Live Streaming Our Way to a More Welcoming Internet with Liz Phillips
Today’s guest is Liz Phillips, a software engineer, and Twitch streamer. Liz is creating an approachable, judgment-free community where software engineers of all levels can come together to learn, share, and create cool projects. She currently has a Twitch channel where she primarily codes projects from scratch while answering any questions viewers have about the process or software engineering, design, and learning in general.
Key Points From This Episode:
- The panel shares their own experiences of streaming, from remote meetings to gaming.
- Liz shares how she got into streaming, what she streams, and what she loves about it.
- The benefits of learning something, live, on the internet, and embracing the process.
- How live coding makes Liz a better pair programmer and helps her in interviews.
- Her advice for getting your streaming set up right: start incrementally and build over time.
- Why Twitch can be an intimidating place for those who aren’t familiar with it.
- Using her platform for important issues, how she has dealt with bad actors and trolls, and why she doesn’t believe in “apolitical spaces.”
- The importance of having trusted moderators in a space that can be toxic.
- The everyone-is-welcome, no-gatekeeping environment Liz tries to cultivate on her channel.
- Hear about the geolocation-based, anonymous, secret-sharing app Liz remade with Vue.
- Some of the benefits for Liz of using Vue for that project rather than React or Gatsby.
- How routing in Vue is simpler than nearly any other alternative library.
- “I want people to see what it’s like when an engineer actually sits down to work because you almost never just sit down and code for two minutes and get something working. You code for two minutes and you get stuck. Then you read some docs and then you try something else.” — @lizcodes [0:06:49]
- “I use my platform to talk about issues I think are important, because I feel it’s not worth it to have a platform if I’m not going to try to educate people or create a space to share issues. I don’t believe in apolitical spaces.” — @lizcodes [0:16:38]
- “I have a goal to try to create a no-gatekeeping environment.” — @lizcodes [0:24:48]
- ADHD Alien by Pina Varnel and ADHD Comics by Dani Donovan (Web Comics)
- Knitting, keeping my hands busy and my mind focused during meetings and videos
- Kobo, a super quality e-ink e-reader that isn't Amazon!
- TCP/IP Illustrated (Book) for learning better about how the internet works (unfortunately I think the only place to get this book at the moment is Amazon or a subscription to O'Rilley books)
- Queens Majesty Hot Sauce (Hot Sauce)
Resources Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
[00:00:10] AC: Hey, everybody and welcome to Enjoy the Vue. I’m Ari, and today on our panel, we have Tessa.
[00:00:14] T: Hello.
[00:00:17] AC: Alex.
[00:00:18] AR: Hello.
[00:00:19] AC: And today, our special guest is Liz Phillips. Liz, would you like to introduce yourself?
[00:00:25] LP: Sure. I’m Liz. Hello. I am a software engineer and I do Twitch streaming, which I think is why I’m here today.
[00:00:36] AC: All right. Just to get things started, let’s do a roundtable question. Let’s start with your own experiences streaming or, if you don’t have any, what are some of your favorite streams to watch? I’m guessing we’re talking coding streams, I don’t know. Could be anything. Tessa, would you like to start?
[00:00:56] T: Well, when you put it that way. I guess, yeah, my main experience with streaming was when everything shut down and meetups had to go remote, so I set up a Twitch stream for a view meetup. I ran a couple of times but then, after that, we somehow managed offload onto somebody else. I didn’t have to worry about it anymore. In terms of watching streams, sometimes I’ll maybe watch like with Wendy’s Craft With Me stream on YouTube, but I don’t really watch streams all that often compared to like finished videos.
[00:01:30] AC: All right, Alex.
[00:01:33] AR: Yeah. I haven’t really done very much streaming at all. I’ve streamed a couple of talks sort of as my like, here, I’m going to do a talk and here is my really rough draft of it. I do that in the open and get a bunch of people to comment on it and give me context on it as it’s happening and ask questions and I scribble stuff down. It’s really dirty. I haven’t really done very much streaming in that regard. I’ve only every done it once or twice so I have set ups for it, but I don’t use them. I do enjoy Jason Lang [inaudible 00:02:07] stream that he does, where he brings somebody on and learns about some technology and they pair program together. It’s really fun. I really enjoy watching that one.
[00:02:22] T: Nice. Yeah, that reminds me. I have seen a couple of coding streams. I saw one where Ben was streaming. Then I think I messaged him, like, “Your profile picture is covering your code,” so he try to fix it, and then I saw like 10 Bens on the screen. Then I saw one from Liz that was really cool where she did this magic trick, where there were like multiple Liz’s on the screen at once.
[00:02:44] LP: That’s one of my finest moments. Thanks for bringing that up.
[00:02:48] T: Nice.
[00:02:50] AC: I guess, I’ll go. Once upon a time, I would regularly stream on Twitch, but it was gaming. This was, oh, god, like six years ago. There are still some highlights there, on my Twitch channel, which coincidentally is @GloomyLumi. But then, I had stopped streaming for about a year and I went to coding boot camp, and I thought I might try streaming that. That happened one time, and I found that it was actually really frustrating for me to try to learn with people watching, especially when I was just really not getting the concept, and so I was already frustrated, and like people are in the chat like trying to tell me something and I’m like, “I don’t understand what you’re saying.” That ended that and I haven’t streamed since.
But that brings us to Liz who does it on the reg, so how do you get into it?
