Aaron Gunderson

Pro tip when applying for jobs. Export to PDF. It makes it much easier for people to read on the other side and you won’t send all your Microsoft Word edit history in with your submission, this is pretty key.

Farmers market this morning ended with “harvest soup” tonight. Apples, celeriac, sweet potatoes, squash, onions and a little bacon.

Fought my thinkpad too much the last few days. Can’t get Ubuntu to run stable on it right now. Freezes completely. A computer workers Halloween nightmare.

Great tribute to Guido. Python was one of my first serious languages and I always enjoyed it. Back to writing it after a break and it’s growing on me again. blog.dropbox.com/topics/co…

Started Peaky Blinders tonight and digging it. Intrigue and drama.

Good friends challenge you to be better. Find good friends and keep in touch. Life is better with solid relationships and it is a better long term plan than to just work hard.

Fun night eating too much with friends and playing board games! Played splendor and Coup a bunch. I want to find time to play Manhattan Project again soon.

Not every day needs to have a big event or involve burning through a to do list. Sometimes it’s okay to make a just a little progress and it’s okay to sometimes get nothing done too. We are in it for the long road it’s not all a sprint.

Consume Less, produce more.

Consume less, produce more. Modern culture is driven a lot by consumption. One push I’ve tried to do over the last year is to produce more and consume less. This includes writing, drawing and photographing instead of scrolling, cooking food over eating out, writing code and making projects over passive consumption and more. I’ve found it super valuable, I still consume too much news and twitter but I’ve been doing well to make a conscious effort and I enjoy the results. I encourage you to try the same.

I listened to the How I Built This podcast today about Milk Bar and the founder sounds really cool and the food sounded delicious. Looked up the reviews in Harvard and they’re “meh”. Is it worth money or a lot of hype?

Pair programming, configuring or writing takes a lot of energy for me but it can be super helpful. It’s especially powerful it for complex infrastructure, detailed reports and sharing knowledge of how to interact with or work in a system.

Writing down your steps as you make changes and tweak a procedure is super valuable. Turning steps into a text playbook or a script allows you to pull pieces together and convince yourself you are doing what you need.

On a small team with lots of active projects it’s really easy to get spread thin and have too much work in progress. When you have a chance take a day and burn down the to do list. This clears a lot of mental space and is valuable for moving projects forward long term.

Wellfleet OysterFest!

Offseason Travel

This weekend we are headed to the Cape and it’s so much better than in season. I’m not a huge beach fan but when it’s out of tourist season it’s so much more relaxing.

Hiking, beach towns and more are drastically improved by less crowds if you are comfortable with slightly tweaked activities and prepping for more variable weather.

Exercising, stretching, eating well, putting in focused work can all be painful but in the end are good for you. It can be really hard to remember this. This is where good habits come in. It’s hard when you fall out of the habit. What else is painful but good for you?

Apple TV now has an official Spotify app. Was waiting so long for this!

When debugging a problem make sure you test your assumptions, especially when stuck. I just spent a while debugging something I “did” not working until I eventually realized I hadn’t done it at all.

Some tips for code reviews! www.agundy.com/2019/10/1…

Come work with me at Skylla Technologies www.linkedin.com/jobs/view…

Using RSS to Keep Up www.agundy.com/2019/10/1…

I got tired of reading lists of tech needed to become a developer and wrote up some thoughts on another way. www.agundy.com/2019/10/1…

Building a Personal Knowledge Base

I have been sold on developing a personal knowledge base for a long time. If you don’t know what a knowledge base is, the main idea an electronic storage place for all your projects, ideas, notes, etc that makes retrieval and association between topics simple. I first stumbled upon this back in college from the tool github.com/noqqe/cmd…

I used cmddocs for a while and even had a shared folder with Seve and Kiana but I eventually gave up on it. Without easy image and file integration it didn’t fit every need. Evernote has been the closest knowledge base tool I have used with years of notes from college through my time at BookBub. Evernote has a few weaknesses but the main one is it’s more of a note taking application then a knowledge base.

I am still struggling with the medium to do this well. The tool needs to encourage data ingress, have support for rich media files and types, encourage daily use, be easy to modifying, tag, have great search and more. I think there is a tool here that would find a solid niche. DEVONthink may be it but it’s Mac only so no bueno. This tool would hopefully be helpful in making decisions and systematizing my knowledge.

After finishing Ray Dalio’s Principles this week I have a lot to dissemble but one thing they talked about was expert systems for decision making. I am also curious if some personal expert system could fit into a knowledge base too.

Do you have a personal knowledge base, wiki or note taking strategy you think works well? I am interested in hearing about it. Especially if it works well on Ubuntu!

Rainy Saturday guest looking for belly rubs.

Building Maintainable Software

Maintenance is a super interesting topic and I’ve been following @The_Maintainers with great interest.

In software especially maintenance is a constant struggle and shifting base. Things that worked well yesterday often do not work today. I hit this just today with apt packages which was held back causing something to fail to install. Even though it worked previously.

How do we make sure the software that we write lasts? Something I’m not super sure we have a clear path forward in but I think is super important to think about. Minimizing dependencies can help but how far can you take that? How do we update existing systems to be easy to maintain and make sure new systems are being built for the long road ahead.

I’m working at a super small start right now with lots of new code to write and existing code to hone and improve. It’s a constant struggle figuring out some of the balancing points here. How do you make maintenance and upkeep tractable long term?