Joe Conway on learning Erlang (and learning in a more general sense):
Knowing all of the wrong ways to solve a problem is just as important as knowing the right way, by the way.
To understand the problem, consider the job of building a house. Someone has decided they want to build a house on a specific plot of land. The house is to be two stories and have a garage. There’s even a rough sketch of the front of the house scribbled down on a napkin. That person comes to you with this information and the napkin and says, “this is enough for you to start building, right?” Are you able to start building?
A bit long, and a little ranty, but a lot of excellent points in there. One bit that I did not agree with:
True priorities aren’t transient, they are static.
Priorities can and do change all the time, whether we like it or not. It's how we manage the changing priorities that's critical. You aren't going to mind switching from one task to another if you understand why the switch is important, as long as you're able to convey that the switch is a disruption and comes with a cost. (And usually that cost is "you can't have both".)
Nicholas C. Zakas:
Make sure your title reflects what you do. I’d like to see less “Web developer” positions and more “front-end engineer” and “UI engineer” positions. […] Titles are often negotiable because, to some, they’re meaningless. But they do have meaning insofar as it communicates your value to the company.
And, sure enough, despite many promises that prison privatization will lead to big cost savings, such savings — as a comprehensive study by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, part of the U.S. Department of Justice, concluded — “have simply not materialized.” To the extent that private prison operators do manage to save money, they do so through “reductions in staffing patterns, fringe benefits, and other labor-related costs.”