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Our Podcast Guests’ 2020 JAM Picks Mina Benothman

If you’re an avid listener of our podcasts, you know that host Brian Douglas ends almost every episode of JAMstack Radio by asking guests for their “JAM picks,” anything they’re jamming on whether it be music, books, or a personal project. Below is a list of some of the community’s choices for 2020. What are your JAM picks? Let us know on Twitter and don’t forget to tag @heavybit @JAMstackRadio @bdougieYO!

Chris Biscardi (Ep 57 Jun 2020) 

DynamoDB is one of the fastest-growing databases on the market because it combines consistent performance with a flexible billing model as a fully-managed service. Alex has spent the last 5 years working with DynamoDB and put together a book of bad DynamoDB data models he designed so you don’t have to.

Effective blogging can change your life; it brings job opportunities, speaking gigs at conferences, and even the financial freedom to bootstrap your own company full-time. In the last four years, Monica has started three blogs on three different topics and now runs a successful newsletter sharing her learnings with developers, makers, managers, and technical founders growing their reach through blogging.

Alexander Karan (Ep 59 Jul 2020)

While there are a lot of materials about how to write code and how to deploy distributed systems, there’s much less about how humans can work together more effectively to achieve their goals faster.

They release new issues digitally every quarter but you can also get it in print form. It’s a great collection of blog posts by people at Facebook, Google, Airbnb, MailChimp, from smaller startups to IBM, about subjects like software architecture and front end development.

Nick DeJesus (Ep 61 Aug 2020)

Black Tech Pipeline is a service-based platform bringing exposure, resources and opportunities to Black technologists, and allies. With a strong focus on retention, they connect their employer partners and opportunity extenders to highly skilled and qualified candidates within their talent pipeline.

Resilient Coders believes in social justice through economic empowerment, and in the opportunity for meritocracy in tech. They’re training people of color for high growth careers as software engineers, and connecting them with jobs in the Boston, M.A. area.

Jerome Hardaway (Ep 63 Sep 2020) 

  • Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever by Alex Kantrowitz

Through 130 interviews with insiders, from Mark Zuckerberg to hourly workers, Always Day One reveals the tech giants’ blueprint for sustainable success in a business world where no advantage is safe.

It’s a book about how the big tech companies built their communities and cultures. Someone asked Jeff Bezos during a meeting, “What is day two for Amazon?” and he said “That’s going out of business.” The idea that we are always on day one, because any day after day one is going out of business, I like that mentality.

Brian Douglas (Ep 67 Nov 2020) 

  • Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Open source communities are increasingly centered around the work of individual developers rather than teams. Nadia, who interviewed hundreds of developers while working to improve their experience at GitHub, argues that modern open source offers us a model through which to understand the challenges faced by online creators.

The book actually changed the way I even thought about open source. It gives you a perspective of the maintainer, which up until that book I thought I understood, because I had a lot of conversations with them.

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