[00:03:46] LP: Yeah, I do stream. I stream, recently, it’s been twice a week. It was once a week for about two years. I’ve been streaming, it will be three years in November. So, I guess that makes it about like — that’s a weird way to count it. It was three years this past November, so over three years. I stream coding, I stream games, I’ve done a stream where I taught people how to knit. That was a big success because someone actually came out of and just like knits now and they post pictures in my Discord. They’re like —
[00:04:24] T: Oh, that’s so cool.
[00:04:24] LP: — fingerless mittens, and it’s like, “I’ve never made fingerless mittens, so great for you.” Yeah, I do kind of like whatever. I did a cooking stream for Halloween, that was really fun. I enjoy streaming, but my favorite streams to watch right now are probably cooking streams, and then my other favorite streamer is a game dub streamer named DrMikachu. She does great streams, so big shoutout to her.
[00:04:54] AC: As I mentioned, I get super frustrated when I’m trying to learn on stream. So are you just like a better person than I am or do you have particular strategies for kind of quelling the frustration?
[00:05:08] LP: Yeah. When I was first starting, I had some concerns about it, but I feel like part of the reason I wanted to stream is because — I started streaming probably like a year and a half after I had been working as an engineer. After coding bootcamp, I got hired and I was working for like maybe a year and a half. I just realized that — because my background is actually in theater design. I have two degrees.
[00:05:38] AC: Alex is waving his arms.
[00:05:41] LP: With like theater, live entertainment design, I started doing some graphic design and stuff like that. My whole life I was like, “Oh!” The only class I almost ever failed was like precalculus and chemistry and I wasn’t super strong in math, it’s like I’m not a technical person, I’m an art person. Then I went to coding bootcamp because I was like, the internet is cool and whatever. This is a really long answer to your question.
[00:06:08] T: It’s a great answer.
[00:06:09] AR: It is a great answer.
[00:06:12] LP: Thank you. I just realized when I was in coding bootcamp that I was like, “Yes, I’m sure it comes more naturally to some people than others, but like this whole like art science or like art technology dichotomy is just like completely false. It’s a skill that you can learn, just like you can learn anything else.”
Even though I often like don’t have the answers or I work on things very slowly on stream, I have a lot of partially finished projects, but like it was part of my mission to be like, “I am going to learn this on the internet, live, because I want people to see what it’s like when an engineer actually sits down to work because you almost never just sit down and code for two minutes and get something working. You code for two minutes and you get stuck. Then you read some docs and then you try something else, and then that doesn’t work and so you look at different docs. Now, you look at Stack Overflow,” then whatever.
It’s always been my mission to never do the like cooking show where it’s like, “First, you do this and then let me open this file and here’s the finished project.” Like I don’t want to do, like, the now draw the rest of the horse. It’s different. There are some people who like really bright out like every single thing that they’re doing or there are people who have like courses kind of, where they are going through – like, they just know 100% like this is what you’re going to do because they have a project that they’ve kind of already done.
Those people are also really great. It’s just, for me, I didn’t see as many people who are like, I’m just going to try to build as much of this on stream. That’s what I always try to do. I have found that I can I keep more momentum on projects if I try to work on it off stream, because I don’t always feel like being on the internet, but I do have things I want to get done. So, sometimes, just recently, I will start doing things off of stream. But usually, I’ve just like picked a project, just been like, “I’m going to do this on stream.” Sometimes I don’t finish. Most of the time I don’t finish, but I’m just going to sit there and do my best and learn it. But the short answer is, I don’t think I’m a better person than you.
[00:08:27] AC: Yeah, no. For me, like started as a gaming streamer, I felt like this need to like continue interacting or like commentating on what I was doing. My brain does not work that way. If I’m coding, I am silent. I am in my head and that’s that. Do you think that it makes you a better developer having to verbalize what you’re doing?
[00:08:55] LP: I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say that it makes me a better developer. I will say that it makes it very — it’s a very handy skill that I’ve developed partially from streaming to interview, because that’s what they want.
[00:09:08] AC: I bet, yeah.
[00:09:10] LP: The point of an interview is to be like, “What are you thinking? What are you doing? Why are you doing that?” But there are also techniques for getting around that, where you — I tell people for interviews, like, if you’re one of those people that has to sit there and think it through before you can verbalize your thoughts, then think it through and then say, “I was just thinking that I was going to do this, this, this, and this.” Then like, “Now, I need to think about it some more.”
I think that also works, like there’s lots of different streamers, and lots of different coding streamers. Like there are people who are a lot more quiet. There are lots of reasons to watch a stream and it isn’t just because this person is talking about code. I think the bigger streamers that you see are the louder personalities, who are yelling or screaming or, like, all over the place. I’m more of a reserved person, so that is something to, like, for me to personally combat is to be like, like I’m not a big personality though. I’m never going to have a big stream. It’s fine.
People will watch or they won’t, but yeah, I don’t think it makes me a better developer. I do think it makes me a really good pair programmer and it does help me in interviews.
[00:11:07] LP: I mean, yeah, that’s just didn’t sound very fair. Because I know every day, or I can decide, like I can decide – I have all the control or I should, like if I have my set up correct. I have all the control in what is happening on the stream. I’m never going to be like, “Oh! I didn’t know I was going to do UI today.” I would also be like flabbergasted in that situation, because I get to decide, either the day of or the day before or the week before, however long like, “Oh! I think I’m going to do some like UI design next week,” or I can wake up or even during the middle of the stream and be, like, I’m not feeling it. I’m going to play games instead and I can just decide to do that. I mean, I’m sure it helps like with learning how to handle some unpredictability, but you still have so much more control than you do in an interview.
