After you've been around the block a few times, and tried to learn all the things, and been responsible for trying to un-break a lot of the things, and the things that need to be un-broken start to look like an endless trickle, and then -- as word gets out that you can fix broken things -- starts to look like a Firehose of Infinite Dumping, then your attitude can start to take a hit.
Because ultimately you want to start making things better, not just dealing with other people's mistakes all the time, and endlessly chasing mistakes prevents you from making things better, and then you start to see common causes behind a lot of the mistakes and you think, if people would just fix those, I'd like my job a lot more.
And that attitude is self-defeating. It leads to unhappiness and unfulfillment and procrastination and mistakes of your own and, finally, resentment.
Fostering an attitude like hers is a great antidote for all that, and the longer you can hold on to a curious and positive attitude, the longer you'll be happy to learn about new things and new ways of fixing things.
> And that attitude is self-defeating. It leads to unhappiness and unfulfillment and procrastination and mistakes of your own and, finally, resentment.
I get that there's a bad attitude lurking in there, but if you see the common causes behind a lot of the mistakes and you don't work to fix those, then you are just going to be constantly shoveling dirt around. In my mind the most important thing you can do to level-up as an engineer, is to ask, "how could we have avoided these hours/days/weeks of pain?" and then work to address those root (or more root) causes.
Sometimes the answer is very simple, like changing the naming scheme for your data files, because we just spent days chasing our tails looking at the wrong data and making assumptions that weren't true (has happened at several teams I've been on). You can't just tell everyone to be more diligent and "check all your assumptions", because they won't (and no one has time for that in a crunch anyway). But you can make it easier for them to validate their assumptions in the background with things like filenames and clean logs. (Too many false warnings and people stop paying attention.)
I hope I never find myself in that spot with software. This talk has the right mindset that it's possible to figure out just about anything if you dig deep enough, but a) you have to put in the work to dig, and b) there's seemingly infinite depth so we have to keep a humble and open mind.
Also, your anecdote about kids feeling more comfortable on calculators has nothing to do with what is or isn’t math, and comes off as another kids-these-days story.
If you can view the bugs and problems you have to fix as an adventure game puzzle rather than cleaning up other people's messes, you definitely enjoy your job more. Having co-workers who understand your work definitely helps, because working a vacuum sucks.
So you want to be a wizard was turned into a "Zine": https://jvns.ca/blog/2017/12/01/new-zine--so-you-want-to-be-...
My latest series try's to teach programming to beginners by creating art. It's like the type-in books and magazines I grew up with.
Disclaimer: I'm from germany
Rolls off the tongue a little better. I dunno if such shortening would happen. For fun, for example, in a friendly conversation where you make up your own words like "frenemy". I'm an English speaker with some German training but no speaking. :)
Edit: Looks like this is used in one place on the Internet and Google actually translates it "admiration" if used in a sentence.
"können mich mit ihrer eifernden Sehn-, Wunder-, Macht-, Bewundersucht"
"I can with their zealous yearning, wonder, power, admiration"
I think generally English words are pretty quirky in their etymology and pronunciation which makes them easier to abbreviate. In a more regular, organized language when you remove part of a word you just get another word.
All that’s required is the ability to decompose problems and systems into smaller pieces and trace cause and effect. With those two things and a smidge of domain knowledge and a lot of persistence you can move mountains.
That said, it's her blog, she should write them however she wants to.
Rather, the impression I get is that Julia is as enthusiastic about this stuff as anyone has ever been about anything, and that she has no pretense of having known any of it last week, nor does she care if you did.
It's pretty charming and unique combination (it's rare enough that when status-conscious adults come across it, it reads juvenile!) and is my favorite thing about the way she writes and presents. When she writes about stuff, she doesn't have to judge each element she's discussing for whether it's interesting or worth calling out; it's all interesting. That's a good way to avoid missing interesting observations, I think.
I feel the exact opposite - there’s far too much in CS that’s unnecessarily obfuscated. Sometimes the obfuscation makes the author/presenter seem smart, but it’s incredibly tiresome and reduces the audience.
Julia’s talks are the exact opposite - they’re well-thought-out, with the clear intent to help people understand things, not burnish her (v. impressive) credentials.
There are plenty of articles written as long paragraphs of black and white prose if you want them. I personally love some colour and brightness wherever I find it.
I should start a blog on advanced computational mathematics, with kittens and memes.
I'm glad people like Julia are fostering this approach and hope the number of developers excitedly communicating about things they just discovered increases again. As an industry, I think we need more of this now, more than ever, from developers of all levels and disciplines.
Not only does she accomplish this, the way she does it is particularly delightful.
I’d guess your complaint is actually that she ‘steals’ prestige.