Hi! Tell us about who you are and what you do

I’m Jerod Santo from Changelog! 👋

I make Changelog News, co-host The Changelog & JS Party, and produce other awesome developer pods. I’ve been in the software world since 2001 when a high school buddy told me to apply for a software engineering scholarship at our local university because, “You’re good at computer stuff.” There’s a lot more to the story, but that was the start!

Jerod smiling and showing a thumbs up

What is your hardware setup?

My workhorse is a 14-inch, 2021 MacBook Pro with the (amazing) M1 Max chip and 64GB (!) of RAM. I couple that (via a single lightning cable for both video and power) to a 27" Apple Studio Display using a (somewhat rare) top/bottom orientation for the two displays. My Apple Display has the fancy new Center Stage feature where it ensures your face is centered in the shot at all times. That features is very cool but also annoying when you want to duck out of view to sneeze or eat a chip or something. Talk about surveillance capitalism! 😜

The rest of my gear is podcasting specific. My mic is a Heil PR 40 connected via XLR to a PreSonus AudioBox iTwo interface. I use Sony … over-the-ear headphones and have a set of … studio monitors on the ground under my desk as well.

The desk itself is an IKEA … sti/stand, but I don’t have a chair or stool in the office so it’s always in stand mode. There is a couch nearby, so when I want to rest my feet I take my laptop over there and sit instead.

And what are the favorite items in your workspace?

I’m somewhat minimalist, so I don’t have many items at all. My favorite “thing” about my workspace is the view of our driveway where the kids play and beyond to our land and orchard.

My View

A pair of binoculars complements the view and I do have one coffee mug that was a gift from students of mine that holds pens, pencils, and other stuff like that.

What is your software setup?

My web browser of choice is Safari, but I use Brave when coding because Chrome’s DevTools are unbeatable. My text editors of choice are command-line Vim for quick and/or remote stuff and Sublime Text for everything else. I do almost all of my writing in Obsidian, read my email in Spark, share files with Dropbox, and rely on Adobe’s creative suite for all audio/video/image production.

Everything else is stock Apple software: Terminal.app, Messages.app, Photos.app, Calendar.app, Notes.app, et cetera.

Oh, and I’ve been a long-time user of iStat Menus and still use its CPU and Network widgets to this day. The CPU widget just looks cool and I love how the Network widget shows you which process is the source of which inbound/outbound bandwidth.

My iStat Menus CPU Widget

What are your favorite programming or scripting languages?

I love Ruby for how it helps me express my thoughts, Elixir for how it helps me get stuff done, and JavaScript for how it helps me build on the web. I’ve used many languages over the course of my career, but these three are my favorites.

Is there anything you are missing in your setup?

I could use a better video setup. The camera quality on the Studio Display lacks in the quality department (see the picture of me above for an example) and my lighting could also use some work. I have an Elgato Key Light, but I pretty much hate it. The hardware on/off switch is not easily accessible and the thing is constantly losing its network connection! The problem has something to do with my Unifi-based network (which is otherwise amazing) and this model not being able to connect to 5.4GhZ access points. If you have a lighting solution you love, let me know!

What book comes to your mind that you would like others to read?

I’m Christian, so this one’s easy: The Bible is the most important, influential & valuable book ever written. Everybody should read it, even those who don’t believe in its divine authorship.

Proverbs alone contains enough wisdom to carry you through many of life’s trials. Here’s a good one, for example, that might lead a discerning hacker directly to Stack Overflow 🤣

Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (11:14)

And here’s one more which helped form my approach to online life and the work I do teaching others:

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (9:9)