[00:12:06] T: That makes sense. You mentioned like getting your set up right. That was one thing I found really hard the two times that I had to open OBS. How did you learn all the technologies that you needed if they were new to you? Or do you have any — have you written any resources that maybe can help other people get started if they’re interested in trying streaming?
[00:12:28] LP: I’m not a big vlogger, I think that’s partially why I like doing Twitches, because the time that it takes to do it – or I spend not very much time prepping. Like, I might go through a spurt where I’m like, “I’m going to try to improve one thing before my stream, every stream this month.” But, yeah, usually, I like streaming because it’s like, I’m going to do the work on the stream. I’m not going to edit a video. I’m not going to write a script. I’m not going to publish a blog post.
Yeah, I’m not a big vlogger. so I don’t have like a vlog to point to be like, “Here’s my streaming set up.” So yeah, I do have a Twitter thread that’s more about like how to use Twitch as a viewer. But OBS and getting all those things set up, I feel like I just — I did it slowly over time. Like, first, I just had my video. Actually, I streamed without a video for a long time. It was just my screen. Then I got a video camera, then I got a nice microphone and, now, I have two tiny ring lights and, now, I have a bunch of overlays and, like, I have a little stream deck with 15 buttons on it. I would say, like, incrementally, do it a little bit at a time. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time you do it. But yeah, that Twitter thread that I meant to link and I did not.
Actually, I was just curious and I made a Twitter poll earlier this week where I was like, “Hey! People who don’t use Twitch, why don’t you use Twitch?” Most people said they just weren’t interested, which, that’s fine. Then the other options were like, “I had a bad experience. Isn’t that place toxic?” or “I don’t know how, like I just don’t know how to do.”
[00:14:16] T: I think that was my vote.
[00:14:19] LP: Yeah. It’s really like intimidating place, like, to be totally honest. It is not user-friendly and they also lean really hard into like video games side, which I think is such a shame, because there’s so much other stuff that happens on Twitch. But yeah, they really do like lean into Twitches for gaming. That is also an intimidating factor, because the culture around gaming is pretty intimidating and toxic.
[00:14:52] AC: I know that is used to be that people would report you if you were streaming like anything other than video games, or something like that kind of went away and they started to cater to creatives. But yeah, no, people are used with that. When I would just be like, “Okay. I’m done gaming for the night. Let’s stop, guys.” They were like, “I’m going to report you.” I’m like, “Go ahead, have fun.”
[00:15:16] LP: Wow! Yeah. I feel like that doesn’t happen quite as often anymore, because there are so many other categories. Sometimes people are like, “Oh! I’m going to mark my stream as science and technology.” Sometimes I do this, where it’s like, today I’m designing. I’m not really coding anything. I just want to do a whole tech design document. I’m still going to put in science and technology because it’s related to science and technology, but I don’t know what would happen if somebody reported me for doing that.
[00:15:48] AC: I don’t think anything ever really happens, because reporting on the internet doesn’t do anything.
[00:15:55] LP: Yeah.
[00:15:58] AC: So, being that it is the internet, do you ever have experiences with, let’s say bad actors coming into your chat and how do you handle it?
[00:16:07] LP: I have been fortunate so far, knock on wood or knock on IKEA formica, that most of the bad actors or just spam, whatever. I have people drop in there like, “Want to increase your views?” and like every other word is like capital lowercase, like, “Click here,” and I report it. But yeah, I don’t have that much. The biggest problems I have is, last year, when like — I use my platform to talk about issues I think are important, because I feel it’s not worth it to have a platform if I’m not going to try to educate people or create a space to share issues. I don’t believe in apolitical spaces.
Last year when BLM was kind of coming to like more prominence, I was talking a little bit about it with the protests and everything, on my stream, and I had somebody who had been in my stream multiple times, like, started arguing with me. So, I ended up banning them. I don’t know, things like that happen more often, where someone’s like, “Why don’t you just —” I had someone come in actually while I was doing Vue stuff, which I thought was funny because I feel like Vue as a community is generally like a little less aggro than React.
[00:17:30] AC: We like to think though.
[00:17:32] T: Hope so. Fingers crossed.
[00:17:35] LP: But I’ve been doing mostly React streams, and then I started doing Vue stuff, and someone came in, and I was following the Getting Started on the Vue website, and someone was just like, “This is not how you really write Vue.” I was like, “It’s on the website. This is the official Vue website.” They were like, “Yeah, I know, but that’s not how it’s done.” I was like, “Okay. Will you either have to stop saying that or you have to give me a link. Just tell me something about how to do it ‘correctly.’” I don’t know. I understood where they were going because they wanted me to do like composition, like component, like composition or whatever. They were like, “This is how it’s written in production,” or whatever and I was like, “Okay.” I was just like, “You have to stop. We’re not talking about this anymore.” That’s mostly the problems that I have, is just like people coming in, and instead of being like, “Oh! Wow! Have you tried this or that?” They’re just like, “Do this.”
I’ve been trying to grow as a person and have like better boundaries to be just like, “No. Don’t bring it up again. We’re not doing that today.” Yeah, I luckily have not had like the worst trolls, but I also have like a pretty small stream. I think that makes it less likely that someone’s going to come and just cause problems, because there’s not very much of an audience for them.
