Mark Smith’s Newsletter - Saturday 21st November, 2020

Jamstack, Serverless Wordpress, End of Year IPOs, NodeJS Architectures, Apple M1 chip, Message Queues, Writing tech books, Podcasts and more...

Hello and welcome to the first edition of my newsletter!

This is the place where I curate some of the best javascript / tech / web development links that I’ve published to my long running linkblog over the past week.

That’s the general theme, but I sometimes add other things too when I find something cool.

Putting together this first edition has been really fun and I’m already dreaming up ideas of how to streamline the process with some GitHub Actions workflows.

That’s just how I’m wired :)

I’m pretty much just using the default substack newsletter settings but I might change things up later down the line.

I hope you enjoy the links!

Special mentions

  • 20000 Hz Podcast is in need of some funding, it’s really one of the best podcasts on the internet, I think you will love it, give it a listen 

  • I’m also looking for funding! If you or anyone in your network is looking for web development services, consider hiring me :)

  • Consider becoming a sponsor of the newsletter by emailing me and / or a patreon of my linkblog

Stuff from me

🚀 I’ve just re-organised the tags on my blog so it’s easier to find articles

🚀 New Post: Mozilla MDN Docs are going full Jamstack - A look at the new architecture being developed for the best web documentation on the web

🚀 Mark Smith’s Newsletter - “Javascript, tech and developer links from around the web” - I’ve started a newsletter where I will share a selection of the links that I post on my long running linkblog, just a few clicks to subscribe :)

🚀 New Post: Robust NodeJS Deployment Architecture - A high level overview of a fault tolerant, scalable and robust architecture for self-hosting your NodeJS apps

Stuff from around the web


How to debug Netlify serverless lambda functions using VS Code

Insider The End-Of-Year IPO Rush - Companies including DoorDash, Airbnb and Wish

Good Linux distros for new users

Privacy concerns have been raised by developers about how Apple’s latest OS verifies app certificates

10 Awesome Github Repos Every Web Developer Should Know - A good selection especially for working on your javascript skills

Everything You Need To Know About Message Queues - Modern cloud architectures offer scalability and fault tolerance at low cost, this article covers these and many of the other benefits of this type of approach to building backend systems

Does Serverless WordPress Make Sense? Shifter vs HardyPress - Turns out there are several serverless / jamstack solutions for Wordpress, this article does a good job of covering all the pros and cons, there are some cases where it doesn’t make that much sense but there are other situations where it totally makes a lot of sense, and you can always mix and match quite easily by running different pieces on different domains or subdomains

Playing on Hard Mode - Some interesting analysis from Ben Thompson comparing the relative difficulty level of the ascent of Facebook, Airbnb and Doordash

isomorphic-git/isomorphic-git - A pure JavaScript implementation of git for node and browsers! - Looks like a pretty amazing library, I can think of a lot of use cases where it would come in handy

Writing a technical book - from idea to print - Great author writeup of the whole process of writing an Oreilly programming book


20000 Hz Podcast - Space Audity - Another amazing journey into sound, this time it’s all about space, every single one of the 20k podcasts is a master piece

TMBA Podcast (#571) - There is Only One Kevin Kelly - This week’s episode is an interview with one of the co-founders of Wired Magazine, I found this episode super interesting, eclectic mix of geeky tech sci-fi futurism, but also history, anthropology and world cultures

Jamstack Radio Podcast (#67): JAMstack Handbook with Colby Fayock of Element 84 - A movement isn’t really in motion until there’s a handbook

Systems and Incentives Podcast (#109) - Jimmy Wales - Interesting interview that covers a lot of topics, there are very few websites left from the early stages of the web that still have the utopian ideals, I don’t know that much about the technology behind Wikipedia - I’d like to know how it’s versioning system differs from git, presumably it’s in ways that make it more suited for editing written word content as opposed to computer code


Mark Smith‘s Newsletter is a weekly roundup of some of the best javascript, tech and web development links published to my linkblog.

If you enjoyed this issue consider sharing it with your friends and network connections.

I’m a freelance web developer, consultant and automation engineer, if you have some projects you’d like to work on, consider hiring me! Contact me via email.

Have a great weekend and a fantastic next week!