What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#111)

Quote I enjoyed thinking about:

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.

Thomas Sowell

How to answer questions in a helpful way:

As outlined in the below article, the most important step in delivering a good answer is making sure you understand the question fully and what prompted it. Doing this will also help with understanding what the questioner knows already, which is the second most important thing to delivering a good answer.

Often beginners don’t ask clear questions, or ask questions that don’t have the necessary information to answer the questions. Here are some strategies you can use to help them clarify.

-Rephrase a more specific question back at them (“Are you asking X?”) -Ask them for more specific information they didn’t provide (“are you using IPv6?”) -Ask what prompted their question. For example, sometimes people come into my team’s channel with questions about how our service discovery works. Usually this is because they’re trying to set up/reconfigure a service. In that case it’s helpful to ask “which service are you working with? Can I see the pull request you’re working on?”

Read How to answer questions in a helpful way from

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#110)

Quote I was thinking about this week:

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

Henry Ford

New icebreaker questions I am going to use this week:

What topic do you wish was a college major but isn’t?

Plus this one:

Have you ever had an Internet friend?

I would modify that one — because I assume everyone would answer yes, right? — to ask who is the best Internet friend you’ve ever made. (Could be someone you later met IRL, or an Internet-only friend. At this point I can think of lots.)

Found in a recent Art of Noticing newsletter

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#109)

Quote that I was thinking about:

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.

Hannah Arendt

New word I learned last week: multipotentialite

Multipotentiality is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability and preference of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields

Wikipedia entry for multipotentialite

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#108)

Quote I was thinking about:

“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Six harsh truths that will make you a better person:

Fun read. I am watching Cobra Kai at the moment and I can just picture Jonny Lawrence writing this.

Don’t like the prospect of pouring all of that time into a skill? Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the sheer act of practicing will help you come out of your shell — I got through years of tedious office work because I knew that I was learning a unique skill on the side. People quit because it takes too long to see results, because they can’t figure out that the process is the result.

Six harsh truths that will make you a better person

Moving to Scotland

Venting a moldy shed

Welcome to some adventures in DIY land! Since moving to Scotland, my DIY skills are steadily improving (out of necessity mainly). Although I’m always going to be much more comfortable with the software side of things, there is plenty of space in my life for building and working with my hands (even if it is IKEA-based building).

This past week’s project was installing some shed ventilation. Late last year, we had a large shed built for us (16′ long x 10′ wide) and had it raised on a base made of 2′ x 2′ concrete slabs (that my father-in-law, brother-in-law, and I built together, my major DIY-win of 2020 😃). The shed is well-built considering the price, and I was really happy with it overall…until the mold came.