2/15/12

A 2001 Quote From Sergey Brin Explains DuckDuckGo's Popularity



Since its inception in 1998, Google has a come a long way from being a hot new start-up to the multi-national corporation it is now. It has sustained its dominance in the search industry by defending itself against old and new foes alike. However, recently a new search engine called DuckDuckGo has been gaining buzz around the web. 

I tried out this new service and found that I preferred it to Google, and couldn't quite put my finger on why. So, I decided to dig into what made Google so popular in the first place. I stumbled into this quote from an interview in Linux Gazette from 2001:

"Sergey Brin: Google offers users better quality search results, a simple, easy-to-use interface, high performance, and an exclusive focus on just being a search engine. We also offer cool features like caches pages, stock quotes, news headlines, links to online maps."

Interview in Linux Gazette: http://linuxgazette.net/issue59/correa.html

This basically says it all. 

Of the two screen shots below, which do you think offers a simple, easy-to-use interface, and has exclusive focus on search?

The performance and quality differences are arguable, but I haven't noticed a huge difference. DuckDuckGo may even have a quality advantage. Not to mention Google’s recent issue with embedding Google+ results alongside regular results.

Tell me what you think in the comments.






2/13/12

The True Cost of Free: A Knife in The Back


Free software is never free, nothing is ever free. From email to iPhone apps and beyond, software has become one of the most common items to arrive at your doorstep "free". Just like your grandpa told you, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Promises Promises

The majority of free software/services promise to use our data responsibly and respectfully.  Many companies even claim to only use information for internal use or account identification. These are excellent policies and most companies mean what they say, but a company can only guarantee a promise in the present. Any promise or policy a company communicates to its users should only be considered true the moment it's made, or while the company is demonstrating it's true.

It is and must be the burden of the company to continue to re-enforce the promises they make to their users. If at sign up time a disclaimer states that email addresses will only be used to communicate directly and never be sold to a third party, that information should be readily available in another location and users should be reminded of that regularly.

I'm not talking about TOS or a EULA or any other 64 page document that requires a lawyer to decipher it. I'm talking about putting the exact claims made to users about their privacy and data, in one place that is easy to find.

Desperation

The vast majority of companies, whether private or public, are made up of shareholders. For instance, according to a recent thread on quora Jack Dorsey may own only 15% of Twitter. What shareholders want is a continuous growth in profit and company value. Many free products primary source of revenue is in advertising, and therefore the number of eyeballs on a webpage.  At some point, a product will reach its limit on how many page views it can generate and how much advertising revenue it can generate. 

When this happens they will have to start looking for new sources of revenue and ways to keep their shareholders happy. It's far easier and more profitable to exploit the customers you have than to innovate all new products.

As a consumer do you a trust a company to do what's right for your privacy, when it has shareholders breathing down its neck and millions of dollars on the line? Better yet would you be trustworthy in this situation?


Pushing the Limits

It would be hard to throw a lawn dart in Silicon Valley without hitting someone that believes privacy is dead and we should get over it, or other similar non-sense. What’s more important than technorati and entrepreneurs saying this are them believing it. One of the largest implications of this mentality is that what we are exchanging our privacy for is worth it, which "they" also believe. 

The die-hard believers of this theory are pushing the entire industry of free services forward, in their bid to plunder data and compromise privacy. They ask for more information, more access, and pioneer new ways to gain new footholds into our lives. When new in-roads are found without stirring up the dander of the masses they make it clear that it is the status quo and everyone does it. What better defense? Find something you shouldn't do, get everyone else to do it, and then claim you did it because everyone does it. Genius.

What's a Privacy Savvy Guy to Do?

It is impossible to tell if any company will turn and do something terrible with your data, but it's far more likely that a free service will. Spending a few dollars on a company or developer with an excellent reputation is a good start. A creator with a revenue stream that is acquired by having an excellent relationship with its customers is far more likely to make good and ethical decisions with your data.

There are still free services that aren't in it to completely screw you over, but it's important to understand their terms of service, their company track record, and keep up with changes that affect your data. 

It's also becoming increasingly more important for our journalists, tech and traditional, to keep an eye on the companies, developers, and corporations that we are becoming continually more dependent on. Our journalists need to be doing their part to keep these powerful interests in check, and to reassure everyday people that someone is watching out for them.



