Thursday, January 29, 2009

boring (II)

If the advice in the first part of this series did not work for you, or the book you picked is too long and you'd happily put it aside for a period, here is a new idea: code your own micro-project.

It should take you ~20 minutes per day, because what I am talking here is swapping your daily blog reading with coding. And it should be smart so that you don't get bored with your own chosen assignment.

It could require much thinking, as it's the case with an algorithm from commons you've been using and you are thinking to rewrite it and make it faster. It could require studying as it's the case with a new programming language in which you want to write a Hello World. It could require browsing the web in search of information as it's the case of a public web service with which you want to interact.

And here is my story: I've been using Google products for quite a while, indeed Reader is my first browser tab; and you've realized by now that I'm also a user of Blogger. Opening Blogger always required opening a new tab and typing the blogger URL, then hitting Enter :). Yes, it's a matter of seconds, but don't forget I needed an excuse to start my micro-project.

So I ventured into the realms of Greasemonkey and with this, into Javascript and DOM. I haven't been coding hard-core javascript since the days of Netscape 4.7, and here was my chance to code JS again. I heroically resisted the temptations jQuery laid in my path ... no, this time I'm not gonna let you help me, this time I want my hands dirty with JS.

Long story short, here is now the top of my Reader page, I am just one click away from you (would you be so kind to notice the link to Blogger that my script adds whenever I access a google page):

Sunday, January 18, 2009

a good way of complaining

Do you love the things you do? ... then criticize, suggest improvements, and post bugs.

Stop complaining about the tools you use if you haven't done a thing to make them better.

Because you are part of a team, it is not only about the things you fix, but also about the things you bring to others' attention.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

you at work

How would you picture yourself during your 8h-work a day? If you were to draw yourself in a typical work day how would you do it?

Forget about your current work place, just imagine, draw your mental projection of you working. Would you be at a desk, would you wear glasses, would you have plants around you, would it be artificial light, would it be air conditioning?

How do you think the others around you (would) envision you - the professional programmer - in a typical work day? Would it be in a dark corner, bent over a keyboard and wearing your nerdy expression? Or it'd be under sun light, a merry, open expression on your face?

If it is a gray environment what you picture, if it's tens of light bulbs above you, if it's only aluminum and concrete and no plants, if it's halls and no terrace, then there is an alternative and architect Norman Foster knows it.

Watch and do the exercise above again. (The first 10 minutes of the video might bore the impatient, but it becomes really interesting afterwards)

Friday, January 9, 2009

the future is bright

This might sound familiar to you, but since the marketing department think this is important, I might as well spread the word. These are excerpts from an email arrived this morning in my Inbox:
[...] the most successful leaders will be those who leverage technology and change to go beyond new mandates for efficiency
Nearly three-quarters of CIOs now believe that long-term strategic thinking and planning is the leadership competency most critical to their roles
Clear words, clear guidelines, now we have the recipe for defeating the world economic crisis.