don't panic labs reading list

DPL Reading List – April 5, 2019


| April 5, 2019 | in

Here are some of the new and interesting articles we found this week.

Visual Studio 2019 goes live with C++, Python shared editing – “With both Visual Studio for Windows and for Mac, Microsoft has emphasized the importance of user feedback in the development process. Both the point releases and the major updates are guided by user feedback, with, for example, the new Python and Live Share features coming in direct response to user requests. The regular flow of point releases enables Microsoft to put functionality in front of users much sooner than it could with only major updates, and that functionality can be re-shaped and extended in response to feedback.”

How to Take Criticism Well – “The thought that some people didn’t like me felt like a punch in the gut. I lost sleep, couldn’t concentrate, and lost five pounds in one week (not how I wanted to lose those pounds). I started to consider how I could give in to what the naysayers wanted, even though it wasn’t the right thing for the organization.”

Technical Debt Is Like Tetris – “Like most people who’ve played it, I love Tetris. I still remember playing it for the first time on a friend’s Nintendo Game Boy. Not only is Tetris one of the best games of all time, it’s an excellent analogue for technical debt. The impacts of technical debt are something I’m deeply familiar with — I deal with them every day.”

Replace Your To-Do List With Interstitial Journaling To Increase Productivity – “During your day, journal every time you transition from one work project to another. Write a few sentences in your journal about what you just did, and then a few more sentences about what you’re about to do.”

This is why silence is an important part of your presentation – “Sometimes people choose to race through their speech, not leaving any space for a breath or pause. This is a mistake, and it comes from fear. People are afraid that a pause may indicate that you’ve forgotten something or are fumbling for your next point. But this isn’t the case. With enough practice, you can learn to use pauses with power.”

John G. Kemeny, inventor of BASIC – “While Kemeny and Kurtz were teaching students to program, they realised the current language — Assembly — was very complicated and cumbersome. You needed to know a lot of maths, as well as tiny details of how computers were constructed. This was no way to learn programming! So they teamed up to create Darsimco, or Dartmouth Simplified Code. It was basically a system of templates, with each Darsimco command corresponding to a small sequence of Assembly commands. Instead of knowing how to juggle bits and bytes around, people could use the Darsimco commands, blocks of code that had already been pre-written for them.”

Good design is like good writing – “What makes for good design? To me, good design enables someone to accomplish something in the simplest way possible. It communicates its purpose with clarity. It’s accessible and can, therefore, be enjoyed by as many people as possible. I find these qualities reflected in good writing. In both cases, the work reveals a unique point of view, communicates a clear purpose, and presents itself in the simplest way possible.”

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