I did get followed botted one time, which is when someone sets up a botnet of accounts, I guess. I don’t know if that’s the right word. They just like send them all to follow you all at once. If you have any alerts that are usually nice, so that when new people follow you, it’s like, “Bring! Tessa just joined your group.” I’m like, “Wow, thanks, Tessa.” Instead of that, it just goes, like, “Bring! Bring! Bring!” like over and over again, like 100,000 or 10,000 times or whatever because they just 10,000 bot accounts to follow you. That happened to me one time. But yeah, not that much bad things have happened in three plus years of streaming.
[00:19:46] AC: Yeah, I had someone buy followers for me once. It was done in a way that lake it was over like a couple days. At first, like I thought it was legit and then I was like, “No, that’s not legit.” Then it was really disappointing.
[00:20:03] LP: Yeah, it definitely hurts to be like, “Wow, my father account when up so much.” It’s like, “No, it didn’t.”
[00:20:11] AC: I was legit mildly crushed by that.
[00:20:15] LP: Well, Twitch has this thing that they were trying to do that’s kind of like an end of your round up about your stream stats, which I actually still haven’t gotten mine, so I don’t really understand what their rollout is or if you had to be above a certain amount or something, I don’t know. Because not every got theirs at once, but people who had been follow botted, sometimes there’s stat for like, “You’ve gained this many followers.” It would just be like negative, because they had been like follow botted and then they got taken away. For some reason, the math like didn’t add up.
[00:20:48] AC: Well, I’m glad to hear that you haven’t had that many negative experiences. I wish I could say the same. I’m hoping that perhaps the Twitch community has matured a bit since I was streaming because this was several years ago. The fact that it was primarily gaming as you mentioned, that is a much more toxic community than tech, though I don’t know, appealing. There are areas that are comfortable, but —
[00:21:15] T: It’s a tough competition. I feel like we have somebody on this episode who has experience getting into moderation for larger communities. I could be wrong, but if there were someone like that, I would be interested in what they would have to say about this conversation.
[00:21:33] AC: I will say that my moderators were my lifeline.
[00:21:37] AR: Yeah. Having done moderation for several communities now, it’s been definitely interesting. I’ve never been a moderator for Twitch, so I have no experience with that, so I cannot speak to that at all. But yeah, Liz, do you have moderators? Do you have group of trusted individuals that you’re like, “Okay. Cool. If I’m busy and don’t notice things, like to care of stuff or — ?”
[00:22:08] LP: Yeah, I have a few moderators. Some of them are automatically trustworthy because one is my partner and one is my brother. But I do have a few others, like there’s been a couple of people who have just been in my stream so much, and they’ve always been super helpful, and they hang out with me and chat off and on for like a year or something. I’m just like, “Hey! Do you want to be a mod? Because you’re here all the time anyway. Would you like that?” I’ve had two or three people say yes to that. If they’re there, they’re a mod.
But yeah, I don’t know, my chat — I have a lot of people, some of whom I know, like from off of Twitch, who don’t even code, they just turn it on the background just to like hang out. Or as we say in the Twitch community, that lurkers are the backbone of Twitch. Yeah. I have people who do that. I feel like I have the people who are like ride or die, who are like there a lot, are like so chill that it really helps that it’s fostering a nice chill community. There just hasn’t been that much modding that has had to be done in the channel. But, yeah, I do have mods, but they haven’t had to like do a lot.
[00:23:32] AC: Yeah, my worst experience I think by far – I don’t know, toss it between stalker to this one. But someone posted on 4chan to raid my chat. Me, being the stubborn person I am, wasn’t going to log off like what they clearly were trying to get me to do. Instead, I’m sitting there like frantically texting my moderators to be likely, “Please come online,” because I think I only had like one in my chat at the time. I was like, “Oh my God! Oh my God!” It was terrible. The quality of people who come from 4chan is just so amazing.
[00:24:07] T: What does it mean to raid a chat?
[00:24:09] AC: They just come in and like post like horrible things.
[00:24:12] T: Oh, my goodness.
[00:24:13] AC: Yeah. It was everything I could do to keep my composure while it was happening, because it was really honestly terrible, like just saying things that should never be said to anyone, very explicit things. And, yeah, trying to continue playing Dragon Age: Inquisition while that was happening was not easy.
[00:24:33] T: Yeah. I mean, speaking of toxic comments. Liz, I’m curious what kind of environment or vibes, I guess, you try to cultivate on your channel and what motivates that?
Yeah, those are the type of vibes I try to put out there, just chill and everyone is welcome, no matter what level you’re at. I always tell people they can ask whatever questions they want and I’ll try to answer. If I can’t, I usually point them towards like my Twitter or my Discord and I’ll be like, “If you join my Discord and you ask me in there, like I’ll get an answer for you during the week,” or “If you tweet at me, I’ll try to get a code bin together for you to try to help you out.” If it’s something that just like really going to derail everything we’re working on. Like if I’m trying to learn Vue and they’re like, “What’s pass by reference?” I’m like, “I can help you with that but I can’t do it right now.”
[00:26:19] T: Yeah. I’d love to hear more about this Vue project and how that’s been going, aside from that one person who — it’s a shame they didn’t share their contact info, because like we just want to talk.
[00:26:34] AC: Yeah, just a little chat.
[00:26:37] LP: Come outside for a second. My friends just want to talk to you.
[00:26:40] AC: We’re super nice.
