How to write inspired code by focusing on your gut

In the software circles we focus a lot of attention on writing software right, but little attention is paid to writing the right software. Conference talks generally focus on things like design patterns, TDD, Agile, green belt six sigma (ok I haven’t seen one of these in person but I know it exists). While I do find that it’s important to talk about how to write good software there’s an existential problem associated with it: if we write good software and nobody cares, was it worth it?

Teaching how to write software right has one merit which is: it’s generally easy to teach. Follow principles and guidelines and you’ll write good software. Design patterns, TDD, SOLID, are all excellent principles to write software by. Unfortunately writing the right software involves much more holistic thinking. Software programmers being the somewhat logical and stoic types we are on occasion tend to eschew the holistic thinking for concrete abstraction.

But I think we can at least think about what makes the right software by focusing on our emotional intelligence as a community. I have had the benefit of working with highly intelligent and intuitive people and I think they are not mutually exclusive.

In this post I present two things that I have found that inspires me to write the right software. They both focus on listening to your gut, what your logical mind isn’t telling you and focusing on what your stomach and heart are saying.

Doing things with gusto

Writing software is something I am still blown away with. It’s an extremely gratifying experience where you write something, it gets deployed and you solve the worlds problems. Some of the biggest innovations have come out of this hunger for writing solutions that just work.

Gusto which is a term used to define the feeling we get when we’re hungry for something. Imagine the feeling you get right after a long bike ride or run where all you want is 13 egg omelette. That is gusto. This same feeling can be applied to software as well.

Some examples of software inspired through gusto to me are: Rails, Clojure, Ruby, numpy. These are all projects which solve problems and are fun to work with. Rails has made a name for itself by writing things with lots of gusto, and motivation. Clojure is an extremely well executed dialect of scheme (which will probably always be relegated to the esoteric bin unfortunately). Ruby is really a happy language and numpy is well executed for the academic and data analysis communities.

When using this software something clicks and things work as expected. You’re able to solve the worlds problems with these tools. They all have gusto.

Writing software with gusto means focusing on what drives you, what excites you, what you want to be eating up more of.

Disgust driven development

The other end of the spectrum of software that I’m still blown away with is just how broken everything is. Software is written by imperfect humans and therefore there’s a lot of broken stuff out there. Sometimes software can bring you down just because of how hard something is to build or work with.

Disgust has to do with the feeling we get when we eat something toxic or poisonous. Our natural inclination is to spit it out. This is a completely healthy thing! For instance most americans still make brussel sprouts by boiling them which ends up sucking all the nutrition out of them, and yields terrible tasting green balls of death.

This applies to software as well. Lots of inspired code can come out of being disgusted with something. I believe the prevalence of JVM languages has come out of the ashes of disgust due to Java and boilerplate. A lot of innovation has been done in the Ruby community around making things faster out of disgust of the language having a reputation of being slow. JSON-Schema, RAML, Swagger are all excellent tools for overcoming the disgusting attributes of API’s by enforcing some sort of order on things.

Writing software out of disgust is in many times just as inspired as doing it with gusto.


So what do you think? What makes you excited to act with gusto? What disgusts you right now? When you center in on these emotions, then you can make a logical decision whether to act on them. If the feeling is large enough most likely you’re not the only one. And if you figure out a new solution to something out of disgust or with gusto then open source it and share the happiness.

The Zen of Burnout

If you’ve worked at a startup, a technology company or anywhere that moves fast then you’ve probably seen the effects of burnout. This psychological cousin to depression afflicts many creative professionals. When I started my career I was invigorated by the feeling of software and technology, being able to completely change the world radically for the better. That feeling lasted for half a year until I hit burnout.

For a long time I shrugged off feelings of burnout as temporary, something that could be ignored until it went away. But recently after dealing with 2 months of massive burnout I’ve found that burnout can be much more than temporary if not addressed.

If you’ve ever felt burnt out or feel it now I hope this will be useful for you as something you can look at to overcome the effects of burnout.

This post will be long and include a few tangential thoughts. For those of you who don’t want to read the whole thing the way I’ve started overcoming burnout is through seeking third party help, meditating, and leaving food on your plate.

The signs you are burnt out

Burnout has many indicators and lots of sources but I’ve found these questions have helped me determine whether I’m burnt out or not:

  • Do you find yourself eating more, smoking, drinking, or not exercising?
  • Has your consumption of mindless entertainment gone up drastically?
  • Do you dread waking up?
  • Did you feel a ray of hope reading the title of this blog post? (Credit goes to Scott Berkun for this)
  • Are you annoyed at new ideas?
  • Do you feel like you’re constantly behind even though you have plenty of time to do what you need to?
  • Do you feel guilty?

