I am very interested in psychology, but I am not a psychologist. I do not have any specific or tangential formal education on the phenomenon of burnout. My experience with it is from the trenches. I have been in some nasty ones, knee deep in the mud, grasping for something solid to avoid going down and drowning. I have observed software developers burnout, and I know how bad it can get.
I got close to get burnout myself a couple of times but managed to avoid it by doing research on the topic and taking decisive actions. I have seen friends and co-workers fall deep into it, and struggle to get out of its hideous embrace. I have also helped some of them to get out of it. ...continue reading
I am going to discuss how to deal with praise, but first, let me talk about blog post length.
First Mini-Post In A While
When I started this blog, I used to write only short posts of 300 words or so. That was not enough, so I switched to longer ones, about 2,000 words. Now, I decided that not all posts must be long to be worthy; variety could be fun. I often have ideas for shorter off-schedule issues on rather specific topics, and I will not shy away from publishing them. This is the first one (in a while).
A Thick Skin
I have a pretty thick skin. I am not a particularly emotional person, and I do not get hurt easily. I take very few things personally, and I tend to assume the best intentions whenever there is no apparent ill-disposed purpose. When someone criticizes me, my blood pressure goes up a couple of millibars, then it stops and waits. The discomfort I feel in the process is proportional to how much I believe in the criticism, multiplied by my perception of any malicious intent. ...continue reading
Growing Up With Quality Assurance
I grew up in Italy in a household where “Engineering” and “Quality Assurance” (QA) were terms commonly used at the dinner table. My dad, now 92 years old, is an Electronic Engineer who specialized in quality assurance of space technology. He worked for over 30 years in a large company called Officine Galileo as Director of Quality Assurance. Officine Galileo was founded in 1864 to produce military aiming, tracking and firing equipment, before extending its production to include space equipment. ...continue reading
I have been using Moleskines for many years, and I only recently came across a new reusable notebook that might change my note-taking habits. The jury is still out, but so far I am really liking what I see.
If are not familiar with reusable notebooks, they work like magic! The 30 seconds summary is:
- Write on the notebook with an erasable pen. Pilot makes a large array of models under the name “Pilot FriXon.”
- Take a picture of your notes with your phone and a special app. The page is cleaned, straightened and sent to your favorite cloud note archiving system (Evernote, OneNote, Dropbox, e-mail, etc…)
- Take a damp cloth and wipe the page clean.
- Repeat, forever.
Of course, my doodles are starting to appear in the new notebook.
So, here it is! This Tuesday’s doodle is the first one that I created using a , a , and my iPhone X that I used to take a picture of the image. ...continue reading
There are virtually infinite paths you can take to have a successful and fulfilling career in the software industry. Then again, many roads can lead to long-term issues and career ratholes.
The world of tech forgives compared to other fields. Just think of the areas of law, medicine, and politics for example, where a weak reputation can follow you around and be a disaster hard to recover from. In tech, you might not risk being blackballed from the industry or losing a professional license. However, you can still waste years of growth by getting stuck in the wrong place or walking the wrong path. ...continue reading
The Software Garden
Software is like a garden. Both software and gardens require a lot of work, craftsmanship, and artistry to envision and create, especially when starting from scratch. They both evolve, and they both need constant maintenance, even if you don’t make any significant improvement.
If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I use a character called Bolbo as my mental framework for the quintessentialsoftware developer. You might remember that he has a square jaw, messy black hair, round glasses, a cynical sense of humor and a snarky attitude. I wrote about him in “A day in the life of a software engineer.” In this post, I will talk to you about Bolbo’s brother Polbo, who is a gardener. I will tell you about his journey in the creation of a formal garden. ...continue reading
Leo Tolstoy famously said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Tolstoy’s words are true today as much as they were true in his time. Life in the 1800s was very different, but people were not.
Today’s tech industry, populated by smart people pushing hard to innovate one line of code at the time, is no exception. Intelligence comes with strong opinions and personalities. If you’ve worked in teams for a while, at some point, you probably wished that somebody could be more pleasant or reasonable. ...continue reading
Since many of my readers asked for it, this Tuesday’s piece is another variation of the Cornucopia “doodle,” and it is going to be the last of the series. I generated it using a variation of my Cornucopia Art processing code. I hope you like it
Starting next Tuesday, I’ll probably resume my usual paper and ink scribbles, or perhaps I’ll start publishing some of my photography. What do you think? Please, let me know in the comments.
During the past couple of weeks, I have been super-busy organizing and leading a Software Architecture Summit. The Summit is over, it was great, but writing time was limited. The good news is that I have a ton of exciting topics to discuss, and can’t wait to get back on my usual writing schedule. ...continue reading
Last week I published the results of doodles generated by code. This week I am presenting a variation on the same theme; the following image was generated using a variant of my Cornucopia Art processing sketch.continue reading
If you’re exploring new professional opportunities, a career in tech may have caught your attention as a potential avenue. Even if you already have one, you might have reached a point where you wonder if it was the right decision.
Having been in the software industry for 30+ years, I firmly believe that a career in tech, and especially programming and software engineering, is not only accessible to everyone, but it also represents a brilliant path to take in life. I am going to give you my top 10 reasons for this sentiment. ...continue reading