Friday, July 18, 2014

Simple Works

In the event of a fire, we take the stairs, not the elevator.

Subaru Outbacks seemingly last for centuries, dragsters tend to blow up while going down the track.

Bubble sort lacks edge cases, almost all merge sorts are broken more than 60 years after the original algorithm was proposed.

Don't discount a product just because it is simple. When the complicated, fancy things are broken down, the simple ones will still be chugging along.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today's Problem, Today

Cancer and diabetes are 2 of the largest causes of death in the U.S.

Immense amount of time and research is being devoted into helping those affected, as well as finding a cure. Not-so-ironically, not much time is devoted to treating and find a cure for diseases that do not exist yet.

However, in the software engineering world, much time is wasted at the infancy of projects in speculating and attempting to find solutions to problems that may exist at scale... if they get there.

Let's take a lesson from doctors, and solve today's problems, today.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scale

Almost all problems(at least those worth solving) become hard at scale.

Fortunately(or unfortunately?), many of the people and organizations worried about how they will solve the problems when they get to scale, never get there.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why I Will Run a Food Truck

If you have the luxury of doing so, go checkout the line at the nearest food truck.

If you don't have that luxury, I will sum it up for you: a large amount of happy folks, waiting to be served some delicious, unconventional food, by people who are ecstatic to be doing so.

It's a win-win situation for everybody... the net joy in the world had increased because of that one interaction.

Now contrast that to, say, my gambling experience in Las Vegas, where there needs to be a winner and a loser(hint, that was me). I almost certainly suffered a much greater loss in joy from losing than the house did from winning... a net loss in joy.

You probably won't see me becoming a professional gambler(or financial trader or politician or...) anytime soon, but one day I will run that food truck.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sharing Joy

It's about 3 A.M and 100 degrees in the Las Vegas desert at EDC, I have been dancing my heart out since about 9 pm, and in that time I have only had about a pint of water. My lips were chapped, my tongue felt like sandpaper and I didn't feel like there was an ounce of water left anywhere in my body.

Then my new friends came back from the water refill station with camelbaks and water bottles galore.

I have never seen so much joy experienced from water, not just from those of us that were receiving the water, but from those that came back with the water. It felt like the modern-day, edm version of Thanksgiving.

Another take home lesson from EDC: joy, like water, is best when shared.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Readings of 2014, June Edition

As you may have noticed, the title does not have a "Part x" element. That is because I slacked off this past month and only finished 1 book. Fail.

The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley:

The most common role played during meetings in large companies: Devil's Advocate.

In this book, Tom Kelley points out how the Devil's Advocate is a dangerous role to be played, as well as introduces us to 10 roles that are much more beneficial to organizations. Not going to go over all 10 of the roles, but will go over the ones that I found particularly interesting.

First up is the Experimenter. I find the Experimenter role particularly interesting primarily because it is the role that I feel closest aligned to. The Experimenter has to be willing to take risks, and be able to fuck stuff up over and over without taking it personally when things don't turn out how they expected(if there is even an expectation of the experiment). The quintessential Experimenter, Thomas Edison, is credited with what can most accurately sum up the Experimenter's role, "I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."

Next we have the Cross-Pollinator. The primary strength of a Cross-Pollinator is their ability to apply lessons that they have learned in one endeavor to something that is seemingly unrelated. I commonly find myself drawing analogies among cooking, software development, lifting, and the meaning of life, so relating to the Cross-Pollinator role was far from a stretch for me.

Finally, we have the Storyteller role. I love this role, not because I find it a strength, but because I am extremely envious of those who do. Being a great Storyteller can strengthen pretty much any role; a realtor who can more effectively paint a picture of the potential in a house, an engineer can more effectively communicate painpoints in a project, and comedians can suck their audience in(Dane Cook isn't the funniest comedian in the world, but he is second-to-none in his role as Storyteller).

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Ma

My ma already(hopefully) knows that it is her birthday, but I figure I would embarrass her in front of my other 1 or 2 readers by wishing her a happy birthday here.

I will unfortunately not be back home for her birthday, but it will just make us cherish the time (and Eggslusive meals) that much more when I am home next.