I wish I had people like Michael Wade teaching me at school. A proper education in life.

Curtis McHale shares his process for routines using Things for iOS.

Honoured to once again find myself in amongst a wonderful collection of bloggers.

Many thanks Kurt.

We don’t do Thanksgiving in the Lang household on account of being in the UK, but if we did, we would definitely adhere to Michael Wade’s 10 rules for Thanksgiving.

Bracing myself for a week of Brexit drama.

Building back out from self-doubt

Jonathon Snook has been sharing a few thoughts on imposter syndrome and what he’s doing to overcome it.

It seems that every once in a while I go through this same phase of self-doubt, but it’s never been as bad as it was a couple of months ago. Giving up on freelancing and returning to a full-time job required a series of significant changes that added to this phase.

I was no longer working for myself. I would be working for an employer and therefore also working with and for other people. When you’re freelancing, there’s an element of being a lone wolf. It’s not entirely isolating, but you don’t need to worry so much about other people. You deliver what the client wants. Working for an employer is different. You have to align yourself with the companies goals and those that you are working with.

Working from home for some years means that I was fortunate enough to find my own routine that worked for me. From the comfort of my house, I could play the music I wanted, take breaks when I wanted, plan my day how I wanted. Working for an employer means being in the office at certain times, aligning your work day with others, making yourself available when others require your time.

Adding to these were some routine changes at home and facing the possibility of a frequent commute. The whole experience led me to question whether I could do the job I was applying for. Not only that, but I was examining the worth of some side-projects I was working on as well as a career change that I am considering for the future. It’s was similar to Jonathon’s stage where at the point of execution, you freeze up.

Every time I get to the point of execution on anything, I start to freeze up. I hit a wall every time I want to put myself out there.

Uneasy by Jonathon Snook

After a few months in full-time work, however, I’m starting to find that I can do the job although given it’s a new role, there are a few weeks of finding your feet.

Not only that, but I’m also reading more, writing more, coding more outside of work. I’m doing these things as they help me build myself back up out of a period of self-doubt. I’m now at the point where I am finding myself enjoying side-projects and returning to a stage where I can see myself executing again.

The only thing I like about Google these days is their homepage doodle.

I don’t use their search page that often now, but I liked their doodle today for the Arecibo message.

Just write the damn code

One of my big downfalls, when I start work on something, is wondering if I am going in the right direction with it technically.

Web development is always changing. It is getting better though. Javascript frameworks are starting to settle down, and fall in line with the regular releases of non-Javascript frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Django.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been reading about Javascript frameworks like Vue and React and what they can offer for web applications. I’ll be honest and say that I’m still not sold on the idea of creating single-page applications with these frameworks, but I can see where they become a benefit for complex web pages.

Then there are things like CSS frameworks, deployment options, containers and a whole ream of other things to consider for the right stack for the application. It’s then that I find myself in a state of “decision limbo”.

Ideally, I would use Rails and a CSS framework and start from there, however, I’m always questioning what should be considered as an alternative.

While reading Nick Janetakis’ article on growing into microservices, I happened across this little nugget of wisdom.

You get better by writing a lot of code with absolute and total intent to replace almost everything you write with better code once you start experiencing real problems first hand.

Microservices Are Something You Grow Into, Not Begin With by Nick Janetakis

I needn’t worry about the implications of my technical decisions until I come across some real technical problems. When I do come across those problems, I should only look at the options available to me then.

In other words, just write damn code Matthew.

On a final note, Nick Janetakis’ article is an excellent guide to those starting new development projects and looking to use microservices. In a nutshell, don’t.

Coffee and worrying don't go

I’m with Kurt on this, amen brother.

In my diet plan you can have as much coffee as you like. Because in my diet, you drink coffee because it tastes so damned good.

Blah, blah, blah by Kurt Harden

I love Curtis’ idea for a daily shutdown routine.

I wish I could have read this when I started high school all those years ago.

Starting High School: Advice From an Insider

The Simplest of Productivity Boosters, a new series by Nicholas Bate.

Can’t wait to get the mini-book for this one.

As always, Matt Gemmell provides a thorough and deep dive into his tech choices as an author. This time, it’s the new iPad Pro.

Still trying to land the Rockbounce to wallride twice in one run for Alto’s Odyssey. I’ve been stuck at this for a few months now, and every few days I try again. I’m not usually one for persisting with games, but Alto’s Odyssey is too beautifully made to abandon it.

The power-idea balancing act with Michael Wade.

Weighing up single-page applications

With a new full-time role, I’m in the process of getting my head around some of the technology choices I’ll be working with and the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

One of those choices is building single-page applications (SPA) with a JavaScript framework for the front-end. I can see why this choice was made, but I’m now weighing up whether it is worth considering for my own projects. With that in mind, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about single-page applications.

I liked Jim Newbury’s article on single-page applications and his point about understanding what you are building.

We ask “What framework should we use for this whole app?” for new products up front, when we don’t even understand what we’re building yet. It’s far less wasteful to ask “What technical approach best supports this user need?” on a case-by-case basis as we learn more about those user needs during incremental product design and development.

Create your own dysfunctional single-page app in five easy steps by Jim Newbury

Sure your team might be well versed in building single-page applications, but it’s not the best fit for all types of applications. It’s all about finding the right tool for the job.

Ruby on Rails is a good starting point for most of the projects that I work on, but I know it’s not a good fit for other types of projects. For other projects I know I would need to use another set of development tools.

I understand the benefits of using single-page applications, but it’s not a style of application that will yield immediate benefits in my own, smaller projects. I’ll stick with the tried and tested multiple-page application monoliths for now.

I imagine that the Twitter edit button will be limited to a number of edits and will also include a changelog so that people can refer to any version of a tweet. Good for typos and keeping people accountable for what they tweet.

A manifesto for programmers concerned about the impact of software.

I’m definitely in the techno-pessimist camp. To the point where every day I’m questioning the merits of software eating the world.

How many companies are this transparent when it comes to making mistakes?

Fewer than I would like to say, but hats off to Basecamp for owning up and being accountable.

Reviewers say iPad Pro a serious challenger to laptops.

Well, until they add the capability to write and compile code locally, it will never be a true challenger to the laptop in my eyes.

Chasing the tried and tested career

During my last few months of job hunting, I was received numerous enquiries from recruiters for positions in startups and recently formed organisations.

Instead of flat-out declining these offers, I would research the organisation first and then make a decision based on their industry, growth and their suggested work culture. I say suggested as you can never tell with a company what they will be like to work for until you start working for them. Based on these findings I found that I always declined to move forward with the application.

The thing about startups is that they are organisations with no track history. They’re young and new, and while that might be an attraction for others, it’s not something that I am looking for in my future career.

I’m looking for to work in an organisation that is tried and tested. They have experience in their sector and they have a steady platform from which to grow from. And it’s not just in an software development that I am looking for this, but further forward into my career as well.

I’m looking into a different career path that while is new to me isn’t a new type of job in itself. This role has been around for decades but is something that I am interested to move into. Time will tell if I can make the move to this new role, but at least I know that it’s something that will be around for years to come.

My favourite notes app just turned 2 and continues to be an essential part of my day.

Nicholas Bate asks, what can we remove?