Leon Mika

When it comes to organising things, whether it’s a large transition or simply the events of my day, I tend to be quite rigid in my scheduling. I make sure to plan ahead, and ensure that the things that need to happen do so in the intended order. There is a time for everything, and everything is to happen on time. Any deviations from this and I get anxious.

I know some people, both friends and family, that are the polar opposite to this. No need for a set scheduled, just show up when you’re ready. Things happen when they happen, and if they’re delayed or out of sequence, so what? We’ll eventually get by in the end.

I wish I had a bit more of this attitude.

I wonder if part of my indecisiveness in making large decisions, such as changing jobs, has a lot to do with the need to make everyone happy. I know that’s not always possible, you can’t please everyone. Maybe the best approach is to minimise the damage.

I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday so I got a Covid-19 test. In July 2020, when I last had a test, it took me 5 days to get the results. Yesterday, I got the results in 9 hours (it was negative). Really impressed by how well testing improved over the last year.

Working On The Weekend

I’ve saw a Tweets last night saying that the best thing a young person can do to help their career is to work on the weekend. The implication there is that being the one that “puts in the extra hours” can seem, in the eyes of your employer, like you’re the hardest worker there, that you’re committed to the project and the job. This could lead to bonuses, promotions, perks, a reputation, you name it.

I’m always sceptical when I see advice like that. Coming in on the weekend on a voluntary bases might be good for your career, but is it actually good for you? Are you doing yourself any favours spending two additional days a week creating value for someone else?

What about the things that will create value for you? That can help you be a more rounded person? Things like learning a new skill, starting a new side project, socialising, taking up a hobby. When will you have time for that? Not to mention just fricken resting, which is really not as valued as it should be.

My feeling is that you already work for someone else 5 out of 7 days a week. By all means work on the weekend if you want to, but make sure you’re doing it for yourself.

I’m wondering if Slack should add a feature which, on demand, will roll-up the last several messages in a thread or channel, delete them all, and replace it with a single message saying “Nope, we were wrong here.”

A walk in the rain, with no one else around other than the currawongs. Fair bit darker than what the photo suggests.

A wet gravel path

Slightly wet sign

A foot-bridge over a stream

I feel like the only person in the world that prefers to catch up on the WWDC keynote by reading the Ars Technica liveblog over watching it.

Only took 5 failed CI builds today before I realised that there may be something wrong with the code I wrote.

For anyone who needs it, here’s a Tampermonkey script for hiding the trending topics and recommended topics/people from Twitter’s sidebar.

Congratulations to Ben Thompson on the announcement of Passport. Looks to be a very promising tool for creators aiming to make a living on the open web. All the best to him in this endeavour.

It’s a bit of a shame that we couldn’t be using something like NFC for checking in to venues, rather than QR codes. The user experience would be much better: just tap your phone. This is quicker and less annoying than opening the check-in app, waiting for the splash screen to go away, tapping “Check In”, positioning the camera, etc.

Sure, establishments will need to buy NFC tags, which are not as cheap as printing a QR code. But I’m betting that the simpler check-in experience would mean more people would be doing so, making it easier for contact tracers to get on top of outbreaks and letting these businesses open up again.

I imagine people want to do the right thing. Make it convenient for them to do so.

FastMail needs to steal more features from Hey. One thing that would be nice: the ability to annotate messages or threads — I think they’re called “stickies” in Hey. It would be great to add one to bills that said “Paid”.

Stumbling Into the Concept of Narrating Your Work

About a week ago, we had a retro. One of the things that was brought up was the sense that management felt that the team was not delivering as much as we could be. There are a number of reasons for this. For one, the higher ups work in Perth, a good 3,452 KM away from Melbourne. Another was that a lot of the work the team deals with is experimental in nature: more R&D vs. product development (a large portion of it involves dealing with a lot of barely supported, and completely undocumented APIs for MacOS).

Nevertheless, it was a bit of a downer that management felt this way. A solution proposed by a team member was to maintain a work log. Doing so would give the product owner, who works in Perth, the ammunition needed to push back on the notion that the team was just sitting on their hands. Prior to the pandemic, I started keeping a bullet journal, which helped me keep on top of things that I needed to do. But this would been different: it would essentially be keeping a log of what I did, and how I did it.

Last week I started to do this. I took a silly little web-app that I built for maintaining a “now” page (which I never used), and started to use it a bit more like a journal. I added it as a web panel in Vivaldi so that I could open it whenever I was in the browser. Every so often while I’m working on a task, I would quickly jot down a paragraph of what I just did. If I got stuck, I would write down what the problem is and my thoughts on how I can get out of it. I originally thought about setting up a reminder to do this like once every 30 minutes, but I found that simply journalling the thoughts as they come work quote well. At the end of the day I usually had at-least 3 bullet points on what I was working on (the record was 12) and at the beginning of the next day, I cut-and-pasted these bullet points into the Jira work log.

It’s too early to say whether this would help dispel the notion that the team is not delivering; we may get an update from the product owner when the next retro comes around. But I’ve found the process actually quite useful for myself. I’ve forgotten how beneficial it is to write my thoughts down as they come, and I’ve never used a process like this before: everything up to date has been simply todo items or scrawls of the next task to look at.

I learnt this morning that this is not a new concept. Dave Winer wrote a blog post about this in 2009, called Narrate Your Work which talks about how he adopted this practice at UserLand. I guess the same thing could be helpful here. After all, you could probably say the place I work at is distributed in nature, given that there exist a whole continent between the two offices.

It’s only been a week so the habit has not fully settled in but I hope to continue to do this.

Sheets in the washing machine. Estimated time remaining is 17 minutes. This means that they should be done in just over an hour.