2/6/12

How To Get More Twitter Followers: Create Genuine Relationships


No matter how many people your twitter account claims are following you, the only followers you actually have are the ones who interact with you. If you have 10 million followers and you never get a reply or retweet, then you have zero followers.

Why Do I Twitter

The need to be followed is non-too surprising, numbers are easy to follow and having lots of "followers" makes us feel liked and important. In the end you really have to ask yourself, what do I want out of twitter? Some are seeking promotion, some are seeking friendship, and some just want to read others tweet. If you are firmly in the last camp, this post isn't for you, and the number of followers you have doesn't matter.

If you wish to gain any benefit from the previous two then ask yourself, "How do I benefit from having lots of followers?" The answer is probably something like, “More people will RT my posts and I'll have greater exposure” or “The more people that follow me the more interaction I'll have”. This is only true if you are attracting quality followers.

What most people mean when they say I want more followers is, "I want more exposure and interaction". However what they usually end up with is more followers and not anymore exposure or attraction.


Quality over Quantity

If quality is such a big deal, how does one attract quality followers?

The only way to build up a strong base of quality followers is to create genuine relationships with people who have common interests.

                 Create genuine relationships with people who have common interests.


Tips for Creating Genuine Relationships on Twitter

Connect with the quality followers you already have. If you have followers that often reply and RT your content, it is important for you to make an effort to connect with those people and provide enough value for their continued effort. Most people are plenty happy to have a conversation and get a well-deserved RT once in a while. If you completely ignore your strongest supporters they will vanish.

Trim the fat. If you are following 10,000 spam bots or following tons of people so they will follow you back, unfollow them all. You should be following few enough people so that you can actually communicate with them. The majority of your exposure will come from a small group of people. Staying loyal to them will give you the best results in both promotional and relational spheres.

Write good tweets, if you are only releasing a glob of links for your blogs/sites/products people will get tired of you quickly, on the other hand if you are only sending out tweets about your cat or lunches people will get tired of that also. It's better to write nothing than to write stuff people hate.

Finding people with common interests

Follow Friday is a good source of quality users, most people won't recommend someone who is terrible. Also you learn fast if someone makes bad recommendations.

Follow people who RT the same items as you. After you tweet or retweet about an item, click on it and you can see how many other people retweeted the same thing. Follow some of those people; chances are if they liked the same thing you did enough to share it, you have some common ground.

Follow and unfollow a lot of people. It's ok to follow someone and if you don't enjoy their stuff, unfollow them. Lots of people feel locked into a follow, but they shouldn't. It's the internet; it's not like dumping a girlfriend.  If anyone ever gives you guff about unfollowing them just say, "I wasn't enjoying your tweets, that's all. If you don't enjoy it unfollow, the end.

Follow me twitter at twitter.com/barnesjonathan

If you have tips for creating great relationships on twitter leave em in the comments.


Note: This probably doesn't apply to people who already have a large platform with which to generate followers, blogs, podcasts, television shows etc.

1/31/12

Aggregation Gone Too Far: Calling Out BoingBoing and Those Like Them

Aggregation is an awesome and powerful tool, it takes the best of everything for a particular audience, and puts it all into one place. Other than hyper links, it is what makes the internet work. In many cases it's great for everyone, helping media consumers to connect with excellent content while helping media creators connect with an audience.

However in other cases, aggregation turns from societal good into outright theft. In the following example author Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing pulls all the useful and interesting information straight from the article, re-words a few items, and posts it on BoingBoing leaving a link at the bottom.

Normally this wouldn't bother me enough to write about it, but this particular aggregation has commited several atrocities.

1.  BoingBoing has crafted the post in a way that makes a reader assume there is no value in clicking through, the majority of interesting details are on the boingo page.

2. The original post has citations which account for the validity of the post , which many commenters on boingo doubt.

3. The original post is on a webpage with a single ad, where as the boingo post is littered with crap.

4. The re-post has created no new value.

This kind of mindless re-posting of valuable content is a blight on content creation everywhere and in my opinion amounts to outright theft. As a community of readers, writers, and people who enjoy the internet we need to call out this kind of behavior, and attempt to put an end to it. Also if you end up reading one these types of articles click through to the source, it helps them a ton.

Please review both Articles and let me know if you feel any different,

http://boingboing.net/2012/01/31/letter-from-ex-slave-to-ex-mas.html

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/01/to-my-old-master.html

Update: Business Insider also published an aggregate of this same article but said "We found this amazing letter from an emancipated slave to his former master at Project Gutenberg, via LettersofNote.com".   They went on to post the entire letter. So they essentially took all of the credit and gave the minimum amount of citation.

