This Week I Learned - 2016 Week 02

In case you miss out, the last week post

#1 Code-Switching to Improve Your Writing and Productivity. A discussion of ways to prevent yourself from fixated or "over baking" on your work while writing or coding. The gist of the approach is the switching between different writing assignments regularly. Just write and keep the momentum going.

Note: I've just realized while writing this post, I was applying her approach where each item in this post is a different topic for me to explore, investigate, learn, and jot it down concurrently. I was jumping between the items.

#2 The Best American Essays. You can find the list of essays for the year 2015. As stated in #1, to improve your writing, you need to read, learn, and mimic from the best essayists.

#3 The Easy Way To Learn Hard Stuff. To master any skill (in the context of programming), build stuff and built it starting from day one! Don't be obsess with elements (syntax and semantics) of the programming languages, use these elements to build something. In other words, don't focus on the tools, use the tools for all its intended purposes. For more general disciplines, the Coursera's course on Learning How to Learn is a good place to start. Plenty list of researched learning techniques.

One such technique is read, recall, and write it down (HN dicusssion) or similarly PQRST method. There is a worries that rote learning may lead to mere memorization, but without the information inside your head in the first place, how can you think and connect all the dots? I like the application of this technique in programming. Basically learn enough fundamental and challenge yourself to build something up from scratch without any references until your're really stuck. I experience once before while picking up Nim programming language. I was stuck with just a documentation and without Internet access. So, you're pretty much have to learn the hard and slow way but definitely you'll learn fast. Why so? One good reason, without Internet, there is not distraction or excuses for your to procrastinate.

#4 Already few days into the new year. Still contemplating on your new year's resolution? The US government has a list of popular new year's resolutions. Moreover, for each resolution, there is plenty of resources to guide you. Give it a try! For programmer, there is always the resolutions for programmer (HN discussion) which I covered it last week.

#5 Remember Dark Patterns, the deceptive user interface patterns to trick people? Now we have something similar but the opposite. GoodUI, a site which list good user interface patterns which have been heavily A/B tested.

#6 Ansible 2.0 has been released (Thre is a good HN discussion on YAML vs. Bash script). I have been anticipate this release especially the package module which let us install software using underlying package manager. Unfortunately, this only works if the package name is the same through all the GNU/Linux distributions, which is not so for most of the time. Also block is a welcoming feature which help to group related tasks by distribution like using 'ansible_distribution'.

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