Coming across pseudocode isn’t something that might happen every day except if you’re used to browsing through the more theoretical and academic oriented “computer science” handbooks. We, the practical “software engineers” of nowadays, usually stop searching for something after our browser hits Stackoverflow. Stack is loaded with technical samples, gists of code, and lot’s of won’t-ever-compile-wrongly-copy-pasted code. Real code. If you’re working in Java, you probably end up with articles full of Java snippets. Read More »
Concentrating on serendipitous creativity
Focused or collaborative attention?
When was the last time you were able to focus well on a difficult task in an office landscape? For long periods of time? Did you manage to finish the task in time? Knowledge workers are increasingly pushed together in large open spaces to promote collaboration and serendipity. But those unplanned happy accidents create another completely unplanned rather unhappy accident: the loss of concentration. According to Cal Newport’s “Deep Work” term, long uninterrupted hours of concentration manage to get difficult things done - not short bursts of collaboration. Read More »
Hiding Code Complexity
Do make it easy to read. Don't expose inner workings.
We like to talk about the architecture of our software because we like complexity. Software developers are the bears, and complex patterns seem to be the honey. The more I pair with people the more I wonder: “what makes us decide to take on a simple question with a difficult answer”? Why would anyone choose to implement something so complex, that it cannot be easily understood even the day after it’s committed? Read More »
Take your time.
Stop rushing. Start watching.
“Let’s try to keep silent for a minute and enjoy the complete absence of traffic noise!” I yelled to my friends. We were standing on a sandy hill in the middle of national park “Hoge Veluwe”. One of our friends, a biologist, enticed us to help him identify animal tracks in the sand. I don’t know anything about even-toed ungulates, but I know a bit about the joy of discovery. “Great idea! Read More »
2017 in books
Pattern recognition in books
Goodreads presented me with a neat overview on my read books in 2017 you can also take a look at. The dull page statistics are of no interest to me, but the kind of books I’ve read do tell a story that might be worth sharing. When it comes to keeping track of what I read, Goodreads might be the best thing that happened to me yet. But I can’t say that I’m a consequent user of my own listage. Read More »
Inventing - for the worse?
Is inventing always a good thing?
People have an irresistible urge to create. But we often mistake productivity with creativity with really creating. Homo creativus. But is this always a good thing? The best inventions in the world bring great sorrow to millions of people today. Then I started wondering, what if… Electricity wasn’t invented? Mass production wouldn’t be possible. Everything you use, from your watch to your laptop, stove, to what you’re wearing wouldn’t be possible. Read More »
Getting rid of noise, part 2
The meanwhile common problem of noise in your head has not been solved just yet. In fact, it has only gotten worse. A lot worse. The garbage thinking problem spread like a disease, clinging onto everything in it’s way inside me. It has reached my ears and my mind. I’d like to make a distinction between “head” and “mind” as “head” might be a temporary problem, getting something to stick in your “mind” sounds a lot more definitive to me. Read More »
I'm jealous of my dog
Getting rid of garbage in your head
My dog, Miel (yes, like the French word for honey. It’s a Golden Retriever, get the link?), loves to walk. He also likes playing a lot, but as soon as I put on my shoes or get near the garden gate, he starts to freak out, thinking it’s that time again. Since I have no idea what is going on in is head, I said “thinking”, because we humans associate animals with our own behavior - because that’s what we’re familiar with. Read More »
A quick look at 6 fountain pens
A test drive from a drawing perspective
My recent addiction to fountain pens has reached new heights. I happened to talk about pens with a dear colleague and she asked if I also had pens with a flexible nib. Posing such a question usually requires some basic knowledge about types of nibs, and it turned out that her friend is another fountain pen enthusiast who owns a bunch of really neat looking (and writing) pens. I was very excited when she proposed to let me try some of his special nibs. Read More »
Journaling in practice
My guide to keeping a journal
If you’re wondering why you should journal in the first place, then maybe it’s a good idea to start reading here and here. There are hundreds of resources available on the Internet on how to journal, how to keep a bullet journal, how to index everything, how to getting things done and so forth. The following advice is something that works for me - it might not work for you at all. Read More »