This is far from an exhaustive list but it gives you a good idea.

If you’re feeling burnt out it’s important to focus on finding a solution to the burnout rather than suppressing it. While it can be thought of as an enemy, it’s important to treat burnout with the respect you would treat anything else. This post goes over how I am getting over burnout, but since I’m not a professional psychologist of course your journey might be different.

Overcoming burnout takes a village

I have reclusive tendencies ranging back to my childhood. When I was upset I’d retire to my room and think through the solution until I was happy with the outcome. Most of the reason for this was due to addictions and afflictions my family had around me: I couldn’t rely on them anyways. It wasn’t until many years later that I figured out that to really be successful at anything it requires help from others.

Burnout is no different. I wouldn’t have quit my job at The Clymb without the guidance of my wife, Sophia. I was entranced and burnout working with them and while it was difficult to write out my two weeks, it was the right thing for me to do.

Relying on family is not a good idea for overcoming burnout. Neither is relying on your friends. These people are not objective third parties. Also subjecting your family and friends to the emotional distress talking about burnout creates. Instead seek outside help from professionals or if you can’t afford that then talk with someone who you’re acquainted with but not friends with.

It is much more difficult to speak with people who are third parties and explain things that don’t make sense. Like the fact that you might spend hours watching Netflix while a book deadline is looming (ok yes I have done this…).

My own personal experience with finding outside help has involved me speaking with a therapist once a week. It has cost me money but it has also taught me a few tricks that I have been applying that my wife, and family wouldn’t know. Plus my therapist has said things that my family and friends most likely wouldn’t say to me due to the subjective nature of our relationships.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is practicing getting out of ones mind and dropping down into a meditative state.

Dropping down using meditation

Until recently dropping down is a term I haven’t heard of before; paraphrased it means to get out of ones head by practicing breathing and clearing everything from ones mind. Dropping out of one’s head down to their body below. This could also be thought of as meditation.

For those of you who think meditation is a waste of time, believe me it’s not. I believe that we are made out of a combination of mind, body, and spirit. Burnout to me is when the body and spirit become neglected and your mind becomes too tired to function.

Thinking back to when I was the happiest I practiced meditation frequently. I was doing karate twice a week, exercising, and meditating as part of my training. I was in balance as I was taking care of my body, and spirit as well as studying.

By 2015, I would exercise at most 2 times a week, and haven’t meditated for years. That was until recently when I decided to start meditating frequently using If you haven’t tried I highly recommend you try it! I also have been attending a Zen sitting group where we meditate for over an hour.

My findings have been extremely positive. Meditating even occasionally focuses your mind onto what is important instead of flopping around like a fish.

For those of you who haven’t meditated before I do recommend you try but otherwise if you want to try silent meditation sit on the floor in an open position (really it doesn’t matter how you sit as long as you’re comfortable). Then when you meditate only focus on one thing, the space between inhaling and exhaling. That’s it! If thoughts come into your mind let them pass like clouds would. Don’t force them out but let them pass.

Meditation is about becoming mindful with the present instead of letting your mind run free. It helps you drop down into a state that is healthy and maintainable instead of stressful.

In my journey to find more mindfulness in my mind and seeking outside help I have learned one of the most important lessons to overcoming burnout: leaving food on your plate.

Intentionally leave food on your plate

Both of my parents come from very poor families. My mom when she was growing up ate surplus peanut butter that came out of 5 gallon buckets. To this day she won’t eat peanut butter cause of how disgusting it was. Mind you this was surplus WWII peanut butter ten years after the war ended.

My upbringing taught me to always finish your plate and to be damn happy about the food you receive. Unfortunately as a child of the 90s this meant that I quickly became an obese kid who was 290 lbs by the time he was 13 years old. To this day I clean my plate and am grateful for what I have in an economy of abundance.

It wasn’t until my therapist told me to intentionally leave food on my plate that something clicked. When we commit to something, especially in software, we think we know how much time we need or how much energy we have but in many cases we’re wrong. Software estimates are impossible to get right and the same can be true with something as simple as food.

Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.

That is why mindfully leaving something on your plate is a great exercise in overcoming burnout. A lot of the time burnout comes from taking on too much in the first place. Usually this is manifested as scope creep or scope seep.

