Giving Advice Doesn’t Work, I found a better way

I was recently chatting to a friend. He mentioned some area where he was not succeeding . I had the perfect answer. If he’d only follow my advice.

I make this mistake all too often. I can see it in people’s response. They fell insulted or just irritated that I would try to give advice. I do it sincerely but it always backfires.

I realized that Giving People Advice Rarely Works.

I found this helpful, maybe you will too
— Read on www.google.co.za/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/do-the-right-thing/201407/giving-people-advice-rarely-works-does?amp

The most gifted books from the tribe of mentors

I read Tribe of Mentors, a year ago, and wrote down all the recommended books. I made notes on these books as I wanted to see if there are commonalities between the things highly successful people read. To no surprise, I found that many of the mentors recommended the same books.

I thought it would be helpful to create a list of the top ten recommended books. This list is in order of most occurrences and according to my naive method for counting and making notes.

Continue reading “The most gifted books from the tribe of mentors”

5 Quotes to ponder on from Tribe Mentors

I wrote a quick review on the book, A tribe of mentors, but wanted to go into more detail and give you some of the quotes that that really hit home for me. I chose 5 of them to share with you.

I truly found a lot of value in this book. If you are interested, go ahead and read my quick review here and then get a copy for yourself.

Continue reading “5 Quotes to ponder on from Tribe Mentors”

a brilliant talk on how to prepare for success

I watched this talk and it answered most of the questions I had about how to succeed and make an impact.

The talk is titled “You and your research/career”, implying your career is something to be studied.

You should watch it yourself, but for me, the main take away is: “Work on important things with important people”.

I hope you learn something that inspires you to take charge of your career. Where do you want to be, who do you want to work with and what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind.

I got this talk from: Must-See Tech Talks for Every Programmer

Take a Nap, Change your life Book Review

I used to ascribe to the phrase: “sleep when you die”, but to what benefit? Hustling? Working hard? That may seem like the best thing to do now, but it may take 3 times as long for you to reach your goals, if you are burnt out, as you make a lot of mistakes in this state.

The title of this book grabbed my attention. Who doesn’t what to change their lives for the better? I guess most of us do, so the things I take form this book was exactly what I expeceted: Working smart and sharpening your most valued tool, the mind, is simply one of the best things you can do for your better future.

The book teaches that napping has many benefits and encourages you to incorporate a nap into your daily routine. On regular days, a short nap will do, but on days when you feel more exhausted taking a longer one is perfectly fine.

The short 20-minute nap gives you a boost in energy and alertness, which is good for motor learning skills. The longer 90-minute nap gives you a full sleep cycle, improved emotional state, and procedural memory, this also helps with new connections in the brain. Source for more data.

What I didn’t like about the book. I was expecting a 5 pager to be honest. Give me all the good stuff and let me go to bed right now. The book focuses on education around sleep in general. It makes a short hit at the naps and how to do it. The main focus is on understanding how sleep works.

You should read this book, if you want to undrestand why napping is important and how your sleep cycles work.

This book may not change your life, but applying the principles may have an exponential impact on your health, happiness and possibly even bank account.

Creative Computer Science

I read an interesting article on how personal development as a Software Engineer should be largely focused on thinking rather than specific technologies.

To add to this, when you happen upon the new shiny tool, language or technology you should look at it and try to decipher the underlying ideas and concepts that allow it to exist.

We need to focus more on ideas and less on implementation and specific technologies.

Link: https://www.ybrikman.com/writing/2014/05/19/dont-learn-to-code-learn-to-think/

5 things to keep in your Journal

Today, while reading my Journal, I had a weird feeling. The feeling that my Journal was actually becoming valuable to me. Like I’d be willing to put up a reward if I’ve lost it.

Keeping a Journal has been so beneficial, I believe it is slowly changing my life, for the better. I’ve written about this already, but to add to it, I wanted to share with you the 5 categories I jot down in my journal as they come up. Anything else besides these, I generally try to keep out of my Journal. The reason for ignoring everything else is this, these 5 things give me the positive reinforcement I need when I read my Journal entries.

1. Ideas

Ideas that are positive, Ideas that build you up. Ideas for changing the way you think. Ideas that may help you improve and Ideas for a better future.

2. Keeping track of personal development

I still need to figure this one out, but a simple question here is how am I doing on the personal development front. I get to this category when I’ve slipped up. When I have not been disciplined with working towards my goals. It’s just a place of honesty where I can write about why I failed and then try to find some motivation for going further.

3. Important Events

Any important Event. I just write them down, good and bad. This to bring some reality to the lofty dreams, goals and Ideas I write down besides them. 

4. To put into writing what one cannot easily say in public

This is for those times when you have things on your heart that are hard to explain or say. They may cause harm in their raw form, they are hard because saying things mean dealing with them as well. Somehow dealing with things in writing is much easier for me than saying the challenging matter out loud. This kind of Journaling I use to untie the knot of the emotions and separate out truths and feelings.

5. To dump good thoughts

Thoughts and Ideas are very similar, but to me, they are things that linger. Things that build up. They may be inspired by ideas, events even other thoughts. These, I believe, form a core part of our character. I start my day with a clear mind, and as I go through the day, it gets clouded with many thoughts. I would like to hold on to good thoughts and minimize bad and sometimes destructive thoughts.

It’s your journal

This is not a list ascribing to you what you should keep in journal, but it is a nudge to help you think about a more structured approach to the things one should have in your journal. Being intentional brings you, the writer and hopefully the reader, a lot more value in the end.

Why I’m learning a new Programming Language called Go

For the past few years, I got stuck in a rut, a good one. My sole focus was not the technology I used. but rather the thought processes behind why and how I write code. I write in PHP and I mainly focus on the WordPress CMS. This pays the bills and helps me take care of my family but, while focusing on thought processes, I didn’t realise that learning a new language can have the same effect, helping me think differently about similar problems.

So why Go (#golang)? This one I stumbled upon by accident. A colleague of mine, Akeda, automated one of our workflows. Before this, we had a weird process involving multiple tools and steps. His script made life just a little easier. I thought one could improve it just a little bit more, but in oreder to do this I had to go digging into Go source code.

After hacking on this project and getting it “mostly working” I decided to dig a bit deeper into Go. I found out immediately that it was created by a few very smart people at Google. It is open source and has a very strong community. More specifically, Docker, the tool I use all the time, was written in Go(mind blown gif goes here).

With Go you to create systems software. I know my way around PHP and this is great, but there are a few things an interpreted language simply can’t do. This presented me with another opportunity to learn.

Go is written in Go! Yep, that means you can eventually read and contribute to any bugs in the language itself, if that’s something you’re interested in. I think it’s great that one only needs to learn on language to get involved with an entire commuinity.

Learning GO is free, no need to buy expensive books. Do the tour, then work through How to write go code and then read Effective Go. After this, you can start using the language. If you are new to programming you may need more help.

With Go, most of the tooling forms part of the language. The following things are already included: code documentation generation, testing, dependencies etc. In most languages I know these are third party tools. They may not work exactly how you want them to, but they work and they remove the burden of having to choose between third-party options. Though third-party options are available, the idea is that everything you need to be productive should be part of the language.

New languages force us to think differently about the same problems, as per this stack overflow answer:

It’s not about the next “new thing”. It’s about thinking in different ways outside of your normal thought patterns

I hope this inspires you to pick up a new language. There are so many to choose from.

Featured image is a gophers, the Go mascot. It was created with https://gopherize.me/. Creating a unique gopher.