No Cute Lyrics This Time; I'm Back!
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It has been almost 5 months since the last time that I wrote a newsletter. It's not to say that I have not missed writing this and connecting with other techies, but when it rains, it certainly does pour! While I have been on hiatus, we have grown to 917 readers though. That's actually amazing that y'all are still sharing my content and people are finding use out of it.
Enough rambling... here we go!
I have officially been at The New York Times for 3 months. My 90 onboarding period has ended which means I have been thrown into the deep end of Staff Software Engineer and Tech Lead duties. I still don't understand how I managed to go through 7 rounds of interviews to find myself in this position or how anyone thinks that I have expertise in anything, but I've decided that I'm not letting imposter syndrome take this win from me this time.
The elephant in the room: What is happening with Conquer System Design?! A lot has been going on and revamping behind the scenes. The date for launch keeps getting pushed back because either work or my health is in the way of completion. I'm uncomfortable speaking more about my health than it has been nothing short of many lows and some mids. Currently, my goal is to have it out to y'all by May 17th. If you have any further questions, send an email to [email protected]. Tell your friends they still have two weeks until the price increases to $250.
I have started writing my second book! I am cleaning up an outline to send to Apress, my previous publisher. If, for whatever reason, they don't want to publish it, I think I will self-publish again. If you haven't read my current book A Software Engineer's Guide to Seniority, purchase it through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apress.
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The Great Twitter Exodus for BlueSky
It's been nine days since I accepted a BlueSky invite from a Twitter mutual and made an account to see what was going on, and, to be honest, there was not a lot going on that made it stand out from Twitter. There were a lot of NFT artists and people that still dabbled in crypto stripped away of the facade of pretentiousness that you'd find that the larger accounts had on Twitter. While this may have made me nervous once upon a time, it was nice to be outside of my Tech Twitter bubble this time. I enjoyed scrolling through my What's Hot feed looking at incredibly detailed art, and laughing at shitposts that felt nostalgic for web forum communities in the early 2000s, a detail that I hadn't realized that the current stage of the Internet was sorely missing.
My mutuals from Twitter quickly started procuring invites and making their way over. The majority of them were coming over since it had already hit Twitter that the invites were hard to come by, so perhaps there was something that we were missing out on. Most notably, Aveta was throwing exclusive invites at anyone on Twitter whose vibes were right, and luckily for me, it was mostly Black Tech Twitter. You could say that this article is self-serving since I am a member of Black Twitter and was one of many that accepted the invite to join the BlueSky community. For the first 48 hours, we partied. We made memes. We joined in with the current community and rejoiced, adding to the chaos of shitposts and the uncurated socialization that I haven't felt since being in AOL chat rooms in the late 90s.
We have direct access to the CEO, Jay Graber, and the whole development team of BlueSky. The CEO using their platform isn't new, but how she interacts with the community as a user first and CEO second is refreshing. The way that she stepped up to defend her developers and her closed private beta product once Tech Twitter decided to do only what we know how to do best, alluding to ourselves knowing everything about AT protocol that is entirely out of our depth and then complaining about the lack of common social media features such as blocking - which has been implemented on their web app as of the publishing date.
She made it extremely clear; this was an app and a new decentralized protocol that was put together within a year and a half that suddenly had an explosive onset of users. They have a relatively small startup developer team, and as much as the user base would like a feature, "come back later." I laughed hysterically at the polite way she told us to fuck off. It was then that I decided that I would be on the app for the long stretch.
On the ninth day, we adjusted. The atmosphere of the app has only changed minimally despite the staggering number of users now on BlueSky. There are more notable faces there, thanks to users with a broader network of connections on Twitter. We now have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Quinta Brunson, and even the accidentally no longer satirically digital media company The Onion. There are growing pains as more communities join the app through the beta invites. Some communities are seen as less than favorable as they spout anti-Trans rhetoric, but the BlueSky moderation is quick to act on reports and ban them.
I initially started writing this to note the ridiculousness of the community, such as referring to posts on the timeline as "skeets" and how we left the CEO mortified, which left us only wanting to adapt it more. I also wanted to highlight the unprecedented spike in users and traffic, but this has become an open love letter to BlueSky instead. It is still invite-only on the platform, but when I get more invites, I will continue what I started on Twitter and allow people to enter a raffle for them. If you get ahold of an invite, sign up and start skeeting. You won't be sorry that you did.
There are no happy links this week because I am trying to not tempt myself to shop while looking at my wishlists.
While we do not have any new members this week, remember that you can support me by subscribing to Patreon here.
Have a fantastic week and please be kind to yourself.