[00:26:45] LP: Yeah. I was doing this. I have a project. Like I said, I start and stop stuff all the time, but there is a project that I actually did when I was in coding bootcamp that – I try not to rebuild things, because I feel like you just end up — like, you don’t end up learning that much, or like I get bored really fast. But I really liked this idea and I want it to be out there in the world. I made like a very simple version that doesn’t really work anymore. That is a geolocation-based, anonymous, secret sharing app. What that means is the idea of it is that you would go on to the site, you do have some kind of login, but that login isn’t tied to like any identifying information.
Based on where you are in the world at that moment, you can like type out a little bit of text, like a tweet-sized amount of text and you can leave it at that location. Then only people who are within like a certain radius of that location will be able to see that secret. I just think that’s a really cool idea. I’ve heard people be like, “Oh, like Yik Yak?” I’m like, “Yeah, I guess, but it’s not like live chatting.” It’s like geocaching but for like a little piece of digital ephemera. Yeah, that’s the idea, so I made that.
I don’t even think it was with React. It may have been like a templating library or something like Handlebars or whatever. I wanted to remake that with Vue and some other backend services, like Netlify. This is something that we can add to the notes, I guess, like the repository. I try to make everything I build on stream open source, so people can follow along or learn things from what I worked on. We can put a link to the repository if people are interested in looking at it. Because it has like a plan, like some amount of technical design. I’m trying to remember what’s in there right now. There’s not that much.
There might be like the very like outline of the beginning of a Vue app and maybe some other resources installed for like user management or something like that. But yeah, it’s very early. Then with the new year, I decided to start working on something else, but I want to go back to that project. Hopefully I’ll be like in the middle of that when this episode airs. I’m going to put that out into the universe and then I’ll have to do it.
[00:29:16] AC: We’ll give you heads up before, so that you can make it look like you just happened to be that great.
[00:29:24] T: Nice. What lead you to choose Vue for the new project and how have you been finding that experience coming from what sounds like mostly a React background?
[00:29:36] LP: I had done a few projects with the React and Gatsby, which Gatsby is good at some things when it doesn’t work, it’s pretty frustrating to debug. I think anybody who’s into Gatsby will tell you that. I made a personal site, which is actually still not published because I wanted to add a couple accessibility things. But I made a personal site and I did the whole thing on stream. It’s the closest I’ve come to like finishing a whole project, and I went to go publish it with — why did I just forget the name? I always forget the name of that thing.
But anyway, I went to go publish it and it was supposed to be really easy, like just connect to the repo, push the branch, and it should just build it and host it, and it will be done.
[00:30:27] T: Heroku?
[00:30:29] LP: Maybe it was Netlify. Does Netlify do static site hosting?
[00:30:33] AR: Yeah.
[00:30:34] T: Yep.
[00:30:35] LP: Okay. I think it was Netlify. I got all set up, and I push the branch and I was like, “It’s building,” and then it was like, the build is broken. I was like, “Why is the build broken?” I went to my local machine and I build prod and it’s broken. I had no idea how long it had been like that. I had don’t know like at what point it was broken, why it doesn’t build, there’s not really any errors you can follow. I did end up getting it working with help from some Discord communities I was in, and a lot, like hours of just like going in and changing one thing and seeing if that was the thing that broke it. But I was like, “I need to try something new, like I’m tired of this React Gatsby stack, I need just like a new thing that I want to try.”
I had tried Vue a little at one point, and it was, like, I remember how easy the set up was. It was just like, add this to the, import this with the CDN and html file, and it was like, Vue is there. You could just write a component, like right there. I was like, “That seems easier.” I want something that’s a little easier, because React is such — there so much boilerplate. Like create React app. I don’t know the numbers off the top my head, but it’s huge. I think that’s a huge package and it put so much in there, and you have to set up so much to get a React app working. I wanted something that was like quick, that was going to be quick to set up.
[00:32:09] T: Yeah. I always forget until I get like an interview or something that I’m told it’s going to be in React how much overhead there is to just getting the base app running, compared to like Vue or Angular.
[00:32:25] AC: Yeah. I mean, even Angular has a nice CLI. Granted, Angular projects are at least back in the days to be huge. Though I hear they’re much better now.
[00:32:35] LP: I haven’t messed with Angular that much.
[00:32:38] AC: I haven’t since Angular 2 had just been released.
[00:32:43] T: I think when I started, I had thought that Angular 2 had just come out. But as I was trying to cram a class on Udemy, it became 4, like in the middle of the two days that I was looking at the class.
[00:32:59] AC: They went from 2 to 4 pretty quickly, and then after that, it just accelerated. But yeah, I started using the Angular CLI when it was release candidate one, so there was not a lot of documentation and that did not end well for my Capstone project. Eventually, I got it working, but, oh, my God, so much frustration getting there.
[00:33:22] AR: I definitely, I think, being able to just drop Vue onto a page and being able to us it has been extremely beneficial for teaching others as well, being able to just go, “Okay, cool. Don’t worry about a build process. We’re just going to drop this in, use that, and get going. We’ll figure out how to make you a build process later, and then we’ll transfer everything over, it will be fine.” It’s very helpful and the Vue CLI also has been lovely now that that exists, especially since the version 3 came out.
[00:34:03] T: I do find that super nice, but at the same time, it’s like, whenever I forget something really foundational, something that you’ll have to do early on in your Vue journey. Then I look at the docs and it’s trying to decipher if something is referring to the CDN import or if it’s referring to the CLI app. At least for me, that’s really confusing. I’m not sure if that’s the case for you, Liz. Ari is nodding.