1/24/12

Maslow's Hierarchy Of Recycling

This is my theory on why people don't do a better job of recycling.

more self-fulfillment = more recycling?



11/3/11

The Facebook Ratio

                                             


                 What Facebook shows me




What I want to see





What I don't want to see



 2/3 are things I don't want to see and 1/3 has things I do want to see.

 I shall call it the Facebook ratio.

9/15/11

What's wrong with the world? ( Star Wars Blu-ray )



I know, seriously I understand. The new additions to the Star Wars films are annoying and pointless. But how can 1100 people negatively review something that hasn't even come out yet? Come on internet, get it together.


















Link to Amazon
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]

7/15/11

Spotify VS Itunes

Instead of actually thinking of something, I grabbed a great conversation from some of my friends on Google Plus. Enjoy.





Alright hook em up, lets have a good clean fight.
Jonathan Barnes's profile photo

Jonathan Barnes's profile photoJonathan Barnes's profile photoJonathan Barnes's profile photo

Jonathan Barnes's profile photo
Jonathan Barnes -  10:59 AM  -  Public
So far I'm super impressed with spotify. The search functionality is a little soft though.
  -  Comment  -  Share
+1
 by Jason Miller
Terry Henderson's profile photo
Terry Henderson - Glad You Like It; Jon. I Don't Have A Need For It, Since I Have The Amazon Cloud Player On My Android Phone.
11:03 AM   
Jonathan Barnes's profile photo
Jonathan Barnes - Aren't you fancy. lol
11:05 AM  -  Edit   
Jason Miller's profile photo
Jason Miller - +Terry Henderson Boy, that sounded like a sore spot.

Regarding Spotify, I used it through a proxy for a while a few years ago and loved it - I didn't like the search itself, but if you use their suggestions, Spotify can help you discover music in a really organic and spontaneous way (are you writing a blog post on this yet?)
11:05 AM   
Lou Gagliardi's profile photo
Lou Gagliardi - I have iTunes :P seriously though, why would I want spotify? What would it offer that iTunes doesn't yknow?
11:07 AM   
Jason Miller's profile photo
Jason Miller - +Lou Gagliardi 15 million songs for $5, primarily.
11:07 AM (edited 11:07 AM)   
Jonathan Barnes's profile photo
Jonathan Barnes - I don't know yet, I imagine there will be enough already. Let me know if the world needs my expert opinion
11:07 AM  -  Edit   
Jason Miller's profile photo
Jason Miller - +Jonathan Barnes The world needs your expert opinion.
11:08 AM   
Lou Gagliardi's profile photo
Lou Gagliardi - +Jason Miller I can get millions of songs for free through an offshore store (that's a T4A inside joke ;) +Terry Henderson will understand)..why would I want to pay $5? As I told someone on another thread, 'if i could afford x dollars, i wouldn't be wearing 5 year old glasses.'
11:09 AM   
Terry Henderson's profile photo
Terry Henderson - +Jason Miller In Sept. I Can Pay Apple $24.95 1 Time, And Make All My "Off Shore" Downloads Legit, At Way Better Quality, & Re Upload Them To The Amazon Cloud !! Lol,Lol.
11:13 AM   
Jason Miller's profile photo
Jason Miller - +Lou Gagliardi Interesting view, but since you use iTunes, I assume you can either afford an iOS device, or songs from their store. So it comes down to, do you want $5 for 5 songs and keep them forever, or do you want $5 for 15 million songs, for a month (and on your iPod forever).
There are people who want the former, and people who want the latter, and people like me who are more interested in what Spotify looks like than how much music I have on my hard drive.
11:13 AM   
Lou Gagliardi's profile photo
Lou Gagliardi - No, I could afford an iOS device. I no longer can, especially now that it has a cracked screen, I can't replace it.

Plus, as +Terry Henderson I can go to an offshore store, and download the songs then when I eventually get the money pay to make them legit. Key words: when i get the money. Hence the use of an offshore store.
11:16 AM   
Jason Miller's profile photo
Jason Miller - +Terry Henderson What are you defining as "better quality"? Spotify streams at 360kbps, which is the same quality you are getting from iTunes downloads. Also, do you really think iTunes will let you download songs from a subscription plan? without DRM? The recording industry would never let that happen.

