Back to reading, writing, and living.
On 6th at 23:00 our final leg of the inbound flight from Tenerife finally landed in Prague. After almost 5 weeks we returned to the grey reality of mainland Europe, sub-zero temperatures, and windy weather. I welcomed the return. The long workation made me realize that there’s certain beauty to the mundanity of regular workdays and daily routines.
I din’t stay long in Berlin and on Friday we already went backcountry skiing in Krkonoše. Reminder for future self - trying out shoes or skiing boots at home doesn’t imply the same comfort on the slops, or when hiking or running. A lesson I learned 10 times and forgot 10 out of them.
One of the weekends we visited Fine Bagels with Ena. The place reassured me of what I thought for a long time - books are the best type of decor for any space. Furthermore, I am becoming devotee of bagels as a breakfast meal. The only contender being Kimchi Cheese Waffle that I had a day after during a brunch at ABC - Allans Breakfast Club. We might be back from Spain but the coffees and bagels are to stay (at least so I hope).
Right now I am writing from Spain again, this time Mallorca.
I am finally back in the reading game, thanks in part to spending more time around friends that read a lot (and fast, which I envy greatly). I am ending February with 3 books on the scoreboard; Staff Engineer by Will Larson, No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer, and High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove.
Now I am half way through another gem, Stranger in a Strange Land, and I am finding the long lost delight for novels. And not just reading novels, but enjoying time by reading books that bring emotional joy and are not another mean to feel productive.
- TWH#45: Against Overwhelm
- Become intentional with how you spend your time and energy.
- Clarify what are your goals and how they align with your company and team so you have a framework for how not to spend your time.
- Focus on leverage instead of productivity. E.g. what are the multipliers of your work?
- Focus on one thing and one things only.
- Your DietBet Destroyed the World (fiction)
- The End of Writing perfectly sarcastic take on ChatGPT
The Great People Shortage is coming — and it’s going to cause global economic chaos outlines the grim future due to population decline and the falling ratio of working to retired people. We will have to focus on productivity and automation to keep the income high enough to support the retired population. Higher productivity and utilization requires faster requalification for displaced workers and better education for upcoming generations. One is left to wonder how that will turn out with teacher salaries being as low as they are.
The other option is to expand the workforce via immigration. Something certain countries still seem to be reluctant to do (wink, wink Czech republic). Furthermore, we will need to get better at supporting immigrants (language and relocation support, qualification) if we expect people from other cultures to integrate well within the countries.
Last but not least, one is left to wonder how this will turn out for retired people. Will we be able to support the ever-growing old population? Will the government be able to fullfill their needs? And even if, will we have enough people to take care of them? My parents might have set themselves up well with 4 children after all…
This month I learned
I am digesting a few learnings from the newly read books. One of the large takeaways is the importance of leverage. As you progress through your career, regardless of the path or industry, your job shifts from contributing to providing contribution leverage for other members of your team.
In Software Engineering being the empowering factor can mean many things: setting culture, leading by example, writing RFCs, creating well-written tickets for others to work on, doing knowledge-sharing sessions, and more. The point being, you need to learn to value the output of your team (and the whole organization) more than yours (in terms of individual contribution) on your way up the career ladder.
- Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.
- Hedonic treadmill is human tendency to quickly return to relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events.
- Suits rewatching when training indoor on the bike.
- The Last of Us. Never played the game but saw a few gameplays and loved it. Compared to Uncharted the execution is brilliant and I really enjoyed all episodes so far. Let’s hope this starts a trend of faithful game adaptations.