NYT: The Whistle-Blower Knows How to Write

Jane Rosenzweig writing in the New York Times about how well written the whistleblower report is:

Every semester, I encounter students who tell me variously that they hate writing, that they’d rather not write, that for the careers they aspire to they won’t need to write. I explain that no matter what careers they choose, they will have to write — reports, strategic plans, proposals and, if nothing else, many, many emails.

But I also tell them that learning to write matters because some day they may have something to say that really matters to them and possibly to the world — and they will want to convey it when the moment arrives in writing that’s clear and concise.

I really wished I would have paid more attention to writing in school. I was a spitting image of a student she describes and I never could understand why I would need to write. Now, I write all the time and wished I would have paid attention in those classes and challenged myself.

If nothing else it’s a good reminder to myself that when kids say a class or a subject is worthless I can remind them that there are reasons for it, even if you don’t see them today.

Be kind in code reviews

From the Nerdery’s documentation on code review guidance:

Be kind. Yes, a person is not their code, but writing code is a creative act. Creators are by nature intimately involved with their creation. You’re going to be critiquing another person’s creation, at a minimum, be kind when you do it. Better yet, find positive as well as negative things to say. We want both the code and the coder to be better once you’re done; don’t make it easy to reject your constructive observations by being a jerk about it.

Lot’s of other great advice in the linked document, but this one really resonated with me.

Commercial Packages

It seems everyone loves creating packages and releasing them as open-source. I understand the appeal, it’s much easier to release something this way as it lets you wash your hands of a lot of the responsibility.

Need a bug fixed, send a PR or GTFO. Have some questions about how to do something, hopefully, Stack Overflow can help you.

Of course, this is merely a caricature of some maintainers, and then you have others that are super responsive and are happy to help you use their package.

If you are one of the second groups that are responsive to support and community engagement then I’d love for more of you to consider making future packages commercial.  Granted it’s probably not going to be as easy as just pushing up a repo, but we have tools available now like gitstore that makes this easier than ever before.

This came about because I struggled with a JavaScript package all day yesterday, and today I found a similar commercial version that just worked instantly.  If I would have found it and went the commercial route first I would have already saved all the money in time that it costs.

Would you make your art if you were the last person on earth?

Great question by Derek Sivers and my answer is yes, 100%. However, I would probably do less of it because without other humans gone I’d be driven back to the stone age and have to turn my life into being a hunter gatherer.

Funny antidotes aside, of course, I would still make art and it’s like asking a pro skate boarder if they would continue to skate if they were the last person alive. It’s the enjoyment of it, not the sharing it.

So yes, I would still create art, but I’d be sad that I couldn’t share all my cheesy drawings that hopefully generates a smile from you.

TDD Man – Saving the world one test at a time!

You vs You

I like to mountain bike as much as I can. Typically that means two or three times a week and since my broken hand last year I’ve never fully recovered to the pace I was before. It’s not been so much speed as it is my cardio, I can ride a lot faster than I’m going if my heart rate would stop maxing out.

The past week I’ve been trying to supplement my mountain bike rides with a trainer and I’ve been using Zwift. The idea behind Zwift is fun and it’s neat riding with other people.

zwift.jpg

Over the coming winter, I’m planning on doing some longer training programs and now I’ve been doing an “intro to Zwift” program where it sets your FTP and gives you the basics of the app.

So far it’s been fun to do but I don’t feel the stats it is generating is accurate. From all the research I find on the internet, my FTP is low, my heart rate is high, and a couch potato is in better shape than me.

I’m not sure if it’s my trainer and setup or if I’m really just that out of shape. But it is pretty demoralizing how you can be giving it everything you have, about to puke, and be passed by someone going 20 miles per hour faster.

I guess that is par for the course on the internet but I have to remember I’m not competing against random people. I just want to improve against myself and to be honest that is hard. I’m made to compete and I want to win, even if I don’t have the cardio to do it.

Red Bull pump track championship at Poston Park

This weekend George Poston park in Lowell NC held a Red Bull pump track championship qualifying round.

It was super hot and the sun was beating down on the spectators but it was great to see how fast the people could around the track. Here a few photos from the event.

I definitely hope they make this a yearly event because I’d love to come out and be more prepared like bringing an umbrella and lots of water.

Video: We Recreated Every Apple Wallpaper

This is a fun little video from a group of friends that went on a road trip to recreate every Apple wallpaper. Yes, it’s kind of a weird thing to do but just having a reason to go on a road trip with your buddies is good enough for me. I find so much value and inspiration just from the conversations when I do weird trips with my friends.