June 2022: eating ice cream, buying furniture, throwing clay
Hey there! I can’t believe it’s already time for another monthly recap. Last month was a weird one, so this time I’m gonna focus on the good things, as random as they might seem.
Caramel all the things
Starting with… ice cream! This month I discovered a new favorite ice cream flavour from a Berliner shop called Hokey Pokey. I had been there before and can’t remember what I got, so it was a complete surprise when I ordered a (somewhat expensive) tub of their bourbon vanilla with caramel pieces one day after work.
(Yay, an image! I told you it was gonna be random.)
I have a weak spot for anything caramel, but this was another level. One of the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever had!
It’s finally hot in Berlin. Before it got that hot, we’ve had the first strawberries of the year from our balcony! Eventually they got a bit too thirsty to produce any more fruits, but it was very satisfying to see them growing and they were super tasty!
On Wednesdays we wear clay
After so many years spent in front of a computer (like most of my life?), I’ve been having this urge to do something with my hands away from the screen. Before the pandemic I did a pasta workshop and last year my partner gifted me a 2.5 hours wheel throwing workshop. I really enjoyed it, but it didn’t feel like enough time and I wanted more, so I started looking for longer courses. I spent all Wednesday evenings of June getting my hands (and pants, and shoes) dirty with clay at Blayse Ceramic. It’s been really cool to learn some basic techniques and I particularly liked being able to refine and shape the pieces after they dried. I’ve done a few cups and bowls and we have a last session in July to glaze them! I can’t wait to see how they’ll turn out and I’m already looking forward to the next course!
When we moved to the new apartment in April we had many ideas of what we could do with the new space and all the things we would like to buy. We kept trying to come up with a priority list so we could buy the most important things first. Well, at least we talked about it. And the first item on this hypothetical list was a bigger couch. But have you ever tried buying a new couch? It’s hard! Every time we go around to look for couches, we end up coming home with something else! This month it was a dining table and a couple of chairs (and plants, but we don’t count them anymore). And the ‘priority list’ is actually becoming just a thing we say when we want to pretend we have a plan. In the end, I guess you can’t really plan too much to make a home feel like home.
One of the most exciting things you hear about being a developer is going to conferences, watching good talks and meeting cool people. For someone that transitioned into this career right before the pandemic, it has been a bit of a bummer to not be able to have this experience for the past 2-and-something years. I attended and enjoyed quite a few online events during this time, but it’s a much more individual experience of consuming content, even when they try to create opportunities for networking.
So I was really happy when I found out Prisma Day was gonna happen in Berlin as a full day in person event. To be completely honest, I’ve never used Prisma and up until that day I didn’t really understand what it was, but I just wanted the experience! I got approval from my manager to take my first day off for an event and it was probably the best decision I took in May. Such good vibes, great talks and even better conversations. In the end, I learned a lot about databases and even more about Typescript, which I’ve been using more and more at work and would like to be better at. I even got a free copy of Josh Goldberg’s new book Learning Typescript! Benny Neugebauer also shared his list of Typescript errors and how to solve them and I thought that was a really cool idea. It was a real pleasure to finally be able to meet and chat with people from all over in person and I can only hope we will see each other again!
The blog post I didn’t write
Another technical thing about this month is that I spent some time extracting a React component I’ve written at work into its own repository so I can easily iterate on it and use it to demo my React skills on GitHub.
I’ve worked on this at the beginning of my journey with Klarna about 1.5 year ago, it was my first really reusable component and it’s still one of the most complex ones I had to write by myself. But extracting something from a company product ecosystem into a completely separate environment was no easy task. First I had to strip everything from other internal UI libraries and replace them with plain HTML and CSS. But the real challenge was that this component was completely relying on a GraphQL API, which is actually one of its main features.
Long story short, I learned quite a bit about Apollo and how to mock an entire GraphQL schema to be able to work in the frontend without depending on a backend that is not there. I also planned to write a technical post about it, but well, that didn’t happen (yet).
Two things worth mentioning this month:
- Severance on AppleTV. Pretty interesting take on ‘work-life balance’, I hadn’t seen such a good series in some time.
- Björk Orchestral Tour with Rundfunk Orchester Berlin @ Waldbühne. I had been to a Björk concert once in Brazil exactly 15 years ago (!), but it was at a festival with many bands that didn’t necessarily match her style, so when I saw she had a new tour with an orchestra I really wanted to see her again even though I hadn’t listened to her in some time. On top of that, I was looking for an excuse to finally go to Waldbühne for the first time! It was quite an experience, especially to listen to her music again and pay attention to lyrics that I didn’t necessarily understand before. After working for a Swedish company for almost 2 years, I particularly laughed at “I thought I could organize freedom, how Scandinavian of me!” in Hunter.
This month I finished the last one from the books I brought from Brazil: Quarto de despejo by Carolina Maria de Jesus, the real diary of a woman that lived in a favela in São Paulo in the 50s. It’s pretty raw and intense, and I think the saddest part is that it’s also still so true to the reality of today.
Other than that I’ve read a bunch of interesting samples on the Kindle, one of them being Stripe Press’ edition of The Making of Prince of Persia by Jordan Mechner which is the book version of the diary entries he published on his blog from the time he was developing the game. I thought it was quite interesting and funny to follow some of his thoughts and it’s on my list to read the whole thing.
I’ve also started on Less is More by Jason Hickel which was recommended to me by Harry and it’s been super interesting to read about the origins of capitalism but also really hard to face reality right now.
Aaaanyway, this was a long one! I'm ending this month watching the sunset from a nice balcony at the Baltic Sea and I feel very lucky to be here. I'm also quite proud that I'm keeping up with these recaps even if just for myself. If you're reading this, don't hesitate to reach out and let me know what your favorite ice cream is!
Until next month!
Written on a Thursday in June, 2022