Scope Creep

When I worked at my first job out of finance there was a project manager who was running a project I was on. He was notorious for upping the bar all the time. This person was a big reason I ended up frustrated with that job. One sprint we had, we delivered 30 points. So obviously next week we were going to deliver 35 points.

This is scope creep. Someone else making more work for you beyond the normal work day. Consistently upping the ante as a team until eventually the entire team turns over and leaves.

This is completely unacceptable in the software world. We have a tendency to push for crazy deadlines and to always up the bar until our team is exhausted both spiritually, mentally and physically.

But I feel this hasn’t been the worst affect on me instead Scope Seep has been.

Scope Seep

Scope seep unlike scope creep has to do with upping the bar individually.

In the fall of 2014 I signed up for a full load at Georgia Tech, I was finishing my book on machine learning, I took on consulting work with two clients, and had a part time job working 30 hours a week. On top of that I was an officer for my toastmasters club.

I had fallen into the scope seep trap. Retrospectively I could have said no to some of that after the fact but I ended up feeling my way through the fall and came out the other side with the burnout right on my shoulders. It’s taken me this much time to recover from that and I don’t recommend that kind of schedule to anybody.


While it’s been a rough ride with burnout. I feel positive for the future and grateful for the help I’ve received from my friends, my family, and third parties. For the entire month of April I found myself sliding into major burnout and didn’t take on any new work. That was the right choice for me cause now that it’s May I’m ready to finish my second book, to launch a new exciting project, and to continue to help build amazing software for the world at large.

How about you: what are your experiences with burnout?

How Toastmasters made me a better Developer (and Person)

Toastmasters is an organization that was started as a way for people to work on their public speaking skills. It was originally just an offshoot of a YMCA club in California but has grown into a worldwide organization. While most people join Toastmasters to learn how to speak many find that it improves you in different ways than expected.

Personally I joined Toastmasters so I could learn how to speak better at developer conferences. When I was a kid I could barely talk to people on the telephones and still to this day suffer from major shyness. Toastmasters was an obvious organization where I could learn how to speak better and become a better communicator.

But what I really find valuable isn’t the speaking skills but instead the other factors of Toastmasters:

  • Evaluating effectively
  • Being structured but flexible
  • Supporting instead of arguing

Effective Evaluations: Spoken Peer Review

In a normal Toastmaster meeting you’ll listen to prepared speeches, get the chance to speak off the cuff as well as hear spoken evaluations on the prepared speeches. The evaluation portion is where I’ve learned effective skills for my work as a developer.

When I started programming professionally I would consistently write comments like: “WTF IS THIS SHIT”, “that was stupid”, and things that were in hindsight unproductive. Over years of honing my ability to evaluate software I’ve found myself following the normal Toastmaster 3-2-1 approach which is a modified sandwich.

3-2-1 Evaluation

In a normal evaluation it’s important to be more positive than negative. A lot of people talk about saying two positive things to every negative. Instead many of us when we give spoken evaluations take a different approach: 3-2-1.

3 things you did well

2 things I’d suggest for improvement

1 thing I love about this

Many times pull requests will be fraught with comments that have no focus on improvement and are purely negative.

This sounds overly positive but the important nuance to realize is that the 2 things you suggest for improvement should be substantial enough to warrant pointing them out. Comments such as “whitespace needed here” should be relegated to bots to fix not people.

This type of evaluation isn’t static either it can take many different styles which gets me to the second thing I’ve learned being structured but flexible.

Structured and flexible

Sometimes organizing a Toastmaster meeting can be a bit like herding cats, people have lives and sometimes can’t show up or get stage fright when they are scheduled to speak. But one thing is constant: the roles are well defined, and the meeting runs on time.

Toastmasters has taught me the value of having an agenda for a meeting. Most meetings have timings down to the minute. The beauty is that even if we stray from the original plan we know how to get back on track.

This has taught me that discipline as a developer is key either in planning or writing code.

Discipline and structure

Unfortunately Agile, XP, and other software project management has gotten a bit out of hand. A lot of the times Agile I’ve seen degrade into “code now, plan later.” The Agile manifesto never said you shouldn’t plan ahead.

The biggest gripe I have with many startups and companies I’ve worked for is the lack of a process. While it’s boring, and not as fun to write documentation, having it there for later is extremely helpful in case we get off track.

