4 things that have made my life better

Don’t you love it when you find something that just makes your life better?

Whether it’s software or a physical thing, whenever I find that thing, I often think to myself, “how did I live without this before?” And what better way to share these joys with the world than on a blog post?


1) LASIK Surgery

My morning and nighttime routines have just about adjusted to this newfound life hack i.e. not wearing contact lenses or glasses. I’ve already spoken about a lot recently, but I think out of everything I mention today, this is the most life-changing thing I’ve done.

As of the 8th of November, 5 weeks later, I reached above 20/20 vision. ๐ŸŽ‰

My life has just improved tenfold as I’m no longer held back or restricted by my vision. I knew I kicked butt working out before, but now?! I’m even better. ๐Ÿ˜

2) UNIQLO HEATTECH

Winter is officially in the UK. No matter how long I live here, I’m still not used to that fact. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

I’ve been decluttering my wardrobe recently; I also like to pack away my summer clothes knowing full well that I won’t see them again until the end of May (that is me being very pessimistic ๐Ÿ˜œ) On the hunt for better quality clothing, Matt recommended that I check out UNIQLO. He has a few items from them that came with a high recommendation, namely, UNIQLO’s HEATTECH collection. What is HEATTECH?

Innovative fabric that generates heat from your body.

HEATTECH’s micron-sized fibres capture the energy of water molecules emitted from the body and convert them into warmth, while also retaining heat.

UNIQLO’s website
The features shown on UNIQLO's website on HEATTECH.

At first, I was a little sceptical. I recall telling Matt that it all sounded like marketing bull๐Ÿ’ฉ. But I bit the bullet, I put in a small order on a few of their HEATTECH pieces and now… I’m a convert. I bought their HEATTECH trousers, thermals, socks and a few jumpers and long-sleeve tops.

Every year, we try and see how long we can go without putting the heating on in our apartment. Now with a few layers of HEATTECH, I reckon we can keep on going for longer. We still haven’t put the heating on and it’s November! ๐Ÿ˜ถ

This collection has changed my life by keeping me warm in the colder months. A warm Paw = a happy Paw.

3) Cloud developer environments

Disclaimer: I work for Gitpod, but these are very much my views as a developer using the tool every day. ๐Ÿ˜›

Since switching to Gitpod from using local VS Code as my main developer environment, my life has changed for the better.

I can code from anywhere. In fact, my recent purchase of the iPad Mini has been used as where I can code when I don’t feel like opening my laptop. In all honesty, it was in the other room and I wanted to do something very quickly, so I used my iPad ๐Ÿ˜‚ But I digress – the point being is that I had the choice to do that if I wanted to and I did. I’ve not tried opening Gitpod on my iPhone, but I’ve seen some of our community members do so and it’s pretty mindblowing.

iPad Mini hacking

There are countless benefits of developing this way (psst, you can find that information here), but in addition to coding from anywhere, I no longer am tied to my local set-up.

All of my development happens in the cloud, making my Macbook (and any other device I use) clean and tidy as well as my developer environments also being clean and tidy. Who doesn’t want a fresh environment every single time? Goodbye to the days of local developer environments and the dreaded dependencies nightmare.

Although I don’t code in my spare time often, when I do, I’ve had this new hobby of browsing other people’s projects on GitHub then spinning them up on Gitpod. I never had much motivation to contribute to open source because of the uphill battle in getting set up and onboarded, but now I can easily in seconds with Gitpod.

Admittedly, I’ve not been excited about software as much this year. But since finding Gitpod (and now working for them ๐Ÿงก), I’m super excited about the future of Gitpod and others like it. What is software development going to look like in 5-10 years time?! I’m betting somewhere in the clouds โ˜๏ธ

4) Descript

Pete from No CS Degree introduced me to Descript when I interviewed as a guest on his podcast. Since then, I’ve not gone without a week or so with using Descript for my own creative ventures as well as at work too. The tool is described as an:

All-in-one audio & video editing, as easy as a doc.

Descript

It really is as easy as editing on Google Docs, you upload your audio or video file, wait for it to transcribe and then start editing the text. What you cut on the text is cut in the audio or video files seamlessly. I’ve edited Gitpod’s screencasts on it, my podcast episodes and all my video content.

Gone are the days where I would do all this in a more manual (and painful) way on Adobe Premiere Pro. As a creator, this has made my life so much better.


Your turn ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Writing this reminded me how much progress we’re making collectively in science and technology. I’m so excited to see what other thing is out there being created right now to make our lives better. This was also a blast to write, I’ll probably share more in the future. ๐Ÿ˜

Tell me about something that has changed your life for the better recently, either in the comments below or on Twitter at @paulienuh. ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

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