Primitive and Rational Thinking
In one of his blog posts about politics, Tim Urban mentions the Primitive Mind and the Higher Mind. These are two different modes of our thinking: primitive and rational, respectively. →
Productive Acceptance
When I was younger, I could waste a lot of energy fighting with people of the opposite views. I still do (sorry, mom and dad), but it makes less and less sense for me. I only get involved in disputes when I genuinely care and believe it will make some difference. →
Jump Into The Unknown
Yesterday I finally developed my website. I can't even remember how long I've been procrastinating this simple step to make my personality open to the public on the Internet. There were a lot of excuses, "I have nothing to say," "I'm not skilled enough to write," "So many experts out there, and I'm just an amateur," yadda yadda yadda. →
Personality Plasticity
I lived for 1-3 months in some countries: United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, United States, and Thailand. Wow, I just realized that I lived over two years abroad. I like to live slowly in other countries and experience that ordinary day without any exciting touristic activities. This way, I can learn about another culture and its people; I can absorb new knowledge and better understand myself. →
Effective Altruism
Lately, I've been interested in topics of learning, meaningful work, and impact. Quite often, we want to do meaningful work with notable results. People have good intentions, yet society does not recognize many of them; good things are difficult to notice. →
People are bad at habits by design. Many of us would prefer short-term gains over long-term ones instinctively. The present will always be more valuable than the future. Well, because the present is determined, however, the future is uncertain. Most people are short-termists; they focus on short-term results at the expense of long-term interests. →
The Ultimate Life Hack
I like the concept of a quick and creative solution to a problem. Around 2005 the term "life hack" became a popular trend. The American Dialect Society nominated it as one of the most useful words of that year. Lifehacker weblog was born the same year as well. →
Learning Without Pressure
I remember times when I was studying for the university exams. Looking back, I think it was one of the least effective ways to learn something. Those times were full of fear, stress, and rush. No wonder I don't remember many things I learned while preparing for exams. →
10,000 Iterations
Previously, I mentioned that the 10,000 Hour Rule doesn't help to understand how to learn a new skill; it oversimplifies the learning process's essential details. People misinterpret this rule all the time. Quality of practice matters. →
10,000 Hour Myth
There is a widely-known rule that 10,000 hours of practice is what you need to do to achieve mastery in a specific field. It's catchy and easy to remember. But does it work this way? There are at least two problems with that rule. →
Linear Memory
Many people think of time linearly. Because of numerous cognitive biases, our brain simplifies a perception of time. We write stories and biographies in retrospect, and because of that, they usually are linear. →
Act as a Pioneer
As a software engineer, I noticed how I program differently compared to me at the beginning of my career; it feels like I have less creativity and less fun doing it. I remember times when I was obsessed with what I do. I still do enjoy it, but not as much as I did before. →
The Anatomy of Trust
Why do we trust some people more than others? This question always bothered me. There is no easy way to make others trust you, but something in our behavior makes it more or less likely. I distinguish four components of trustworthy behavior. →
The Power of Interface
Interface is a powerful concept. Like I mentioned before, pretty much everything we do is a way to communicate with each other. And an interface is a middle layer that defines the qualities of that communication. →
Selling Is Scary
I've recently started learning how to bootstrap and launch sustainable online businesses. I don't quit my job; this is my primary side project, and I will be sharing my findings along the way. I'm a software engineer. I have no problems building stuff, but I have a problem with selling. Selling is scary. →
Learn From People Different Than You
It's common to consume content produced by people you agree with; this is called confirmation bias. We tend to interchange views and opinions within friendly communities of like-minded people. While it's natural to do, consider adding the opposite or unusual views in the mix. →
Skills Aren't Enough
I heard the same excuse many times from numerous talented people. I'm not going to lie—I do the same pretty often. The question they respond to is, "Why don't you do the most important work?" The answer I hear pretty often is, "I don't like to do a bad job; I'm used to doing everything perfectly." →
Environment Shapes Us
It's surprising how often we think that a particular person has a specific set of qualities they developed through their life. It all starts from school: we know that Bob likes sports, and Alice is a bookworm. Somehow these traits may stick to us and become a part of our identity. We earn new qualities with time. →
Emotional Resource
Benjamin Franklin once said, "Time is money." People value time and money more than other resources. For me, time and money are not equal; time is non-refundable, it's limited, and you can't make more of it. →
Everything Is Communication
This idea popped up in my head while I was writing programming code. It seemed like I was producing instructions for a machine, but I was communicating concise code for maintainers of that codebase in reality. I wanted them to understand me and my implementation. All this automation with computers doesn't make any sense without humans understanding its importance and how it works. →
Reactive vs. Proactive
Have you ever wondered how many things in life you have done on your own? I mean, truly on your own, with all your willpower. Many of the things we do because we have to. Why do we have to? Because if we don't, negative consequences will hit us. Or we only think so. The point is that we don't want that to happen. →
Remote Communication
Every remote team has its own set of communication channels. Usually, they consist of email, chat, video/audio call, calendar, task tracking system, and knowledge base. Most of these channels are asynchronous. →
Efficient Remote Work
For the last six years, I work remotely with multiple time zones. At first, my schedule was a mess, and I couldn't work in a predictable, disciplined manner. That's because I was used to working in an office. But with time, I learned specifics of remote work and how to leverage them for good. →
Paradox of Innovation
People love inspiring linear stories. A good story motivates and makes things look more evident than they are. But one's life journey isn't a linear well-written story; it's more like a random walk, a bittersweet cocktail of confusion, mistakes, and irrational decisions. →
How to Make an Impact?
You and Your Research" is an exceptional talk by Richard Hamming you can find on the Internet. The central question of the discussion is, "Why do so few scientists make significant contributions and so many are forgotten in the long run?" →
The Information Diet Defines You
We live in the information era. We produce so much information per day so that a human's single life isn't enough to consume it entirely. An excessive amount of information causes confusion, anxiety, fear of missing out, and lack of focus. →
Code Review for Sharing Knowledge
I enjoy doing code reviews with my colleagues. But code reviews may also be unpleasant because of pressure and blame game within a team. With the right team's attitude, code review is a perfect way to share knowledge, get confident working with a codebase, and mentor developers. →
Not-so-soft Skills of Software Engineers
I'm not a big advocate of the hard/soft classification of skills. Lately, we hear this everywhere: hard skills vs. soft skills, five reasons why soft skills are more critical, yadda yadda yadda. Both terms are somewhat confusing because the naming implies a false dichotomy between the two sets of skills and difficulty obtaining them. →
Compressed Knowledge
Our knowledge has many levels of abstraction. We base higher levels on more fundamental ones, similarly to pyramids. Knowing the lower levels isn't always required, just like smartphones don't need you learning Electric Circuit theory. →
Embrace Uncertainty
People are bad at forecasting. And yet, we predict the future all the time. Uncertainty makes us feel uncomfortable, anxious, and insecure. For this reason, we want to have more control over the unknown to make our brain relaxed. →