This gets me to my last point, instead of derailing a project  based on politics and not sticking to a plan Toastmasters has taught me how to be supportive and have fun.

Supportive and Fun

In the club I meet in every week, we have a retired Berkeley Professor, as well as a card carrying NRA member. They don’t see eye to eye on a lot of political issues, but in the end are extremely supportive to each other. We have a member who gives some of the weirdest speeches and yet people still support him wholeheartedly.

The biggest black mark on the development community is a lack of support. It amazes me how difficult it is for my wife to find work within startups while I coast along finding work after work. I have a huge advantage as a white male who happens to share the same height as a high proportion of CEO’s of the world. What it really comes down to is that many of us in the development community don’t celebrate different ideas. Even me, when I went to my first Ruby Conf was scoffed at cause I was programming in PHP.

We have a lot of work to do still on this front and I am doing the best I can to support people and different ideas.


Overall I love Toastmasters and it’s taught me a lot. It’s a good way to practice speaking skills, but more importantly learn how to evaluate people, discipline yourself and support others.

Why I hate receiving awards

I’m a highly competitive person and have always been such. But one thing I hate is receiving an award.

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time ‘achieving’ as much as I could. I was in All State Band, I competed in piano competitions (and won scholarships cause of it), I played trombone in a semi-professional big band that toured the world. I received my eagle scout award when I was 13 years old (there were only two of us that year that got it that early). I graduated high school with a community college degree and graduated from UW with two bachelor degrees.

I’ve continued to receive awards over the years. Lately I’ve received numerous commendations and awards from Toastmasters (my title is ACB, ALB if you like alphabet soup).

None of this means much to me.

I’ve been stewing on one major concept which really upsets me about awards. Many times awards have 100% to do with the recipient, or politics. Having a degree in mathematics is something I did personally, earning my eagle scout award is something I did quickly by optimizing my time. They don’t affect many others besides me.

The things that have been truly rewarding to me I have received no reward or award for. I wrote a book that got a whopping 2 stars on Amazon, but it has affected people around the world by teaching them something. Guiding opportunity scholars during conferences is more exciting than receiving yet another sheet of linen paper to hang on my wall.

What do you think? Do you agree? Feel free to comment!


11 Lessons I’ve learned being an adult for 10 years

Last wednesday was my birthday! I turned 28 enjoying myself in Sonoma county celebrating playing bocce ball and drinking amazing wine. While arbitrary 10 years is a long enough time to warrant some sort of retrospection and I thought I’d share with you the top 10 lessons I’ve learned over the last 10 years.

For those of you who like TL;DR’s here’s the outline of this blog post which should be somewhat long for a blog post (10-15 minutes reading):

  1. Just cause you have a degree in a subject doesn’t mean you know how to practice the subject.
  2. Math is a universal language. It also happens to be a rare and valuable skill.
  3. Working hard pays off if you work on the right thing at the right time.
  4. Not everybody who works in a lucrative field makes a lot of money.
  5. There’s no such thing as a secure job.
  6. Everybody has an amazing skill locked away inside. You just have to look for it.
  7. Math doesn’t solve every problem.
  8. Success boils down to having good working relationships.
  9. Freelancing isn’t free.
  10. Strive to work with people smarter than you.
  11. Everything is arbitrary including this list.

Lesson 1: Having a degree in business doesn’t make you a business guru

When I was 18 years old I started school at the University of Washington to study Business. My goal at that time was to get a business degree, from a selective school, graduate and start my $100M Biodiesel company. Obviously things have changed. I still enjoy learning more about business everyday and am still entrepreneurial except I learned a quick lesson. Just cause you have a business degree doesn’t mean you can own a business.

You see when I entered UW and started taking pre-requisites I realized something quickly. What UW, and other schools, teach you has less to do with running a business and more to do with what is easy to teach. Subjects like Finance, Accounting, Marketing (for Fortune 100 companies), were the required classes. These subjects are important sure but as a business owner today I can tell you that I don’t need to know Accounting as in depth as they taught it.

I realized early that the business program wasn’t for me since it wouldn’t actually teach me much on how to run a business. Instead I decided to focus on math and economics which I will get to in the next lesson.

Side note: However there is a good business education I can suggest

While traditional business education didn’t yield great results for teaching me how to run my businesses, there are great resources I have found on the subject.

The Personal MBA ( reading list is invaluable. I have read over half of the books and it has changed how I think about business.

