Betwixt Code and Music

Musings for September 27, 2019

September 27, 20192 min read

My “musings” contain items I am thinking/learning/considering during the week. Enjoy!

Mike's desk at Call-Em-All.

Mike’s desk at Call-Em-All.

I made a better effort to read more real books this week. That’s progress! But most of the week was screen-time looking at a MacBookPro writing code.

Researching This Week

My day job at Call-Em-All has me and three other front end developers researching the ins and outs of working with React Native (RN). React Native is a library built by Facebook to enable developers to write JavaScript and React that is able to build into both an iOS and Android app. I spent a good deal of time this week starting several small mobile apps to explore different tasks. I was focused on learning some “best practices” in dealing with UI elements. I also assembled a small wiki for the rest of our team to avoid some of the issues that I found.

I even loaded up the alpha release of “React Navigation” version 5. This library allows a developer to write different “routes” (like different web pages) to build an app with similar layers as a website. Since this is a common paradigm to all of us, it’s a helpful addition to the toolbox. Running with an alpha version is pretty tricky, but I really like the composable nature of the new API the library provides.

The last RN app I worked on is a Dad Joke Box. It’s a simple app. It won’t rock your world, but it serves as a little playground for me to learn new things. I learned how to make some different packages work on Android today, which meant staring at a red screen of death for a lot of Friday. 😕 But I prevailed in the end!

Other news

My mom’s oldest brother is really ill with multiple versions of cancer hitting him hard. Tommy has hospice care coming to take care of him. All of those workers receive high praise from my uncle! He has done much good work in his life, including many years as a musician, singer, and songwriter. All parts of my family is full of musical skill, and my uncle is no different. My uncle Ricky (Tom’s younger brother) put together a GoFundMe to help offset the cost of the medical bills. It would mean a lot to me if you could make a donation to help the family out.

When my dad passed away about two and a half years ago, I went through a big box of my mom’s old pictures and writing. In that archive I found several handwritten songs from my uncle Tommy from over 40 years ago. He’s been a musician as long as he can remember. My little brother visited Tommy in Oregon yesterday, and our entire family used FaceTime to talk with the Oregon crew yesterday. It was great to hear his voice and laughter. I know that him seeing our family lifted his spirits as much as he lifted ours, too. God speed, Tommy!

Keep leveling up, friends!

Michael D. Mathew.

Written by Mike Mathew who lives and works in Dallas building useful things. Sometimes he posts on Mastodon. Mike also wears many hats at Presto Assistant where he is a co-founder, owner, and product engineer.