That ten-week Japanese class I mentioned has finished. Next up is level 2 which starts in a couple weeks. Reflecting on what I’ve learned has been really interesting. The books this class go over are written to be simple and have common words repeated often. Those words I think I’ve learned pretty well just by reading and rereading the short stories. It feels great to read a story in a foreign language and have that feeling that you aren’t translating in your head but just imagining the scene from the story. However, when watching something on Viki without subtitles I still miss a lot and have to rely on guessing from context. I think this story method of language learning is really great for me but it’s a journey.

Why is it that I can remember the lyrics to songs that I haven’t heard in 10–20 years? It blows my mind every time, it’s like my brain back then heard these songs and said “this is required for survival!”. Last week I played Better than Ezra’s “Good” for the first time since maybe the late 90s and I remembered every lyric. How can I channel this super power?

Designing Interviews for Engineers

Interviewing is hard and there are a lot of problems in the industry and the processes that we use. A lot of companies rely on a half to full day interview cycle to both get an idea of the candidate’s skills/fit and give the candidate an idea of what your team is about. 4–5 hours is hard to give both employer and candidate a complete picture of what it’s like to work on this team.

Continue Reading »

I’m up way too late tonight, but for an investigation into Jetpack Compose, Google’s declarative UI system like SwiftUI. After wrapping up my little SwiftUI project I thought it would be interesting to see what the Android developers have in coming. Also Android Studio runs on my M1 Mac now! Some early things I’ve noticed, State is not as easily definable as SwiftUI and getting all the right versions set up in gradle is a small hassle. I’m amazed at how easy it is now to get a small API client up and running on both platforms!

android studio running an early version of the weather app

I realized last week that meetings are liquid—like cats! I cleared a few things off my calendar only to find things suddenly pop up in those time slots. I actually think this is fine, my role is about helping the team I work with but it can get draining. So depending on what I need to do, I’ll create some private meetings for myself to block off time to get focused work completed. I still leave gaps and am quick to move things if needed, but overall it’s helped me be available and still get some tasks done.

A Swift Time Capsule

A while back I got into an argument with a friend about the lifetime of code “now days”. He argued that code written in C and C++ was much more likely to continue working forever, needing fewer updates, and being generally more of an asset. My response was generally “code is a liability, not an asset”. We should strive to create good code, but too much changes in the industry year to year and you’ll eventually need to replace it with new tools and environments—at least for most consumer facing apps.

Continue Reading »

Now that we are halfway through 2021, I was looking at the movies I’ve watched so far. The count is already at 41 movies but we don’t have a goal like our 2020 goal of 100 movies. Some of the highlights for me are Nomadland, The Forty-Year-Old Version, The Midnight Sky, and Space Sweepers. All worth checking out if you haven’t seen them.

Using an iPad to take notes in a side by side multitasking is actually pretty nice. Tonight I loaded up a few more WWDC videos on the left and Craft for notes on the right. Of course this could have been an article, a YouTube video, or anything really. I’ve been trying to be more diligent in note taking and this is a pretty good option. I’m looking forward to some of the new features in iPadOS 15!