The other resource is selling on ebay and craigslist. If you want to learn how to run a business, try to find something cheap on craigslist and sell it on ebay, and vice versa. You’ll learn marketing, sales, and finance quickly just by doing it.

Lesson 2: Math is universal, as well as a rare and valuable skill.

When I turned 19 I knew that I didn’t want to do business, but of course I had to do something… In finishing up some of my pre-requisites I took integral calculus and found myself knee deep in a subject I loved.

Immediately I found myself applying calculus to everything and spouting off paradoxes to people who thought I was a bit nutty. By the end of my first year I decided I was going to go for an applied math degree to focus on math.

This of course confused my parents. Here they were paying for my education and I was switching from the sure thing of business to a MATH degree. My mother asked me occasionally “What on earth are you going to do with a math degree?.” Thinking retrospectively this makes sense. Math degrees are traditionally used for teaching math.

But I never wanted to be a teacher. Instead I had my mind focused on the idea of becoming a quantitative analyst who ran financial models all day long. Preferably living in a basement where nobody could find me all day.

Little did I know that math would become one of the biggest assets I own in my brain. It has propelled me into working on tough problems not found elsewhere. And it really helped me learn how to think.

Lesson 3: Persistence pays off

By the time I turned 20 I was starting to worry about finding a job. Since I entered college at 18 with an associates degree I was going to graduate the next year and had to start worrying about what I’m going to do with the entirety of my life. So I started working on finding my career and doing informational interviews. I talked with CEO’s at financial institutions around Seattle, as well as lots of job fairs and other networking.

One person gave me a chance to see what I could do. Brian Langstraat of Parametric was gracious enough to have me come down to their swank South Lake Union office and let me pick his brain with what I should be doing with my life. Like me he was a economics student from the UW. Giving with his time he decided to introduce me to Paul Bouchey who then offered me a internship with Parametric.

I was truly elated to be receiving money at an internship and working on what I thought was amazing work. I put in extra hours and reworked my schedule to work down there as much as I could.

Lesson 4: Not everybody in finance drives a Bentley

Parametric offered me a job as an Assistant Research Analyst; I can still remember the business card they gave me and how cool it looked. My starting salary was $45,000 a year and I negotiated up to $48,000.

Taking a step back, when I was 21 years old I became obsessed with becoming rich and making lots of money. I figured people in finance surely made money so it made sense to work at Parametric. Making $48,000 straight out of college isn’t bad! But it was far from Scrooge McDuck levels of money.

This gets me to a lesson that came to me hard at the time but makes total sense now as I’ve aged. Not everybody who works in a lucrative field makes boat loads of money. There are people in financial jobs who bring in $16M in a yearly salary. There’s people who make more than that! In the news these are the people we hear about for the most part. But underneath those enormous salaries there are a lot of people who make much less.

The lesson here is that while people and the media will tell you one thing that is lucrative, sometimes it just isn’t. Finance, drug dealing, even software development sometimes isn’t lucrative.

Lesson 5: Job security is a modern myth

Three days before my birthday in 2009 I was laid off from my first job. I was heart broken and came home to my then girlfriend crying and came apart at the seams. The 6 months after that were a time of reckoning with things I have overlooked as a young adult. Job security is one of them.

You see when I got my job working for a stable finance company with decent pay and a big ladder to climb I figured I’d work there for 10-15 years and then move on. That was what my parents did with their government jobs and what my grandma did with her teaching job.

Though weirdly, my grandfather and generations before him weren’t so secure in what they did. My grandfather owned an auto parts company, and his father owned the parts store before that. When the economy was tough they scaled back and didn’t make as much, but in the end it was up to them to make things work.

Understanding that job security doesn’t exist is a great thing once you come to terms with it!

When I finally came around to the idea that all jobs are fluid, and malleable I started thinking of things differently. I started building a portfolio of work. I became more adept at accepting change when it happened. This one lesson has truly influenced how I approach my work these days. Luckily I have never had to leave a job out of anger and have become objective about how I fit into things.

Lesson 6: We all have “Acres of Diamonds” hidden within us.

While unemployed I listened a lot to motivational tapes to get my spirits up. One of them was Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale and he explained a wonderful African story about ‘Acres of Diamonds’.

