I’m going to make an announcement that may come as a shock to anyone who knows me…
I’ve voluntarily decided to give up coffee.
Those that know me will probably react like the first person who saw me walking around today with a cup of water instead of a cup of coffee: they laughed. I was a heavy coffee drinker, about 5 cups a day. I enjoyed my coffee. I blogged about the wonders of coffee. I identified myself with a cup of coffee. I bought coffee for co-workers, and they bought it for me. I went out for coffee breaks when the smokers went out for cigarette breaks. I looked forward to drinking coffee…
So why the change? Ultimately, it came down to health and stress. I drink too much coffee (caffeine) and not enough water, and I’ve been too stressed lately. Coffee (caffeine) is not helping either of those.
After writing that, I decided . . .
→ Read More: First day without coffee… or not?
Today at work, someone wrote the following as a work item summary: “Synch production and test data”.
Reading this, I thought, “Which is correct – sync or synch – when shortening synchronize?”
The winner is sync, and here’s why:
We pronounce either variant as sink.
c alone is often pronounced k (cake, panic)
ch alone is often pronounced ch (church, match)
Sync = ”sink”
Synch = “sinch”
One less keystroke for sync
I was happy with that until reading an article on The Language Lover’s Blog, “Sync or Synch?“, which made me conscious of other common variants, such as psych as short for psychology.
Ultimately, my search was put to bed when I read this comment:
you guys are such nerds!!! the world really doesnt care about the voiceles velar fricative converting to a velar plosive. blogging should be eliminated from the internet.
Guilty as charged…
. . .
→ Read More: Sync or synch as short for synchronize?
Author’s Note: I am not a runner, and I probably never will be. My body isn’t made for running. But running is a good metaphor for journeys, and like many others, though I may not run, I still take many journeys in life, some with my body, some with my mind, and some with my heart. The below came to me this morning while driving to work, a journey in itself, as I reflected not on that journey, but on the greater journey of life, and how we get through it: one step at a time.
He had prepared for this for so long, so precisely; yet nothing was going as planned.
For years, he trained on a predictable track, its curves coming at regular intervals, its flatness something he didn’t have to think about. He trained on the perfect days, not too hot, not too cold, just the right amount of moisture in the air . . .
→ Read More: The Runner’s Dilemma: A Story
I’ve been trying to find a SQL programmer/DBA to hire for nearly two months. Each qualified resume I receive gets the same technical screening email with four SQL-related questions. They are not difficult, and most mid-level candidates would be able to answer them in their own words.
“Using someone else’s words isn’t going to get you a job, or help you keep a job if you get it.”
The tip here is to always respond to a technical screening email in your own words. We all know that there are answers to every question on the internet, and we all use the internet as a resource to help solve our problems. This is fine. But when someone sends you an email with technical questions, they want to hear the responses in your own words. It’s OK to provide references to web sites, or quotes/snippets — this shows you know how to do research. But don’t pass . . .
→ Read More: Tip: Don’t plagiarize when answering technical interview questions
One thing I’ve learned to appreciate more as I’ve gotten older is simplicity. Less confusion, less clutter, less distractions can yield less stress and more productivity. (Note: I appreciate it much more than I am actually successful at doing it.)
One area where simplicity is important is in web design. A recent article by Smashing Magazine, “Principles of Minimalist Web Design, With Examples,” does a fair job at illustrating the importance of simplicity on the web, even though it’s focus is more on graphical design (not my specialty!) than interface design.
A link in the aforementioned article goes to an article, “The Minimalist Principle: Omit Needless Things,” by zenhabits, which is the source of the remainder of my comments in this post. . . . → Read More: Simplicity 101: reducing clutter via minimalism