Category Archives: work

Agents for Rock Star Programmers

THE PROGRAMMER’S PRICE
Want to hire a coding superstar? Call the agent.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/24/programmers-price?utm_source=tny&utm_campaign=generalsocial&utm_medium=facebook&mbid=social_facebook

“The combination of the nascent digital age and the global recession has led to a rise in independent contractors. Some people call this new world the “gig economy” or the “1099 economy,” after the tax form used by freelancers. “I think it’s the future of work,” Guvench said. Mian agreed. “I think everyone should have a manager,” he told me. “Not just creative people—everyone. It’s cool to have an advocate and a confidant. We can all be rock stars.”

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Productivity tips… with research to back it up

Tips from Cal Newport

http://theweek.com/article/index/266737/how-to-be-the-most-productive-person-in-your-office-mdash-and-still-get-home-by-530-pm

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Filed under person: Cal Newport, play, productivity vs procrastination, work, work-life balance

In the mood…

“Learn to rush to your laptop and open it up. Open the file without asking yourself if you’re in the mood, without thinking about anything else. Just open the file: and then you’re safe. Once the words are on the screen, that becomes your distraction.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/09/the-simple-profound-act-of-perceiving-the-world/380659/?single_page=true

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Play – it’s how you get work done

EDWARD NORTON (from an interview on NPR)
“When I’m making stuff today, I still feel like the whole enterprise—for all the money that comes into it and all the sophistication of the toys you get—you’re kind of just trying to get towards that sensation where you’re playing in an unencumbered way. You’re trying to minimize the stress of the pressures that come with getting these kinds of toys and these kinds of budgets, and get in the same headspace that you were in then when you were excited about every little idea, and trying all kinds of crazy things.”
LINK

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PETER GRAY writes about the research on this exact thing:

From his book: Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

From Chapter 7: The Playful State of Mind…

“Inducing a playful mood improves creativity and insightful problem solving” (p 136) — Gray describes things that have worked in experiments: funny videos to students before working on problems, giving candy to doctors before they diagnose!

“Much of the research I cite in this chapter was conducted by people who don’t necessarily use the term “play” or “playful” in describing their hypotheses and findings. They talk instead about “pressured” versus “unpressured” states of mind, or about positive moods versus negative moods, or about self-motivated tasks and goals versus those imposed by others. But from the perspective of this chapter, all such research is about play. Play is unpressured, self-motivated activity, conducted with a positive frame of mind.” (Footnote 4, Chap 7, p 244)

On his own work: “…I would estimate that my behavior in writing this book is about 80 percent play. That percentage varies from time to time as I go along; it decreases when I worry about deadlines or how critics will evaluate it, and it increases when I’m focused only on the current task of researching or writing.” (p 140)

From his blog: Why Hunter Gatherers’ Work is Play

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200907/play-makes-us-human-v-why-hunter-gatherers-work-is-play

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Filed under flow - flow mihaly csikszentmihalyi, play, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work

Don’t quit your day job…

“I want to mention here that my latest favorite band, _____ , all have day jobs and don’t even try to make money from their music. And if we ever get an unconditional basic income, we will get to listen to millions of people who don’t have to compromise … ”

— Ran Prieur, Oct 17 2014 ranprieur.com

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Filed under art, creativity, person: Ran Prieur, welfare, work, work-life balance

The Wolf

From https://medium.com/p/9bc38b3e8a2e

wolves

If you build software for a living (or otherwise), go read these three posts.

  1. @rands: The Wolf
  2. @kellan: “Wolf” narrative considered harmful (also biologically unlikely)
  3. @codinghorror (from 2004): Commandos, Infantry and Police

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Filed under art, computers, contrarian, programming, software, tech, work

Exposure and/or Passions

“A simple maxim: don’t expose and don’t look for passions; just listen and make good suggestions”

“I have found over the years that things that make me angry give me a passion to fix them.”

“… They should be passionate about getting a job someday.”

— Roger Schank

http://educationoutrage.blogspot.com/2014/02/help-your-child-find-their-passion.html

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See also: “Forget Following Your Heart – Follow Your Heartbreak”

http://www.angelamaiers.com/2013/09/forget-following-your-heart-follow-your-heartbreak.html

See also: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/08/turning-passion-on-its-head.html

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Filed under education, jobs, kids -- freedom and responsibility, meaning of life, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work