Effectively the story goes like this:

A farmer was tilling his crop one day and content with the world went back to his house to refresh himself. While returning a wise priest came by to visit and exclaimed to the farmer, “Why are you wasting all of your time tilling these fields, don’t you know that Africa is full of diamonds waiting for someone to find?!”. The farmer at this point great discontent with his work and decided he must leave his wife, sell the farm, leave his family behind and find diamonds. Until his death, he traveled the world looking for diamonds but found none. Meanwhile the farmer he sold his farm to was tilling the land one day and came across a pretty rock. He decided to put it on his mantle at home as a keepsake. A couple weeks pass and the same wise priest comes by and in astonishment looks at the diamond and explains to the farmer that he’s found the biggest diamond on record. They then rush out to the field to find not one diamond but acres of diamonds.

The lesson is simple we all have something inside of us; our respective “Acres of Diamonds”. When I was 22/23 I realized that all those years playing on Linux, programming little toys, and writing programs actually was a useful skill to have. I immediately found a great job doing something I already loved!

Lesson 7: Math doesn’t solve everything

After two years of working at my first full time programming job I became the Chief Scientist at a small startup in Kansas City. This job involved leading a small team of programmers, and building scientific algorithms around social interactions on things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. My first two months I approached the problem academically and read lots of papers on how to find influencers in a social graph.

My approach was probably O.K. but what I failed to realize right away was just how math wouldn’t solve this startups problems. I still love math but it doesn’t solve all problems. Sometimes introducing an algorithm pushes you further away from the problem.

What they needed was a simpler program that solved a user need rather than more features like math algorithms.

Lesson 8: Success has to do with building good relationships with people

After leaving that position not knowing what I was going to do with myself, I decided to go to India to give a presentation on some Ruby best practices I had in my mind at that moment. Coming back from India I had work waiting for me at I ended up freelancing for them for some time. My work there came down to the relationship I had built beforehand.

The president of Ritani, Brian Watkins, and I worked together at Wetpaint. He was the CFO and really is a great guy! I abused the fact that he was well connected in the diamond industry to help me get a ring for my now wife, Sophia, and since I was so please with his help went out of my way to make sure he was well thanked. Knowing him to be a Pearl Jam fan, I bought him a pretty cool looking poster of Mookie Blaylock (It’s really a cool poster and it says Pearl Jam on it riffing on the Basketball theme). While it was well deserved and I don’t expect that the reason I ended up with work was purely cause of that, the relationship that we still share has a lot to do with me being able to find work.

Building relationships with people is everything. Finding work means working with others and if you don’t have enough relationships to rely on then finding work will be tough.

Lesson 9: Freelancing isn’t free

Looking back to being 18 I was always dead set on being a freelancer and “working for myself”. Freelancing is full of surprises, both good and bad. I ended up having good work for a while and then there was the dry time where for a couple months I had nothing. When I had no work I ended up depressed that nobody wanted to hire me, and ended up watching probably too much Netflix as a result.

When I had work, I ended up working too much.

The lesson here is that while freelancing sounds wonderful, there’s a dark side to it as well. You end up becoming beholden to work as it comes in. When there’s none all you do is look for work, and when there’s work all you do is work. Far from freedom.

Lesson 10: Strive to work with people smarter than you

Pat Metheny said to play with musicians better than you and it’s great advice. I’ve always tried to take this advice to heart but didn’t really hit until I joined the Clymb as a full time employee last year. The Clymb offered me the opportunity to work with Mike Perham full time. Shying away from the chance at first I eventually came to the conclusion that this chance would probably never present itself again and so I had to take it.

Definitely chose right. While Mike and I worked together for 7-8 months only, those months were invaluable to the skills I have developed. In a short period of time Mike has challenged me in ways I couldn’t challenge myself in. For that I am truly grateful.

Being a competitive person I have to remind myself of this. I have this terrible affliction where I generally dislike people smarter than me for the first month or two and then they become really great friends later on. I guess I’ll work on that in the next 10 years.

Lesson 11: Everything is arbitrary including this

The last lesson I’ve been dwelling on lately is that everything is arbitrary. Now that I’m 28 I’ve figured out that 28 is just a number in base 10 that is on it’s own meaningless. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of philosophy and have come to the conclusion that there are always multiple sides and to get the entire picture involves asking hard questions that you don’t want to.

This is probably one of the most useful lessons I’ve learned as it relates to software. Like building a house, software is malleable and always changing.  There’s always something else to be changing and more growth to be had.

Shout Out and Conclusion

It would be hard to finish this without pointing out that 10 years of my adult life also includes 10 years of being with my wife, Sophia, for which has impacted my life and lived through all of the lessons above. Here’s to another 10 years living the life!