So, yes, Apple is going to give Spotify a run for their money - but no, they are not going to single handedly change the recording industry to a non-DRM subscription system.

Also, you can find most songs you need using specially crafted Google search queries. It's not hard, that's what Songza used in their V1 product.
11:19 AM (edited 11:20 AM)   
Terry Henderson's profile photo
Terry Henderson - Uh? I Thought Apple Already Did That 2 Years Ago, Along With Amazon's Help. No Body Does DRM, Anymore; Except For Movies, & TV Shows.
11:22 AM   
Lou Gagliardi's profile photo
Lou Gagliardi - +Terry Henderson I still have songs with DRM on them from iTunes. Though I might have bought them about 2-2.5 years ago. Shrugs
11:25 AM   
Jason Miller's profile photo
Jason Miller - But you're looking at puchasedmedia. When you watch a film on Netflix, is it DRM free? When you listen to a song on Grooveshark, do they make it easy to download the song? (no, they run their entire AJAX and streaming API through an encrypted Flash proxy).

The new iTunes subscription model will not be like the current store. It will have DRM, in some form.
11:29 AM   
Terry Henderson's profile photo
Terry Henderson - Never Happen, "His Steviness" Will Tell The Labels To Pound Salt, & They Will ! IMHO.
11:38 AM   
Jason Miller's profile photo
Jason Miller - I wouldnt mind having DRM. However, "His Steviness" had bloodywell better get me a good deal on a new MacBook Air next week.
11:40 AM   
Terry Henderson's profile photo
Terry Henderson - Ha, Ha !! I Hear You.
11:47 AM   

7/11/11

33 Lessons for Software Industry Novices


1.     You’re not smarter than anyone

     In all jobs, especially the software industry, there are a lot of smart people. They have worked at that company, and in that industry, longer than you. Even if you were the smartest and brightest student at your school, you’re not going to be when you find a job. Get over it. The sooner the better

2.     There is such a thing as a stupid question


     Note: This has been heralded as mostly bad advice from a variety of people that have read this. The consensus seems to be, that asking questions is a great thing. I suppose my experience was non-typical. Hooray for the internet I learned something new. 

     Before asking any question, Google it first. If you still can't find it, look in other places; internal documentation, text books, API's, forums, etc. Only when you have exhausted all possibilities should you ask for help. Then ask the guy closest in pay scale to you, don't ask the lead developer or manager, or anyone else. If they don't know go to the next highest guy.

3.     Looks matter

     If you look like you don't shower, and have never had a haircut, people will think it’s so. Your looks, for better or worse, will impact you positively or negatively.  Imagine my surprise when my contract didn't get renewed after wearing a mo-hawk to work for 3 months.

4.     Know what you know and what you don't know

     If someone asks you a question and you don't know the answer say, "I don't know," or "I can find that for you". Giving someone bad information, because you don't want to look stupid, can make you look ten times dumber and lead to poor outcomes. Information is the currency of our industry, if the information is not good, then nothing will be. On the contrary, sharing valuable and accurate information can be extremely helpful and reflects well on you. 

5.     Become a part of the culture before trying to influence it.

     Prove your worth, intellect, and ability to make good decisions that are in alignment with the company before trying to make changes or influence anything.

6.     Software’s primary function is to earn profits

     That is its number one priority.  Software does not make money by: being coded well, being high quality, or delivering all of the features users want. They are all certainly important, but software makes money by being sold! 

7.     Listen to people

     See 1. This seems pretty basic, but so many people fail at this in a big way. When people talk, listen to them - your boss, coworkers, the janitor, whoever: in the software industry people rarely tell you things that are not important. Take notes if you must.

     The worst thing you can do is ask someone a question when they’ve already told you the answer. In my early years, I would ask people for documents, or how something worked, or where something was, and I would get my butt handed to me. They would say, "Why didn't you write it down", "We talked about this in such and such meeting last Friday", and all in a very harsh tone. I received absolutely no sympathy, and often got a wicked tongue lashing. 

     That's it, just listen well. It makes you look smarter, more devoted, and makes people like you. If you suck at listening I have no idea how to get better, I suck at it too.

8.     Have a presence

     Go to work, go to meetings, show up to company events, schmooze, hang out; do whatever you can to get your face in front of people. If no one knows who you are, you're going to get passed for promotions, cool opportunities, and will be underappreciated for the work you do. I suck at this too, but trying hard goes a long way. 

