In 1900 David Hilbert challenged the best mathematical minds to solve 23 problems. This set of problems has influenced the mathematics of the next century, leading to surprising discoveries. Probably the most shocking discovery was that axiomatic systems have inherent limitations.
Today, a different set of very bright people face a new era. 7 years of Software Craftsmanship has led to changes in the world of software. I can travel almost anywhere in Europe and find a community connected to software craftsmanship. People from the community authored books and articles. We stay in touch all the time thanks to modern technology such as slack, twitter, facebook and meetup. Local communities and companies organize conferences. And a brave member of this community started a newsletter, trying to guide us through the news in the field. We share what we love and we love to share.
I had a wish starting from 5th grade: to publish a book. A wish finally fulfilled this year when my first book, “Usable Software Design” became available on leanpub.
But this is not a blog post about the book per se. It’s not even meant to convince you to buy it (although you should). It’s more about convincing you that you have to publish your own book. It’s fun, it helps you discover yourself, and you might make some money from it. Seriously, start today. And if you think that you can’t, or that you have nothing to say, or that it won’t make money, etc. then read on, because I’ve been there too.
Adapt to Your Constraints and Preferences
Creating anything is hard. But it’s not hard where you expect.
Contrary to what most people think, ideas are easy. Ideas are everywhere. Inspiration is everywhere. Ideas pass from mind to mind and adapt to the recipient’s personal experience all the time. More ideas combine into a new idea. Ideas are easy and cheap and don’t account for much. Execution is what makes ideas valuable.
I saw last evening the documentary “The Internet’s own boy”, about the life of Aaron Swartz. His life was very impressive, and it made me think more about the Internet and to its social value. That is still a work in progress, but I have some things to share.
I’ve struggled to understand the Internet for a very long time. This may sound very strange coming from a computer programmer, leading a team of people who develops web applications. So let me clarify: the technical part of the Internet is relatively easy to understand. There’s a lot of reading to do, and a lot of technicalities, but that’s the easy part.
The way the human brain works has interested to me ever since high school. It’s a fascinating topic, still linked to many mysteries and whose study will undoubtedly create astounding insights.
What seemed back then simply an intellectual interest has become much more than that. We’re living in the age of information that exposes us to more and more data, news and 140 characters blocks, instantly accessible through the internet. Knowing how the human brain works is important to navigate our world and our time, to make good decisions or at least to avoid common mistakes.
It’s that time of year again. The time when passionate developers get together all over the world to learn from each other. It’s time for Global Day of Coderetreat!
Yet not everything is perfect. The main complain I hear from people attending Coderetreats, especially after a few of them, is that they get bored with Conway’s Game Of Life. I strongly believe that this issue comes from a misunderstanding of the coderetreat. And I have solutions for you.
The Problem Is Not Important
Coderetreats are about practicing skills. In order to practice, we need a problem and a set of constraints that push us outside the comfort zone, into the learning circle. If you know the problem by heart, great; try constraints you’ve never tried.