Argh, people really need to stop using Twitter threads as a substitute for blog posts. I don’t want to have to go to the Twitter website to read them, and it’s difficult to take a link to one and open it in my Twitter client of choice.

Please, just write a blog post.

Interesting day in that I can legitimately say that the reason I’m watching YouTube videos of puppies is because of my job.

As difficult as it is going through another lockdown here in Melbourne, it’s actually kind of reassuring. I found all this will-they, won’t-they talk of a lockdown more anxiety inducing than knowing one is coming.

There seems to be lacking an emoji for expressing being in an agreement in something while also being resigned to the fact. Happy or sad would be too strong here. The best that I can come up with is confused 😕, but it doesn’t feel right either.

If anyone is interested in watching the recorded sessions of Google I/O 2021, you can find the videos here. Google is usually pretty good at publishing them as a YouTube playlist but for some reason I didn’t find anything like that this year.

Mozilla’s MDN web docs are pretty good at indicating which browser supports which web feature. But it would also be nice to see which browsers no longer require a deprecated feature. It would be nice to stop adding Pragma: no-cache along side the Cache-control header.

On the Souring Relationship Between Apple and its Developers

Listening to episode #430 of ATP yesterday, it was kind of shocking to hear the loss of good will experienced by the hosts towards Apple and their developer relations. I can’t say that I blame them though. Although John’s point about lawyers making the case for Apple is a good one, I do get the same feeling that Marco does about Apples opinion about developers, which is not a positive one.

It feels a lot like Apple believes that developers building on their platform owe them everything to them, and that without Apple none of these businesses would exist at all. It does feel a lot like they are entitled to a cut of everything that is happening on their platform. It does feel a lot like they think a developer releasing their app for free on the App Store is an ungrateful free-loader, that is taking advantage of all their hard work building the platforms and developer toolkits. This is not just from what’s coming up during the Epic-Apple lawsuit discovery. Remember what happened to Basecamp last year, when tried to release a new version of their Hey iOS app.

None of these is accurate in the remotest sense. Although it is true that some of these business may not be around if iOS was ever invented, it’s not to say that these developers wouldn’t be doing something else. Also, these developers DO pay for the privilege to build on their platform. Let’s not forget the $99.00 USD ($149.00 AUD) that these developers pay yearly, not to mention all the hardware they buy to run XCode and these other tools. And it’s not like any of these tools wouldn’t exist at all if these devs were free to use another IAP provider. Apple, I assume, would like something like XCode to exist so that they can build their own apps.

I hope people in Apple are listening to this. Anti-trust regulation aside, they are doing themselves a massive disservice by treating their developers like this. These people are their biggest evangelists. I’m not sure it will come to the point where they will abandon the iOS platform, at least not at this stage. But I could foresee these developers being hesitant to adopt any new app platforms that Apple release, say a future AR platform that will feature hardware devices.

Feature request for Fastmail: the ability to setup a private RSS feed for a folder, so that emails within it can be read in a feed reader. Similar to the “the Feed” in Hey, but available within a feed reader of choice.

Stephen Hackett on 🎙 Flashback #18: The Google Graveyard Draft:

Never fall in love in a Google Service that’s not Gmail

So true.

Started working on a website for a project I’m hoping to eventually open source. Found it a little difficult to write the section on why this project exists at all. It may turn that I’ll be be the only one that will have a use for it.

Podcast Roll 2021

Yesterday, @Munish had the courage to share his podcast subscriptions1. Sensing an opportunity to talk about with what I’m currently listening to, even though it may reveal more about myself that I’m usually comfortable with, I’m taking up his dare and sharing mine.

So, here is my podcast roll as of early May 2021:

Podcast subscriptions 2021

The shows above can roughly be divided up into the following categories:

Technology: This is a topic that I’m very interested in so there are fair few of these. A lot of them are Apple centric, but this is more of an accident than by design. The second podcast that I started regularly listening to was The Talk Show since I was a casual reader of Daring Fireball at the time (and I still am). That opened me up to ATP, which led to a bunch of Relay.fm shows.

Business: These could probably be lumped into technology, but are focused more on the business side of things rather than product development. Ben Thompson shows up a lot here, with Exponent, Dithering, and the Stratechery daily update my regular gotos. The release of that last one helped set some new routines while I was working from home last year. There’s a decent collection of shows from indy developers here as well.

Science, History, and Philosophy: These are where the real heavy podcast listening comes in, the shows that are 2 to 4 hours long and go deep into a particular topic or event. I have to be in the right kind of mood for these one. Key drivers here are Making Sense, Mindscape and Hardcore History.

Politics and Society: I am somewhat interested in US politics, which could explain the shows that appear in this category. Deep State Radio is one that I still listen to occasionally. Also of note is the NPR Planet Money podcast, which was the first podcast that I’ve ever subscribed to. A recent addition is the ABC Coronacast which provides a decent briefing of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia.

Popular Culture: This is probably where all the Incomparable shows come in, when I’m in the mood for something lighthearted and funny. My usual goto’s there are the Incomparable Game Show, Robot or Not and Pants in the Boot. One or two Relay.fm shows fall in here as well, including Reconcilable Differences, which is a favourite of mine.

Micro.blog: The final category is more-or-less podcasts that I’ve subscribed to while spending time on Micro.blog. This includes shows like the Micro Monday podcast, but also shows from those on Micro.blog like Core Intuition and Hemispheric Views.

So that’s it. There are a fair few subscriptions listed above, not all of them I regularly listen to. I guess I should probably unsubscribe from those that I haven’t listen to for a while. I probably keep them around for the same reason why I keep RSS feeds around: just in case something worth listening to pops up in there.

  1. Or “follows”, which is I guess the new term for it. [return]