Seasoned or Cynical

It’s amazing what people can do when they don’t know they can’t.

In the beginning you don’t know all the reasons it won’t work.

As the years pass you’ll marvel at what you though was possible – the risks you took.

And still you’ll see other beginners taking on windmills. Some windmills will batter the riders. Some riders will topple their windmills.

Reminiscing with a senior developer that I used to manage we talked about a project we worked on together that had major flaws. I told him, “Don’t worry. That’s what has made you senior. Now you really do know better.”

Failure can teach you good judgment. At best it will teach you which fears are realistic – which gambles pay off.

A junior developer often makes up for inexperience with occassionally wreckless enthusiasm. But senior developers often earn their keep by what they choose not to do.

A senior developer (hopefully) knows the difference between ambitious and unrealistic.

They need to be able to look at a project and say, “Yes, we can do that with these critical changes.” And each part of that sentence is important.

“Yes, we can do that” – don’t let your experience lead to cyncism where every project is doomed to fail and any who think they can achieve something are Polyanna.

“… with these critical changes” – filter out all of the good or simply true ideas to bring forward the indispensible ones. Conserve your ammo.

If you aren’t careful failure might instead turn you into a member of the “no way” choir. If you aren’t careful you might believe that only saying why a project might fail is actually adding value. It’s not. Not really.

I’ve watched junior developers deliver so much more than their senior teammates that it was embarrassing. Perhaps those senior developers overcompensated for failure.

I’ve seen junior developers merrily build weeks of work on a platform that was genuinely incapable of supporting success. Perhaps those junior developers needed more help from a senior developer.

Still, it’s amazing what people can do when they don’t know they can’t.

The truth embedded in Wiley Coyote’s gravity defying double take is that often it is our own perception of doom that causes our doom.

Weighing Arguments by Word Count

Sometimes we give equal weight to outcomes and risks that sound similar but in reality don’t deserve equal treatment.

Swimming will get you wet. So will walking in the rain. But I keep my phone in my pocket when I walk in the rain.

Hear the other side well enough to fairly weigh their point. Same sounding words can signify dramatically different things.

I Have Returned

I’m back from my mountain-top experience. Almost a week, now.

The training made a bigger impact on me than the material itself could do.  The caliber of the instructors and attendees, along with the unique setting built up an experience that exceeds the models and thoughts of the course author.

A very good experience. I recommend it. (NOTE: BSA programs are a significant portion of the instruction so keep that in mind before signing up.)

I’ve taken it easy reintegrating with my life.  I’m not listening to as many news articles and books, yet.

I’m trying to make room for a piece of the mountaintop to take hold in my Salt Lake Valley life-style.

It feels good to hold back a bit on all my habits this week. Too often I encounter something inspiring and rush on to the next thing.

We must create patterns of delivery in our lives. But life’s richness comes from the experiences that make you pause.

Column Mode versus Slow Mo’

Sublime Text’s column mode makes it really easy to create multiple cursors and make repetitive edits. This comes in handy all the time. 

On Mac, Sublime Text’s default key-binding for entering column mode conflicts with the system’s default key bindings for the “slow-mo” version of mission control.

I like mission control. I hate slow mo. Apparently you can’t have one bound to ctrl-up without the other bound to ctrl-shift-up.

Luckily it’s pretty easy to modify the sublime text shortcut from ctrl-shift-up (and down) to ctrl-alt-up (and down).

Just add the following bindings to your user key-bindings:

{ "keys": ["ctrl+alt+up"], "command": "select_lines", "args": {"forward": false} },
{ "keys": ["ctrl+alt+down"], "command": "select_lines", "args": {"forward": true} }

Of course, take care to get the line-ending-commas right if you already have bindings in that file.

I hope that helps you.