Weekend Review - Building good habits

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These posts are a little self-indulgent but it's my blog and I can write what I want to. So there. ;)

Two bits of advice I read regularly about blogging is to be consistent and to have a backlog. I actually (kinda) accomplished both this week, which felt good. I setup some general topics for each day, to mix things up a bit, and organized some random ideas I had floating around Trello boards into a single board, part of which looks like this:


I didn't stick to it perfectly, but did much better. It's true what they say - when you stick with something for awhile, it starts to become habit. I think it's becoming habit. Maybe.

Some good articles from the week

To 30 Billion and Beyond
One guy writes a simple service that everyone and their uncle starts using, and serves billions of requests. He was shelling out some serious cash on his own though. Interesting read.

Why I Left 3 Consecutive Jobs
A pretty blunt article on how the corporate world fails employees sometimes. I think what hit me was that the "what women can do" / "what men can do" sections seemed so... reasonable. Well written. Don't blame her for going anonymous though.

Habits To Earn a Raise
I like Ryan's suggestion to keep a journal. Unfortunately, no one (including you or me) is going to remember all the cool, useful things we did in the previous 12 months at the very end of the year. Other good advice too.

How to Hire a Cartoonist to Make Your Blog Less Boring
If you ever thought about having someone draw some illustrations to liven up a blog post, I think this would be worth a read. Actually, there's a lot to think about for anyone considering hiring an artist for.. anything.

The 5 Problem-Solving Skills of Great Software Developers
Lorenzo describes skills that make a good developer, and he does it with an analogy about brewing coffee. Worked for me. But then, I like coffee, so...
Make sure you get to the part on over-engineering.

We started from one type of coffee, four people to be served, a fixed configuration of extras and one barista. That was easy and natural. If you try to abstract every aspect of making coffee and if you are contemplating the possibility of having N people to serve, X types of extras, Y coffee varieties, K baristas... now that gets complicated, especially if you want to optimize cost and speed of the operation. You quickly go from making coffee to making any product under the sun using any process possible. Ouch.

Why Every Software Developer Should Become a Consultant
Erik's always a good read. His advice offers a fresh point of view, and turns your thinking upside down.. or at least sideways. He's not so much encouraging going freelance here, as much adopting a consultant mindset. Be the person dictating the "how" and "what".

It’s not about employment status or how you collect money. It’s about how you deal with other people.

And this choice boils down to something really simple.

  • People come to a consultant and say, “tell me what to do and how to do it.”
  • People go to a laboring grunt and say “here’s what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it.”
    If the people who give you your money approach you in the first way, then you’re a consultant. If not, then you’re not. Even if you literally have the word “consultant” in your job title, you’re still not.

It’s all in the interaction.


Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

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