9.     Archive Everything you can

     Information is what the software industry runs on, those with the most and best rule. You need to archive everything you can so that you can reference it later, save every email, every instant message, take notes on every conversation, and know where to find it all. You look like an idiot when you have to ask a co-worker to explain something that he told you yesterday because you "forgot". It's much more dignified to look at your notes and review what he said. 

     It's also important because invariably someone will say, "I asked you to have that report to me yesterday". Then you can say, "This email you sent last week says to have it on the third, which is 3 days from now". Then that person ends up looking like the douche, and you look well organized and on top of your game.

10. Toot your own horn

     When you do something well, let people know. The best approach for this is to present your awesomeness as a service to others. For example, "I made this script that turns monkey turds into gold; I thought you guys might want to use it.”

     In an ideal world, everyone would be recognized for the work they did and wouldn't have to work on their personal PR, but it's not an ideal world. People are busy and worry about what benefits them and what they're working on at the moment.

11. Help others and they will help you

     When co-worker Joe comes begging for assistance, because he's going to miss a deadline, help him! Undoubtedly, unless you’re the most Supreme Being in the universe, you will be in the same position and it will be nice to know that someone owes you. Build up as many favors as you can, at some point you will need them all.

12. Advance your skills at all times

     Employers/Market forces are not your friend. They don't care about your family, or that you’re a nice guy, or that you have a massive collection of Pok√©mon plush dolls  they care about your skills. Take every opportunity to improve them. Take courses, seminars, beg more experienced people for tips and feedback. It's hard to say what will be popular in the software industry in ten years, but I can guarantee it won't be esoteric Anime.

13. Do Secret projects

     There are things that your boss will never say yes to, projects that sound kooky, or don't provide immediate profits, but could be important anyway. Spend whatever free time you can, developing 'Secret Projects'. This can include: setting up a repository for code (there are still places that don't have that), writing up an experimental interface, writing a testing framework, or creating anything that can add value to your company.

     When you complete your secret projects, verify that it in fact will provide value to your company, and then show your boss. 99% of the time they will be thrilled. It's much easier to sell a finished product, than it is to sell an idea.

14. Learn to be self sufficient

     See question 2. A man that can work on his own, and not gobble up the resources of those around him, is worth more than a thousand men that constantly need help. Find answers to your own problems, keep yourself busy, and stay motivated. 

15. Don't be a yes man

     Tell your boss when they’re wrong, but be careful. Use grace and facts to convince them of the best approach. Your boss will thank you. One of the greatest things about the software industry is that it's usually an open exchange for ideas. 

16. Definitely be a yes man

     For the love of all that is good and holy in the universe, don't disagree with people just to have the opposite view point. When someone has a good idea or strategy tell them you think so. If you must, you can follow that with a few concerns you may have. If you always tell everyone they’re wrong, they will hate your guts and think you’re an egotistical maniac.

17. Choose your battles wisely

     Arguing with co-workers consumes energy, time, and morale. If you must argue about something, make sure that it is a worthwhile argument. Spending 3 hours trying to convince someone to use ruby instead of python to write a 12 line script is not worth anyone's time. 

18. Make Friends

     I openly admit to being terrible at this, but it's important anyway. Making friends at work says a lot about you. It says you’re a team player, you can get along with others, you have a stake in your job, and so much more. It's also an incentive to show up to work. If you have a person you enjoy seeing everyday it makes getting through the day that much easier.

19. Have fun

     Find something you enjoy at work - like having friends, it’s a great incentive to come in every day. It improves your morale and makes you more enjoyable to others. We have a basketball court at work and I love to go shoot hoops. I make time for it as often as possible. I come back refreshed and happy, and am often more productive than I have been all day.

20. Know when to put in the extra hours

     Working extra hours is great. It shows your devotion and ability to be a team player. However, I caution against long hours every week. You will burn out. You will become a sunken-eyed zombie who is dead to the world. The quality of your work will decrease. You should be saving yourself for the times when it really counts.So that you will be able to drop 60 or 80 hours in a week to meet a deadline that really is critical, while also making every one of those hours the best you have to give. 

21. Don't get too comfortable

     Most of us know by now that there is no such thing as “job security”. It was a temporary concept created by some economic illusions and sleight of hand. “Now you see it and now you don’t,” poof it’s gone forever. This is especially true for the software industry. We are an industry that moves fast, moves hard, and isn't afraid to lay people off.

