Programming is an interesting profession. You fail dozens or hundreds of times a day, then take a moment to celebrate a little victory. Then you move on to your next failure/success.
espn.com has a great story titled How it started: First jobs in football for all 32 NFL head coaches. Below are some of my favorites quotes from some of the coaches.
“I was going to make them need me by working as hard as I could,” Rivera said. “I did everything from taking coaches’ cars to get washed and gassed, picking up lunch. I did all the quality control breakdowns. Basically, from the ground up. I learned what it took to be successful. You had to make yourself indispensable, where they had to have you around to help the team.”
There is some talk in this Rolling Stone article that Bruce Springsteen was on the verge of failure when the song “Born To Run” was released. Springsteen acknowledges that, but also adds, “I don’t know if it would have finished us — because what the [bleep] else were we going to do?”
I tend to look at that as perseverance: “Okay, you don’t like my work? Well, I’m not going anywhere, I’m going to keep working at it.”
When I first went to college I wasn’t a Springsteen fan at all — I barely knew who he was — but then I heard Hungry Heart, and became a fan. These days Born To Run, Hungry Heart, Badlands, Thunder Road, Pink Cadillac, Brilliant Disguise, and Secret Garden are some of my favorite songs. And Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is one of my favorite Christmas songs/performances.
Because functional programming is like algebra, there are no null values or exceptions. But of course you can still have exceptions when you try to access servers that are down or files that are missing, so what can you do? This lesson demonstrates the techniques of functional error handling in Scala.
Yesterday I just churned the numbers from the surveys, but last night I started thinking how cool it is that there are one million Scala developers in the world.
I remember when I was wandering around Alaska in 2011 and first stumbled upon Programming in Scala, I found that very few people knew about Scala, maybe numbering in the thousands or tens of thousands at most. I hope Martin Odersky & Company are having a little celebration this year for their success. (And on to two million!)
Here are two good quotes about coaching from this Jon Gruden article:
“He had a good demeanor about him, the way he got his point across. He always told me it was always about your demeanor and how you get your point across. He said, ‘You have to be a car salesman.’ If you want to sell plays, you can’t be short on energy. People want to be associated with people that have a lot of energy and love what they do and show enthusiasm, not someone who just walks in there and kind of goes through the motions.”
“I always tell people,‘You’ve gotta have a why.’ If you have a reason why, you’re most likely going to succeed. ... And those are the types of things as a coach, when you know those things, those are the buttons you can push. When you’re not hustling, when you’re not doing those things, it’s like, ‘Is that the type of example you’re trying to set for your little brothers?’ When you don’t know those things, you can’t use those things.”
- Work hard at minimizing your ego & attachment to identity
- Learn deliberately, seek out weaknesses & work hard at them
- Eliminate bad habits, replace them with good, one at a time
- Read a lot, foundational stuff, not just latest hyped thing
I was reminded of this “If at first you don’t succeed, call it Version 1.0” saying this morning. You can find this t-shirt on Amazon if you’re interested.
“If we think we want to get joy for ourselves, we realize that it’s very shortsighted, short-lived. Joy is the reward, really, of seeking to give joy to others. When you show compassion, when you show caring, when you show love to others, do things for others, in a wonderful way you have a deep joy that you can get in no other way.”
“You can’t buy it with money. You can be the richest person on Earth, but if you care only about yourself, I can bet my bottom dollar you will not be happy and joyful. But when you are caring, compassionate, more concerned about the welfare of others than about your own, wonderfully, wonderfully, you suddenly feel a warm glow in your heart, because you have, in fact, wiped the tears from the eyes of another.”
~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in The Book of Joy
I know, it’s a little corny, but instead of writing out a “To-Do List” — which implies hard labor and/or something I force myself to do — these days I write “WIN” on the top of my index cards. WIN stands for, “What’s Important Now”, and I find that this change in wording changes my attitude towards the things that need to be done. Rather than thinking, “Ugh, okay, what do I have to do next,” I now think of these tasks as important to me, my future, and my success.