Adam Keys

…is writing software, building teams, playing pub quizzes, lifting weights, watching TV, reading books, playing Destiny, going to Disneyland, going to Walt Disney World, having dogs and cats, overthinking it, writing it down, enjoying cars but wishing for a future without them, and increasingly old.

Elsewhere:

Stick around, read some stuff, get in touch, go for a walk outside, make something cool. I’m not the boss of you.

Recently in short form

  • Little (Rust) learning victories
    I’m attempting to learn Rust. And really make it stick this time around. A lot of the “making it stick” part is making lists and having the discipline to stick with crossing items off them! A smaller part is figuring out how I can notch very small victories no matter how much progress I make. This is crucial because I’ve got about a half an hour each morning to work on this! My current favorite sort of small victory is to write up what I’ve learned if it doesn’t seem like I’m going to get far enough to commit new code behavior. This happens a fair bit when you’re working with a type checker after years of using a very implicit language. So far I’ve written up what I’ve learned about the web frameworks Nickel and Actix so far. The motivation for these little chunks of progress are the learning journals Brent Simmons has published over the years.
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    Was way more into this playlist when I thought it was “Eels!”
  • Pardon the dust, learning in progress
    I’m trying a few things while I learn how ray-tracers work: learning Rust and graphics programming collecting my thoughts and discoveries in the repo, aka blogging doing it all in public, rather than a private repo tackling very math-y programming and domain problems, despite my lack of acumen in the area Brought to you by: more folks should do blogging-like things, even if it’s not entirely on their own platform or using blog-software and more veteran programmers should be naive and not know everything in public.
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    It’s true that Twitter took some air out of blogging. I suspect it’s also true that they formed a positive feedback loop when they overlapped. Longer-form writing informed tweets, tweets responded to or inspired longer-form writing. We can have our tweets and eat blogs too!
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    Listening to a DJ live set and it opens with the whitest, most English version of a 90’s hip-hop sketch I’ve ever heard. This person learned the exactly wrong lesson of possibly every album after 3 Feet High and Rising.
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    Gil! Scott! Heron! man crush on LCD Soundsystem intensifies itunes.apple.com/us/album/…
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    Why blogs are still lovely, part fourteen: shawnblanc.net/2019/01/s…
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    Corollaries to “new languages won’t achieve career-sustaining critical mass”: 1) frameworks become the important point of leverage 2) framework/language harmony or outright integration ala Elm or Erlang become even more important.
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    Long bet: Java, PHP, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and C# will be the last languages that achieve a critical mass such that they can sustain developers through their whole career. From here on out, it’s a melting pot of framework and technology choices.
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    Increasingly convinced houses only exist in two states: brand new and invisibly needing repair, lived in and visibly needing multiple repairs. This adage may apply to societies too.
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    Who has two thumbs and is pretty excited for Enumerable#to_h and the proc composition/chaining stuff in Ruby 2.6! 👍👍 anamaria.martinezgomez.name/2018/12/2…
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    Which came first: the theory of productivity or the Singularly Great Work? Point: GTD and XP are both based on what worked Really Well for One Singularly Productrive person. Counterpoint: we all need our own theory of what might work for us personally before we get started.
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    In honor of Ms. Jackson’s imminent induction into the Rock Hall of Fame: is Rhythm Nation 1814 a concept album? 🤔 ✋🖐️✋
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    Fortnite Creative looks like a combination of private servers and exposing most of the map building tools through a clever game item. Seeing as how nothing in Fortnite should work, on paper, I’m excited to see what folks do with it!
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    In lieu of coffee, I took a five minute walk yesterday when I hit the mid-afternoon groginess. This was at least as effective, if not more than a coffee. 100% success rate, would recommend! 😉
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    I like how the module systems in ES6 and Clojure solve the “where the heck did this function come from?” problem. I’m optimistic that adding some kind of module system to Ruby can make working with Rails and large apps even more pleasant! github.com/ciconia/m…
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    The New Yorker’s “Touchstones” essays on classic albums are quite good. The inline samples of Missy Elliott’s musical references and supercuts of other artists borrowing Janet Jackson’s chair dance are a great evolution of online music writing. (There’s also one on Nirvana 🤷‍♂️)
  • Wherein a mind is kept clear(er)
    A couple things making me feel more productive lately: Jot down a theme for the day: at the beginning or end of the day, I make up some kind of near-platitude to help me focus and get stuff done. Recently: “Hack like a writer”, “Finish like a shipper”, “Focus on code”. They’re a bit hustle-y, nearly cringe-y, and function only to get me back on track should I field a bunch of curveballs. “Sync” written notes to a daily page: usually after lunch and before I wrap up work for the day, I transcribe any notes/sketches/todos/etc. I wrote down, on pen and paper, to a note (in Bear). This seems to help me keep a clear head and not get overwhelmed on hectic days. A couple things that feel right but haven’t “stuck” as habits yet: Set out clothes for tomorrow before I go to bed: check the weather, set out what I’ll wear tomorrow. I often forget, but when I don’t I thank myself the next day. One big thing, a dozen or so little things: I don’t think I’ll go so far as eschewing a productivity/todo app, but using One Thing as a guideline when organizing my tasks often helps me reduce implausible lists to tractable plans.
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    Our evil corgi, national champion Fran is now an evil corgi cover girl 😃😃😃
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    Bobs: What would you say it is you do around here? Me: I curate and repost cute animal memes from various Slacks into our company Slack’s pets channel. Bobs: This guy’s a straight shooter with upper management written all over him.
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    Currently enjoying: What Now from Sylvan Esso. Love the edge on the lyrics and the shape of the synth sounds. itunes.apple.com/us/album/…
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    Ruby library designs based on plugins and/or extensive module composition make me worried I’m going to spend a lot of time understanding the flow of control between modules (e.g. CarrierWave, AuthLogic). I’d rather something that’s already integrated with “common” problems of coupling. I have a lot more experience troubleshooting those and don’t have to “play computer” so much. 🤷‍♂️
  • Its never a bad time to educate the kids about their rock and roll heritage
    Speaking of rowdy Springsteen: found this anachronistic and slightly surprising performance of “Ramrod” from the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. http://www.youtube.com/watch Presumably he was out promoting The Rising, a sincere collection of 9⁄11 songs. Nonetheless, I guess he decided it was a good time to educate the kids about their rock and roll heritage.