Recommended during our discussion on Career Learning, the book The Pragmatic Programmer is filled with career development advice for software engineers and their friends. Chapter titles include:
I reread my copy every eighteen months or so, and every time I spot something new that I’ve not noticed before. This book is forever new, always prompting me to learn something new. - BevanPragProg.com Book Depository
Recommended during our discussion on Career Learning, the book Deep Work explores the nature of productivity.
Author Cal Newport’s thesis is that we are, as a species, poorly adapted to multitasking. Each context switch costs both time and energy. Spending your entire day flitting from task to task is no way to get anything done - and will leave you exhausted by the end of your day.
The alternative is to focus intently on a single task for an extended time, up to two or three hours at a stretch, without interrupting or distraction.
For anyone working in technology, the ability to focus on what we are doing is paramount. We’re literally paid to think, and to think well, using our technology skills to create business value. This is true regardless of our level of experience; the difference lies only in the complexity and novelty of the problems we’re working to solve.
Reading this book will help you understand how your brain works, and how to get the greatest value out of it. Try it - you’ll be surprised at how effective it can be.CalNewport.com Book Depository
Teaching others to fish (not literally). Although I'd mentored grads early in my career, I hadn't fully appreciated the power of teaching others in the team regardless of their level of experience. It's often too easy to carry on with what you're good at when amongst the weeds, but I found a real sense of pride empowering others to tackle pieces of work I would have previously tackled.
During lockdown our dog's food was out of stock everywhere. Bored one day I set up a Lambda function to check online stock levels and to send me an email when it was back in stock. Recently, a colleague mentioned that he was getting up at 6am to book on a gym class a week in advance, and if he didn't book it straight away he'd miss out. The Lambda function has been resurrected and will be booking his gym classes shortly =D
A tool called Batect. It's developed and maintained by a lead engineer from Thoughtworks, and everything docker compose could have been. If you build and work with containerised applications, you'll find this invaluable. There's no more 'it works on my machine' because all build and test steps run within containers, meaning all that's required is Docker to be installed on the host's machine. Another awesome benefit is that CICD pipelines become extremely lightweight as it executes a series of batect commands - exactly the same as what's ran on an engineer's machine.
To replace ruinous empathy with radical candour, because being nice is not always kind in the longer term (watch the Radical Candor TED Talk)
Thor Ragnorak still makes me laugh so much. Humour is essential! That's why the OG Star Wars films are better than all the rest.
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