2 min read



Tsundoku – it means acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. The word dates back to the very beginning of modern Japan, the Meiji era (1868-1912) and has its origins in a pun. Tsundoku, which literally means reading pile, is written in Japanese as 積ん読. Tsunde oku means to let something pile up and is written 積んでおく. Some wag around the turn of the century swapped out that oku (おく) in tsunde oku for doku (読) – meaning to read. Then since tsunde doku is hard to say, the word got mushed together to form tsundoku.

I’m definitely guilty of this habit to some extent meanwhile I hope that my newsletter is not adding to your pile of unread materials.

Today’s advice: Discipline is superior to motivation. The former can be trained, the latter is fleeting. You won’t be able to accomplish great things if you’re only relying on motivation.

FizzBuzz – SIMD Style!

Maybe you don’t need to go this deep in an interview but it’s a really interesting and elaborate post on the Vector API in Java to speed our old friend the fizzbuzz challenge up 🙂

Why software projects take longer than you think: a statistical model

This is my second favorite post on the topic right after Joseph Pelrine’s talk. Anyone who built software for a while knows that estimating timelines is hard. It’s hard to come up with an unbiased estimate of how long something will take when fundamentally the work in itself is about solving something. Let’s look at the statistical model behind it.

Kindness is a hidden software engineering superpower

As fuzzy and weird it sounds, kindness is a hidden superpower for software engineers. It helps your peers feel safe, and if they feel safe people take the risks that enable efficient, honest communication and thus real collaboration. It’s not about holding each others’ hands in a nice field and singing Kumbaya, but very real, actual things you can do.

All By Myself

Solitude was treated with suspicion in the Middle Ages. For most people, it has only been a possibility in recent times. In modern western society, time for oneself, alone and in private, is taken for granted. In medieval Europe, when life was a far more communal experience than it is today, solitude was considered “the worst form of poverty”.

The future of work after COVID-19

The clever folks at McKinsey created a report which gives some prediction on how work will look like after the end of the pandemic. Of course, it’s just a possible future but feels like they did good research there. I think it’s a must-read for both individual contributors and managers.

Fun: did you know that brewing tea has an ISO standard?

It’s ISO 3103, short and sweet and super fun – hint: the protocol has been criticized for omitting any mention of prewarming the pot. Ireland was the only country to object, and objected on technical grounds.

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