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Showing posts from September, 2014

Rules of Productivity

Yesterday I have stumbled upon interesting presentation about productivity at work.

It is called Rules of Productivity.

What interested me most:

For creative work 35 hours should be maximum week lengthTeams size between 4-8 are bestTeam should have its own room (+100% to productivity). I had a gut feeling about open spaces being harmful, it is good to see it confirmed.Overtime is is not doing anything good because team needs to recover after it. Overtime is harmful if done longer than a month. Scheduling at 80% of team capacity is much better for productivity.  Presentation contains much more than this short list so I recommend you reading it.

Convenient Node Debugger Run by NPM

If you read installation instruction of node-inspector you would think that the only way to use it is to install it globally. Here I want to suggest embedding it in the project.

Installation:

$ npm install -g node-inspector$ npm install node-inspector --devDependencies
After doing that, you need to add "debug" line to "scripts" part of package.json
"scripts": { "start": "node app.js", "debug": "./node_modules/.bin/node-debug app.js" }
And run it:
$ node-debug app.js$ npm run debug

It has downsides, that is obvious, but in my opinion it has also big advantages. 
New person on the team does not need to follow long readme of global modules to install - and remember how all of them are supposed to be run. Another advantage is ignoring all the problems that you may have with sudo (needing it to install anything global). In my opinion it is also simpler and more convenient. All commands can be scripts starting with $ np…

Book Review: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #3)

The third and final book of the Mistborn series. Unfortunately I think the first part of the book was not really important and too much similar to the last book. The good thing is that the action was more dynamic with every page so at the end it was really fun.

I must admit that the end was unexpected, at least for me. Overall it is a great book.

Rating: 8/10

How to use NPM packages from private repositories on bitbucket

Using Node.js you want to use NPM packages for reusable parts of the apps you create, that is a common sense. At the same time not everything makes sense as a public module unfortunately. Right now we are using Bitbucket at work for private repositories but there is a problem. How to use them as NPM modules? We do not want to publish them to the public npmjs.org but still want to have an ability to install them easily.

After googling and experimenting I have found simple solution.
First create new user in your organization with obscure password and give it read access to the repo. It is best to assign really obscure password but do not fool yourself. This is convenient but you must sacrifice security a bit. You should always consider how in your context that would be important.

Change example from below to:
user - username
PASS - password of the user
organization - owner of the project (you can find it in bitbucket url to your project)
project - your project name

"dependencies&…

Book Review: The Corporation by Joel Bakan

Book by Joel Bakan is on the list of Bret Victor recommended books so some time ago I put it on my read later list. My colleague bought one recently so I was eager to borrow it.

I think that book could be better, especially shorter as chapters 3 and 4 were not so great. Fortunately I think that I learned a lot about history of corporations. Now I know how they are financed and how they work.

The book is a couple of years old so it is interesting to see how corporations evolved from that time. A couple of months ago I have read interesting article about Tim Cook plans for Apple http://gadgets.ndtv.com/others/news/angry-tim-cook-tells-apple-investor-to-get-out-of-this-stock-489936. Back then I had no idea what that meant. Now I have much bigger context to think about it, I would say that alone makes up for the small flaws of the book.

Must read for everyone working for any kind of corporation.

Rating: 7/10

Book Review: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #2)

Second book from the Mistborn series. It is better than the first one for sure. I am really eager to start the third one as soon as possible :)

Book is gripping. I had a big problem doing anything else while reading it. Maybe before starting the third book I should finish "Corporation".

Rating: 9/10

Book Review: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (Book 1)

First book of the series with the same title. Really good fantasy, more dynamic than The Words of Radiance and maybe a little less epic in scale of the world but still impressive and gripping.
Magic reminded me of the one in The Stormlight Archive series, do not get me wrong I see similarities but it is also much more complicated. I really like reading about magic in fantasy so learning more about magic of Mistborn was great.

Fortunately at the end we can see a glimpse of new threat so I hope to read second book soon.

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Praktyczna improwizacja. Jak techniki improwizacji mogą usprawnić każdy aspekt Twojego życia by Michał Mącznik, Artur Król

Authors themselves described this book as translated to Polish and more focused on practice version of Impro by Keith Johnstone. I do not think there is much worth in reviewing it beside simple rating, so I will try to make this post more about improvisation so that you can pick a book in your favourite language.

Most important three things from the book about impro are: Taking Offers, Not Blocking and Being Aware of Status.

Taking Offers - Like in "Yes Man", taking offers sacrifices safety of habits and everyday life for a chance of more exciting things to do.

