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AI, Notion, and a multi-player code editor!?

Wow! Hacktoberfest kicked off with a bang for me. I usually hit my contributions pretty quick and then put it out of my mind, but this year I’ve been much more intentional. First, I decided that rather than 4 quick PRs, I was going to make sure my contributions used C#. I’ve used C# since it was created so it’s been fun to get back to my roots. On top of that, I’ve been mentoring a few people getting their contributions in. It’s so fun pairing with folks who are newer to the industry to find issues they’re interested in and then providing help with completing and submitting them. If I can help you during Hacktoberfest, don’t hesitate to ping me on X at @michaeljolley. Working with friends has definitely made this the best Hacktoberfest yet.

Last week I talked about my Hacktoberfest t-shirts, and someone pointed out that they discontinued that this year. After a good cry, I saw a link to a website that lists companies who are still providing swag for contributions to their repositories. If you’re interested, check it out here and get yourself some swag as you contribute to OSS!

Until next time! Michael

Interesting Finds

  • ​Playing DOOM using a guitar as a controller: I grew up with games like Wolfenstein, DOOM, and Quake. Their soundtracks were definitely the soundtracks of my pre-teen years, but this joker isn’t playing the theme of DOOM. He’s actually playing the game with a guitar. Amazing!
  • ​Notion icons: I use Notion a ton, but also love for my workspace to look good. (I know, it doesn’t make any difference, but it makes me happy.) I use these icons a ton in my workspace and it makes my work a little more enjoyable.
  • Add conversational AI to your app: Want users to be able to speak to your app to get things done? Dasha is a conversational-AI-as-a-service platform that makes it easier to add conversational AI to your app. Pretty cool.
  • ​A multiplayer code editor!?: Zed was built by the creators of Atom and Tree-Sitter and provides an IDE with pair/group programming in mind. The interface seems very inspired by VS Code, but the “social” aspect is pretty interesting. I’m not sure how much use that would get outside of teams, but I love having VS Code competitors to keep the space innovating.
  • ​Integrating Notion with an Astro site: I mentioned how much I use Notion. No seriously, I use it for everything. But I wanted to show some of the information there, like my upcoming content schedule, to show on my website built with Astro. So, I built an integration that lists the next 5 streams, YouTube videos, or blog posts on the homepage. Then I wrote a blog post to remind myself how to do it in the future.
  • ​Is dotenv dead?: I shared in a previous Brain Dump that Node.js 20.6.0 brings built-in .env file support, but shares that with a bonus way of strongly typing your environment with Zod. I love this and am already thinking of ways to use this moving forward.
  • ​VS Code September 2023 release is out: Another month, another VS Code release. This month includes better accessibility, improved grouping of command palette items, and more.
  • ​A complete guide to the CSS :has() selector: We’ve been able to select children in CSS using selectors like :nth-child(), :first-child(), etc. but finally we have access to the parents. This blog posts contains a deep dive on how you can use the new :has() selector that’s available in all popular browsers.
  • ​Template literals in JS/TS can do so much more!: I was familiar with the coolness of template literals for multi-line strings or string interpolation, but have you seen tagged templates? Holy frijole! How have I overlooked this?!

Build with Me Weekly

Thankful Thursday Highlights

I’m thankful for 2 years at PNM. IT’s been a wild ride; I’ve learned a lot; and love having this wonderful team to lean on and learn with.


I’m thankful to have those around that see my hard work and potential when others may not. That includes myself.

Mary Jo

I’m thankful I’ve made it a year after returning to Japan, life is a billion times better than before. Plus, the trains run on time.