DeveloPassion's Newsletter #18 - Exponential Change

A newsletter discussing Knowledge Management, Knowledge Work, Zen Productivity, Personal Organization, and more!

DeveloPassion's Newsletter #18 - Exponential Change
Welcome to the 18th edition of my newsletter. This week has been great compared to the previous ones. The floods here in Belgium and a few other countries have done so much damage that it will take years to reconstruct everything. I’m grateful that our family hasn’t been impacted, but we have friends that have been, and it’s really devastating… It’s frightening to think that this all happened so fast. Such extreme weather events are not reassuring for the future. One can only wonder about what we will leave our children with… If you find this newsletter interesting, then please do take a bit of time to share on social media: . With your help, others will also get a chance to discover and enjoy reading it. As an added benefit, it’ll also motivate me to continue the experience! Don’t forget that you can also follow me on Twitter.
Dev Concepts News
This past week, I’ve finally resumed my morning writing routine, and this felt great. I could make a lot more progress, was not interrupted and did not have to choose between spending time with my family and working on the project.Dev Concepts is a huge project. It will take me longer to finish than I initially envisioned, but I’m certain that it is for the better. Initially, I wanted to write something rather short (~250-300 pages) but realized that I had a lot to share with the world. It takes time for this to sink in. But I’m a very patient person. I’ll continue going at it, page after page until all twelve volumes are out there for everyone to read. This week I’ve made great progress, and started writing about a really important topic: Application Integration. There’s really a lot to be said about how to integrate systems together. Many beginners don’t realize how many options there are, and how to choose between X, Y, and Z. When I started my career and joined my very first projects, architecture was a given. It felt advanced, complicated, difficult to approach, reserved to the elite. But like everything, with time, things became easier and easier. Flaws became apparent, and I started being able to discern the good, the great, and the bad. In Dev Concepts, I’m covering various approaches: EDA, Message Queues, GraphQL, RESTful, REST, SOAP, WebSockets, SSE, ESB, and more. My hope is that my readers, whether fresh out of school or more experienced will get a clear understanding of what those are, what their pros and cons are, and will feel more confident when working on their own projects.By the way, I’m still looking for more reviewers. If you’re interested, then please reach out to me (by replying to this mail or sending me a DM on Twitter!). I’ll give you free access to the books/drafts in exchange for honest feedback & reviews that I can share publicly. I’ve also started publishing content that is part of the first volume of the series my Medium:
I’m writing Dev Concepts in public, publishing weekly status updates on IndieHackers, so check it out if you want to follow the project more closely: You can already get the first volume as well as the second one; those two are already available. If you can’t afford it, then send me a DM on Twitter, and I’ll give you a free copy. I’m also interested in giving free access to the content in exchange for honest feedback, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me ;-)
Exponential change
This week, I read a really interesting article by Michael Simmons: In his article, Michael discusses the future, and how everything is bound to accelerate exponentially in the coming years. He argues that time is accelerating because of the “Red Queen effect”. Basically, the idea is that humanity embarked into a competition that always pushes everyone and everything to innovate, improve, catch up with competitors, deliver faster, etc. As he highlights, organizations compete for talented people, talented people always look for better opportunities, companies do their best to find investors, companies compete with each other on all fronts, investors fight against each other to be the ones funding the next unicorn, etc In turn, this has important effects on how fast our society as a whole evolves. Michael warns us about the upcoming acceleration shock, which will all take us by surprise. And it makes sense. Everything grows exponentially. For instance, each day, more and more content is produced. The curve is exponential. We’re already drowning in content, and it will be much much worse in the future. I don’t know about you, but personally, it’s been years since I’ve been able to keep up with the pace. I have hundreds of movies to watch, thousands of series to binge-watch, thousands of videogames to try, etc. Choosing anything is harder and harder! The world fights for our attention, and it’s kind of frightening. But content is just one aspect. Everything will accelerate. We see more and more extreme weather events all across the globe, and things will get worse from now until 2050. We live in a global economy, and competition will get much fiercer. Technology changes faster and faster, and our ability to learn faster and faster will become more critical as we move forward. Anyways; check out the article, it’s really a must-read!
First building block for my Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) solution
In my previous newsletter, I told you about my new project to build a Second Brain for everyone. As I’ve mentioned, I’m still in the ideation/validation phase at this point. But I don’t want to stay in research mode for years. I am confident that the best starting point is helping people to capture content. Especially when thinking about the content explosion that is coming towards us! My first focus will be on getting rid of open tabs and abandoned bookmarks. We’ve all been there: 57 open tabs, hundreds of forgotten bookmarks. We’re all wasting time with this. There are a few products in this space, but none that will later extend into the type of system that I envision. I’ll keep you posted about my progress! If you’re interested to discuss this, then reach out to me! I’d be thrilled to have your opinion about this. How do you currently capture interesting content? How do you prioritize what to read/watch/learn? What is your current system like? Do you have tons of bookmarks? Do you tend to have many tabs open?
Productivity tips
For those interested, I’ve shared a number of productivity tips on Twitter:
  1. Learn to type FAST (80+ WPM)
  2. Master your Operating System: its shortcuts, how to manage processes, how to navigate the file systems, etc
  3. Learn IDE shortcuts (create/rename files, extract methods, classes, functions, implement/override/refactor methods, etc)
  4. Automate code formatting, and anything else that wastes time and brain cycles
  5. Write tests
  6. Use the Terminal and master aliases to automate repetitive tasks and type less
  7. Use mind mapping, diagrams & problem structuring techniques to analyze problems & tasks
  8. Create mental models to better understand what you’re doing
  9. Practice practice practice!
  10. Contribute to open source to learn from great developers and improve
  11. Learn to search efficiently
  12. Use design thinking, 6 thinking hats, and similar techniques to increase your creativity
  13. Structure your work and tasks (create yourself a system to be super organized & efficient); Read about GTD
  14. Estimate tasks using relative weights to better compare them
  15. Prioritize work regularly (focus on urgent & important)
  16. Plan your days ahead
  17. Build solid habits
  18. Become a morning person & focus on the most important task as soon as you can (highlight for the day – miracle morning & Make time techniques)
  19. Manage your time
  20. Learn about techniques like Pomodoro
  21. Use a time timer to visualize time
  22. Work in a structured manner
  23. Focus (for real!)
  24. Focus on outcomes rather than on details
  25. Take advantage of downtime to improve (learn new things, help others, etc)
  26. Reflect on work regularly (identify your weaknesses)
  27. Broaden your horizons and learn about architecture, software design, back-end, front-end, infrastructure, etc
  28. Master all the general concerns (e.g., error handling, code quality, logging, performance, i18n, l10n, encoding, caching, how to fix bugs, source control management, security, etc)
  29. Find your Ikigai and stay motivated
  30. Ask for help
  31. Ask questions
  32. Have fun