Recently I found a new hobby: online texas hold’em. I’m not spending big money on it (I mostly play free tournaments in an italian poker room and a free online game on my iPhone) but I’m finding poker very relaxing and I also find some similarities between online poker and programming, plus something more…
Poker teaches you to be a better programmer…
There’s always someone better than you
You can be the best coder among your friends and colleagues, but you’re not for sure the best developer around. The same happens in poker: you can be the best player in your friends pool, but you’re not the best player in the world.
Remember to code, code, code, exercise and study, try and fail. This is the only way to improve yourself and prove you are the best.
Math is useful
I see a lot of people around telling “I don’t need math”. In poker (and in programming) you need a lot of math, even for simple operations. Maybe you already know that, but pick five minutes to test (and improve) your math skills. You can find some tests and exercises here.
Be fast and precise
In online poker you can’t think hours for your next move. If you are a programmer you should be fast-thinking and precise. Fast and no errors. Simple, isn’t it?
Apply lateral thinking to approach your problem
Sometimes the best solution is just around the corner. Be creative!
If you want to try poker there are a lot of free poker games on Facebook, iPhone, etc… Don’t waste your money. The fun is the same.
Online gaming is an hobby, but it could easily ruin your life. If you have problems with gaming & gambling visit this site.
Old programming books… Our house is filled with them.
In “Kindle’s times” now maybe you have an electronic copy of those books (an many other) on your fav. ebook reader / tablet.
What can you do with those old programming books? Well, if you don’t have any particular reason to keep them and make them cover in dust, you can sell them on eBay or on a classifieds website (but you won’t get more than a few bucks for them) or donate them to the local public library.
Every library accept donations, just be aware that:
- Books must be in good conditions and complete of their CDs /DVDs (if present when you bought them)
- Library staff can refuse donations if they have too many copies of a single title (this happened to me in Italy, don’t know if it’s the same in the US) or if the title it’s not “useful” for them
- You can also donate CD, DVDs and audiobooks
You’ll end up with lot of free space on your bookshelves and maybe you’ll help someone who’s searching for that book you’re not opening since 2005
I’ve written an article about the new MacBook Pro a while ago.
It’s a couple of months since I changed my 2014 MacBook Pro with a new MacBook Pro. Here’s what I like and what I dislike.
What I like:
- The new keyboard. The touch&feel is just “right”
- The screen. Amazing, as usual.
- The USB-C thing (more on this, later)
What I don’t like:
- The touchbar. I never really use it. Because I don’t need it.
- The USB-C adapter I have to carry on every time I travel.
More on the USB-C. That’s the future, for sure. But as usual Apple, predates everyone else by forcing people to “migrate”, everyone else is still not ready. I have to carry with me many cables in order to be “retro-compatible”.
That’s for sure an issue that will be solved in the future.
It’s 2017. I keep reading (in Italy more than anywhere else) about people looking for a tech co-founder that will help them develop their idea.
Look no more people!
No, I’m not trying to teach you the latest trick for finding a tech cofounder. I‘m simply telling you to stop looking around for tech cofounders.
Why? Let’s keep it real, from a developer point of view.
- Do you want me to work on your ideas for free? I already have mine to work on for free, no thanks.
- Ok, you want to pay me. With shares in your company. If you’re Google that might look interesting. Otherwise shares of something valued 0, guess what, are worth zero. Go back to step 1.
- Doing business with someone is like getting married. Would you marry a complete stranger met on the Internet or at a startup event? No. Probably it will happen someday if you really like each other a lot and after many years of deep knowledge.
But wait. There’s a way to make people work on (and love, if you’re really lucky) your idea:
PAY PEOPLE REAL MONEY TO WORK ON YOUR IDEA
It’s really that simple.
Ok, I’m approaching my last days in Silicon Valley. So far, this trip (my first trip ever in California) was a blast.
I’ve spent a couple of days in San Francisco, and then moved to San Jose, the hometown of eBay, the company I work for.
I had the chance to work in the eBay South Campus, which is probably the best working space I’ve ever been in my life.
Apart from amenities, cafeteria, open spaces, etc… You can breath innovation, diversity, technology in every aspect of the daily life. Something hard to find in my homecountry.
Look at some pictures!
Here are some tricks for the occasional “work from home”.
Maybe they can be applied also to freelances, but they are more used to work from home and they get their working routine very early…
- Respect the usual morning routine: shower, brush your teeth…
- Dress casual if you want, but dress yourself (no pajamas) and always put your shoes on (this tricks your mind into thinking you’re not home for “lazyness”)
- Wake up at the same time you wake up when you go to the office
- Do your laundry, bed, etc… BEFORE actually start working (avoid housing distractions!)
- Find a silent spot in your home away from kids, if you have any. Discard this if you have to watch for your kids while working from home (you’re my hero in this case)
- Take your time. If you are used to get a coffee around 11am in the office, do the same at home
- Lunch break of 1 hour? Make a 1 hour break. Usually eating at your desk? Do a speed lunch even at home.
- If you usually leave the office at 6pm, stop working at 6pm
- If you need Internet connection stop every torrent/heavy download you may have on your own network
- Check the VPN (or whatever connection you use) the night before (or better, some time in advance) in order to be ready in case of problems.
- NO TV! (just put some music on if you feel bored)
- Do some little walk around the house every hour
- Drink plenty of water
… Try to configure properly an AVR (Audio Video Receiver) connected to your TV with a set of 7.1 speakers.
You have to know about:
- Sound physics/engineering
- Sound calibration
- Audio codecs
- Video formats
Then you can call yourself a real nerd.
Have a look here: this FAQ is huge and it’s only for some specific DENON models!