[00:34:31] AC: I’ve definitely been there. I’m like, “Wait! Is this — ugh!”
[00:34:35] LP: I remember like most of the Getting Started or maybe all of it, I think there’s like one part at the end the last time I was looking at the Getting Started docs that tells you like how to get set up for a server-side rendering site, instead of loading it into the frontend and doing it there. Yeah. So I do remember feeling, like, “Wait! This is nice, but how do I do it the other way?”
[00:35:07] T: Yeah. Another thing that I’m curious about is I feel like I remember reading one of the things that differentiates Vue from a project like React, is that there’s a lot of built-in or officially part of the core group of Vue technologies, like the router and the store and the SSR options and other stuff. I’m not sure what the one-to-one mapping is like with React, but I’m curious how that experience has been for you, if you’ve been trying out any of those things or planning out to try out any of those things?
[00:35:37] LP: Like routing and stuff? Is that what you said?
[00:35:40] T: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:42] LP: Yeah. I mean, the project that I’m going to get back to is going to have to have — it’s probably going to use some amount of routing, because there’s different views and pages you’re going to go to. I have not used any of it yet, but I mean, React routing is kind of a mess.
There’s two main libraries that people use, they’re both very opinionated, and I don’t know. I find it to be confusing every time I have to go in and work on routing. It’s just like very overwhelming. I’m really interested to see how different Vue is or how similar it is, I don’t know, but I haven’t touched it at all, so I don’t feel like I have an opinion on it.
[00:36:29] AC: I think it’s easy to use, but my previous experience with routing was mostly, like, Angular 1.5, which that was a mess.
[00:36:42] T: I think it’s confusing to use, but that’s because I almost never do routing. So every time I have to do like one ticket and routing, it’s like —
[00:36:50] AC: Yeah. Because yeah, I barely touched routing in my last job. But since we’re actually building a new app at my current job, I’ve had to touch it a lot more. I mean, yeah, I would say routing in general is always kind of intimidating at first. But I would say that once you master the basic concepts, it’s not too bad, and then you can kind of expand and do more advanced features as you go. It’s a very Vue approach.
[00:37:21] T: Yeah. I think the last time I had to do some routing, I was giving a talk on [inaudible 00:37:26] so I didn’t actually have to do any routing because it’s very rails-esque where you just give it a filename, and then it will create the routes for you. But I feel like some of the talks I’ve heard Alex give where he’ll touch on routing. I’m like, “Oh! I have no idea what that’s about. That sounds very hard.”
[00:37:46] AR: Having come from a background – I started off doing more like backend type stuff. So the number of times that I’ve had to make redirect files and modify apache configs and stuff, which is a web server, the routing in Vue is so much simpler than any of that, that it is a breath of fresh air compared to attempting to do stuff on the server. I’m all for it. I like routing.
I’ve definitely had to do some weird things with routing and you can, so it’s very powerful if you want to get into like the bones of it. But yeah, I think overall, I find it to be pretty straightforward to set up.
[00:38:36] AC: I’m also really interested to do, like I’ll need a form, like at least one form. If not, a couple forms for my app, so I’m really interested to see forms. Because I also think form libraries in React are mess. I feel like there’s a chance that there’s going to be a lot of angry React people like in my Twitter mentions when this comes out. Although, React people probably don’t listen to this podcast.
[00:39:03] T: Yeah, I don’t think they listen to the podcast.
[00:39:05] AC: Good.
[00:39:06] AR: Maybe that’s how we’ll market the episode. “Hey! React people.”
[00:39:10] T: Come @GloomyLumi. Yes, this is neither here nor there, but I mean, this is kind reminding me like, Alex, I need to ask you. Well, I can explain how you get to this connection. You were talking about routing and ease-of-use, and I was like, “I wonder how this compares to your experience with audio engineering?” Then I was like, “I need to remember to ask Alex to show me over under cable wrapping because I’ve never been able to get the hang of it.”
[00:39:36] LP: I love over under cable wrapping. Theater kids unite.
[00:39:40] AR: Yay! Yeah, I did theater professionally for 15 years, so that is — then, I jumped ship.
[00:39:46] T: Yeah, of course. I was curious how your background in theater and production has informed your experiences in tech and streaming?
[00:39:57] LP: Yeah. So, one is communication. Theater is very collaborative and to get things done, you have to talk to people, you have to talk to people you don’t like. You have to talk to people you do like. You have to make deals with people to try to figure out how to get enough money to get the cool stuff you want and you have to talk to — I don’t know. You have to talk to tons of people on theater and be able to communicate what you want from very far away or things you can touch or anything like that.
I feel like that helps me as a collaborator in coding because that’s one thing that I feel gets really undersold is how much being a good communicator makes you an effective engineer, and a design background. So, for undergrad, I went to art school and I had to take color theory, and composition, and 2D and 3D design. I mean, art history, you name it, I took it for my undergrad degree. That’s another thing that I feel like engineers, it’s really easy for the types of people to get drawn to engineering, like stereotypically, just don’t have a lot of arts education. I’m talking very generally, but like the stereotypical engineer doesn’t have an arts background.
