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{ Category Archives } advancement of the self

Clown Trousers

An indirect side effect of stopping programming is that none of my trousers fit any more. People who like to explain things before they have all the facts (or “programmers” as we sometimes call them) will justify this observation by pointing out that I have more time for exercise now. I do, but I don’t […]

Week Seven

Having spent a few weeks trying all of the things and letting life happen, this week was about selection and focus. What should I actually concentrate on, and put energy into? It’s time to add some structure to this situation. Dropping all of the things and taking life as it comes was relaxing, enjoyable, and […]

Week five

“You look so much happier!” I get the best compliments. Also, I feel so much happier. I have put people, friendships, connections, and experiences first, and am taking advantage of the rewards. One such experience was a visit a couple of further education (16-18 years old) computing classes in my county. I was mostly there […]

Week four

Pragma conf was a lot of fun! I met loads of new and old friends, which led to meaningful conversations about what we do, what we sometimes feel we should do, and what we want to do. One such conversation, with Chris Eidhof, was about how we think about programming. It was brought to mind […]

Staying power

You would imagine that by now I would have come to realise how long my attention span is and worked to find projects that fit within it, but no. This is one of the changes I need to make soon. So often I start a project really excited by it, but am really excited by […]

Week three

This is both an international and a hyper-local update. I say international, although I’m still in an airport less than twenty miles from my house. I’m on my way to Florence, to talk about *-oriented programming at Pragma Conference 2015. It’ll be fun to catch up with friends in a new city, and close the […]

Week Two

As week one featured an observation of how post-work life was similar to working life, this week’s post is a catalogue of differences. Not all of these differences are huge. No watch I own five watches (three wrist, two pocket) but have only worn one once in the last two weeks. Most of the time, […]

Tempus Fugit

A common concern programmers have when I talk about my year off is that I’ll be unemployable at the end of it. After all, the industry moves really quickly and if I’m off thinking about things that aren’t programming, I’ll fall off the treadmill. Programmers are like the red queen, constantly running in order to […]

Week One

Nearly eight days ago I stopped working to have a break. I’ve been describing it as a “gap year”, because I’ve arranged my finances to last at least that long with some contingency. Also, I want to set a year as the anchor in my mind, so I don’t do what normally happens and take […]

“When I had that problem”

A common lie in programming is that every project is new, that no problem has been seen before. This is the reason given for estimates being bad, for plans being bad, for design being bad…for anything other than diving in uninformed being bad. But I’ve noticed that more and more frequently my discussions about problems-technical […]