Nick Ang

Random reads 1

September 04, 2016

I’ve broken the promise of writing every day for a few days in a row now, and I’m starting to feel a bit sick of blaming myself for it. So I’m pasting a few passages I’d read today that brightened my day and injected inspiration where it is lacking.

How to become a great programmer

I googled that, and was presented with 2.44 million results. I picked the first three. Two of them were Quora answers to the exact question I asked, which came with tens of different answers each. I read them all - here are sensible answers among the lot:

  • Answers from Quora, word-for-word:

    • Get outside of the “engineering cave” and learn how business works. (checked)
    • 80–20 everything! (I consider myself lazy, so checked)
    • Leverage your technical skills to solve problems that provide huge value. (not yet)
    • You need to put in at least few years into core programming, and work on at least 4-5 good product based projects. (started seriously learning to code in June, so that’s 3 months. Far from checking this one)
  • From

    • Get into the mentality that a day/week/month in which you have not learned something interesting is a failure. There’s enough stuff out there that you surely can learn something cool every day. (checked)
    • Write lots of code. At some point when you’ve made a few projects, read other people’s code. (not writing quite as much code as I sometimes feel I am)
    • Specifically, learn a variant of the Lisp programming language, just because it’s worth the time to explore the philosophy of good programming. (heard this one before on a Reddit post on coding virtual-reality games - starting to explore this with The Little Schemer)

As an aside, I just received Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art in the mail and have started reading it. Even the prologue got me nodding. Definitely a book worth writing notes on - will do a post on it once I’m done with it, which should be very soon. Its subtitle reads: “Break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles.”

Written by Nick - I don't know but I'll learn (twitter)

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