There is a time to admire the persuasive power of an influential idea, and there is a time to fear its hold over us. If the idea is so widely shared that we no longer even notice it, it’s time to worry. If the objections to the idea are not answered anymore because they are no longer even raised, we do not have the idea, it has us. We are not in control.
The one book that has had the most impact on my career is “The Pragmatic Programmer” by Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas. It is one of the few technical books I’ve read multiple times, learning something new every time. One can imagine how happy I was to hear this morning that a 20th-anniversary edition of the book is coming this fall.
Walk into any library, and the first thing you notice is absolute silence. People behave differently when in a library. They respect others’ privacy and the need for solitude. They don’t have loud conversations. If they need to talk, they go outside or talk quietly. Rarely do people go over to someone’s desk to disturb them. Why are all these behaviors, which are considered rude in a library, are treated as a norm in a modern workplace?
Gerald Weinberg is one of the programmers who has influenced so much of my thinking as a programmer. He passed away on August 7, 2018, at the age of 84. He had simple, but very profound, Zen-like insights on everything related to software development, programming, and many other disciplines. He has left the software industry with a better understanding of what it means to be a programmer.
I have been studying Stoicism for more than 2 years now. The more I read Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus, the more I realize how Stoic principles can be valuable when applied to programming. This post is a quick reminder to myself when I am writing software.
“It’s not the external events that cause us trouble, but only our perceptions about those events”. This meditation from Marcus Aurelius, profound in itself, finds parallels to coding theory in Computer Science.
History, it seems, is always ending today. It’s easy to imagine how much I have changed over the years. At 27 today, I have almost nothing in common with the 22-year old Akshay. Looking into the future, however, is quite a different story altogether.
I leave for Canada tomorrow. It’s exciting. The year has gone by so fast. It feels like yesterday when I quit my job. So much has happened since then. Here’s a summary of my year so far.
I went to a study-abroad seminar hosted by GeeBee councelling this morning. It was really good and they did an excellent job of explaining the process to pursue higher education abroad. I have decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Canada.
I found a teaching job at Mahesh Tutorials, teaching high-school Mathematics to kids. I am not sure if this is long-term, or something temporary. However, the schedule is flexible, and I like Maths.
After two weeks, I have left my job at Neeble Technologies. I feel exhilarated. The last four years of my life were dedicated to the single-minded goal of becoming a software engineer, get a high-paying job at an MNC, and live happily ever after. I don’t know what I am going to do next. I haven’t told my parents yet.