Welcome to my PinkLetter. A short, weekly, technology-agnostic, and pink newsletter where we cultivate timeless skills about web development.
It’s the end of your workday, and you got a doubt. You are lucky to have a client in a different timezone: “I’ll just drop a comment and find the answer when I wake up tomorrow”, you think.
The day after, you show up in your pyjamas with a smoking cup of coffee and feel amazed by how cool remote work is. But, as soon as you start reading the blurb the client left you, frustration starts growing:
What the hell does that mean?
I bet this happened to you several times.
Remote work by itself doesn’t make work better; it actually makes it worse, especially when migrating face-to-face activities over to Zoom. All. Day. Long.
Remote-async work is awesome, though. But it’s still not better than, it’s just different—as my grandma used to say: “you should eat a bit of everything.”
It turns out that the remote part is easy: you just don’t go to the office. But the async one is not as straightforward.
You don’t want to get blocked, neither block anybody else. So we developed a ton of tricks: Kanban boards, independent chunks of work, autonomous teams, and all those shiny things.
Except we keep forgetting about one: writing. Or I better say, we leave it aside because it’s boring as fuck. Well, at least when you start out.
Now, I’m not saying you should write a book or start a blog to improve your async communication—that would help tremendously, though.
What I recommend is to ask yourself a question before you press send: did I write all they need for their work in a clear language?
Cut Out the Middle Tier: Generating JSON Directly from Postgres by Paul Ramsey
PostgreSQL has built-in JSON generators that can be used to create structured JSON output right in the database, upping performance and radically simplifying web tiers.
Team Norming Ceremony: Build Effective Remote Collaboration from Day One by Hana Mohan
Tools such as Zoom and Slack have made remote collaboration not just manageable but downright efficient. One challenge still present is the human element of working together. Is a teammate a morning or night person? Do they prefer Slacking asynchronously or Zooming face-to-face? Are there differences in personal values amongst the team?
(Riccardo: I’ll definitely steal some for my playbook exercise.)
Reviewing your design portfolios! by Charli Marie
I hope you enjoy getting a look at some awesome viewers work, and hearing the advice I give them! My hope with this series is that even if it’s not your portfolio being reviewed you can get some useful insights that perhaps you could apply to your own design portfolio. I’m not critiquing the work in it, but rather the design and layout of your portfolio itself and looking critically at the type of work included to see if it aligns with your goals. I’d love to hear what you think of the series in the comments!
(Riccardo: Some inspiration for your own portfolio? Cause you got one, right?!)