This is a Swiss Army Knife. The Handyman, to be precise. According to the site, it has 24 functions. Can opener, scissors, nail file, pliers, wine opener, bottle opener, wood saw, toothpick, nail cleaner … the list goes on.
Conceptually, it’s really great to have one thing that does so much.
Realistically, Swiss Army Knives have not replaced the need for single-purpose devices in any of those categories.
It’s doing too much to be good enough at one task to replace a device crafted specifically to solve a single purpose in any of those categories.
Have you watched Inception?
It’s a really interesting movie where people can enter the dreams of others. I don’t wanna ruin it for anyone but the ability to enter dreams is infinite.
You can enter the dream of someone who is sleeping in a dream. Dream within a dream.
The moment I saw the Cartoon Network website in the late nineties, I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I learned how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, picked up HTML + CSS, designed MySpace pages and built a static website.
The static website was the accomplishment of my dream. I designed a website, coded it up, published it on the internet and got paid handsomely for it.
I have nothing but respect for game developers. What they create are nothing short of technical feats and they tend to work with anemic budgets.
If you think a second is fast, bear in mind the benchmark to reach in game development is processing and rendering sixty times a second! To put this in perspective, most websites are unable to process and render sixty times a second despite doing far less work.
How do game developers accomplish these awesome feats? They gain a working knowledge of the environments their games run in and figure out how to take advantage of it to accomplish their goals.
More practically, they identify what makes it impossible for their code to reliably run sixty times a second. The source of the limitation is labeled expensive and they use their knowledge of the environment to create clever ways to workarounds.
The single biggest improvement you can make to any piece of code is to make it simpler to understand.
Society tends to think little of rappers. Very rarely do their lyrics go beyond a certain range of topics. As Biggie Smalls once (or twice) put it: “money, hoes and clothes, blunt smoke coming out the nose is all a nigga knows“.
Despite the unflattering depiction, I feel these are individuals start-ups need to embrace as role-models. Not because Ben Horowitz loves raps and writes big cheques to start-ups. Not because rappers can get your whole team to actually come into the office. It’s a lot simpler and more important than all that:
Writing code seems really easy from the outside looking in. You sit at a computer all day and get paid for it.
In a lot of minds, it’s about showing up. Sit in front of the computer and the code will flow. The longer you’re there, the more code you get. The more code the better.
Having more bags of cements doesn’t guarantee a better building. Having more salt doesn’t guarantee a better meal.
One of the hardest things to do is have a sensible business conversation with programmers.
Our training and experience teaches us to decouple complexity. We write modular code. We unit test. Even our server architecture is broken down to small independent units called a microservice.
We believe the best quality work has reduced complexity and simple independent parts working together.
Yesterday I had the honor of being the first guest to be interviewed on my friend Casman‘s new podcast: Newbie No More!
He had many questions at the beginning of his journey. Some as simple as “what’s for loop for” and much harder ones as well, like “which programming language should I be learning” or “how do i get my first job in the field”.
After finding his footing, he decided to produce a podcast filled with the knowledge he’s acquired, as a way of helping others on their journey to becoming programmers.
Thanks so much for choosing me as Newbie No More’s first guest, Cas. Thanks for the opportunity to help people learn more about programming.
Here’s the interview … hope it helps someone find their footing and confidence in their craft 🙂