I worked on my productivity framework and assessed the progress of this project. It’s taken longer than I wanted, and it seems to be a matter of interruptions, some dead-end learning experiments, random side tasks within the project, and several weeks with low project time. This week I’ll try to focus on the framework so I can use it to wrap up this planning phase.
In the meantime, I made some more system improvements. I shifted some of my project time to the start of the evening to set the tone so I’m more motivated not to waste time. I added a notes column in my task tracker so I can keep track of what throws off my plans. And I tried out an idea for socializing while I cook (see below).
The Ten Thousand Doors of January hooked me with its lyrical style and the progressive revelation of its scenario. I wasn’t entirely in the mood for the book when my library hold came up, so I sometimes put off listening, but I enjoyed it while I was listening. And I appreciated its take on social justice. But its most important effect was to put me in the mood to listen to Elantris, which I’ve put off for years, so I’m finally wading into some Brandon Sanderson.
The programming books I’ve listened to lately are piling up, so I’ll run through them quickly. As usual, I hope to go back and study all these as I build my software development practices.
From More Agile Testing, I found out the authors of Agile Testing had enough worth saying to fill another book. I have no plans to become a software tester, but I think the more programmers understand about the other roles they interact with, the better they can tailor their work to the needs of the whole project.
The Domain Testing Workbook is a very organized and practical deep dive into a specific, foundational software testing technique. Programmers can directly use domain testing in the automated tests they write themselves. The book also has a thoughtful appendix on teaching.
I have mixed feelings about Test-Driven Development: By Example. I often fall down rabbit holes reading debates about TDD because of my various frustrations with it, so listening to this influential book feels like confronting my nemesis. But Kent Beck is less dogmatic than some TDD advocates, so I feel a little vindicated. I’m looking forward to revisiting the book and wringing out as much insight as I can from the examples. And of course, reading more debates. I’m especially interested in this response recommending type-oriented testing.
Software Estimating: Demystifying the Black Art is Steve McConnell’s argument that you really can estimate the wild world of software projects. As always, his book sounds well researched and convincing, and I’m looking forward to trying it out on my projects. I also want to incorporate its techniques into my scheduling app.
On Memorial Day I visited the nearby lake and finally spotted some frogs. I knew they must be there somewhere. The iNaturalist Seek app told me they were American Bullfrogs, and later a web search told me they were indeed the source of the mysterious slow honk I sometimes heard. It’s their advertisement call.
I caught up with my old college roommate Jason. It was a good conversation, as always. It took him a few prods on Facebook before I brought myself to get in touch. I hadn’t really worked socializing back into my life since reorganizing myself. But I realized cooking could be a convenient time to call, and it worked out. Maybe I can make a habit of it and conduct my social life from the kitchen.