Analysis paralysis

My RSS reader of choice is Feedbin, but occasionally I like to login to Feedly and see how my feeds look using it. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this and this was the login screen:

Talk about analysis paralysis I have no idea what I originally used to login or to create my account. So now I’ll choose nothing and go back to work.

As creators we need to remember that less options is usually better. Don’t make me think especially when it’s a core tenant to actually using your app.

Selflessness

“A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.” — Edgar Watson Howe

Keeping the kids busy

It’s the first weekend of a mandatory “stay home” order in my state due to covid-19 and the kids are ready to go stir crazy. Luckily I got a new pack of Field Notes that allow you to customize them with your own circle image. So we had art day…

The end results turned out pretty well…

I’m a big fan of doing things away from screens and this was a perfect activity.

iPhone Home Screen

This is my current iPhone home screen and I’ve been using this for a while now. Basically moving all apps off the home screen and leaving it blank. This way it’s nice and minimal when I pick up the phone with only a few apps right in front of me. I can always swipe to the other pages or use the pull down search if I’m needing something, but I like having all the stuff out of sight.

It’s funny how much this has changed since 2018 and 2017.

Field Notes

A couple of years ago a friend sent me a three pack of field notes and I honestly didn’t get the point. I tried to use them but I didn’t see the benefit over a bigger notebook I kept on my desk.

I was recently doing some cleaning and came across the notebooks again and decided to give them another go. Grabbed a pen and stuck one in my pocket.

It’s been about a week now and even though I work from home having it my pocket is so useful. It’s quick to pull out and jot down a note, a reminder, a quote, or anything else.

Then when I get back to my desk I either copy to my main larger notebook or setup things in my calendar. I’m now a convert and just ordered a couple more sets. Of course, field notes is the main brand but any pocket size notebook will work. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Playing golf during social distancing

Today I played golf for the first time since the social distancing due to COVID-19 started in my area. Here was the rules:

  • Only one person per golf cart or walk
  • Leave the flags in
  • No rakes in or around the bunkers
  • No water from coolers on the course

Simple rules and I think it worked well. My group was able to play with no one getting too close to each other and we all had an enjoyable time.

Hopefully, the curve will be flattened soon enough and we can go back to normal life. Until then little things can go along way.

Stay safe!

Art Night

Every so often we do family art night. It’s fun, the kids enjoy it, and we get free drawings to decorate our house with. Winning all around!

I will say painting is hard without practice. Just like this one I created tonight that was supposed to be black panther eyes. I knew how I wanted it to end up, but couldn’t get the paint to do what I wanted. Just makes one realize how good the professionals are.

Buying the Kids a Book a Month

I think reading is essential, and I want to pass on the love of it to my kids. Last year I had the idea of a new program in our household, every first day of the month I would buy them a new book, and it could be 100% their choice. I didn’t care if it’s the Very Hungry Caterpillar or an autobiography of Gandhi. Any book they want, I’ll buy it for them.

It gives us something to look forward to every month, and I think it’s pretty exciting seeing their choices. Right now, one is loving illustrated books, and the other is into fiction.

This month my oldest wanted the Hunger Games, so I got her the box set. I’m pretty sure that she is attempting to beat the system, but I’m not going to complain that it’s three instead of one.

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger is about his business life. How he got his start, how he became CEO of Disney, and some of his thinking behind the purchases he made at Disney. During his tenure that was Pixar, Marvel, LucasFilm, and Fox.

The book is sort of a memoir, yet in the opening sentence he says its not. It’s a chronological narrative of his life. From early childhood and his family that is a catalyst for his beliefs all the way through being one of the most powerful CEO’s in the world. But beyond that the book is really a management and leadership book.

He covers some of the challenges he’s faced over the years, and how sticking to a few basic principles like honesty, integrity, and humbleness you can make it far.

What I find great about the book is Disney is a creative company and he gives specific differences on how to manage creative people which transitions well into software. Here is one paragraph on giving critiques that works for designers, developers, and pull requests:

“I never start out negatively, and unless we’re in the late stages of production, I never start small. I’ve found that often people will focus on little details as a way of masking a lack of any clear, coherent, big thoughts. If you start petty, you seem petty. And if the big picture is a mess, then the small things don’t matter anyway, and you shouldn’t spend time focusing on them.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and if you are in any management role, even if you manage open source software, it’s worth reading and seeing how you can take what works in one of the largest companies to managing a small project. No matter the size the same core values are the same.

If you’d like to get a copy it’s on Amazon for around $15 depending on what version (kindle, hardcover, paperback) you prefer.

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel

1pixelmoon

We’ve all seen models of the solar system and they do a good job of representing the sun and the planets, but it’s hard to get a representation of the sheer vastness of space. If the moon were only 1 pixel by Josh Worth he creates a scale model using the moon as 1 pixel. It’s crazy how much scrolling is involved to reach the first planet, and be sure and click the light speed button in the bottom corner.

earth-moon.png

“Most space charts leave out the most significant part – all the space”, and now I’m tired of scrolling.

Salary Negotiation

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss is excellent. One of the best books I read in the past year and it has tons of advice on negotiation that is applicable in many areas of your life. Everything from buying a new vehicle, to working with companies, to even negotiating salary.

One tip he shares related to salary is to never go first, but if you are cornered then only offer a range. Never share what you are making today. For example:

Interviewer: What are your salary expectations?
You: At top places like X Corp., people in this job get between $130,000 and $170,000.

When doing a range like this the low number is more than likely what they will gravitate toward so be sure it’s a value you actually want.

This is just the surface of the book but I believe it’s one you should own and read. I’ve picked up so many tips for negotiating in life from it. Even persuading my kids to do want I want.

In your code editor, dock your sidebar to the right

A few months ago I moved the sidebar in my code editor to the right and I love it. In fact, I’m sad I’ve been writing code for 20 years without ever doing this before. If you’ve never tried it, you should and here is a video by Jeff Sagal demonstrating why it’s useful:

I have all of my editors, that allow it, set up this way and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a left sidebar again. Look at how beautiful VS Code is, and no janky code moving when you open it.

vscode.jpeg

Does it pass the smell test?

Today I received the following email…

possible-spam-email.png

As I was blazing through my inbox, my first reaction to fire off a quick yes, but then just as I started to reply I noticed the “There” was capitalized. That threw up a flag to my brain, then as I thought for 10 seconds I came to the conclusion that no one with good faith would email this question. Instead, they would say you have a broken link on this page.

I deleted this email and didn’t reply, but they almost got me. Of course, now I’m going to spend all day wondering what the goal of this email actually was? Maybe they just wanted to see if the email address they sent it to was active. Who knows.

Inspect Browser

Ever wanted to debug a site or web app while on the go, or maybe view it on mobile and do some debugging? As you may know Safari on iOS doesn’t include any form of console utilities but the Inspect Browser makes a great replacement that includes all the basic features to get the job done.

Granted this isn’t as powerful as Chrome or Firefox but it includes the main features like a JavaScript console, HTML inspection, CSS inspection and live preview, network panel, responsive design tools, and more.