly become my go-to social media of choice. Probably because I get to hang out in one place with all my closest pals.
- My buddy Nick and I had a good long call on Zoom the other day, and he shared this great blog post with me: Rules of thumb for a 1x developer. We were chatting about rewrites vs. refactors, implementing job queues into apps, cost-driven development, and why you should never use arrays as a data structure in your PHP apps.
- My partner and I recently worked together on a puzzle featuring the Golden Girls, which led me toward being intrigued about this Magic Puzzles campaign on Kickstarter.
And… that’s about all that comes to mind right now on this overcast Memorial Day holiday. I can’t believe it’s almost June.