I see little bickering, arguments or very egocentric disagreements that happen between designers and engineers sometimes when the designer is like, “This engineer doesn’t understand like how important my design is.” When a designer makes something, everything that’s on that page is there for a reason. Everything that’s in that document, the color of it, the size of it, roundness of the buttons, the lack of roundness of the buttons, the drop shadows, like everything was tweaked and obsessed over for however long to come up with this design, and there’s a reason for it. Then the engineer is like, “It’s good enough.” Like, “I have X number of things to do, I got I it close enough, the colors is close enough, the spacing is close enough. Like, don’t you understand how long it takes to do this? Or how difficult it is, or how much I’m going to have to rebuild to make that work?”
It’s like, both things are valid, but they need to come into balance. Coming to a designer’s work as an engineer, being like, “Talk to me about how important this is,” or like, “Is this close enough?” Instead of just assuming like, “Wow! You’re being really sensitive about two pixels.” It’s like, “No. I want to be respectful to you. Let me let you know. To do this, I’m going to have to go in and rebuild the whole button library so that we can have three different sizes as opposed to the two that we already had. Is it important enough to you that it’s going to be another three days of work? Are you going to use this button in the future? Can we use a button we already had?”
Conversations like that have really helped me also, just like coming to the designers. Having some idea, having done visual design work, of how much work went into that, and why they must have decided things have to look a certain way is just really helpful.
[00:43:17] T: Yeah. I feel like design work and development work is very similar and that both are in the arena of problem solving. But a lot of times, design isn’t seen that way from the outside. People just think of it as making things look pretty, which isn’t really the purpose of design. It’s also interesting, your comments on art history, because I only had to take a couple of required base level art history classes. I feel like, even in those, which were mostly memorizing paintings and dates, we had more discussion of the impact that the things that you make can have on the world and the messages that they send, and the ethics and morals of it than I have day to day in tech.
[00:44:02] LP: Yeah. You can look at companies like, I mean, that only one that’s coming to mind currently is just Apple. Like, Apple, part of the reason that Apple is the monolith that it is is because of the design of the products and the cohesiveness of their design across their website, and their operating system, and their devices. It can be really powerful and really important. So, it’s just really important come to something with that, that idea of that. The designer did all of this for a reason. There’s probably not something on here that was just thrown in, like, it’s probably not true.
[00:44:46] T: Yeah, that’s a good point and kind of, like, same idea, different approach. I also really appreciate the kind of chaotic neutrality of Samsung, where they’re just like, “We’re going to try a bunch of different things. Maybe one of them will be popular, maybe not,” but it seems fun and I really like that.
[00:45:03] AC: Yeah. Like every Samsung device looks different.
[00:45:07] T: Yeah. They’re like, “What if we fold it this way? Okay. The other way.” Like, it’s a Twitter meme, will a phone fold this way or that way? I don’t know. Anyway.
[00:45:17] AC: How would a phone wear a shoe?
[00:45:19] LP: Oh ,no!
[00:45:21] T: They actually, for the Galaxy buds — I forgot what it’s called. The one that don’t like completely block your ear canal. They actually did make these little silicone socks that go over the tips if it doesn’t have a good fit. I’ll link to a video where you can see them in the show notes.
[00:45:42] AC: I missed that one. Now, if people want to find you on the Internet, where can they find you, Liz?
[00:45:49] LP: My Twitter is @lizcodes and my Twitch channel is twitch.tv/illuminatedspace.
[00:46:07] AC: All right. Let’s move onto picks. Who’s going to go first? Tessa?
[00:46:14] T: No! I touched my nose first.
[00:46:18] AC: Oh! I don’t play that game, so —
[00:46:22] LP: Unless we’re streaming on Twitch.
[00:46:25] T: Okay. I think this one has been picked before, but I finally played or started playing Baba Is You. I don’t know that I enjoy it, but it is interesting to try and figure out the puzzle. I feel like I don’t know if I enjoy it, because it kind of feels like I’m doing work. It kind of feels like I’m coding, but I’m supposed to be playing a game. But yeah, it’s interesting to play around with the different rules and try to figure out a way to solve a problem. Yeah. I think the reason I’m ambivalent is because, as I’m saying it out loud, I’m realizing it reminds me of algorithms interviews, where you just have to find the route for a solution, and then you think about like, “Well, could I have done it in a nicer way?” But that’s the game I’ve been playing, yep.
I think I had another pick but it went out of my mind because I wasn’t expecting to go first, so that’s my pick for the week.
[00:47:20] AC: Sounded like a ringing endorsement. All right! Alex?
[00:47:28] AR: My pick this week, it’s a slight deviation from my picks of the past. Recently, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a new raspberry pi called the Raspberry Pi Pico. It is a four-dollar microcontroller board. It looks super cool. It’s very bare-bones and it’s meant for like making electronics projects and stuff like that. That is my pick for this week, because it sounds really cool and I really, really want one.
[00:48:08] T: That’s super awesome.
[00:48:09] AC: Hint hint. No.
[00:48:11] T: I mean, that’s what I heard.
[00:48:13] AR: Hopefully this will be going out close to my birthday.
[00:48:18] T: I also remembered my other pick. That reminded me, even that has nothing to do with Alex’s pick. It’s this book called [Inaudible 0:48:23]. I haven’t read through all of it, but I thought it was interesting. It reminded me of what Liz mentioned about boundaries, because the idea is that somebody is asking you a question but they’re not actually asking you a question. When you’re having a conversation with somebody and you’re annoyed at something that they said, but they didn’t actually say it. So, the idea is, what if you could put it into a question, would you find it acceptable or not? That’s how you can like kind of feel out what your boundaries are if you’re not sure.
