Weekly Recap, 1536: Antifragile and the Perils of Bike Commuting
On the 1536th week of my life, I:
- Read: Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
- Reading: Reinventing Remittances with Bitcoin, by Luis Buenaventura.
- Reading: The Obstacle is the Way.
- Wrote: 3 daily articles.
- Writing Books system.
- Refactoring Writing Prompts.
I’m not sure if I enjoyed Antifragile. While there are certainly a lot of good ideas in there, I don’t get why he writes in such a verbose and unintelligible way. Don’t writers want to get read? This is the current top review: I completely agree with her. No need to use such pretentious language!
In a weird way, as another reader commented, reading the book makes you antifragile, lol.
Fragile objects break when things go bad or when they are shocked. Robust systems maintain their form. Something that actually improves when they are shocked is antifragile. Because of the nature of things, and because shocks are something that happen periodically, you want to be antifragile.
For me this is about gaining competence in multiple fields, not just development. It’s entirely possible that web development can get outdated. Machine learning, crypto, big data are all on the rise and these are things that you can’t learn from a tutorial or a blog post. These need actual hours of deep work. So while I’m improving myself as a developer, I’m also thinking of the future by immersing myself in blockchain tech and machine learning tech.
The same way with acquiring soft skills as a developer: I can’t be sure if there is a software development job in the future. So I also have to acquire non-software development skills. This is why I put in a large emphasis on writing and charisma and marketing and public speaking and presentations and UX and all those things. My goal is to be come a full-stack IT professional, not just a full-stack developer.
I also loved his idea of a barbell: being extremely risky while being extremely safe. For the most part, software development, after you’ve accrued enough career capital, is very safe: there are always going to be jobs in this field. So that’s my safe play. My risky play is what I’m doing right now, which is to leave Sourcepad and spend a few months without salary, working on my own things, in order to become better and more focused in what I want in life.
- Finally finished Designing Data-Intensive Applications. Turns out you need a lot more databases, lol. Most scalability things are about “how do you split things up” in the same way that good code is usually split up and modular.
- In the last Rubyconf a lot of people were talking about RPC and microservices. I just know the theory but in the next months, I’ll most probably have to work in that architecture. I mean that’s okay for me, I’m always up for a new challenge.
- Job interview: Got a job interview last week. I hope that I’m getting better at job interviews. I actually ask the interviewer a lot of questions at this point, lol.
- I’ve pretty much forced myself to ride my bike whenever I go around Manila, and going home from that interview was a struggle. Yeah it was hot but I was reminded again of how ridiculously narrow some streets in Manila are. :( Bike commuters, avoid J.P. Rizal and the Pioneer area, those streets are way too thin to let a bike through. There’s a difference between suffering and potentially dying because of the damn heat and pollution combination. I’ve told my homie to not take a bike if it’s too hot outside for this same reason.