The technical debt of your former self

As we mature and become better developers there’s a funny case of code we previously wrote taking on a certain amount of technical debt purely because we have more experience and knowledge on how to tackle the same problems. We’ve all been there, having gone back to look at code we thought was great at the time to only wonder what the hell we were thinking, or gone back to reduce a long method to a single line. Technical debt is inevitable if we continually seek to improve our skills.

First things first

I have a small check list of things I aim to do every day. This includes things like meditate, write, vlog, foam roll/stretch etc. The problem is I put off the majority of them until late at night and on most occasions end up skipping them in favour of going to bed. While I get to say I got some of the things done, I’m still treating them as an after thought to the rest of my day. Really what I should be doing is putting first things first and getting these things done before I do anything else. Why am I putting things like browsing the news, Reddit and YouTube first? I tell myself “Well I’m just getting started, I need to ease myself into it”, but really that is just an excuse to put things off. So from now on I’m going to start putting first things first.

Films of 2014

In contrast to my Books of 2014 posting, here are the films of 2014.

  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Blackfish
  • Hangover II
  • Escape Plan
  • Ender’s Game
  • Homefront
  • Broken City
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Wolf on Wall Street
  • Snowpiercer
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Metro Manila
  • Perfume
  • Olympus Has Fallen
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Apocolypto
  • Godzilla
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
  • The God of Cookery
  • The Grand Budapest
  • Non Stop
  • Her
  • King of Comedy
  • The Raid 2
  • The Man from Nowhere
  • Sabotage
  • Kill Zone SPL
  • On the Job
  • The One I Love
  • The Morning After
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • 22 Jump Street
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  • Camp X-Ray
  • Interstellar
  • The Taking of Deborah Logan
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • American Hustle
  • November Man
  • Lucy
  • Fault in the Stars
  • Stonehearst Asylum
  • Gone Girl
  • The Equalizer
  • Chef
  • Dumb and Dumber Too
  • Foxcatcher

Quite a lot of re-watches. Stand out films where “Interstellar”, “Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, “The Grand Budapest”, “Her”, “Metro Manila”, “The One I Love” and “The Raid 2″.

Books of 2014

Didn’t read as much as I wanted/hoped this year.

  • The Millionaire Fastlane (3/1/2014)
  • How to Fail at almost Everything and Still Win Big (15/1/2014)
  • Hooked: How to build habit-forming products (26/1/2014)
  • The Power of Habit (23/2/2014)
  • Go for No! (25/2/2014)
  • All that is Solid (31/3/2014)
  • Manuscript Found in Accra (1/4/2014)
  • Fluent in 3 Months (23/4/2014)
  • David & Goliath – Audiobook (25/4/2014)
  • Be Iron Fit (27/4/3014)
  • No Exit (5/4/2014)
  • The Obstacle is the Path (10/6/2014)
  • The 1 Hour China Book (16/6/2014)
  • Beyond Training (10/7/2014)
  • On the Shortness of Life (18/07/2014)
  • Software as a Disservice (7/9/2014)
  • How to fix Your Software Project (15/9/2014)
  • Growth Hacking Handbook (Skimmed) (10/10/3014)
  • The Martian (21/10/2014)
  • How to Get to the Top of Google (Skimmed) (31/10/2014)
  • Smart Calling (Skimmed) (31/10/2014)
  • The Three Body Problem (26/11/2014)

This year’s stand out books were “How to Fail at almost Everything and Still Win Big”, “All that is Solid”, “The Obstacle is the Path” and “The Three Body Problem”.

Not so remote

Fostering a team feeling when everyone is remote can be extremely difficult. It’s easy to feel like you are working in a total silo, and can be made worse if everyone is spread across distant timezones. Being able to function as a team is a key component to project success. Feeling isolated and alone when problems come up can make work frustrating and stressful at times. Here are a few ways to try and overcome that:

  • Try and arrange core hours where the whole team is available and together on Skype/HipChat/Slack.
  • A weekly call with everyone to update on work, issues and client feedback.
  • A daily call between project managers and members of the team to chat about current progress and the project as a whole.
  • Code sharing sessions. Show code to other members on the team and explain what features are and how you’ve gone about implementing them.