[00:48:53] AC: I’m going to pretend I understood that.
[00:48:56] T: Sorry.
[00:48:57] AC: I guess I’ll just have to read the book, which we all know I won’t. All right. Liz, do you have any picks for us?
[00:49:05] LP: Yeah, I put a lot of picks, but I don’t have to do all of them.
[00:49:09] AC: You can do all of them if you want.
[00:49:12] LP: Okay. I was going to shoutout ADHD Alien and ADHD Comics, which I found through Twitter, for pushing me to try to get an ADHD evaluation this year, because I’m pretty sure I’m undiagnosed ADHD. Yeah, I don’t know if anyone is familiar with those.
[00:49:35] AC: Yes. As someone who was diagnosed at age 9.
[00:49:40] AR: Similarly, I keep on getting them and sending them to my wife and being like, “Hey! Look at this one,” and she’s like, “I don’t understand.” I’m like, “I know.”
[00:49:54] T: Because I see all of them and I’m like, “Oh! I totally get it.” I didn’t realize there are people who didn’t get it.
[00:50:00] LP: Okay. That’s what happened to me. I was on a team at a previous job where we were looking at one, and it was like, there were four of us or five of us. And four of us were like, “Oh, yeah. Like I identify with that,” but I just figured most people do. It’s just like, if you have ADHD, it must be like to an extent I don’t understand. Then one person on our team was like, “I don’t identify with that at all.” The two of us were that were like not diagnosed ADHD were like, “Are we ADHD?” So, yeah, that started me on a journey.
[00:50:37] T: Nice.
[00:50:38] LP: Another pick that I had was just knitting in general, possibly related to ADHD, but I found if I knit while I’m watching like videos or in meetings for work that I actually focus on the meeting. So I love knitting and I added a link in there that was like Twosome Learn to Knit Kits.
For Christmas, I got a Kobo, which is like a Kindle, but it’s not Amazon. It’s actually really nice, and I wanted to shout that out because I don’t know if people know that there is really nice e-ink readers that aren’t Kindles. This one, I got it for Christmas like I said, and I think of when we charged it once. So, it’s really nice and it’s like water resistant, because I like reading in the bath, if that is appropriate for your podcast.
[00:51:33] T: It’s fine. I’m just flashing back to an episode where I was talking about — we had somebody talking about reading a book in a stream or something, like a river stream and I thought he was saying that he is putting a book in a Ziploc bag, and I was really stressing out about like how he would turn the pages.
[00:51:52] AC: It’s Chris, right?
[00:51:52] T: Yeah. But Kobo also has a really nice price match guarantee, which I use all the time. It’s great.
[00:52:01] LP: Yeah. I’m really digging that thing. Another one – I feel like I’m just going on and on about random things.
[00:52:10] T: That’s great.
[00:52:11] LP: Okay. I threw on here this book that I’ve been reading a little bit because I’m trying to learn more about security stuff, and this book was recommended, called TCP/IP Illustrated, which is a thousand pages just about how the internet works, like literally how stuff gets from one place to another over the internet. I’m not a big text book or non-fiction reading person, but with my knitting trick, I’ve been trying to read a little bit.
[00:52:39] T: What weird trick?
[00:52:39] LP: Try this one weird trick to read –
[00:52:43] AC: I have never thought about trying to read while knitting, because yeah, in high school, the only way I could pay attention to class is if I was knitting. But I have to try that.
[00:52:53] LP: Yeah, highly recommended. But yeah, the book is considered the standard kind of, for learning about TCP/IP, which is the protocol that we transmit stuff over the internet mostly. So, yeah, that book, I mean, you can’t beat it really.
Then my last pick was for Queens Majesty Hot Sauce, which I just ordered like a sampler pack of. I really like spicy food and I was like, “2021 is the year I’m going to get into hot sauce.” I asked a Twitter’s resident hot sauce expert and she gave me some suggestions.
[00:53:29] T: Is it Sher?
[00:53:30] AC: Guess who it was?
[00:53:30] LP: Yeah, it was Sher. Of course, it will be Sher. It’s really, really tasty. My favorite one is, one that is red habanero and black coffee. There are three of them in there, but that one, it’s like, every time I’m like, which one of these three do I want to put in my food? I keep just going for that one and I’m going to run out soon, so yeah, it’s very good.
[00:53:56] T: Nice. I feel like between your hot sauce and Alex’s salt, like we need to start requiring guests to bring on a condiment so we could just have the best tasting food.
[00:54:05] AC: Speaking of Alex’s salt, I did end up ordering some sampler packs and I will vouch for it. I’m not technically picking it, because I don’t want to have to drop in in the show notes. So, we really have like really strict formatting rules now, that I’m just like, “Fewer picks are better.”
[00:54:23] T: Well, someone is salty.
[00:54:27] AC: I’m lazy. ADHD, come on. Honestly, I have really severe ADHD. I’m on max dose of meds and it still not quite working, but that’s neither here or there. It means it’s my turn. I’m going to pick a standup special by a Comedian whom I have picked one of her specials before. It is Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette. I will that this one is not your typical standup special and that there are moments in it that are not funny, but in the best way. I laughed and I cried. We’ll put it that way. Also, since we are talking about art history, there’s a fair amount of art history in [inaudible 00:55:09].
[00:55:09] T: Wow! It’s so good.
[00:55:11] AC: Yeah. Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, which you can find on Netflix. I believe that, with that, that means that is all for this week. Until next time, Enjoy the Vue.