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2021 July. Stress and Family Time

I have a two-week vacation in the last week of July and the beginning of August. Nothing spectacular as we're stuck at home, but it's at least a little break from the routine.

Books I'm reading #

No changes from last month. I'veIv'e been reading more articles recently.

Books I've read #

I didn't finish any new books recently, but I've got many impressive articles I can recommend.

Updates #

I've updated my post about meditation and added When Buddhism Goes Bad to the disclaimers.

Elsewhere on the Web #

Why Behavioral Economics is Itself Biased. This one is a must-read if you've read Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

Lighting the Brain. A fascinating history of optogenetics.

Goals #

I'm getting more and more cynical about outcome goals, and the reading here is the order of posts I can recommend if you're thinking about goals for yourself and others.

  1. How Goal Setting Can Do More Harm Than Good
  2. The Stretch Goal Paradox
  3. The unreasonable effectiveness of just showing up every day

But, I don't think process goals are everything. I wouldn't call the missing part a goal. Especially not in terms of OKRs. But, we need something to motivate and drive our process goals. What if we use vision for that? I find it helpful when I think of some outcome I want to get, but unless it's a trivial thing, I need to spend a lot of time planning to get it. Outcome goals don't help me with that, but process goals are instrumental.

Burnout / Work #

On working too hard: finding balance, and lessons learned from others

This is epic. What's Wrong with the Way We Work. Worth reading.

Yes, I'm linking to this twice. The Stretch Goal Paradox. It's worth it. Take a look.

The Job Status Cycle. This one is more fun unless you will feel offended when you find your job title there. ;-)

Tech #

The Human Cost of Tech Debt

We lost the war. Welcome to the world of tomorrow.. The 2005 predictions for technology and security that I recommend revisiting.

Mitchell's New Role at HashiCorp.

Mitchell Hashimoto takes on a new individual contributor role at HashiCorp.

I've found it inspiring to see a founder going back to the individual contributor role. Worth taking a look—especially if you're a developer.

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2021 August. Mistakes and Tradoffs.

I had some time off at the beginning of the month. I can't even remember that. It has been such a long month for some reason, but I also feel like the summer was so short this year. Let's hope for a nice September.

Books I'm reading #

Books I've read #

I was reading early access (version V2).

It's still a work in progress, but what's lacking the most is editing, cleanups, and maybe some charts.

I especially liked the last chapters 7 about date/time data and 13, "Keeping up to date with trends vs cost of maintenance of your code," but I liked most of them other than the one about Kafka, which I don't use in practice.

I would recommend waiting for the V3 or the final revision if you want to give it a try.

Updates #

Keystone Habits.
After playing with the idea for a while, I've added a disclaimer that I'm going back to the Atomic Habits approach.
Planning for the worst days is fine, but the "effortful" part hindered me in practice.

Elsewhere on the Web #

How we improved our sprints when we stopped estimating stories
I wasn't aware at all there is a movement around not estimating work. I've found this story from Runtastic to be a great introduction to the whole idea and a good case study of when it can work for you.

Goals #

Hundreds of Ways to Get S#!+ Done—and We Still Don't.

It wasn't long before the two founders noticed something odd in the (anonymized) data they had on their users: People were lousy at finishing their to-dos. Chen and Guzman could see an accumulation of sprawling, ambitious lists of tasks that users utterly failed to accomplish. In 2014, fully 41 percent of to-do items on IDoneThis were never … done.

This story feels like someone was looking at my to-do list and exposed all my postponed tasks to the whole internet.
I heard multiple times that adding tasks should be quick and easy to make sure you add them. But, should it be that quick and easy? Doing them in practice won't be quick and easy for sure. It may also be that I rarely have time to go over my to-do list to prune the tasks that I can't do. But I don't think that would help a lot. That's just another thing you need to remember about doing.

Let me say that it's a great read, and if you're into productivity and self-improvement, then it's a must-read for you.

The importance trap
Are there any downsides to the famous "Eisenhower matrix"? Nicely connects to the first story.

Tech #

Modern web apps without JavaScript bundling or transpiling

But more importantly for our overall argument is that if you no longer need bundling for performance, you can get rid of the bundler entirely! Simply serve each module directly, as their own file, directly to the browser.

Can you see where we're getting to? No need for transpiling to write the kind of JavaScript that makes you smile, no need for bundling to package all your modules. Taken together: No need for any JavaScript toolchain to turn your source code into anything else. An entire class of complexity stands at the precipice.


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Until next time,
Kris Kula 

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