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Changes and Progression

Drive has been my primary bottleneck when working on my programming related side projects.  In the past few weeks that has changed and it is due to two things: making changes and visual progression.

Changes

Recently on a collaborative project there was a change made from Ruby.On.Rails to Python and Django.  This change really seemed to re-invigorate the group and a lot of progress has been made and the future is looking much more promising then a couple weeks ago.  Just by making this change the whole groups’ enthusiasm, drive, and interest has blossomed.  Now the challenge is keeping the momentum going.

Progression

Seeing that progress does two things builds confidence which bleeds into all avenues of life and creates a drive to use the confidence to start seeing progress in all those avenues.  Start doing something that you really enjoy and try to find a way to view your progress.  Having a way to visualize and monitor the progression will help greatly building that confidence.  Just get the ball rolling and dig in.

 

It is going to be hard and it should be.

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Eating Habits – Adding and Subtracting

I have made a lot of changes in my eating habits recently and I have learned a couple things.

  1. Adding to a diet is just as important as removing items from it.  Adding leafy greens (kale, mustard greens, broccoli) for example is just as important as removing sugar.  Replacing old foods with new and different ones will help keep those new eating habits on track.
  2. Depending on your activity level you will have to physically consume more food.  Those carbohydrates need to be replaced with other sources of energy.  Get use to chewing those leafy greens.
Obivously when tackling new eating habits it is always recommended to consult with a doctor, nutritionist, or somebody who knows what they are talking about.

* Please note when I use the word diet I am referring to this.

Benefits of Big Problems

Background

I started a new job on September 13th and inherited a system that  was developed by a third party and no one in the company had any experience with the code base.  Luckily I worked for the third party in the past and had experience with some of the frameworks in use.

 

Cause

Even with my background I had a lot of ground to make up in order to get a complete understanding of the system.  In order to get a basic understanding of the system I worked on some minor issues and got some confidence.

I eventually felt comfortable with the changes I worked on and decided to deploy them into production.  Once deployed the updates did not work (you could not even log into the system).  This was a BIG PROBLEM and it was my fault.

 

Reaction

First thing was to remove the updates and revert to the previous version.  DONE.  Now time for the hard part figuring out what the hell happened.

I spent days going step by step through the code and analyzing what the application was doing throughout the application.  I was forced to look through 90% of the code base and establish how everything worked and how the architecture was setup.    This was a very tedious, time consuming, and frustrating process.  When the issue was finally discovered it was a relatively easy fix and once implement the new updates were deployed with great success.

 

Benefit

Obviously the benefit from this incident is the newly found understanding of the system and how it works.  Even though the time spent on this issue was painful it forced me to gain a deeper understanding of the system, which in the long run should help.

 

Reflection

This is not the best case scenerio.  Problems like this should not occur and overall this was a failure on my part, however, I did learn a lot and will do my best for this not to happen in the future.

 

Large Team Experiance

I have never worked on a software project with more than 3 developers including myself.

I find this to be one of my weaknesses.  Even though I don’t see being part of a team more than 4 developers in the next couple years I feel I need to improve in this area.

The obvious solution is to contribute to an open source project.  I find large open source applications very intimidating and very hard to find a project of interest that I could actually contribute too.

What I am trying to say is to improve and enhance your skills you need to push yourself and get outside of your comfort zone.

If I have not written a post about contributing to a open source project by 2012, a rain of shame should be brought upon me.

Personal Wiki

I have a lot of things that I do on a frequent basis such as: background color to alpha, change owner on directory, and change permissions on all files in a directory.

I need a place to store these bits of knowledge and these bits will need to be updated so a wiki would be a perfect place to store them.

Hence, http://berekbryan.wikispaces.com/

Reading Rhythm

I have been actively reading something since my sophomore year of college (2005).  After all this time I have noticed a rhythm to my reading.  There seems to be three stages the setup, the story, and the climax and with each stag my reading habits change with them.

Introduction

At the start (say first 75 pages) I am a very slow reader, almost embarrassingly slow, and I tend to read in short bursts of about 20 minutes .  I always attributed this to being rusty or not being in the right sense of mind, however, I have been actively reading for 5 and a half years.  When starting a story there is a lot of information to absorb including: characters, relationships, culture, setting, background, and the author’s style.  The first 75 pages are providing that information and reading slower in short sessions allows for the absorption of that material.

The Story

Once in the middle I am in a pretty good groove a.k.a cruise control.  I got the background, the characters are all in order, and I have a grasp of the authors style.  I am reading in longer sessions and much faster.

Dessert

This is when the book is getting really good and the climax is just within sight.  At this point I am reading at my fastest pace and reading for 1 to 1.5 hours at a time.  Staying up an extra hour before bed to get that last chapter in.

Done

Once it is finished I have a few emotions in this order enjoyment (man that was good), pride (eff yeah I just read the shit out of that book), sadness (it over, lame), and excitement (what am I going to read next!).

Key Features for a Computer Case

There are a number of key features that a computer case needs to have.
  • Bottom mounted PSU – better heat and air flow management
  • Raised motherboard tray – cable routing and advanced cooling systems
  • Top mounted  I/O Ports – more accessible
  • Screw-less bay mounting – screw are a pain
  • Convenient HDD access – the worst is having a HDD bay that is difficult to add and remove from and limited in space
These features will make things easier when working on the hardware and using the computer in general.