JTK says - Issue #1
Before we dive in
I want to say up top that this was a rough week and it seems difficult to talk about non life & death things. I've heard some people express disappointment that people on Tech Twitter haven't commented more on the developments in Ukraine.
Speaking only for myself, the Russian invasion is horrifying and I have not felt that my perspective adds anything to the analysis of this complex and evolving situation. If you feel this way, I think the best we can do is trust people with more insight and look for ways to help.
This week I dove into something new to me, both book and author. I read The Book of Lost Things by Jonathan Connolly. Part twisted fairy tale, part coming of age story, the novel explores a protagonist struggling to adapt to a blended family and new half-brother in London as WWII rages.
This book was oddly timely, in that some of the central conflict revolves around betrayal, and the question of whether you would expose someone else to save yourself. In light of the horrifying news out of Texas this week the concept of informing on others was front-and-center in my mind already and gave this book an eerie added resonance.
Would I recommend it? Yes! Well worth your time. If you, like me, are tired of giving Bezos your money please check out bookshop or indiebound as an alternative.
Some of you know I used to be a recruiter! Although years and years ago at this point I still enjoy giving people resume advice, particularly career changers. I'm of the opinion that pretty much most office jobs and white collar work are trainable occupations, it can be hard to map skills from an old career to one in tech.
One thing I LOOOOVE encouraging people to do is to reverse engineer job descriptions in formulating their career-change resume.
What this looks like: For someone trying to get into Product Management and coming from a Customer Service background, I would ask them to go through Product Management jobs and take note of the tools and terms included in them. They then should map the parts of customer service that are relevant to Product Management, and reframe them using language mirroring. So this might mean something silly like that every area on your resume where you had previously talked about "customers" they are now given a bump in fanciness and are "stakeholders" (if that's the language you are seeing in all the job openings).
I would have never wanted to call myself a foodie because it sounds douchey, but as I stare into a fridge full of harissa and yuzu juice I'm kind of like....ah shit. It's happened. I've crossed over.
In subsequent weeks I am going to have full-on recipes in here but this will require me to actually uh, note down quantities and cook times and stuff I normally do not do as an inventive cook. So until I get that going, I'll leave you with some general recommendations for cool stuff that was newer to me.
Ras el Hanout is a seasoning blend I have fallen in love with. It is robust, complex, and absolutely delicious. For a quick lunch I will often take a chicken breast, salt it, and liberally season with Ras el Hanout. You can serve it with a sauce made from yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and it is to die for. Every formulation of Ras el Hanout is different, and the one I recommend is a spice shop in Oakland that will ship it to you. You can get it pretty much anywhere though. Bonus, serve it with some harissa, a spicy pepper condiment. It is divine when made from scratch but I'm normally too lazy, so Trader Joes has some I get.
Yuzu juice is something I've started using in cocktails, so far with gin. It's a type of citrus from Japan with this really complex, luscious flavor. The first experiment with it was a mix of tonic, dash of bitters, two tablespoons of yuzu juice, and a quick hit of simple syrup. DELICIOUS.
Last thing I will plug is a specific espresso-rub spice blend that I love using on steak, but it is actually worth plugging the company Spiceology as a whole - I also use their Cajun blend very often. What I like about Spiceology is that their blends have low or no salt (no amount I notice anyway) which a) lets you have more control over salt b) lets you use a fuck ton of the seasoning and get powerful flavor without anything being too salty. Below is the steak I made with their Cowboy Crust blend, crispy shallots, and blue cheese.
Brief roundup of my favorite recent tweets, for your enjoyment.
If you are a glutton for punishment and have made it to the bottom of the newsletter, you will be rewarded with bonus content from my pets, Vim & Vex (cats) and Dani (dog). Here's Vim!
Starting next issue, I want to highlight someone in tech looking for work in this section! If you know anyone who would be good to be featured please let me know.