Nicholas Tietz-Sokolsky
Runner. Coffee nerd. Software engineer.

Books I Read in 2018

Every year, GoodReads has a Reading Challenge, where you set how many books you want to read and record them as you go. This year, I got serious about it, and it was a wonderful motivational device. I set a goal of two books per month, and I just eked it out over the finish line, finishing my 24th book this morning.

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Kill the crunch time heroics

Crunch time has an allure: it feels like if you just push hard enough, you can get more done. You can push hard and get that next release done on time, get those new features out, earn more revenue for your company. Engineers are under immense pressure to deliver more and do it now, and we also feel special: we feel unique, like we are not subject to the fatigue that others experience, or that this project is different and we can do it even when exhausted.

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Avoid multitasking to write better code

Multitasking is incredibly alluring. Why go slowly, doing one thing at a time, if you could get a second thing done? Why not fill those five seconds while your code compiles with reading an article about the latest web frameworks?

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Distractions Cause Bad Code

We are barraged by constant distractions, and they are degrading the quality of our work. Our digital society now is set up to allow us to focus for mere minutes at a time, since we are in an attention economy and the sole objective of companies is to capture more of our time. Facebook, Google, and Snapchat are all incentivized to get us to look at our phones many times a day.

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Don't Disrupt Things; Fix Them

People talk about disrupting industries when those industries appear to be in a stable but inefficient state. For example, the taxicab industry: there was little innovation going on in it, and it was stable, but it seemed like it was far from ideal. Along came Uber, intent to disrupt the industry - and disrupt it they did.

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