Hard Deadlines

annoyances / programming

On almost every single project I’ve worked on, hard deadlines have nearly always been the cause of any stress or frustration that arises. One day you’re asked to make rough estimates and then next thing you know they become pegged to a date in the future that you must meet at all cost (But you said you think it would only take X days!). Even worse is when someone non-technical makes the estimates for you and passes them down from on high (Look, this is the all the time we have, I’m sure you’ll be fine!).

Why do we still insist on having hard deadlines? Yeah I know, we asked for more features but now the project is “late” so you’ve failed to do your job. Yet, if the deadline wasn’t concrete, the project would have more features then initially scoped and delivered in a timely fashion, you’re a success!

New features are always requested, changes are always wanted and bugs will always be found. If everyone just accepted (understood) that writing software isn’t exact science then we’d all have a lot less stress to deal with and we can stop feeling like a failure for not meeting that pie-in-the-sky deadline.

Battling Procrastination

life / work

It makes no sense to leave the Dark Woods in favor of the Dark Playground—they’re both dark. They both suck to be in, but the big difference is the Dark Woods leads to happiness and the Dark Playground leads only to more misery. But the Instant Gratification Monkey isn’t logical and to him, the Dark Playground seems like much more fun.

An absolutely brilliant two part series on procrastination. My most hated enemy.

Part 1: Why Procrastinators Procrastinate
Part 2: How to Beat Procrastination

Accessing Spree routes from outside a controller

programming / spree

Some custom reports I was adding to Spree required links back to the products being listed. Accessing the Spree routes is slightly different to accessing normal Rails routes from outside a controller/view:

When to speak up

business / life

“Rooting for your team to fail is as bad as it sounds. Even if you said early and often that this path was a stupid one, that this destination makes no sense–if you’re on the plane, if you’re in the meeting, if you decided to play the game–then once the journey starts, your job is to get us there, safe and sound.”

I’m 100% guilty of this. I will bitch and moan like there’s no tomorrow and often when it’s too late to actually do anything. It’s better to make the most of a bad situation rather than doom everything to failure. It’s not helpful and doesn’t do anyone any favours.

Building a cathedral

life / quotes

Three stone masons in the middle ages were hard at work when a visitor came along and asked them what they were doing.

The first stone mason was hard at work, sweat beading his brow. “I am cutting this stone”, he grumbled.

The second stone mason, though less distraught, responded with a deep sigh, “I’m building a parapet”.

The third stone mason, replied with a radiant face, “I am building a cathedral that will glorify God for centuries to come”.

rvm can not be run with `set -o posix`

servers

Setting up a new Ubuntu 12.04 LTS server I kept getting the error below when trying to run the rvm command.

This was solved by changing the login shell for my user. It prompts for your password and shell which I changed from /bin/sh to /bin/bash.

Hackintosh phantom wake from sleep

computing / mac

For some reason since updating Mountain Lion on my hackintosh my computer would mysteriously wake up in the middle of the night. As sleeping and waking had never been 100% I figured that it was just down to a quirk of having a hackintosh. But I did some digging and after some searching and log investigation I found the following entries:

Which lead me to believe it was a config issue, and a quick look through the preferences un-earthed the following:

Energy Preferences

Disabling “Wake for ethernet internet access” has solved my problems and there haven’t been any phantom wake from sleeps since.

It’s never as bad as it seems

life

Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. There are only a handful of situations which are truly terrible. While I sit here and dred not making a shit tonne of money, there are people who have to worry about how they are going to shelter and feed their family, there are people facing certain death for their beliefs and views, there are people with absolutely nothing, with no hope and no prospect of ever changing that.

We should be eternally grateful for the things that we do have, because there is always someone else worse off. So when times seem hard and the road ahead difficult, remember those people worse off than us and let it spur us on to do the best that we can given the opportunities laid before us.

Going through the motions

life

Going through the motions is easy. It’s easy to go to the gym and move about a bit. It’s easy to turn up for work and put in the minimum neccessary. It’s easy to be busy and not really achieve anything. Day in, day out we go through the motions of life, blinded by the illusion of progress. But just because the wheels are turning it doesn’t mean we’re actually going anywhere. To get big and strong in the gym takes serious dedication constant pushing ourselves to the limit. To be successful at work takes going above and beyond what’s expected of us and delivering excellent work. Progress is the key. Are you better than you were yesterday? Yes? Good. No? Try harder tomorrow. Be aware of your current state and actions and be sure they are moving you forward.