Sebastian De Deyne

Book design & the return of the Stack


It’s been a while. The last couple months, I’ve been doing a lot of product management & analysis at work (almost more than coding), sending newsletters (well, not this one), designing a book (it doesn’t always have to be web-based), and getting back into PHP development (didn’t expect that one myself). An eclectic mix, but I take pleasure in the variation!

I made a book!

Indeed, “made”! I didn’t write a book, I designed a book.

This all started as a side project around March. Brent was finishing up his Laravel Beyond CRUD blog series, and we thought it would be fun to distribute it as an ebook at some point.

The project moved slowly since it had to happen in my spare time, and other side projects often took over. Fast forward a few months, and Brent & Freek decided to transform the blog series into a video course and book. This meant I was able to dedicate company time to work on the book, and things started to move forward.

I decided to use traditional publishing software (Affinity Publisher) over a markdown-to-PDF tool, they both have their merits.

A markdown converter would make the process more straightforward (especially updating content) at the cost of typographic and layout options. Publishing software in general is still miles ahead of anything HTML-based when it comes to typography and flow options like orphans, children, and page breaks. I used to love working in InDesign, so the nostalgia factor also attributed to this decision.

You can purchase the course on Use the coupon code LARACON-BEYOND-CRUD-LAUNCH before September 9th for a 15% discount!

The Stack is back

Last month I brought Growing the Stack back to life. Growing the Stack is my bi-weekly newsletter where I share three links about programming, design, product management, and anything else that seems fit.

With Growing the Stack I try to share articles that present new ideas or prompt you to think, over more “practical” content.

You can subscribe via email or plain RSS on If you wanna try before you buy (well, before you subscribe-for-free), here’s a link to this week’s issue.

Effective task management with Things

I wrote an in-depth article about how I use my preferred task manager: Things.

I believe it’s worth a read even if you’re not a Things user. The first half is about my general philosophy around task managers: what belongs (or doesn’t) in a task manager, and how to use it effectively.

More from the blog

Since my last newsletter was in March, I trimmed this section down to my favourites from the past few months.

And some links I shared:

On the horizon

Since we’re slowly approaching the end of the year, it’s time to finish things up instead of starting new endeavours.

I have about 4 more posts to write in the JavaScript Framework Diet series. The next 2 or 3 posts are going to be all about modals, which I consider the most difficult posts to write.

I recently started a new side project: Intertwine. A static site generator inspired by Roam. I’m looking forward to pushing it to a point where I can use it. I’ll talk about this more in depth next time.

But first I’m logging out to leave on vacation 👋

Until the next issue,