Reading In between employments

Whenever i move from one employer to another, I make sure to take a few weeks off to read.
So I will have new knowledge than i can potentially be a better person at the new job.

This gives me chance to detox (from the old Job) and catch up on all the books I’ve bought but haven’t read yet.
This allows me to learn new things that i might be able to use to improve the way I work.

Don’t just buy books, buy the time to read them too.

This might be an expensive move, few weeks of unemployment.

But this means that to be able to do this, you should’ve already built healthy personal finance habits.
This basically means you should have an Emergency Fund. An Emergency fund is about 3-6 months worth of your living expenses.
Living expenses, not monthly salary.

There are many good reasons to have this which includes the ability to take weeks of rest when you resign from a job.
This also allows you to not be scared of losing your job, which means you won’t be afraid to stand up for things you know are right.

No more summer vacations

Summer vacations end the moment we leave college.
its always nice to have one every few years.
I’m not recommending you have one every year though.
But in case you do get that chance, take that time to unwind and prepare properly for a new career ahead.

Decision-Making is what pays

if you want to improve your impact at work and your salary, strive to be a decision maker.

If you are a tech-guy, and a good one at that, it means you get to decide within the team what tools to use and how to implement them.
If you are not aware of it, it is your ability to pick a road and decide is what you are being paid for, not your ability to use a tool or a language.

If you want to explore the business, managerial side (coming from a programming background) then you must be able to provide decisions
relating to “How you can improve the business using programming/automation”.

Look at CEOs and other C officials, they don’t do grunt work, they are there to think and decide about major things.
Those who get promoted, are chosen because their superiors can trust them to make smaller decisions for them.

Everyone want’s a higher salary, we should work to get there and be genuinely valuable.

How do I Improve my decision-making?

First, master your craft, you can’t make sound decisions if you are just guessing and don’t know your work by heart.

Second, learn how to gather relevant metrics for your work and your goals so you can make data-driven decisions instead of
just drafting conclusions out of thin air or gut feeling.

If I’m already a decision-maker what do I do next?

chances are you have subordinates at this point, teach them the science you use to make decisions.
So they can grow and learn how to make small decisions for you.
So you can move on and think about higher level problems and hopefully get to be making decisions on the higher levels of the organization.
By doing this, you don’t only lift yourself up but also your subordinates.

Books are not scary

I read personal development books, mostly to learn, but what keeps me going is that i find it fun.

Books are filled with real-life stories and anecdotes

personal development books are not all numbers, figures and data, they are not like your elementary or college textbooks!

authors often take time to interview and gather stories of other people to support the topic they are writing about, reading stories is pretty much like how you read about scifi or fiction novels, only that this is real life.

What’s the deal breaker here is to find good story tellers, I often buy and stick with authors who are good story tellers.
those books (and their amazing story tellers) are listed here

Personal development books often have 1-10 concepts only!

believe it or not, there are not lots of concepts that you need to ingest for each book, good authors try to lessen cognitive load (quality over quantity).
many formats go iike 2-10 topics/concepts repeated over and over, via different stories and anecdotes reaching up to, oftentimes, 300 pages.

You do not need to finish a book in one day!

too many people pressure themselves into doing this, and if not possible they just wont read at all.

I actually don’t recommend this, I often break down a 300 page book into 10-12 pages per day (every morning), that’s 25-30 days!

this habit gives me lots of time to think about what i read per day and make them really stick, this is like watching your favorite netflix series where after a few seasons you get absorbed too much in that show’s universe vs bingwatching an 8 part series overnight.

My personal habit is to set a regular routine

whenever possible, when i wake up in the morning and get myself done, i stop by at a coffee shop, to read.
there’s just that ambiance that says “you should be productive here”, maybe because there are other people working, reading, studying as well!

then after 30-60mins of reading i go back home or go to work, (by this time im already energized with new ideas that i can reflect on all day)
yes you read that right.. oftentimes it takes me 30-60mins to get thru 10-12 pages.. lol.. lots of re-reading, internalizations, recalling past events where this new found information could’ve been useful, thinking of potential scenarios where i can apply them, etc.. then distractions,,facebook,etc….

Just read that first page and before you know it, your book is done and you’ve adopted a positive habit.