Not Blocking - Connected to the first one, but more about noticing many ways in which we are blocking offers, like joking - those are not so obvious to notice but still are 'blocks'.

Status - Status Games and Status started to be something that I am fascinates me. It explains so many of my irrational behaviours...

Of course I missed most of the book as I do not really practiced much. Still book is worth read,…

Book Review: NoSQL Distilled by Martin Fowler

This book spent a year on my desk. It had been recommended by two of my friends by it was intimidating enough to always find something more important or fun to read. 4 days ago I have decided to finally get rid of it from my desk :)

Turns out, most of the things that were interesting I have already knew from M101JS: MongoDB for Node.js Developers. I mean 'sharding' and 'replication' are the most fundamental knowledge about all databases so it was worth to read about them again, but still, nothing new. Fortunately there were also new ideas. First, CAP Theorem that was nicely explained and I finally understood the importance of setting how many clusters need to acknowledge the reads and writes. Second good thing was reading more about Map-Reduce in context of clustered databases.

Book is really short and is much easier to read than you might think.

Rating: 7/10


Book Review: Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Really nice book about remote work. It will help you talk to your manager why remote work is a good idea. You can even give this book to your manager.

Book is nicely divided into sections of 1-2 pages that can be read in a minute when you waiting for a remote build to finish or colleague to answer your email. I felt a boost in productivity when I could at the same time read and work.

Book itself is nicely written and sums experiences of 37signals connected with remote work. It is not only about fancy things so you can learn when it might not work as well.

Fun and easy to read but sometimes I felt it is a bit too shallow. Still, if you know nothing about remote work it will make great introduction.

Rating: 6/10

August Update - IDGAF

Recently I stumbled upon really nice philosophy abbrevited IDFAF that probably can make me more extrovert. Turns out being extrovertic makes introverts happier so it might be something really good for me. In last couple of months I started to care too much about what people think. Even my colleagues noticed that I was much more pessimistic and introvertic.It is time to try something new.


Finished:
Getting Things Done by David AllenYour Brain at Work by David RockDesign of Everyday Things by Donal A. NormanSwitch by Heath BrothersA Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. MartinHooked by Nir EyalThe Words of Radiance by Brandon SandersonThinking with Type by Ellen LuptonParticipated in Vocal WorkshopI am no longer organizer of Meet.js KrakowTai-Chi given upjs13kgames.com given up

Progress:
Memrise - 19/26 levelsDuolingo Guitar (practicing basic chords)iOS Programming - 12/29 chaptersRemote - page 119/250 (I hope to finish it before Wednesday)
September (I know it has already started)

Book Review: Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton

I want to get some more experience in design so I bought this book on a premise of learning more about typography in design. Unfortunately it is far away from what I expected so it is really hard to judge it.

Most annoying thing about this book is too small base font. Author on last page herself warns about experienced designers using too small font sizes, yet her own book has this problem. You can argue that I'm spoiled by web and kindle but this book has smallest base font from all I own (and I have a lot of books).

For sure I have learned a bit, and seen a lot of good and bad examples, that for sure counts for something.

Rating: 5/10

Book Review: The Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

I am back to reading fantasy. When I read to much of fantasy I feel like I waste time, but if I do not read it for a long time I tend to be much more pessimistic. I assume that I have a good excuse then to read fantasy from time to time, so time for a short review of my last 40 hours.

It is a second book of The Stormlight Archive series. I really liked The Way of Kings so I have really high expectations. Fortunately the book is great!

I really feel like after a really long journey, it was extremely hard to stop reading. That alone justifies my high rating. Downsides: some of the stories for me at least were not so interesting, or maybe it was just annoying to not read about main story. Hard to say. For that I will take half a point. That is all. If you are interested it is best to just read it for yourself.

Rating: 9.5/10

Really good fantasy.

Book Review: Hooked by Nir Eyal

Really good book for startups and designers of everyday applications and services.
Nir Eyal created model for creating habitual use of your service:


Trigger (first external, then internal)Action (make sure it is easy to do)Variable Reward (just like in casino)Investment (ask user to make your service better for him)
Model is pretty easy and you can map it to our everyday activities. Email, Facebook, Twitter all of those are using this model. Of course every website has its own value so every one of them manifests those steps differently.
Book is pretty short and to my surprise I really liked two last chapters. One about morality of using such techniques and second one about startups. 
One of great quotes from this chapter is Paul Graham: Instead of asking "what problem should I solve?" ask "what problem do I wish someone else would solve for me?" From Want to start a startup? 

Overall: 6/10

This rating for me is a bit lower than what you can see eg. on Amazon (5/5…