January 29th, 2021

What Paths Have you Regretted - Friday Notes 133

I had an interesting Twitter exchange with my friend Brian Hogan. He lamented Tailwind and what he thinks mostly technical debt that will come along with it. I feel the same way about Tailwind. It feels wrong in all the places it should feel wrong and despite trying to adopt it a few times, I feel icky after.

I won't be worrying about Tailwind again.

For years I've seen people talking about using Composer with WordPress. I even wrote an article about it for Nexcess recently, and yet I don't use Composer with WordPress because after all my research and using it for a few projects it still feels like way to much overhead for a WordPress based project.

Ultimately Brian asked me what I've tried out and invested time in only to backtrack and view the time wasted. I'm happy to say...not that much. In almost every case a project has to drive the adoption of a new technology. If a project doesn't force the adoption of something new, I don't bother.

But there was this one time I took a job for a few months. Ultimately I was told I was way to slow and a bad employee. I didn't like working there anyway so we parted with respect, but being slow stuck with me. I was specifically told that using Vim was a terrible idea and that if I didn't use an IDE (PHPStorm was the big one at the time) then I was a terrible programmer.

While I jumped back into running my business without issues and made more money that I was being paid with less time right away, I took that IDE comment too heart. I am a self-trained programmer, so maybe there was something to what the boss with a degree said. At least that was my thought process.

I spent a year digging into PHPStorm. I learned a bunch of stuff about how to use it well, and I always disliked using it. Not one day went by where I wouldn't think "but Vim can do this..." while I hunted around for something I wanted to do in PHPStorm.

That was the biggest investment in my life that was wasted. After a year I didn't renew my PHPStorm license, I went back to Vim and started digging into all the power it has. That feels like a year wasted on technology that didn't turn into something that helped me do my job.

I wasted that year because of a comment made by someone that's a decent person, but runs a company I wouldn't work for.

Now I stick with Vim and let projects dictate my learning. If a client must have Tailwind, I'll learn it but otherwise I'll stick with technology proven over years.

I Shipped

Monday I reviewed Cal Newport's Timeblock Planner and found it lacking. The construction of the book is fundamentally flawed making it unusable. I kept trying to use it, but just couldn't fight through how hard it was to use. Back to timeblocking with a standard notebook like I've done for years.

Tweetbot 6 came out with subscription pricing this week and after seeing a few people talk about why they didn't think it was a good app for subscription I decided to produce a quick video on how I look at subscription pricing. In short, if it has the features today to justify the price it's fine. I never expect or rely on future updates justifying a purchase. Watch the video for my entire thoughts on Tweetbot 6 subscriptions.

Today I'm taking a look at The Dip by Seth Godin vs Range by David Epstein. When I started thinking about the ideas in these books I felt that they were far apart. After some thinking though, they're on the same page but tackle the issue of "the dip" from different angles. Watch the video or read the post to dig deeper.

For Nexcess I have two recent posts. First I wrote about Local WordPress Development with Valet. Second I wrote a piece covering Local WordPress Development with XAMPP. Watch for a few more posts coming to Nexcess about local development.