     As a younger employee in the software industry, you shouldn't expect to stay anywhere too long - a couple of years max. There are people who manage to hold on to positions for years and years, but don't count on being one of them. At some companies entire divisions get axed without consideration for who is going. Just because you are a rock star doesn't mean the guy killing 200 jobs will know your name.

22. Learn to write well
  
     You don't need to be great or even good, just get proficient enough to write a good email. If you’re a terrible writer, like I was, try starting a blog.

     That's why TPH was created; my boss at the time told me that my emails bordered on embarrassing, and my number one goal should be to improve my writing. Six months after starting the blog, I was told that my emails actually look professional. I'm still not the best writer, but I'm much better than I used to be.

23. Get comfortable with phone calls

     I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on the phone working with teams from various states and countries. Software companies are continuing the trend of worldwide offices, working from home, and distributed teamwork. The telephone is still the best option for many of our communication needs. There's no good strategy for getting used to talking on the phone several hours a day, just deal with it.

24. Learn to work in a team

     The lone programmer is gone! That's right, I used an exclamation point: that's how gone it is. You will be working with a team of other developers, content creators, managers, quality assurance personnel, and more. Your ability to work in a team will directly affect the outcomes of your project and your ability to improve your career. 

25. Say Thank You

     Anytime someone helps you, say "Thank You". Time is the most valuable asset to anyone working in the software industry, and they need to know you appreciate the time they gave you. It was a gift, not a right. Thanking that person will also encourage them to help you again, because you recognize that their time is valuable. 

26. Make your job enjoyable

     If you hate your job, then change something. Is your job to push buttons every day? Make a game out of it, create a robot to push buttons for you, just do anything you can. If you show up to work every day looking miserable and hating what you do, you will never go anywhere. In a cruel twist of fate, you will probably end up stuck there forever. If you hate your job so much you can't possibly make it enjoyable, find a job that you can.

27. Take Breaks

     That's it: take breaks. It's ok to skip them sometimes, but not all the time. Getting out of your cube and getting some fresh air will help clear your mind and improve your productivity. 


28. Be A Cool Guy

     If you’re not a cool guy, pretend to be one when other people are around. Don't spend your time crapping on everything you disagree with, don't bad mouth people, and try to have a good outlook on the things that are happening around you. For better or worse, what others think about you is what will ultimately decide if you’re going to have upward momentum in your company. 

29. Don't complain

     See 28. It's annoying to be around someone who complains all the time. As your mother would say, "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all" - unless it's constructive to your project. 

30. Do the best you can with what you have

     The world is not an ideal place. When you go to work your computer might be too slow, you might not have the software you need, and you will definitely never have enough time to complete projects, the "right" way. It's important to work with what you have. You will seem smarter, be more likable, and be considered a good worker, if you manage to get your job done with what's available. There are times when you have to ask for things, but doing so rarely will help you get the stuff you need, when you really need it.

31. Find out what you like and don't like about your job

     If you know what you like about your job, you can get better at those things, and, if you are good at something, people will want you to do it. No one asks the guy that hates coding to whip up a script to test the database. Also know what you don't like about your job: it will allow you to divest yourself from those things, and hopefully push it onto somebody who does like it. 

     It sounds crazy, but tell your boss, "I don't like doing this thing, is it possible to have someone else do it”. This may seem bold, but a good boss will give it to someone who's good at it, or your boss will tell you why you should be doing it. If your boss freaks out about a statement like that, QUIT. Go find a job with a good boss.

32. Never Get Drunk At Work Parties

     It's cool to have a few drinks to loosen up and have a good time, but its way uncool to be the drunken idiot kid. It could wreck your work environment, your job, or your career. If you can't handle your booze, just don't drink at all.

33. Don't do things because they are cutting edge

     Knowing about the latest and greatest techniques in your field is important. It provides opportunities to improve your work, show your knowledge, and improve the overall quality of whatever you’re working on. However, just because things are new doesn't mean they’re better or good. I have seen people completely re-code thousands of lines, just to move to their new favorite programming language, only to switch back after a few months. Newness does not guarantee goodness.

     Before switching techniques, languages, or anything else, carefully decide if it provides a large enough benefit. Also be sure that the solution you’re using now can't be tweaked to offer that same benefit. For an industry so concerned with time, it's ridiculous how often we are willing to climb a giant learning curve just to be on the latest and greatest thing. Be practical.


    


         Special thanks to everyone that put up with me while I was learning to be a professional. I was a pathetic intern.