The hardest part of my job is not technical — it’s communication, specifically: giving feedback. I fail at this over and over, and I see other people having trouble as well. In fact, I fear that giving effective feedback is so hard that people are too scared to do it. That’s a loss, because giving feedback, in my view, is an essential mechanism to improve. And I like to believe that everybody wants to improve.Read More
I don’t consider myself a big reader in the traditional sense — I don’t read any fiction, for example. What I do read is work and career related, because that’s my passion. But, reading has been getting harder as my life got more busy (think: wife, job, son), and therefore over the past years I changed my reading habits to account for having trouble “allocating” longer stretches of time for reading.
Here’s my system.Read More
Recently I joined one of the STX Next projects as part of the development team. As many of our projects, it is not a greenfield project — there is an existing code base already (Google App Engine with Ionic, in this particular case) that we had to work with. I’ve been looking through the code, and, let me put it this way: there was room for improvement (think 3 thousand lines in a single Python file, hundreds of lines in a single function, deeply structured messy data in a JSON property in the database). However, there was talk of a “grand rewrite,” we would have to support the old system, but at the same time work would be done on a completely new system that would be much beterer [sic].Read More
A project I participated in recently ran one-week development sprints. It’s the first time that I worked in such short cycles, and I like it for similar reasons that I like Twitter with its 140 character limit: strong constraints force you to make tough decisions, to get to the core of things quickly, and to surface problems early.Read More