New Job, New Perspective

Soon after New Year’s Day I started a new job as what is easiest to describe as full stack developer.

I turned 50 in February and have learned more in the past two months than any other point in my life. I bought books on Linux (to refresh my memory) and a great book on PHP & MySQL.1 My employer, Webinology bought me a book on GitLab to learn more about CI/CD.

We don’t have a brick & mortar office so I work 100 percent from home. My coworkers are awesome. I get to do the very work I’ve been tinkering with for fun since I was in my 20s. Dreams come true!

Never stop learning!

  1. True story: I searched for a book on these topics on Feb. 15, the very day that book was published. You can buy it on Amazon with this PHP & MySQL affiliate link. Talk about Karma!

Mullenweg Interview

The Verge published a great interview with Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg. So quotable! Here are a few hotspots.

  • I try to make as few decisions as possible and really say, “How do we push that out to the teams, the divisions, the edges of the branches of the tree versus the trunk?” The assumption is that none of us are as smart as all of us [emphasis mine], so now what do we build in there?
  • “Reversible decisions quickly, and irreversible decisions deliberately, or slowly.”
  • When we acquired it, Tumblr had a backload of 80,000 support tickets.
    We got that to zero just a few weeks ago.
  • AI on its own can be bad, humans on their own aren’t as good as AI at some things, but when you combine them, you can actually get superhuman results — better than either on their own.

He’s one smart dude and I think he has great ideas for growing the web and the world in the right direction.

Beginning to Understand DNS

Montreal developer Julie Evans has been publishing information about the Domain Name System (DNS) that is easier to understand than anything I’ve read before. If you’re interested in learning more about the topic, check out these articles:

This “series” (my term, not hers) is up-to-date as of February 15, 2022. There may be more articles to come, so subscribe to Julie Evans’ Blog.

Updated 2022-02-15 to added recent related post to series list.

The modern curriculum | Seth’s Blog

The modern curriculum | Seth’s Blog:

It’s been a century of biology, chemistry, arithmetic, social studies and the rest. So long that the foundational building blocks are seen as a given, unquestioned and unimproved. The very structure of the curriculum actually prevents school from working as it should.

I think that a significant shift is overdue. The one [detailed in this article] could work for kids from the age of 6. It doesn’t eliminate the fundamentals of being educated, but it puts them into context. More important, because it’s self-directed and project-based, kids can choose to learn, instead of being forced to.

Seth has been talking about education models for years and I’ve always agreed with him. Society and technology have changed in the past century. Why hasn’t public education?

A Madonna Who Shows the Beauty in Going Overboard – The New York Times

A Madonna Who Shows the Beauty in Going Overboard – The New York Times:

What makes a picture “good”?

This is the question Jason Farago strives to answer in this New York Times article focused on “Madonna of the Long Neck” by Parmigianino.

I’m not sure what it is, but this article drew me in and somehow inspires me. Maybe it’s the short review of great art or the witty discussion with shifting focus on different parts of multiple works of “Great Art.”

Whatever it is, I like it.

Why handwriting is good for learning – On my Om

Why handwriting is good for learning – On my Om:

I have always taken notes and handwritten first drafts of articles on paper. That has allowed me to learn, recall and imagine better. I couldn’t recommend writing more highly.

Agreed. I don’t attend many meetings these days, but when I do I have a decent pen (the Pilot G2 is my OG) and a yellow legal pad with me.

Daring Fireball: Fleets, We Hardly Knew Ye

Daring Fireball: Fleets, We Hardly Knew Ye started with…

I’ll resist dunking on Twitter for this, because I think it’s better for Twitter to try more new ideas — even if many wind up abandoned — than to find itself paralyzed by indecision over how to evolve the platform.

…and pivoted to…

Fear of letting the other side achieve its goals when they’re in the majority has resulted in a legislature that can barely pass anything — and that hasn’t worked out well.

I really appreciate how John took an observation about Twitter’s rightful abandonment of “fleets” and turned into a conversation about the filibuster.

The filibuster is a bad idea. It’s OK to kill it and move on.

Opinion | Swiss Army knife or AR-15? The judge is right that there’s no difference! – The Washington Post

Opinion | Swiss Army knife or AR-15? The judge is right that there’s no difference! – The Washington Post:

What two items could be more directly and obviously comparable than an AR-15 and a Swiss Army knife? I can’t think of how many times I’ve used an AR-15 to open a bottle of wine. Whenever I need a toothpick but cannot find one, I just whip out my AR-15. Conversely, whenever I am entering a theater of war, I always remember to pack my Swiss Army knife. That way, if anyone comes at me, I can offer to help them open a bottle, which will be so confusing to them that perhaps I can just get up and walk away before anyone notices I have gone. I very much understand how things work in theaters of war.

I was thankful during the pandemic to find Alexandra Petri writing for the Washington Post. Her delightfully absurd (in the spirit of Monty Python) opinions always provoke anything from giggles to guffaws. Must see! Would read again!