It’s just really simple

I was reading this post by Michelle Bu and it really resonated with me.

When I was starting do go into programming from doing freelancing on design, my morale is probably at the lowest. It’s been the most discouraging year perhaps. Everybody would go how simple it really is, just do this and this. Some would give suggestion of some super big framework that totally addresses your problem and more.

But. No one, no one, showed me how to do it. No one has any intention to. Perhaps it’s too simple, perhaps it will take too long of their time.

The dirty secret

There’s a vast difference between being able to imagine how to code something and actually making use of the tool to code it. Great programmers can imagine the intricacies of the task and have a good plan how to attack it. Helpful programmers can lead you to completion.

Most programmers underestimated the task at hand and trivialize the task. Why? Because they want to get the feeling of having conquered the problem in their minds without actually doing it. You get the same elated feeling when you do that. Not knowing what you cannot do will make you less disappointed with yourself. Programmers trivialize things to make themselves feel better.

Some programmers want to use your asking for help as a platform to show off how well-read they are too. They tell of a library you never heard of and claim how easy it is to get things done there but not how to achieve that for your task at hand.

Explain your rejection

In many ways, if you are a programmer and you do that, what you are doing is rejecting to help someone. If so, say it directly. I sometimes have to say this is a laborious task and I don’t have the time to guide you through. If there’s a tutorial that I can easily find, I send it to the person to get started too. I think people appreciate the truth. Either help them all the way or lead them to get help from some other source. Be encouraging. I won some friends this way.

Never say it’s really simple.

Interesting discoveries #06

Bunch of links this post is. Here lies key things I have read:

1. Marriage equality, same-sex

Ruling that same sex marriage is unconstitutional in America. The New Yorker has a good summary on the key arguments for same-sex marriage.

There really is very little you can argue against same sex marriage without sounding like a selfish jerk.

2. Dog loves guitar

This is too cute to not watch:

Dogs make me laugh.

3. White noise to increase your creativity

This is a website with audio that mimics a cafe. Some Singaporeans would say they get more productive at Starbucks or the likes. Really? Perhaps so. Research has suggested some white noise to be good for creativity. Although I don’t really believe the assessment, here’s a coffee shop background sound you may need one day.

4. On why I start not reading news news

At some point of time in my life, I realized it’s just impossible to catch up with all the news in the world. They are things that are nice to know that is happening but I argue that it is less important than you think. Important news come to you in the old fashion way — word of mouth.

Today’s mainstream news is filled with articles that embraces the negative aspects. There’s always an accident here, a murder case, embezzlement etc.. There just isn’t enough good news except for our Prime Minister planting a lovely bush at the gardens to commemorate some special day that the generation in the future will call history.

News isn’t all that bad though. Just read lesser. For me, it’s a lot lesser. And stop reading about mishaps of others and surround yourself with more positivity. Read social news briefly. Then do your stuff in life. Don’t ever read The Straits Times.

5. The worst URL

Channel News Asia wins this hands down. What is this:

www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporebusinessnews/view/1262412/1/.html

I’m talking about /.html.

Come on, you can do better than this. What kind of CMS output such garbage?!

Cleaning up my blog

The blog’s really been quite a mess. I haven’t changed the layout for five years and I’m surprised it still is working each time I upgrade.

All is great until I found that WordPress’s basic install has so much that I can take advantage of that I am not. It became weighing between having access to these features or coding my theme to as such it allows for these features. I decided it really is writing I want to do here and the theme can take a secondary position for the time being. I would love to be working on it when time permits.

It’s really back to basics this time. Enjoy reading.

Google Chrome’s new tab

This is the new Google Chrome New Tab window in Canary (latest build):

New Google Chrome New tab

I see where Google is going with this. This is really advantageous for Google. Effectively they are changing people’s perception of what a browser and Google is and moving Google ever so closer to the user. Google is now the browser. And Google Plus appears to be part of the browser now.

I don’t think the FCC is going to be too pleased, but well, that’s another story.

On the dismissal of Google Reader

On one hand I’m tremendously shocked that Google would end a service that people relied on so much, and the other they do have the right to terminate anything that they are giving out for free.

The “Don’t be evil” argument is not even remotely related this so people who bring this up time and again are just whiners, or worse.

Google Reader has been in my Chrome most visited website for years and I would faithfully just click on it when I’m bored to see the list of content providers whose RSS I have subscribed to.

It does make me have lesser faith on Google services though. When would they call an end to life for Gmail perhaps? Will I continue to use free web services? Yes, only to get scalded once more.

Deepest MRT station in Singapore

The Bras Basah MRT Station (CC2) is the deepest station in the Mass Rapid Transit system at 35 metres below ground and its island platform is located at basement 5. It is also the station with the longest escalator, at 41.3 metres. To let light into the station, a reflective pool of water with glass panels outside the Singapore Management University was created.

Bras Basah MRT Station (CC2)

It’s so empty inside sometimes!