Thursday, June 15, 2017

Traffic and the cryptic billboards

Traffic is terrible in California metro areas. This is just a fact of life.

[Photo: polybutmono/iStock]
Similar to the fact that Bay Area is the Mecca of startups and innovation. You need to accept it as given when you make the move here, or be ready to pay the ever so unbelievable rent price for the place next to your office. Apartments in San Francisco are renting for close to $7K. Check out this announcement! What does $6700 rent you in San Francisco

But who cares when you are in the heart of Silicon Valley, where the dreams come true and opportunities fall from the sky.

I recall an opportunity that fell from the sky on my lap, that I turned down in 2012. Such opportunities haven't "rained" since, but if there is a chant you know to attract amazing opportunities in promising startups let me know.

Probably, every seasoned engineer in the Valley will tell you her story of that one great missed opportunity. Most often however you get to hear stories of the other 9 pursued opportunities that didn't work out.

Here is a good luck bear that will attract the promising startups to find your LinkedIn profile. The opportunity will also be only 10 minutes drive from your home and provide onsite hairdressing and drycleaning services, as well as barista who makes your coffee 7am - 7pm and beer keg.

Christie Hemm KLOK/WIRED

Only in Silicon Valley do the billboards across highways advertise better coding practices, or urge you to "Ask your developer" by Twillo. There are so many more that want to make sure you brain is not just resting during your commute.

I should not be complaining about my commute, since it is under one hour range, but I HATE my commute. I know I should be thankful, since many people got it much worse than I do, yet the though of standstill traffic for around 45 minutes after the long day at work feels dreadful. Move? you say.. Moving is always an option, but after buying a house and settling in, having arrangements for childcare, home services established, moving sounds very unappealing.

But most of us are so sick of looking at those billboards, where traffic piles up and we progress in 0.5MPH speed. Read this article if you happen to stumble across this page and your are not a programmer It really is ok to not get all the billboards, I often don't. I know they are working on me, since when I don't get the billboard I do the research to understand what the company is doing.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Analysis paralysis | Movement for the sake of movement

I feel that I haven't produced much contents lately, seeking perfection and not settling on creating anything that could end up being merely great. Even writing a single sentence takes number of attempts and tons of overthinking, deleting, editing, rewriting. It is not productive or conducive.

Photo credit
So what is it that makes us super productive for stretches of time and unable to accomplish anything tangible for another sometimes longer time stretch?

Have you had one of those days, when you have 5 different challenging tasks on the agenda, and then you go to work, 2 hours in ka-BOOM 💣💣💣, you killed it?! It is only 10am on Monday. The rest of the day and week continue being hyper productive, and you have accomplished months worth of work! Besides your productive day job, there was a social gathering, awesome workout session and on Thursday evening you get an email from an old friend, that opens up huge possibilities for collaboration.

There are also weeks like this. Motivation is absent, yet there is the unconscious need to move some place, because stopping and thinking seem too dangerous. Yet, the movement is not in any defined direction but somewhere arbitrary for no reason else other than the reluctance of stopping and reflecting.

I read the modern-classic novel "Firehouse 451" by Ray Bradbury this week, perhaps very timely with everything else happening in life. Wow, I am impressed with Bradbury's descriptions of the dystopian reality and the similarities of it with today and where we are headed. Our thirst of constant consumption of useless information, through social media, the mockery of news by leading media outlets like CNN and Fox, where every news is now breaking news, the digests of digests written for understanding anything deep without the need to think:

“Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline!” 

― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Wishing you pleasant rest of the week!