It’s that time of year again, the end of that artificial construct we call a ‘calendar year’ that prompts so many of us to cast our minds back over the last 12 months. So, apart from rocketing helplessly through space at 107000 km/h, only to return to where we started (relatively speaking, ignoring where Sol and the Milky Way have moved since then), what’s up? As I talked about in my review of 2010, my goal had been to simplify and take back more control in my professional life, revolving around making my own products and cutting down contracting to just single, more significant projects.
A lot of you will already know, but SourceTree, a Mac client for Git and Mercurial I created over the last 18 months, has just been acquired by Atlassian. There’s a press release, articles on TechCrunch and VentureBeat, and an official FAQ on the SourceTree site. But this is my personal blog, and I’ve had a few requests for a personal angle on this, so here you go. I said in a previous post that in my experience, the best opportunities often come along when you’re not looking for them, and that was certainly the case here.
“So, where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I’m willing to bet every person reading this has had that question posed to them at some point, most likely in a job interview, but possibly during an appraisal, or if you’re really unlucky, by a potential father-in-law at a dinner party. I’m going to call it out right now - it’s one of the stupidest questions you can be asked. It’s a test, of course - does this person have a plan?
I left Facebook about a year ago and have been using Twitter as my primary social tool ever since. At the heart of this decision were my main gripes with Facebook: **Facebook misrepresents relationships ** It’s clear that Facebook was designed by a young person with borderline Aspergers. Relationships are black and white, you’re either a Friend or you’re not, and they’re symmetrical - information has to flow both ways.
Since I’m trying to spread this news as far and wide as I can, I might as well say it here too 😀 Since the approval light just went green on the Mac App Store, I’m happy to announce the launch of SourceTree 1.2! In celebration, I’m having a crazy-bonkers 40% off sale just for one week, so get it while it’s hot! There’s loads of things that are new or improved in this release, but here are the headlines:
I think most people are now aware of how much damage sitting down for long periods does to the human body - aware doesn’t necessarily mean that they change their behaviour of course, until something starts going badly wrong (as it did for me a few years back). Quite a few people recommend stand-up desks as a solution to this problem. I tried it myself in fact, firstly with a jury-rigged version, then after it seemed to help some I spent a bunch of money on both a desk and chair with a very high range of movement to accommodate both standing and sitting.
Perhaps there’s a small risk of someone starting a file on me for saying this, but I’m willing to be we all have voices in our heads. I don’t mean the type which whisper murderous thoughts or paranoid conspiracy theories (if you have those, this blog really isn’t an adequate place for you to obtain consultation), but some kind of internal dialogue we have with ourselves, often to justify the decisions we take, or don’t take.
Decisions are hard. Well ok, not all decisions are hard - given the choice of whether or not to receive a swift kick to the gentleman’s area, most of us would politely decline without having to give it much thought. So let’s rephrase - making an important decision for which there is no clear optimal answer is hard. And yet, making these kinds of decisions, in a theoretically unbounded possibility space with uncertain and/or unknown variables, is the one thing we humans still do considerably better than machines, and it forms the basis of pretty much every important event in our lives - who your partner is, what you do for a living, what projects you work on, what your hobbies are, where you live, and so on.
I was thinking the other day about how many version control systems I’ve made my way through over the years of being a professional developer, and I figured it would be fun to put it in graph form. Of course, this is entirely from memory and gives the illusion of being more empirical than it actually is, but hey, everyone loves graphs, right? Yes, I really didn’t use any source control back in 1994, barring backing up to 3.
I don’t blog as much as I used to, for reasons which are somewhat relevant to this post - rather you can usually find fragments of my consciousness floating around the Twittersphere instead, since its enforced brevity requires considerably less of my time to populate. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I believe that if you’re going to write a blog post about something, you should probably make sure it’s written in a half-decent way, and that’s fairly time consuming, particularly when you’re ever so slightly anal about language as I am.