I'm Wynn Netherland. I follow Jesus. I dig APIs, dotfiles, and text mode. I work at GitHub. Folks call me @pengwynn.

Chris Bowler on standing

It’s about choices. If you’ve made the choice to have a vocation that involves using a computer for more than 6 hours per day, you should make other choices that coincide with decision.

After three years with a standing desk I've come to the same conclusion. I split my work hours 50/50 between sitting and standing, but the only way to keep my mental health and avoid chronic neck & shoulder pain has been to get away from a screen, get out, and move.

Trailing Conditionals Considered Harmful Unless Used Sparingly

Thoughtful post about trailing conditionals in Ruby from Jerod and how to make code readable, scannable, and obvious.

Code is read much more often than it is written, so we need to optimize for readability over writeability. Trailing conditionals tend to do the opposite.

Reminds me of a sign I used to see in a front yard on my daily commute when I lived in the Houston area. It read: GARAGE SALE when flashing.

Groundhog Day Resolutions

When I think of Groundhog Day, I think of Punxsutawney Phil, Bill Murray, and David Seah1.

Eight years ago, Dave wrote an article about Groundhog Day Resolutions, a creative way to follow up on your goals and New Year's resolutions each month:

Extending the pattern of dates, I hearby decree that the THIRD DAY of the THIRD MONTH, the FOURTH DAY of the FOURTH MONTH, and other dates with the same magical month/day pairing as days of GHD Resolution Review. That should be easy to remember for everyone, and the numerical pattern should work as a reasonably-good memory trigger.

Dave's productivity tools are beautiful if paper is your jam.

  1. I'm pretty sure I only discovered Dave via typo when Googling David Shea of CSS Zen Garden fame. 

Remote-First Communication for Project Teams

Mike English on preferring written communication for remote teams:

Generally speaking, remote-first communication means preferring written, searchable methods of communication that work even when the sender and receiver aren’t engaged at the same time.

Every meaningful conversation should have a URL, even if it's only a summary of a face-to-face meeting after the fact. Seeing the conversation leading up to unpopular decisions builds trust.

This means that phone calls, while potentially much better at conveying tone and establishing emotional connections, cannot be the default method of connecting with teammates.

Phone calls and hangouts have their place. Tone is important. It's more difficult to convey in writing but it can be done.

Nobody. Understands. Punctuation.

Peter Welch on English:

But if we accept the chaos that informs the language, there's a lot of expressive power to be found.

Holds true for Ruby, too, perhaps the most English-like of all programming languages.

Fifty Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal

Edsger Dijkstra, a year before my birth, on what would be my first programming language:

“It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC,” he groused in a 1975 essay titled “How Do We Tell Truths That Might Hurt?” “As potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.”

When I was in the sixth grade, without any peristent media on my Atari 800, I spent hours copying, recopying, and later completing my brother's high school computer homework.

While kids today can pop open a JavaScript console in the browser and poke around, I wonder how many of us would have become developers without such an accessible language that just turned 50.

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