Coding Blocks

It’s that time of year where we’ve got money burning a hole in our pockets. That’s right, it’s time for the annual shopping spree. Meanwhile, Fiona Allen is being gross, Joe throws shade at Burger King, and Michael has a new character encoding method.

The full show notes for this episode are available at


  • Retool – Stop wrestling with UI libraries, hacking together data sources, and figuring out access controls, and instead start shipping apps that move your business forward.


  • Thank you to everyone that left a review!
    • Anonymous User, rd, Ian Matchett, Glen Jakobsen
    • Want to help out the show? Leave us a review!
  • Almost time to start talking about … Game JA JA JA JAMUARY!
  • What’s your perspective on strong, static, weak or dynamic typing and how is it shaped by your experiences?
  • How do you move into DevOps or SRE roles if you have developer experience?

Allen’s List

Price Description  
Nerdy Stuff
$459.00 Kinesis Advantage360 – Bluetooth Version (Amazon)
$99.99 Logitech Ergonomic MX Vertical Wireless Mouse (Amazon)
Healthy Stuff
$109.97 Bodylastics Warrior Resistance Band Set (Amazon)
$19.99 Resistance Band Rack Storage / Hanger (Amazon)
Entertainment Stuff
$99.00 Wiim Mini Streamer (Amazon)
$49.99 Roku Streaming Stick 4k (Amazon)
$549.00 PS VR2 (PlayStation)
Audio Stuff
$169.00 Audio Technica M50x (Amazon)
$58.95 Honorable mention: AKG Pro Audio K240 Studio Headphones (Amazon)
$21.99 Honorable mention: Brainwavz Round Memory Foam Earpads (Amazon)
$56.95 AIYIMA DAC-A2 (Amazon)
Woodworking stuff
$349.00 20-Volt Maximum Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit (4-Tool) with 4 Ah Battery, 2 Ah Battery, Charger and Bag (Amazon)
$44.00 Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide (Amazon)

Joe’s List

Well, you know Joe has to be a little different so the format’s a bit different here! What if there was a way to spend money that could actually make you happy? Check out this article: Yes, you can buy happiness … if you spend it to save time (CNBC).

Ideas for ways to spend $2k to save you time

  • A good mattress will improve your sleep, and therefore your amount of quality time in a day! ($1k),
  • Cleaning Service ($100 – $300 per month),
  • Massage ($50 per month),
  • Car Wash Subscription ($20 per month),
  • Grocery Delivery Service (Shipt is $10 a month + up charges on items),
  • Hire landscapers ($100 per month),
  • Get a virtual assistant ($10 to $20 an hour),
  • Use a delivery services like DoorDash or Postmates, or
  • Get your meals mailed to you (Blue Apron, Factor ~$7 to $10 per meal per person).

Remember, it’s not just about the time you save, it’s also about increasing the quality and value of the time you’re already saving!

What to do with that time and energy?

You could …

  • Create a Business,
  • Create a hobby website or portfolio,
  • LeetCode, or
  • Game Ja Ja Ja Jamuary!

Or you could …

  • Hang out with friends or family,
  • Go to the gym,
  • Learn an instrument, or
  • Meditate.

Trust the process, knowing that whatever time you do put into tech will be more fruitful!

Michael’s List

  Description Price
Honorable mention: Zero Gravity Workstations ( $$$$$.$$
Serious Stuff
Google Nest Wifi Pro (Amazon)

Connection Failed During Setup (Reddit)
Honorable mention: ASUS ZenWiFi ET8 (Amazon) $480.00
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) (Amazon) $239.00
Lifelong Office Chair Wheels (Black) (Amazon) $36.95
Alex Tech Wire Loom Tubing Cable Sleeve (Amazon) $12.99
OXO Good Grips Sweep & Swipe Laptop Cleaner (Amazon) $11.95
Fun Stuff
DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer (Amazon) $129.00
Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug 2, 12 oz, Black (Amazon) $191.95
Gillette Heated Razor for Men (Amazon) $99.99
MScreen Standard Widescreen (Indiegogo) $149.00
Transformers Optimus Prime Auto-Converting Robot by Robosen (Elite Edition) (Amazon) $699.00
LuckyBot Food 3D Printer Extruder (Amazon) $169.00
Stealth Abs + Plank Core Trainer (Amazon) $149.00

Tip of the Week

  • How do you fix a typo on your phone? Try pressing and then sliding your thumb on the space bar!
    It’s a nifty trick to keep you in the flow. And it works on both Android and iOS.
  • Heading off to holiday? Here’s an addendum to episode 191‘s Tip of the Week … Don’t forget your calendar!
    • On iOS, go to Settings -> Mail -> Accounts -> Select your work account -> Turn off the Mail and Calendar sliders.
  • Also, in Slack, you can pause notifications for an extended period and if you do, it’ll automatically change your status to Vacationing 🏝.
  • Did you know that Docker only has an image cache locally, there isn’t a local registry installed? This matters if you go to use something like microk8s instead of minikube! (
  • What if you want to see what process has a file locked?
    • In Windows, Ronald Sahagun let us know you can use File Locksmith in PowerToys from Microsoft. (
    • In Linux based systems, Dave Follett points out you can just cat the process ID file in your /proc directory: cat /proc/<processId> to see what’s locked. LS Locks makes it easy too, just run the command and grep for your file. (Stack Exchange)
Direct download: coding-blocks-episode-197.mp3
Category:Software Development -- posted at: 10:01pm EST