Monday, August 4, 2014

Remote Work

I talked to my good friend, we'll call him Joe, today and he told me he was in Hawaii. Joe spent the past month on the Islands working remotely. He says he's really enjoying the experience.

A few months ago I took two weeks and Road Tripped/visited a good few cities. Me and a friend headed from Atlanta to Philadelphia, stopping along the way at a few cities. I then spent the remainder of my week at different cities in the North. I then went to Texas, for the first time in my life, with another good friend of mine. In Texas we spent 2 nights in Austin and 3 nights in Dallas. Overall it was a terrific experience.

I chose to work during my 2 weeks away from home. It was a great experience but it was also really exhausting. In Texas I tried to find coworking spaces and only found one good one that I enjoyed. Overall I would say it's rather difficult to find coworking spaces. I'm considering making a site that makes it easier to be productive on the go.

Another difficulty from working and traveling that I experienced is that it's pretty hard to stay on top of proper feature development, changes to previously made decisions/features, all while trying to discover what a city has to offer. I somewhat struggled between my focus as a tourist and concentration as an app developer. Ultimately I believe I just need time to get better at working on the go. It's not reasonable that I expect to be good at this right on my first try.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Live Above Mediocrity

I enjoyed reading "Thirty Things I've Learned" post on Medium and I want to reflect on bullet points 11 and 12, they read

  1. Everything is mediocre
    . Most jobs are mediocre. Most people’s work is mediocre. Most products and experiences are mediocre. Most lives drift to mediocre. When you rise above the mediocrity, people will notice.
  2. It’s really, really hard to make something great. The inertia of mediocrity makes it hard to do great work. Most people want most things to stay mostly the same. To do great things, you have to go unrecognized, be under-appreciated and push to unreasonable lengths. That’s why #11 stays true.

The first bullet point scares me a bit. It makes me wonder if my life is composed of mediocrity. To truly reflect on this point I have to be transparent with myself. I have to be honest with myself to help myself or I need a friend who can be honest with me for me.

The second bullet point is interesting because it's something everyone dreams of but no one is sure about how to accomplish. The best part of that statement is "you have to go unrecognized" which to me means you have to kill your ego. You have to do work below the spotlight, you have to do work people might not understand or immediately value.

May we stop living mediocre lives and never return to them!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Staycation - A Short Sabatical

Last week I took off from work for 4 days - 2 days before and after the weekend (Thur, Fri, Mon, & Sat) - for a total of 6 days. This was probably one of the most refreshing breaks I've had in a long time.

I have taken days off from work this year. Every time I've taken a day off it was travel somewhere - see family, check out a new place with friends, or go on some sort of adventure. Yet this time I did not travel anywhere. I just stayed at home. The first day I slept in and took care of somethings. The second day I started watching and reading tutorials on AngularJS. I also caught up on books and essays I've been meaning to read. Overall it was a stress free period where I wasn't 'productive' but I felt like I got a ton out of it.

When you take days off and travel you're not really resting. Travel is exciting but exhausting. I don't get time to catch up with myself, I don't get time to ponder or be bored. When I travel I can't tinker around on projects stress free and not worry about the next day. 

I did think about work problems. I thought about the projects I was working and the issues I had to solve but it was all stress free reflecting. Simply put, my 6 days off were a period of healing.

It turns the term for a vacation where you don't go anywhere is called a 'staycation'. I think I need to take more of these staycations. But then again, it would just be better to have a ton of money and go sabbatical for a 6 month period or similar. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

30 Day Writing Challenge - Day 1

I want to write. I need to write. I must write.

It's been 3 years since I have finished undergrad. Since joining the real world I've yet to be asked to write an essay on my thoughts on a particular subject. Most of the writing I do now is for work and it is usually emails or documentation.

I think after college a lot of us will lose much of the writing ability we developed since kindergarden. I have certainly noticed this in my writing. As the saying goes, "use it or lost it" - thus the only way to maintain our writing skills is to write.

Starting today, I am taking on a 30 day blogging challenge. Today is day 1 in this challenge. My goal is to not worry about what I write or for who but rather to get into the flow of constantly penning down my down thoughts.

I'm not sure what my biggest challenge will be in this adventure. Will I not have the discipline to write everyday? Will not have genuine thoughts to express? Or will I just get tired of the challenge and leave it out of boredom? These questions can be bettered answered 15 days from now.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Code Naming Maxims

I recently watched the Clean Coders naming video and managed to take the following notes on variable/function/class namings,

Reveal Intent
  • If you need comments, its not well named
  • You shouldn't have to read the code to understand what a variable is for

Avoid Disinformation
  • Don't use names that are misleading or present false information about the actual object. 

Pronounceable names
  • Names should be pronounceable, avoid using your own abbreviations

Avoid Encodings
  • Don’t prefix variables with their types, etc. i.e. float_speed, int_person_count, etc

Parts of Speech
  • For classes/variables use noun names. For methods use verbs. For booleans make them predicates.

Regarding Scope & Naming
  • Scope length & name length should be proportional. That is, the longer the scope of a variable, the longer the name.
  • Classes/functions that have long scopes should have short concise names.
  • Classes/functions that have short scopes should have long explanatory names.

The number one rule to remember about about code is it's read more than it is written. The worst situation to be in is when you have to read your own code and you can't tell what it does.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Write Better Python

Come one, come all, beginner, intermediate, or expert and watch this video to write better python!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Open Your Mind!

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see things as hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald