January 2011

The Long Game

January 13, 2011

To follow up on yesterday’s post about pushy parents, one key problem with the micro-managing is that parents make many important micro-level decisions about their children’s future and that doesn’t make much sense in a changing world. One example of this was a relative of mine who, over 40 years ago, got a Ph. D. […]

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Micromanaging Parents

January 11, 2011

Amy Chua is clearly insane and I am lucky I had way better parents: What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their […]

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Spreadsheets And Tables

January 10, 2011

Something that I see repeatedly is people opening an Excel file when they want to type in a table of information. They do this even if the table contains no numbers, there are no calculations required and some of the cells contains whole sentences and paragraphs. A common scenario is people using spreadsheets for tracking […]

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Great Software Development Blogs Revisited

January 9, 2011

I see that of my list of 5 great software development blogs from 2007, only one (Scott Berkun) is still going strong. Jeff Atwood is still posting, but much less frequently than before. The others have officially quit. I wonder if the age of great software blogs is over. Many of my other favorite software […]

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Writing Good Code

January 8, 2011

Randall Munroe (of XKCD) has a nice take on writing good code: Of course, this is an over-simplification, but it is true that if you set out simply trying to write perfect code, you will never reach there. The achievable target is succeeding in meeting your requirements with a reasonable level of quality, which is […]

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Unknown Unknowns

January 7, 2011

Jurgen Appelo’s take on unknown unknowns needs a little more work: It is important to understand that the unknown always depends on the observer. Some people already knew about black swans, but that didn’t make them any less surprising to those who had never seen them. My fellow board members already knew they wanted to leave […]

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Hot Blood, Cold Blood

January 6, 2011

How do you go about making good decisions? Well, a lot of business books and writers think that if you follow their “tried-and-tested” methods for decision-making, you will be very successful. They also think that you live in a perfect world where those methods can be used for every possible problem. A world where people […]

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Ignoring the Trivial

January 5, 2011

Paul Graham is spot-on with his post on focus and ignoring silly battles: Someone who does you an injury hurts you twice: first by the injury itself, and second by taking up your time afterward thinking about it. If you learn to ignore injuries you can at least avoid the second half. I’ve found I […]

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Common Passwords

January 4, 2011

The Wall Street Journal recently posted the top 50 passwords leaked from the Gawker website. Some of it is funny, including “trustno1” which for some reason, meant trusting Gawker with one’s username and password. Jeff Atwood had a good analysis about what one could learn from the hack. I mostly agree with it, but would […]

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Highly Skilled People Versus The Markets

January 3, 2011

Dan Ariely writes about a meeting with a locksmith: this locksmith was penalized for getting better at his profession. He was tipped better when he was an apprentice and it took him longer to pick a lock, even though he would oftentimes break the lock! Now that it takes him only a moment, his customers […]

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