Justin Duke

Be a better employee, not a better programmer

André Staltz wrote an article making the rounds, entitled The single tip that made me a better programmer:

As a programmer, you must become one with the machine, thinking how the machine thinks, to a level that you will no longer be surprised by any behavior or corner case. There should be no dissonance between your mind and the computer’s activities. To become fully conscious of the runtime realm in the computer is, basically, programming utopia.

This is a good article, and has merit. But I don’t agree with it.

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Of all the talk of burnout in the technology industry, sometimes I feel like the opposite is a more apt descriptor:

With phosphor-based electronic displays (for example CRT-type computer monitors or plasma displays), non-uniform use of pixels, such as prolonged display of non-moving images (text or graphics), gaming, or certain broadcasts with tickers and flags, can create a permanent ghost-like image of these objects or otherwise degrade image quality.

The length of time required for noticeable screen burn to develop varies due to many factors, ranging from the quality of the phosphors employed, to the degree of non-uniformity of sub-pixel usage. It can take as little as only a few weeks for noticeable ghosting to set in, especially if the screen displays a certain image (example: a menu bar at the top or bottom of the screen) constantly, and displays it continually over time

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How I stay productive

I would consider myself a productive person. (I’m not the most productive person I know – that would be my friend P, who is truly disciplined and puts me to shame.) But I get a lot of things done: I work a full-time job, consult for around ten-to-fifteen hours a week, launch a bunch of side projects, go to the gym three times a week, and find time to read a lot and watch a bunch of movies.
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