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Jeep Wrangler owners wave at each other

Dear Reader,

After 20 years of driving my little Miata, I finally traded it in and bought myself a Jeep Wrangler. (It’s much easier to tote scuba diving gear in a Jeep than in a Miata!)

Driving down A1A in Juno Beach the other day I noticed something. Every time I passed another Jeep Wrangler, the driver smiled and waved. (I passed quite a few, this was no small sampling)  It’s like I am now part of a secret club where no matter what we are doing, we take a moment to smile and wave at each other.  My wife, the lovely and talented Kathy, drives a Mazda 3. We pass those all the time and I’ve never seen any of their drivers smile and wave. Jeep owners however, identify as a group though and have determined that the group is a fun one.

As best I can tell, the rules of the group are, if you pass another Wrangler, you smile and wave. That’s it. I know I’m new to the group, but so far, what I’ve NOT seen is a Wrangler driver pass a Ranger Rover and scowl and flip them the bird. I’ve not seen Wrangler owners try to run a Hummer off the road. I know I’m still new to the group, but so far I’ve not noticed that it’s a rule that if two or more Wrangler owners are together chewing the fat, the rule is that we have to ridicule the car choices of non-wrangler drivers.

The rule seems to be, be nice to other Wrangler drivers, and there’s no need to not be nice to any other drivers.

Maybe in tech, we need to adopt these rules. Maybe we need to get together at conferences, user groups, or just online and talk about how awesome our tech stack is, without feeling it necessary to run down another tech stack. (i’m not just talking about people insulting PHP, I’ve seen plenty of PHP developers run down other tech stacks as well) Maybe, JUST MAYBE, the tech stack we chose works for us and for our problems, but it won’t work for others and solve their problems. Maybe, there’s more to the decision than whether it’s popular on Stack Overflow.

Maybe tech would be an overall better place if we adopted the Wrangler Rule. Be nice and wave at those who use our approved tech stack/framework, but don’t be mean to others that use something else.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

GIGO

Dear Reader,

Life is not toxic unless I let it be.

There is a lot of good in the world, but there’s no business model that derives profits from bring it to me.

The next time I am binging on social media, I need to remember that these platforms exist to manipulate me. Their business model is to get me fired up so I get a hit of dopamine and want more. That’s the “Garbage In”.

I want more from life than anger – the “Garbage Out”. There’s only one way to get that though, and that’s to make sure I am not constantly pouring garbage in.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Training isn’t about finding, it’s about understanding

Dear Reader,scrabble tiles spelling out listen, understand, act

I get a lot of offers for training, mostly in the areas of  marketing and programming, two things that are passions of mine.  I pass over most of them with the attitude of “I’m not paying $99 for something I can find in a couple of online videos or blogs.

Contrast that with scuba diving – regular readers are tired of doing this – where I spend on average two weekends a month helping train people to “swim with the fishes and live to tell the tale”. Each of these people I’ve helped train have paid at a minimum $500 to be there and some paid much more.

As a programmer, I have taught myself much of what I know. A lot of it through trial and error. Yes, it’s easy to find things on the internet that will show me how to do something, but that’s not what training is for. Training helps me understand what I am doing. It’s only when I understand what I’m doing that I can apply that knowledge to other problems.

Trail and error is not only an inefficient way to learn scuba diving principals, it’s a deadly way to do it. I literally need to understand not only how but why.

I need to spend more time in professional training courses for software development. It’s a much faster way to learn how to do something and it has the added benefit of  helping me understand why I need to do it.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

 

 

Photo Credit Steven Shorrock
Listen, Understand, Act

Life doesn’t have to be great to be good

Dear Reader,

I’ll be the first to admin that I am not living the life I thought I would. Growing up I had dreams of being a millionaire and living the good life. Working when I wanted to and on what I wanted to. I’m probably not alone in this.

My life didn’t turn out that way. I’ve always been able to provide for my family, sometimes better than other times, but we never went hungry, but it’s not exactly la vida loca. :)

Instead of constantly longing for what I don’t have though, I’ve learned as I got older that I cab be happy with what I’ve got.

  • I am married to the most beautiful woman in the world.
  • I have two wonderful children that, thanks to their mother’s genes, are very smart and talented
  • I have a dog

Life is good.

Could it be better? I’m sure it could. At some point though, I began to realize that instead of spending my time constantly working and scheming to get more stuff, I could spend the time I have left on this planet just enjoying what I have.

Life is good. Yes, if I worked at it, I could make life great. But then I would have less time to enjoy it. So I’ll stick with good.

Until next time,
I<3 |<
=C=

Creativity is hard

Dear Reader,

I have a friend named Jeremy Kendall who is an outstanding photographer. One day I was taking a picture of an old clay pot I thought of Jeremy and something kinda fell into place for me.

I can look through the view finder and see the subject. I can compose a picture properly to showcase the subject. I can adjust the settings for the available light. I can frame it and I can take a picture.

Jeremy however, can look through the viewfinder and see beyond the clay pot, he can see the beauty of the shot that is waiting to be captured. Jeremy doesn’t take pictures, Jeremy makes art.

We both use a camera, we both push the shutter button, but only one of us makes art.

The next time I am tempted to dismiss someone’s creation as “simple” because it’s something I can do, I’ll think of Jeremy.

This includes the next time I look at a SaaS product and think “I’m not paying $75 a month for 250 lines of code and a cron job.” (Actually happened. Cost me 3 years of my weekends.)

“Code is Poetry” as Matt Mullenweg is fond of saying. Code is truly is art.

It doesn’t matter if it’s written in a language I approve of. It doesn’t matter if I like the platform it runs on. Art is art, even if I don’t recognize it.

I need to remember that code is art and that someone poured a lot of love into that code, even if I don’t immediately appreciate it.

Until next time
I <3 |<
=C=