Month: March 2016

First thoughts on the Apple Watch

The last time I bought a new watch was probably 2008 or 2009. It was a self-winding mechanical watch with exposed gears that was absolutely beautiful; unfortunately it stopped keeping time in 2010. I received another watch that Christmas, which I wore for a few months, but after that I stopped; after all, why wear a watch when we’re constantly surrounded by clocks? So I’ve been watchless for five years. One thing I’ve considered for a few years now is a smartwatch, but they haven’t seemed to have enough capability to be worth the money. After reading John Sonmez’s review of the Apple...

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Test-driving a Tesla

This past week, I had the opportunity to test-drive a Tesla. Tesla has been on my radar for a few years now. I’m not much of a car person, but their cars are just really cool and I’ve been considering preordering the model 3, so I took advantage of a trip to Chicago to check out the S. Overall, there were a few things that I didn’t like about the car. It’s pretty low and isn’t as easy to get into and out of as it could be (and it doesn’t feel as roomy as my Camry). There are no...

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Delegation, flexibility, and software development

Something that occurred to me yesterday is how much less structured my work week is than it used to be. When I was a new developer, my TL (team lead) liked to have everyone maintain a spreadsheet showing everything that we were currently working on, with an estimate of how many hours we were planning to put into each item for the coming week. I was never convinced of the ability of the average developer (or, more specifically, of myself) to accurately estimate how long things would take, but it at least showed how much time would be taken up by meetings, vacation, etc, and how much work everyone had on their plate. Over time, I stopped doing the spreadsheet, and my workplan meetings largely became me saying “I’m currently working on this, this, and this” and my TL saying “ok, sounds good” or “I need you to prioritize this other thing.” This worked for me – I still had a good idea of what I was going to be working on, but I wasn’t spending time typing up estimates of how long each change would take. These days, that’s still how my workplan meetings go, but two things have changed. One is that I now bring written notes, because even though I don’t feel the need to do the formal plans we used to use, I have too...

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