What programmers don’t tell you: we join FREE events and watch people present about what they know

  • is a site where we find various groups to join.
  • there are many Programming related groups
  • newbies to the tech (or niche of a group) are often very welcome (since most groups aim to grow their community (you don’t need to be an expert to join them!)

How are meetups/events run?

  • groups often set a regular meetup date
  • there are assigned speakers (volunteers from members) per meetup, (attendees can just sit back and watch,observe,learn and ask questions)
  • meetup venues usually changes per meetup event (since they always look for companies willing to lend a space
  • the venue host often provides snacks too (often pizza..and beer)

What can i get from these events?

  • new knowledge, if you continuously attend a group for a topic you don’t know, you will eventually learn them and be more familiar with them
  • this allows us to learn what other people our doing (so we are not restricted to use-cases, experiences within our current company)
  • this can help us expland our network and potentially find people who can help us learn and even find job opportunities.

What programmers don’t tell you: we invest time on a problem tool/tech before asking ourselves “SHOULD WE?”

most of the time we get invested on a tool/tech/problem and we just can’t move on without scratching that itch.
we often think about “COULD WE?” rather han “SHOULD WE?” so we push the idea/tool/tech even if it is not really needed

be careful of this pitfall

see this anime clip to see how it’s like

Clean code is simple and direct

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image from Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror blog

Clean code is simple and direct. Clean code reads like well-written prose. Clean code never obscures the designer’s intent but rather is full of crisp abstractions and straightforward lines of control.

Grady Booch author of Object
Oriented Analysis and Design with

I could list all of the qualities that I notice in clean code, but there is one overarching quality that leads to all of them. Clean code always looks like it was written by someone who cares. There is nothing obvious that you can do to make it better. All of those things were thought about by the code’s author, and if you try to imagine improvements, you’re led back to where you are, sitting in appreciation of the code someone left for you—code left by someone who cares deeply about the craft.

Robert C. Martin, Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software


Music to the Ears: Rockabye Cover by Nági

you would think that you’ve seen everything in youtube by now
then you stumble upon talent like this. <3 <3 <3

somehow listening to this makes me miss the beach, the warmth of the sun on my slightly burnt skin and the cool breeze as I lay on a hammock watching the coconut leaves sway ’til i fall asleep and then eventually wake up to a nice view and say “It’s nice to be alive”

Code Reviews

code reviews are meant to uphold an agreed upon standard

it is not an avenue to project your personal coding style to others.

1. build a standard
2. apply the standard via reviews
3. repeat step 1.

code reviews should have goals like
1. syntax
2. formatting
3. tests completeness (path coverage)
4. design adherence (oop, principles)
5. security (looking for insecure functions, known bad patterns, misuse of code,etc)
6. achieve consistency over cleverness
7. make the code look as if it was written by a single person
8. uphold project health

most of things listed above can be automated.

it is not meant to validate if another person’s way of coding matches yours

i’ve lead teams before, all of them were successful thanks to my cooperative teammates who helps me grow and uphold the standards via an objective process

to all aspiring tech leads, i hope this helps you the way it has helped me.

How to skip negativity and be the source of positivity in the workplace

the workplace is filled with nice and kind people, if you can’t find one, be one.

be the help we wish we had, be the boss you wish you had.

always try to leave things in better state than when you’ve found them [boyscout rule]

if you find yourself in a situation where you are neither learning, nor contributing, use your own two feet to go somewhere else. [law of two feet]

always try to make it easy for people to do the right things.

No one wakes up everyday and say “today i wanna do my best to annoy my co-workers”, always remember that!

lead by example.


Things that new employees don’t seem to know about work

Companies are run by people (not machines), everything can be negotiated, dont get blocked by what you see from Job Ads and Bulletins.

Companies don’t always know what they are doing, many just pretend that they do, question the status quo, ask why 5 times, find the first principles. find out why people do things.

Salary/Compensation is never fail and equal, there’s no sense comparing your’s with your co-worker, WE GET WHAT WE ASK FOR. state your desires/skills during interviews (be sure to have the right skills for your job before you demand tho)

Blame is not for failure, it is failing to help others or ask for help, asking for help is something people are too embarassed about. there is nothing embarassing about wanting to improve yourself or your work.